Lending conditions weigh on housing demand

May sales activity continued to ease, with the largest declines occurring in the detached sector. Additional gains in new listings continued to increase inventory levels.

Citywide sales activity in May totalled 1,726 units, 19 per cent below last year’s levels and 24 per cent below longer-term averages. Sales activity in the detached sector declined to levels not seen in over a decade.

“The impact of rising lending rates and stricter qualification levels is causing demand to ease across all product types,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

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Soft sales continue in April

Prices steady, but struggles in Alberta economy weigh on housing

Changes to the lending industry and a challenging economic recovery are weighing on sales activity in Calgary’s housing market.

Supply levels have not adjusted to the weaker demand environment, and that is preventing price recovery.

“Slower sales do not come as a surprise, given the economy has not yet improved enough to offset the impact of changes in the lending industry,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“While the rising inventories are being monitored, prices have remained relatively flat as gains in some areas of the city have been offset by declines in other areas.”

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The big picture

Inventory increases and sales drop in September, but overall sales for the year remain higher than last year

Strong gains in the first half of 2017 have put Calgary year-to-date sales at seven per cent above last years’ levels and 11 per cent below long-term averages, but challenges remain with easing sales and rising new listings.

Inventories rose across all property types to 6,861 units, while both apartment- and attached-style properties saw the highest inventory on record for the month of September.

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Domino effect

Surrounding housing market to follow Calgary’s lead in 2017 after challenging conditions in 2016

Slow stabilization in Calgary’s housing market in 2017 is expected to create similar momentum for satellite communities such as Okotoks, Cochrane, Airdrie and Chestermere, say local officials on the heels of CREB® releasing its 2017 Economic Outlook & Regional Housing Market Forecast.

According to the report, Chestermere in Rocky View region experienced a widening gap between sales and new listings during 2016, putting downward pressure on benchmark prices – notably detached homes, which dropped 2.5 per cent from 2015 to $490,808.

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