Holidays & economy slow markets to a crawl

Posted by Justin Havre. on Monday, January 4th, 2016 at 1:17pm.


The annual holiday slowdown in Calgary’s real estate market exacerbated by the current economy saw December sales fall below the city’s five and 10-year averages.

Just 878 residential units moved last month, which is 18% below the numbers from December 2014.

The unadjusted benchmark price followed suit at $448,800, a 0.42% drop from November and 2.33% less than last December.

The Calgary Real Estate Board’s monthly report issued today doesn’t shed any new light on what’s happening in the marketplace, stating that the December numbers are following the trend set early in the year.  Job losses throughout the province have set the stage for slow demand.

CREB® chief economist, Ann-Marie Lurie, noted that aggregate prices in the housing market declined throughout the year but not at a rate that many had predicted. With fewer people putting homes on the market, inventory was on the low side and new listings were absorbed preventing a sharp deceleration in prices.

Inventory was low relative to the previous 11 months, but still higher than December 2014.  With 4,336 residential units on the books in December, inventory was 28% higher than last year and at the highest December level since 2008. Those residential sectors seeing the inventory glut are attached dwellings and apartments.

CREB® president, Corinne Lyall, observed that Calgary buyers last month continue to exercise caution as oil prices show no sign of rebounding, eroding confidence and inhibiting commerce in the real estate sector.  Those who are putting properties on the market may be striking while inventory levels are at a year-end low, concerned about higher supply levels in this coming year.

In looking at the last 12 months, sales of detached units fell by 24% with sales of apartment-style condos and attached residences dropping by 33% and 28% respectively.

All residential sectors experienced big numbers in terms of months’ supply, however apartment units was the one sore thumb with an average of four months.  Therefore, apartments were the only dwelling type of see a drop in the average benchmark price for 2015 – a decline of 0.82%.

In comparing prices for detached and attached units from January til the end of December, prices were 1.91% and 1.29% lower. But when you look at the average over the past year, prices are still 1.35% and 1.84% above 2014 numbers.

Lyall pointed to pockets of the city where home prices have bucked the trend and are better than they were at the beginning of 2015. 


Source: Calgary Real Estate Board

December 2015 YTY Comparative Analysis 


Sales:  878 (-18.17%)

New Listings:  1,483(+8.41%)

Active Listings (Inventory):  4,336 (+ 28.13%)

Median Sale Price: $407,750 (- 1.75%)

Average Sale Price: $462,657 (-1.98%) 


Sales:  533 (-11.75%)

New Listings:  793 (+4.20%)

Current # of Listings:  2,138 (+19.37%)

Average Days on Market: 47 (+16.72%)

Median Sale Price:  $455,000 (-4.41%)

Average Sale Price:  $533,611 (-3.15%)

YTD Median Price:  $536,990 (- 3.64%)


Sales: 151(– 31.98%)

New Listings:  341 (+12.17%)

Current # of Listings: 1,120(+31.30%)

Average Days on Market: 56 (+23.29%)

Median Sale Price:  $286,500   (-0.83%)

Average Sale Price: $304,226   (-4.53%)

YTD Median Price: $274,000 (- 3.86%)



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