Lacklustre luxury

High-end housing market continues sluggish recovery, but slow sales bump up supply 

As a former long-time writer with the Calgary Herald focusing on the real estate beat, I knew how popular coverage of the real estate industry was to readers.

One aspect of the industry people always loved reading about was the city’s luxury home market. So, I was curious how the high-end segment of the housing market has been faring lately.

Year-to-date sales – up to the end of April – of $1-million-plus properties totalled 204 transactions, which is down slightly from 211 during the same period a year ago, says Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with CREB®.

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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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Down but not out

Downtown office market begins bounce back

People who have lived and worked in Calgary for a long time know that the downtown office market is a great barometer of what’s happening in the city’s overall economy.

For the past couple of years, record vacancy rates in the heart of the city have made headline news, not only in Calgary, but nationally.

However, a recent report by commercial real estate firm Avison Young suggests we’ve hit the bottom and there’s nowhere to go but up.

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Housing market inventory on the rise

Prices remain stable compared to last year

As expected, slow sales this quarter have persisted through March in the City of Calgary. This is not a surprise, after stronger growth in sales at the end of last year following the announced changes to the lending market.

First quarter sales totaled 3,423 units, nearly 18 per cent below last year’s levels and 24 per cent below long-term averages. Easing sales and modest gains in new listings caused inventories to rise and months of supply to remain above four months.

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A bumpy road to recovery

Calgary housing market prices hold, but sales fall

Residential home sales declined in February, but a decline in new listings helped keep prices steady this month.

Sales totaled 1,094 units in February, 18 per cent below last year’s activity. Easing sales occurred across all property types this month, which outpaced the sales growth that occurred in January. After the first two months of the year, sales activity remains well below longer-term averages.

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