March home prices go out like a lamb

Posted by Justin Havre. on Friday, April 1st, 2016 at 3:24pm.

Housing prices in Calgary haven’t dropped as far as employment figures but they are continuing a downward trend.

The Calgary Real Estate Board released March figures today and no one is truly surprised that the economy is having an effect in all segments of the resale market.  There’s been no improvement and layoffs continue in Calgary.  Certainly activity isn’t stagnant but it is slowing to a crawl.

CREB® chief economist and spokeswoman Ann-Marie Lurie states in her monthly review that unemployment rates throughout the province are the highest they’ve been since the early 1990s.  The Alberta unemployment rate rose to 7.9% but here in Calgary that figure is more like 8.4%.

The benchmark price in our city last month came in at $442,800 which is a drop of nearly half a per cent over the previous month, but 3.51% less than March 2015.   Total sales in the city were 1,588 units which equal 11% fewer units than March 2015 and unfortunately, 28% lower than long-term averages for the month of March.

The number of homes on the market increased in most price categories with 6,084 residential units on the market by month’s end.  In this first quarter of 2016, the months’ supply of homes is about five months.

As April dawns, the market should see some uptick as buyers get out and start going to open houses in the traditionally busy spring season and hopefully this will mean sales will pick up.

It’s not a good time for Calgarians trying to sell an apartment-style condominium as this sector is not faring well by the downturn.   This last quarter, total sales of apartment condos were 554 which is 17% fewer than the first quarter of 2015.  Benchmark prices have actually been falling since before the collapse in oil prices, going back to the fall of 2014. 

Last month, the benchmark price for apartment condos was $281,300 which is 7% less than the last quarter of 2014 and 4.93% lower than March 2015.

Single family homes and attached homes are down 4% from March 2015.  It could be that Calgarians hoping to enter the marketplace are waiting for the bottom to hit and hoping for more dramatic price decreases than what we’re seeing.  No one can predict the timing of this no more than they can predict the price of oil rising and the loonie gaining strength in the global economy. 

CALGARY HOUSING MARKET STATISTICS:  March 2016

Source: Calgary Real Estate Board

March 2016 YTY Comparative Analysis 

COMBINED CALGARY RESIDENTIAL SALES

Sales:  1,588 (-10.64%)

New Listings:  3,227 (+3.13%)

Active Listings (Inventory):  6,084 (+ 6.66%)

Median Sale Price: $422,000 (+.48%)

Average Sale Price: $468,572 (-1.08%) 

CALGARY DETACHED HOME

Sales: 1,005 (-6.86%)

New Listings:  1,821 (+2.65%)

Current # of Listings:  3,077 (+1.65%)

Average Days on Market: 41 (+10.73%)

Median Sale Price:  $480,000 (+1.05%)

Average Sale Price:  $538,017(-1.39%)

YTD Median Price:  $470,000 (- 1.05%) 

CALGARY APARTMENT/CONDO STATS

Sales: 257 (– 14.9%)

New Listings:  682 (+1.49%)

Current # of Listings: 1,534 (+7.57%)

Average Days on Market: 48 (+10.38%)

Median Sale Price:  $275,000 (+1.29%)

Average Sale Price: $298,850 (-2.32%)

YTD Median Price: $266,000 (- 1.48%)

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