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).

CREB® January 2015 Statistics

Consumer confidence impacting demand
Calgary sales in January totaled 880 units, well below typical activity

Click here to view the full monthly stats package.

Low oil prices throughout January, combined with a shifting outlook in the energy sector, caused unease for consumers. As a result, monthly housing sales activity fell to levels not seen in five years.

“Economic conditions this year are expected to be weaker than original estimates provided in December 2014,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“This change is partly connected to continued low energy prices, which impact consumer confidence. A lack of recovery in oil has many concerned about their employment status and this concern is reflected through the weaker sales activity in Calgary’s January resale figures,” said Lurie.

Sales levels were over 35 per cent lower than the 10 year average and declined across all three sectors in the city (Attached, detached and apartment). Meanwhile, new listings increased by 39 per cent city-wide, causing inventory levels to rise.

“There are many reasons for consumers to list their home,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall. “One reason may be that consumers are concerned about what will happen to Calgary’s economy and their personal exposure to this risk,” said Lyall.

While new listing activity increased in every price range this month, the rise in new listings was primarily due to gains in the higher price ranges. In the detached sector, new listings increase by 32 per cent relative to January 2014, all of which occurred in product priced over $400,000.

Despite the recent supply increase in the market, benchmark prices managed to remain relatively stable this month. January benchmark prices totaled $459,100, a 7.7 per cent increase relative to January 2014, but similar to December figures.

Although residential prices remained relatively stable, there was some variation in sectors. The apartment sector recorded the largest gain in new listings relative to sales and inventory levels nearly doubled reaching 1,148 units. The rise in supply relative to demand placed downward pressure on benchmark prices, which fell to $298,700 compared to $300,400 in December.

“It’s important for sellers to set appropriate expectations in this market,” said Lyall. “They need to consider their property type, the competition they may be facing in their community, their reasons for selling and, of course, when they ultimately need their property to be sold.”

Detached benchmark prices totaled $518,600 in January, similar to December levels, but a 7.9 per cent increase relative to January 2014. Meanwhile, the attached unadjusted benchmark price in January totaled $356,200, similar to prices recorded in December.

“Housing decisions will likely continue to be postponed for many consumers until they can see what happens with the economic climate in the spring,” said Lurie.

“Nonetheless, if supply levels continue to rise at levels that exceed the pace of demand growth, we can expect this will start to impact prices in the city.”

Click here to review key changes to CREB®’s monthly statistics products.

 

CARA December 2014 Statistics

Near-record December for Central Alberta home sales

Red Deer, January 16, 2015 – Residential sales reported through the MLS® System of the Central Alberta REALTORS® Association remained at historically very strong levels in December 2014.

Home sales numbered 249 units in December, an increase of 29.7 per cent from the same month in 2013. This was the second best December sales figure, standing just three sales behind the record for the month set in 2006.

Sales activity in all of Alberta edged down 2.2 per cent from December 2013 in December 2014.

On an annual basis, Central Alberta home sales came in 12.3 per cent ahead of 2013 and set a new annual record at 5,496 units. This was also only the third time that activity has ever topped 5,000 units sold.

New residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System numbered 322 units in December, up 39.4 per cent from subdued levels in December 2013.

There were 1,753 active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System at the end of December, down 10.8 per cent from levels at the end of December 2013. This was the lowest level of overall supply for any month since December 2007.

There were 7.0 months of inventory at the end of December 2014, well below 10.2 months reported at the end of December 2013 and below 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 December 2014 was $77.4 million, jumping 43.9 per cent from December 2013 to a record for the month. The dollar value of home sales in all of Alberta edged up only four tenths of one per cent from December 2013.

Sales of all types of properties totalled 262 units in December. This was up 27.2 per cent compared to December 2013. The total value of all property sales amounted to $86.7 million in December, up 42.0 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.carassociation.ca, www.REALTOR.ca (residential properties) and ICX.CA (commercial and investment properties).

CREB® forecasts price stability amid easing demand

 
Housing sales are forecasted to ease by four per cent this year, due to market uncertainty and changes in economic climate, while prices are expected to remain relatively stable with a modest increase of 1.58 per cent on an annual basis, CREB® said today in its annual forecast.

Although sales levels are expected to ease, previously tight conditions throughout 2014 indicate that rising supply would push the market into more balanced conditions, supporting price stability in 2015. However, CREB® warns there are multiple risk factors attached to this forecast, which estimates a total of 24,503 homes will be sold in the city this year.

“The housing risks lie mainly with employment levels and net migration, both of which can be more severely impacted by a prolonged period of weakness in the energy sector,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “There is also the impact that energy prices have on consumer confidence. If energy prices stay low throughout the year, concern regarding job stability could cause consumers to delay unnecessary changes regarding housing.”

The report notes that while sales activity is expected to ease in 2015, it remains consistent with long-term levels. By comparison, sales in 2014 were nearly 15 per cent higher than the long-term trends for the city.

“The economic situation is far better today than what is was in 2009, where the fallout of the financial crises resulted in a U.S. recession, weakness in energy sectors, a pullback in investment and ultimately job losses in Calgary,” said Lurie. “With economic indicators remaining more positive in this period, the pullback in housing is not expected to mirror activity during the 2009-2010 period.”

CREB®’s forecast also notes that housing activity can vary significantly depending on location, price range and property type. For example, in 2014, there were less detached homes within city limits available in the lower price ranges. This caused many consumers who were looking for lower priced product to move to the attached and apartment sectors within city limits as well as other surrounding areas. Many consumers turned to the larger surrounding areas of Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotkoks and Chestermere, which all recorded record levels of sales in 2014.

“With more supply in the market expected this year, buyers will likely have more alternatives in all price ranges,” said 2015 CREB® president Corinne Lyall. “It’s a nice scenario for buyers, but it also means that sellers will likely have to adjust their price expectations and be realistic about the amount of time their home will be on the market.”

“A REALTOR® can help navigate market conditions and real estate options, which are always unique to each consumer,” said Lyall. “While challenges in the market can raise concerns for buyers and sellers, it really comes down to their personal situation and knowing what’s right for them. Real estate is truly local.”