January housing saw prices slide as buyers go window shopping

Posted by Justin Havre. on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016 at 1:29pm.

This year started on a quiet note in Calgary with real estate sales slipping 13% from this time last year.

In all, 763 residential units sold in January according to the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®). Calgary's real estate market showed no signs of heating up in January, as both sales volumes and sale prices dropped again. Sales volume dropped as well as prices.

The median sale price of residential units dropped 3.1% compared to prices in January 2015, to $409,000.  The average sale price of homes in Calgary fell just by 0.2% to $459,875 from this time last year.

Other statistics to note is that the number of new listings active in the Calgary market is up by 16% from 4,357 in December 2016 to 5,022 – a difference of 665 which is nearly a month’s worth of sales.  This means there is currently about six months’ worth of homes available and if this trend continues, housing prices are sure to start slipping at a more accelerated pace.

The number of new listings which entered the market last month is fewer than the number of new listings that went up in January 2015 as sellers remain hesitant to list their property.

The number of days that homes sat on the market has inched up to an average of 50 days, 22% higher than the average number of days it took to sell a property in January 2015.

What the experts are saying

CREB® chief economist and primary spokesperson Ann-Marie Lurie continues to point to energy market uncertainty. The concern now is that even if oil prices were to rise and the oil patch begins to recover, real estate will lag behind because so many properties have to start moving.

People who work downtown will tell you that the trains aren’t as crowded, lunch spots aren’t as jammed and there is less pedestrian activity on the Stephen Avenue Mall.

A waiting game

For those looking to buy property in Calgary, things are looking pretty rosy. Selection in all sectors is very good.  Buyers have plenty of choice and interest rates are still very attractive. Lurie says buyers are “window shopping” and may be waiting for prices to start falling as sellers begin to be more motivated.  Properties in Calgary may start moving more rapidly if prices come down more significantly.

While prices are certainly down from 2015, the market has not completely lost gains achieved in 2014.  The aggregate benchmark price last month was 1.21 lower than January 2015 but still 4.41% higher than is was in January 2014.

Residential units in every sector continue a downward slide but none so dramatically as the apartment condo segment. The number of condos on the market is partly responsible for the high inventory Calgary is currently experiencing.  The benchmark price of an apartment condo fell by 6.35% over January of last year and 2.12% from December’s price.  Any gains made since 2007 have been lost.

In attached homes (duplex, townhome) the market is all over the place.  Units less than half a million are balanced with little variation in price or days spent on the market.  Sales are weaker in the $500,000 to $600,000 range.

CREB® continues to advise sellers to review their housing needs and to give careful consideration as to their lifestyle needs and to future financial goals before selling or pricing their home. 

CALGARY HOUSING MARKET STATISTICS:  January 2016 

Source: Calgary Real Estate Board

January 2016 YTY Comparative Analysis 

COMBINED CALGARY RESIDENTIAL SALES 

Sales:  764 (-12.88%)

New Listings:  2,741 (-16.15%)

Active Listings (Inventory):  5,022 (+ 4.8%)

Median Sale Price: $408,250 (- 3.26%)

Average Sale Price: $453,632 (-1.52%) 

CALGARY DETACHED HOME 

Sales:  465 (-12.92%)

New Listings:  1,488 (-18.95%)

Current # of Listings:  2,546 (-1.28%)

Average Days on Market: 48 (+29.35%)

Median Sale Price:  $457,500 (-4.79%)

Average Sale Price:  $520,871(-0.82%)

YTD Median Price:  $457,500 (- 4.79%) 

CALGARY METRO APARTMENT/CONDO STATS 

Sales: 129 (– 15.69%)

New Listings:  601 (-19.33%)

Current # of Listings: 1,253(+4.59%)

Average Days on Market: 59 (+7.27%)

Median Sale Price:  $251,000 (-6.69%)

Average Sale Price: $281,296 (-8.15%)

YTD Median Price: $251,000 (- 6.69%)

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