Calgary, AB – Driven by pullbacks in all regions except Fort McMurray and South Central Alberta, November sales in the province were 3,525 units, a three per cent decline over last year. Overall year-to-date sales remain nearly one per cent below last year’s levels and 11 per cent below long-term averages.
“Uncertainty combined with job losses is weighing on the market. This is impacting resale demand, with sales activity settling into lower levels since 2014,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, AREA Chief Economist. “While supply adjustments continue, the province-wide conditions continue to favour the buyer, weighing on prices.”
While sales activity remain slow, new listings were over six per cent lower than last year’s levels, causing improvements in the sales to new listings ratio and reducing inventories compared to last year. However, with over eight months of supply it is not a surprise that prices remain below last year’s levels.
Buyer’s market conditions are present in many of the regions throughout the province, yet conditions can vary significantly depending on location, impacting price adjustments. There have also been divergent conditions depending on price range. In most regions, conditions have improved for the most affordable product, while rising levels of oversupply have been occurring at the higher end of the market.
Calgary RegionYear-over-year sales activity eased in November compared to last year; but it was not enough to erase earlier gains as year-to-date sales remain slightly higher than last year’s levels. At the same time, new listings continue to ease helping reduce the oversupply in the market. However, conditions continue to favour the buyer and prices are trending down.
While the Calgary market is starting to show modest improvements in terms of the supply and demand balance, these improvements are being driven by affordable segments of the detached, attached and apartment sectors.
Edmonton RegionNovember sales eased by nearly four per cent compared to the previous year making it one of the weakest Novembers since 2012. Despite the pullback, year-to-date sales remain relatively consistent with last year’s level. Edmonton has recently struggled with some job loss likely impacting confidence and ultimately sales activity.
At the same time, new listings continue to ease relative to sales, helping support reductions in inventories and modest improvements in the months of supply compared to the same time last year. Despite the adjustments, the market remains oversupplied and prices continue to ease.
Central AlbertaThe pullback in November sales contributed to the year-to-date decline of eight per cent, making this the worst sales activity in the region since 2010. Central Alberta has struggled with job loss this year impacting housing demand.
At the same time, the new listings have also come off, preventing gains in inventory levels. These supply adjustments dampened the increasing months of supply, likely limiting the impact on prices. However, as market conditions favour the buyer prices have continued to trend down.
Fort McMurrayNovember sales improved compared to weak levels recorded last year. Despite the growth, year-to-date sales remain comparable to the previous year but still well below longer-term averages. Most of the growth this year has been driven by product priced between $200,000 - $299,999.
At the same time the number of new listings this month retracted over elevated levels recorded last year, ensuring year-to-date levels remain stable preventing any significant shift in inventories. While the amount of oversupply has eased from highs recorded throughout 2015 to 2017, the market continues to favour the buyer and prices have continued to fall.
Grande PrairieEasing sales in November contributed to the year-to-date decline in the region. Despite the easing, levels are consistent with longer-term trends and well above the lows recorded in 2016 following the energy price crash.
The challenge in the market has been the continued rise in new listings relative to the sales, causing inventory gains and a rise in the months of supply. While the market is showing some modest signs of oversupply, prices have remained relatively flat. This could be caused by some shifts in the distribution of sales.
LethbridgeSo far this year, sales activity has remained relatively stable in the region. There have been some recent gains in new listings, causing inventories and months of supply to rise. However, the rise in months of supply has only helped market conditions become more balanced as levels remain consistent with long-term trends.
Prices have trended up slightly this year after some slight downward pressure last year. However, unlike other regions in the province, this region does not have the same reliance on the energy sector and home prices have generally trended up since 2014 whereas most other regions had prices remain below previous highs.
Medicine HatSlower sales in November contributed to the modest decline in year-to-date sales. At the same time, new listings continue to rise causing inventory gains and pushing up the months of supply. In November the months of supply rose to levels not seen since 2010.
The recent rise in the amount of supply compared to demand is starting to weigh on prices, which are showing signs of slowing. However, thanks to gains earlier in the year, year-to-date prices remain relatively stable compared to last year.
Alberta WestThe diversity in this region is also reflected in the housing statistics. While year-to-date sales have eased this year compared to the last, unlike other areas, sales have fallen in the lower price ranges and improved for homes priced above $500,000. This growth is likely related to activity in areas like Canmore that have different economic drivers. With improving sales at the higher end of the market, it is no surprise that prices have increased. However, it is unlikely that this reflects housing trends throughout the diverse region.
LloydminsterSo far this year, Lloydminster’s market appears to be showing signs of stabilizing sales and new listings. However, sales remain well below typical levels of activity and inventories remain elevated. The result is four consecutive years of elevated months of supply placing downward pressure on prices, which have declined by 17 per cent since the 2014 highs.
South Central AlbertaConditions in the region continue to improve with rising sales and declining inventories. While sales continue to remain low based on historical levels, levels are the best recorded in the area compared to the past four years. This is helping reduce the oversupply in the market easing the downward pressure on prices.
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