Calgary inventory levels ease
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Despite the 18 per cent year-over-year decline in June home sales, for a total of 2,183 units, transaction levels remain only five per cent below the 10 year average for June and three per cent above levels over the past five years.
“We’ve seen less concern from consumers lately,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall. “One of the main reasons is that we haven’t seen the worst case scenarios play out in the energy and housing sectors.”
“Consumers who were waiting for wide-spread price declines have been surprised to see that it just hasn’t happened yet, and so they’ve decided to take advantage of the improved selection and lower lending rates,” said Lyall.
The level of new listings that came on the market in June totaled 3,122 units, resulting in the second month of elevated absorption rates, which placed downward pressure on inventory levels. The overall months of supply continues to remain balanced at 2.3 months.
With conditions remaining relatively stable in June, there was minimal pressure on home prices. The city-wide benchmark price totaled $455,400, a respective monthly and year-over-year gain of 0.29 and 0.13 per cent.
“Even though city-wide prices were essentially unchanged in June, it’s important to note that activity can vary significantly depending on community, property type and price range,” said Lyall. “Every transaction has its own unique features, which is why we always encourage consumers to discuss these differences with local experts.”
Second quarter results pointed towards more stability in the market. The year-over-year decline in sales activity eased from 32 per cent in the first quarter to 22 per cent in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the level of pullback of new listings outweighed the gains recorded in the first quarter, resulting in a year-to-date decline of nearly eight per cent.
While both sales and new listings have slowed for each property type within the city, the apartment sector continues to report the weakest absorption rates.
The weaker rates in this sector are now impacting prices. Despite last month’s improvement in price, the second quarter benchmark price was 0.81 per cent below levels recorded last year and 0.93 per cent below first quarter figures. Year-to-date unadjusted apartment averages continue to remain 1.65 per cent above last year’s levels.
In the detached segment, benchmark prices totaled $515,500 in June, slightly higher than last month and 0.4 per cent higher than June 2014 prices. Meanwhile, the year-to-date benchmark price for detached properties remained 3.44 per cent above last year’s figures.
Against this backdrop, the year-to-date average and median detached home price for Calgary has reported declines of 2.26 and 1.54 per cent city-wide. This doesn’t come as a surprise, given that the share of sales activity has declined in the higher price ranges.
“The housing market is showing some signs of stability right now,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “However, there are several risk factors that could influence the market in the second half of the year,” said Lurie. “Many of these factors will be addressed in CREB®’s mid-year forecast update, which will be released at the end of July.”