Prices remain similar to last year, but ease in October
October’s housing market conditions closely echoed previous months’ trends, with easing sales, rising inventories and downward price pressure. Like last month, the monthly activity was not enough to derail gains that occurred earlier in the year.
October sales and inventories totaled 1,467 and 6,463 units for a month of supply of 4.4. Several months of elevated supply compared to demand has weighed on pricing over the past several months. The citywide unadjusted benchmark price in October totaled $438,900, 0.6 per cent below last month, but comparable to last year.
“While economic activity has improved in 2017, it will take some time for this to translate into housing market growth. There have been employment gains, but most of this has occurred in areas with traditionally lower income,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
“We also continue to face weak migration, higher lending rates and changes to lending policy. The combination of these factors is impacting housing demand, which is prolonging the pace of recovery.”
Resale inventory gains occurred in each product type and across most districts in the city. The largest gains were in districts with substantial new development growth.
“While economic activity has improved in 2017, it will take some time for this to translate into housing market growth.” – CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie
In the detached segment, the largest number of units added to inventory occurred in the $300,000 – $500,000 price range. This represents nearly 42 per cent of all detached inventory. Sixty-two per cent of the inventory in the citywide market is priced below $500,000.
“There is far more product availability in the lower price ranges now compared to several years ago,” said CREB® president David P. Brown.
“This provides more options for potential buyers concerned about their purchasing power, given all the changes in the lending market.”
The largest monthly price change occurred in the apartment condominium sector, which recorded an unadjusted monthly decline of 0.8 per cent, resulting in a 13-per-cent spread over monthly highs recorded in 2014.
Despite some recent adjustments, prices in the attached and detached segments remain relatively stable compared to last year.
REGIONAL MARKET FACTS
- Further easing in October sales caused year-to-date activity to total 1,146 units, 4.8 per cent below last year’s levels. There has been some recent pullback in new listings, which is preventing any significant shifts in inventory levels.
- Year-to-date, the benchmark price for detached homes averaged $378,140, 0.59 per cent below last year’s levels.
- Cochrane monthly sales remained comparable to last year’s levels. However, they have continued to see year-to-date improvements over the previous year and remain strong in comparison to historical activity. Listings growth has ensured relatively stable inventory levels.
- Year-to-date detached benchmark prices have averaged $422,700. This is 0.41 per cent below last year’s levels, but remains nearly five per cent below recent highs.
- Okotoks sales improved significantly over last year’s levels, pushing year-to-date sales to levels comparable to last year. At the same time, new listings have also maintained similar levels, keeping the average months of supply for the year just above four months.