CARA March 2015 Statistics

Central Alberta home sales remain subdued in March

Red Deer, April 17, 2015 – Residential sales reported through the MLS® System of the Central Alberta REALTORS® Association were down on a year-over-year basis in March 2015.

Home sales numbered 375 units in March, a decline of 16.7 per cent from the same month in 2014.

Sales activity in all of Alberta fell 20.3 per cent from March 2014.

New residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System numbered 941 units in March, up 3.1 per cent from levels in March 2014.

There were 2,522 active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System at the end of March, up 9.7 per cent from levels at the end of March 2014.

There were 6.7 months of inventory at the end of March 2015, up from 5.1 months reported at the end of March 2014 and above the long-run average for this time of year. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

The dollar value of all home sales in March 2015 was $119.6 million, falling 12.5 per cent from the record March in 2014. The dollar value of home sales in all of Alberta declined 21.1 per cent from March 2014.

Sales of all types of properties totalled 395 units in March. This was down 15.6 per cent compared to March 2014. The total value of all property sales amounted to $130.3 million in March, down 10.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The Central Alberta REALTORS® Association is an MLS® listing co-operative, representing more than 560 REALTORS® located in Red Deer and throughout Central Alberta. Details and photos of all Central Alberta REALTORS® Association listings can be found on the national public web sites www.cara.ca, www.REALTOR.ca (residential properties) and ICX.CA (commercial and investment properties).

CREB® March 2015 Statistics

Elevated inventory levels and low sales for three consecutive months caused unadjusted benchmark prices to ease by 0.44 per cent in March, relative to the previous month, for a total of $454,300. Based on first quarter statistics, conditions are consistent with buyers’ market conditions.

Typical home prices have declined by 0.59 per cent in the first quarter of 2015, compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. The sales to new listings ratio also dropped to 41 per cent and months of supply averaged 4.03 for the quarter. This is a significant change from one year ago when the market was facing inventory shortages and price gains.

“Based on current sales activity and rising supply levels, the change in pricing does not come as a surprise,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “However, the recent price adjustments have not eroded all the higher than expected price gains recorded last year. While conditions have likely tempered growth in new listings, further near term price adjustments will be dependent on changes to inventory levels.” said Lurie.

Sales activity fell by nearly 30 per cent in March, compared to this time last year, and remains well below 10-year averages. City of Calgary sales totaled 3,843 units at the end of the first quarter.

“In this market, buyers and sellers should be thinking about their short term and long term objectives,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall. “This is a challenging economic time and people need to know their long game, so they can make the right real estate choices for today and tomorrow.”

While Calgary’s housing market has demonstrated buyer market conditions for the first quarter, the recent pullback in new listings in March has helped ease the growth in inventory levels, resulting in better absorption rates.

The apartment sector has the highest months of inventory in Calgary. This has resulted in higher quarterly price declines in this sector, when compared to the detached and attached sectors. By the end of March, the apartment quarterly benchmark price declined by 1.46 per cent, against the previous quarter. This compares to the 0.4 per cent declines in the detached and attached sector over the same time frame.

“Market influence is always wide-ranging and everyone has different reasons for making a move,” said Lyall. “Consideration must be given to the amount of inventory that’s available for a similar property based on the specific features of that home. The amount of competition for a property is often what influences the price that buyers and sellers will agree on.”

When considering the inventory that is available in the City of Calgary, there are 878 units priced under $300,000, of which 99 per cent are either apartment or attached product. The majority of inventory falls in the range of $300,000 to $600,000, of which 56 per cent of the product is detached. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, there are 1,933 units in inventory at a price over $600,000, of which more than 72 per cent are detached homes.

“Concerns in the energy sector continue to persist, and employment figures are starting to support those concerns,” said Lurie. “In February, employment figures pointed towards job losses related to the energy sector. While monthly employment gains offset the losses, most of the gains were in the traditionally lower paying industries such as the personal services sector. If this trend continues, it may influence the composition of housing demand,” said Lurie.

CARA February 2015 Statistics

Central Alberta home sales down year-over-year in February

Red Deer, March 18, 2015 – Residential sales reported through the MLS® System of the Central Alberta REALTORS® Association were down on a year-over-year basis in February 2015.

Home sales numbered 263 units in February, a decline of 11.1 per cent from the same month in 2014. This was a slightly improvement from January.

Sales activity in all of Alberta fell 27.1 per cent from February 2014.

New residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System numbered 692 units in February, up 21.8 per cent from levels in February 2014.

There were 2,223 active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System at the end of February, up 5.3 units from levels at the end of February 2014.

There were 8.5 months of inventory at the end of February 2015, up from 7.1 months reported at the end of February 2014 and above the long-run average for this time of year. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

The dollar value of all home sales in February 2015 was $80.1 million, falling 14.1 per cent from February 2014. The dollar value of home sales in all of Alberta declined 30.7 per cent from February 2014.

Sales of all types of properties totalled 279 units in February. This was down 11.1 per cent compared to February 2014. The total value of all property sales amounted to $89.4 million in February, down 14.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The Central Alberta REALTORS® Association is an MLS® listing co-operative, representing more than 560 REALTORS® located in Red Deer and throughout Central Alberta. Details and photos of all Central Alberta REALTORS® Association listings can be found on the national public web sites www.cara.ca, www.REALTOR.ca (residential properties) and ICX.CA (commercial and investment properties).

CREB® February 2015 Statistics

Year-over-year new listings growth eased from 37 per cent last month to nine per cent in February. However, as sales activity remained below long term averages for the month, Calgary inventory levels rose to 5,474 units in February.

“While housing supply levels continue to be higher than we have seen in this market for some time, they remain below February 2008 record highs of nearly 7,000 units,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “If the pace of growth in new listings continues to ease, this could place some downward pressure on the supply growth in the resale market.”

After the first two months of the year, there have been 6,236 new listings come onto the Calgary market. However, the new listings gains have varied depending on price range and segment.  Detached homes have continued to see a decline in new listings in the under $400,000 segment, while both the apartment and the attached product have recorded listing growth in the over $300,000 price range.

“It’s really important for consumers to consider what segment of the market they are buying or selling in when they make any real estate decisions,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall. “The inventory, demand and price movement will vary based on the community, price range and product type.”

City of Calgary sales totaled 1,217 in February, a 34 per cent decline over the previous year’s activity. While sales fell across all product types, the rate of decline was higher in the apartment and attached sectors of the city.

“Everyone has different reasons for making a move and so it’s difficult to predict how buyers will react to this market,” said Lyall. “Buyers who have been waiting for more inventory to come on the market may find what they are looking for today. If they are in a position to make a buying decision, they certainly can take advantage of the lower interest rates.”

Months of inventory remain elevated at 4.5 months due to supply gains relative to slower sales in February. This placed downward pressure on pricing over the past month.

Unadjusted detached benchmark prices totaled 516,000 in February, a year-over-year increase of six per cent, but a 0.5 per cent fall over January figures.

Meanwhile, attached and apartment benchmark prices totaled 354,600 and 296,000 respectively. Both represented a decline over previous month’s levels.

The variation in price is more extreme when considering the average price. In February the average price rose by 0.3 percent relative to January, but fell by 4.2 per cent compared to last year. This does not come as a surprise given how the composition of the sales influences the change. Benchmark prices provided changes over time on similar properties, providing a clearer indication of pricing trends.

“Expectations vary significantly when talking about the impact that lower oil prices will have on the housing market,” said Lurie. “This wide range in forecasts is often related to assumptions about how long the cycle will last and the resulting impact to employment and net migration.”

“These differences in expectations will likely persist until there is some firm data to support assumptions about Calgary’s employment levels,” said Lurie.

CARA January 2015 Statistics

Red Deer, February 19, 2015 – Residential sales reported through the MLS® System of the Central Alberta REALTORS® Association dropped sharply in January 2015.

Home sales numbered 202 units in January, a decline of 22.6 per cent from the same month in 2014. The sharp slowdown from very strong levels just one month earlier closely mirrors activity in the rest of the province, as low oil prices have shaken consumer confidence.

Sales activity in all of Alberta fell 28.2 per cent from January 2014.

New residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System numbered 709 units in January, up 25.5 per cent from levels in January 2014.

There were 2,007 active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System at the end of January, edging up four units from levels at the end of January 2014.

There were 9.9 months of inventory at the end of January 2015, up from 7.7 months reported at the end of January 2014 and above the long-run average for this time of year. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

The dollar value of all home sales in January 2015 was $62.8 million, falling 23.3 per cent from January 2014. The dollar value of home sales in all of Alberta declined 29.4 per cent from January 2014.

Sales of all types of properties totalled 222 units in January. This was down 21.8 per cent compared to January 2014. The total value of all property sales amounted to $75.1 million in January, down 19.6 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The Central Alberta REALTORS® Association is an MLS® listing co-operative, representing more than 560 REALTORS® located in Red Deer and throughout Central Alberta. Details and photos of all Central Alberta REALTORS® Association listings can be found on the national public web sites www.cara.ca, www.REALTOR.ca (residential properties) and ICX.CA (commercial and investment properties).