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.”

CREB® December 2014 Statistics

Yearly records set as monthly sales see slight decline
Condominium and townhouse sales set a new record for 2014

It was a record setting year for Calgary’s condominium apartment and townhouse sectors, as sales reached new annual highs despite year-over-year residential sales declines of 7.5 per cent in December.

Single family sales totaled 708 units in December, a year-over-year decline of 8.3 per cent. Meanwhile, total condominium sales also declined by six per cent over the same time frame, but overall activity remained consistent with long-term averages.

“It is not unusual to see slower activity in the month of December as consumer focus often shifts toward the holiday season,” said CREB® president Bill Kirk. “While monthly sales activity has slowed, it is consistent with December activity over the past several years. Overall, annual sales activity has actually increased by 9.3 per cent over last year.”

Yearly condominium apartment sales totaled 4,742 in 2014, an 18 per cent increase over the previous year. Meanwhile, townhouse sales totaled 3,737 units, a 17 per cent annual increase. Both sectors recorded record years of sales activity.

“Changes in the economic climate are expected to cool housing market conditions in 2015, and December activity may be the first indication of this shift,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “However, any pullback that may occur needs to be kept in perspective as 2014 housing activity far exceeded our expectations.”

City of Calgary sales and new listings totaled a respective 25,664 and 36,329 in 2014. The 13 per cent growth in new listings outpaced the nine per cent growth in sales, contributing to an overall rise in inventory levels.

With more availability in the market, residential benchmark prices continued to level off in December. However, annual average benchmark gains remained above nine per cent. Unadjusted benchmark prices for single family, condominium apartment and townhouse properties all remained similar to levels recorded in November.

Single-family sales totaled 17,185 in 2014, an annual increase of 5.5 per cent. While the single-family sector represents the largest component of sales at 67 per cent, the growth in sales in both the condominium markets has outpaced activity in this sector.

“The activity that we’ve seen in the condominium sectors is, in part, is related to product availability in the lower price ranges,” said Kirk. “The under $400,000 segment of the single-family market within city limits has been declining. With the bulk of condominium products available for under $400,000, more consumers have been turning to these sectors for their housing needs.”

Strong demand for condominium apartments was also met with rising supply levels. New listings totaled 7,297 units in 2014, a 30 per cent increase over the previous year.

While rising listings helped take the pressure off prices, on an annual basis, unadjusted condominium apartment and benchmark prices have recovered and exceeded previous highs recorded in 2007.

In addition to these monthly figures for December, it should also be noted that full details of CREB®’s 2015 forecast will be released on January 14, 2015 at our annual Forecast Conference and Tradeshow.

Central Alberta Real Estate November 2014 Statistics

Near-record November for Central Alberta home sales

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

Home sales numbered 361 units in November, an increase of 10.1 per cent from the same month last year. This was the second best November sales figure, standing just seven sales behind the record for the month set in 2006.

Sales activity in all of Alberta rose three per cent from a year earlier in November 2014.

On a year-to-date basis, Central Alberta home sales were running 11.6 per cent ahead of the first 11 months of 2013. It also marked the first time that activity has ever topped 5,000 units sold over this period. 2014 will a new annual sales record.

New residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System numbered 407 units in November, down 9.2 per cent from year-ago levels.

There were 2,007 active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System at the end of November, down 11.7 per cent from levels at the end of November 2013.

There were 5.6 months of inventory at the end of November 2014, down from 6.9 months reported at the end of November 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 November 2014 was $111.3 million, rising 9.3 per cent from a year earlier and a record for the month. The dollar value of home sales in all of Alberta was up 8.8 per cent from November 2013.

Sales of all types of properties totalled 393 units in November. This was up 13.6 per cent compared to November 2013. The total value of all property sales amounted to $128.8 million in November, up 15.7 per cent from a year earlier.

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).

Calgary Housing market expected to be stable in 2015

Housing market expected to be stable in 2015
While the recent drop in oil prices has caused speculation about implications for the housing sector, stable conditions are expected given current forecasts for employment and migration.

“While employment and migration are expected to support housing demand, estimates could change depending on the extent and duration of oil price declines,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB®’s chief economist. “However, concerns over the potential impact will influence consumer confidence. This is expected to cause supply and demand to ease in 2015, maintaining resale market balance and keeping prices relatively stable.”

According to Lurie, the risk lies with the potential severity and duration of the pullback in the energy industry, which would have a lagging effect on the housing sector. While the current situation has some comparing today’s market to 2009, there are some differences.

“Following the financial crisis, many countries including the United States were struggling. In Calgary, new home starts outpaced household formations, contributing to an oversupplied market,” said Lurie.

While CREB® has not yet completed its forecast for 2015, based on the current range of economic expectations, Calgary’s housing market is not expected to see the same level of pullback recorded from 2008 to 2010.

It is important to note there can be significant differences between segments of the Calgary market. Bill Kirk, president of CREB®, clarifies that there are many factors to consider when buying or selling a home, outside of market conditions.

“Market influencers are wide-ranging and may include anything from price range to the type of home and availability in a particular market segment,” said Kirk. “A REALTOR® can help determine how these factors will impact a given property in a given area, allowing consumers to make an informed decision.”

CREB®’s 2015 forecast report will be available January 14, 2015.