Consumer confidence impacting demand

CREB’s monthly stats show Calgary sales in January total 880 units, below typical activity
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.

Read more in Friday’s edition of the CREBNow real estate news

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