Not your typical February in Calgary housing market

Posted by Justin Havre. on Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 at 1:54pm.

For the fifth month in a row, house prices have been on the decline in Calgary and surrounding area.

The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®) released February 2016 sales figures today, noting the tally for total sales for all property types was 1,127.  This is 6.63% lower than the figure from February 2015 and 37% below long-term averages.

The unadjusted benchmark prices across the city came in at $445,000 which is a drop of .63% from January and 3.45% below last year.

Real estate transactions in the city continue to falter as layoffs in Alberta continue, almost on a weekly basis.  With employment falling off the map for eight months straight, now down to the lower levels than what was experienced the last time there was a down turn, fewer people either can buy or want to risk getting into the market.

There were fewer listings last month but inventory is still high at 5,681 properties, which represents a five month supply of units.  Bad time to sell, very good time to buy.

With so much on the market right now, more “price adjusted” stickers are appearing on for sale signs across the city as sellers rethink their asking prices.

What the experts say

According to Cliff Stevenson, president of CREB® says that if the difference between what a property is listed for and what a buyer wants to pay is too great, that buyer might not even bother submitting an offer.  He urges people with properties up for sale and Calgary real estate professionals to consider a solid selling strategy if they want to move their property quickly in this market.

What’s selling right now

The biggest fluctuation in February was in the percentage of sales in the apartment condo and attached homes segment of the market.  Apartment condo sales constituted just 15% of all sales while attached units spiked at 24% of all February sales.  In terms of inventory, apartment condos make up to 17% of all listings and attached units present 22% of the market.

CREB® ‘s take on this shift from apartment-style units to duplex or town house units is related to choice in the market in the lower price ranges.  The attached segment of Calgary’s market is the only area that saw a rise in sales activity February over February.  In fact sales were higher than February 2009 which was when the last real estate downturn occurred. This being a Leap Year, the extra day in February 2016 is not considered to be a factor or has only slightly skewed the statistics.

The rest of the market is down over February 2015 and in fact reached lows not seen in 10 years.  The number of new listings for single-family units was also low which mitigated record inventory numbers.  Actually there are 32% fewer detached units than there were on the market at its peak in 2008.

In specific price segments, the $500,000 to $599,999 range is experiencing some imbalance with the benchmark falling .71% over January and 3.19% from February 2015.


Source: Calgary Real Estate Board

February 2016 YTY Comparative Analysis 


Sales:  1,127 (-6.63%)

New Listings:  2,906 (-.99%)

Active Listings (Inventory):  5,681 (+ 2.71%)

Median Sale Price: $420,000 ( 0.0%)

Average Sale Price: $472,529(+2.72%)



Sales:  691 (-6.62%)

New Listings:  1,611 (-3.59%)

Current # of Listings:  2,943 (-1.14%)

Average Days on Market: 38 (+13.08%)

Median Sale Price:  $467,500 (-0.53%)

Average Sale Price:  $539,733(+2.55%)

YTD Median Price:  $465,000 (- 2.11%)



Sales: 168 (– 22.22%)

New Listings:  637 (+7.42%)

Current # of Listings: 1,402(+4.78%)

Average Days on Market: 50 (+26.07%)

Median Sale Price:  $268,000 (+0.19%)

Average Sale Price: $307,461 (-0.06%)

YTD Median Price: $263,000 (- 2.14%)

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