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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Two sides of the story

December sales activity rises again, but so does supply

Sales activity for all product types improved in December and pushed monthly sales to long-term averages for the second month in a row.

However, new listings also rose, keeping inventory elevated compared to typical levels for December. With more supply remaining compared to sales, benchmark prices edged down for the fifth consecutive month.

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Prices decline for the second consecutive month

Sales activity remains well below long-term averages  

Elevated inventory levels in October contributed to a second consecutive month of price declines in Calgary’s resale residential housing market.

Benchmark prices declined 0.7 per cent from the previous month, and 1.2 per cent from the same time last year, to $453,100.

“Persistent weakness in the overall economy continued to impact housing demand in Calgary as October sales were nearly 16 per cent below long-term averages,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “In addition, new listings did not decline enough to prevent inventory gains and, ultimately, price contractions.”

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Inventory levels rise

August sales activity falls below long-term averages

Calgary’s residential resale housing market recorded further easing in absorption rates in August due to weaker sales activity.

Sales in the city declined by 27 per cent to 1,643 units last month relative to the same time last year and 12 per cent below 10-year averages.

“Persistent weakness in the energy sector weighed on sales activity this month, which once again retracted to levels well below the norm for the city,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

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