June spells gradual recovery

Stable prices in detached sector signal balanced conditions despite increased inventory

The Calgary housing market saw a modest improvement in sales, along with an increase in new listings, in June.

However, demand gains have not kept pace with the amount of new listings coming onto the market. This caused inventory levels to increase to 6,659 units, which is 11 per cent higher than last year’s levels.

Despite the shift in inventory this month, second-quarter activity continues to demonstrate improved supply-demand balance and price stability. City-wide benchmark prices totaled $441,500 in June. This is a 0.5-per-cent increase over last month and nearly one per cent higher than last year.

“The supply gain this month will be monitored. However, on a quarterly basis, inventory levels remain comparable to last year, sales have improved and there have been modest price gains. All of this remains consistent with expectations of a gradual recovery,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

Year-to-date residential sales in Calgary totaled 10,322 units, which is 12 per cent above last year’s levels. New listings increased by three per cent over the same time period.

Overall, both the sales-to-new listings ratio and months of supply have trended down this year. This signals more stable pricing in the housing market this year.

“While there were many buyers waiting for lower prices to step into the housing market, there were also many sellers waiting until prices stabilized before listing their home,” said CREB® president David P. Brown.

“Some of this recent growth in listings will help provide more choice, particularly in the detached market where market conditions had significantly tightened over the past few months.”

“While there were many buyers waiting for lower prices to step into the housing market, there were also many sellers waiting until prices stabilized before listing their home.” – CREB® president David P. Brown

Detached inventories and sales totaled 3,224 and 1,385 units, for a month of supply of 2.3 in June.

Despite the recent rise in supply, over the first half of this year, inventories have averaged 16 per cent below last year’s levels, while sales are 13 per cent higher, keeping this segment in more balanced conditions.

While activity is also improving in the attached segment of the market, resale activity in the ownership of apartment-style product continues to face challenges with weak sales relative to listings and rising months of supply.

As of June, the unadjusted benchmark price for an apartment-style product totaled $265,800. This is nearly four per cent below last year’s levels and 11 per cent below recent highs.

Outside of Calgary, Airdrie residential sales totaled 703 units after the first half of the year. This is similar to levels recorded last year. Year-to-date new listings also remained at similar levels to last year, totalling 1,352 units. This is a one per cent year-over-year increase. Detached benchmark prices have averaged $376,833 since January. This is just 1.5 per cent lower than the same period in 2016.

Residential sales and listings in Cochrane increased during the first half of 2017 by 13.5 and 4.3 per cent, respectively, compared to the same period last year. Of the 353 residential units sold so far this year, 220 have been detached and 110 have been attached. Year-to-date detached benchmark prices averaged $422,350, which is similar to levels recorded last year.

Total residential sales in Okotoks totalled 306 units during the first six months of 2017. This is a three per cent year-over-year increase and an improvement compared to activity over the past two years. However, activity still sits below long-term averages. As the market trends toward more balanced conditions, second-quarter detached prices have increased by one per cent compared to the first quarter. Despite the gain, the year-to-date price has averaged $431,700, which is 1.2 per cent below last year.

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