Calgary real estate Market wraps up December 2019 exhibiting further signs of stability Following weak sales activity last year, December sales increased to levels that were more consistent with activity reported over the past five years. Annual sales were driven up by one percent, with a stronger showing in the second half of 2019. “Price declines, lower mortgage rates and some modest improvements in full-time employment helped support some demand growth in the city. Reductions in supply are also contributing to the slow adjustment to more stable conditions in the housing market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “As oversupply in the market continues to ease, we should start to see more stabilization in prices. However, conditions continue to favour the buyer and this is weighing on prices.” Unadjusted benchmark prices for December were $418,500, one percent less than levels last year and only moderately lower than last month. Prices overall in 2019 decreased by three percent in comparison to levels last year. Since the 2014 slowdown in the energy sector, the total adjustment in prices is showing a decline of 10 percent. Although there are signs of stabilization, this varies significantly depending on product type, price range and location. Resale market gains have been motivated mostly by lower-priced products or are in areas where price decreases were enough to draw more purchasers into the market. HOUSING MARKET FACTS Detached Detached sales were relatively unchanged from 2018 due to improved sales in the second half of the year, which helped to compensate for earlier decreases. Homes priced less than $500,000 reported an increase in sales of almost nine percent. While levels city-wide remained constant, sales decreased by 11 percent for homes priced more than $500,000. Sales activity eased or remained moderately constant across most zones, with the exceptions of the South and North West zones, which reported annual sales growth. Overall supply levels generally eased, although the changes were not consistent throughout the city as inventories increased in both the City Centre and West zones. December benchmark prices for detached were $480,100, adding to the 2019 average of $484,808, which was three percent less than levels last year. Price decreases for 2019 varied from five percent in the City Centre zone to one percent in the North East zone. Apartment December's substantial apartment sales were sufficient to drive annual levels to 2,672 units, just above levels last year. The gains were mostly due to the improvements in the South East, West and North Zones. That counteracted the significant decreases in the East, North East and North West zones. Eased new listings continued across all zones except the South East. Contributing to the increase in inventory and new listings could be due to the rise in new home construction in this zone. Notwithstanding these trends in the one zone, reduced inventories relative to sales have helped reduce oversupply in this segment. Oversupply reductions helped reduce the rate of decline in resale apartment condominium prices. December prices, however, remained one percent less than levels last year with a price decrease in the range of a one percent increase in the South East zone to five percent in the West zone. Attached The most significant increases in sales were in the attached segment of the market in comparison to the other product types. With an annual improvement in sales of almost seven percent for a total of 3,780 sales. Semi-detached and row both reported improved sales with eased inventories and new listings. There was, however, depending on the zone some variation. Prices for semi-detached in December were $388,200 and $283,000 for row prices. Annual price decreases were seen in both segments above three percent and remained considerably below previous highs. The extent of price activity ranged significantly across the row and semi-detached segments, depending on the zone. Price activity in 2019 differed from a one percent increase for the semi-detached product in the North zone to a seven percent decrease in row prices in the East zone. REGIONAL MARKET FACTS Airdrie The past three-quarters of increased sales more than offset declines in the first quarter. Resulting in sales of 1,193 units in 2019, four percent higher than the previous year. An easing of inventory and oversupply amounts in the market supported by the increased sales and new listing pullbacks. Oversupply reductions has helped sustain slower declines in prices, but prices continue at almost three percent less than levels last year. Cochrane Sales activity for the year increased by three percent, although the pace of sales growth did slow in the third quarter. Combined with a decline in new listings, this helped to drive down inventory levels and decrease the amount of market oversupply. Benchmark prices in 2019 averaged $403,250, almost four percent less than levels last year and seven percent less than 2015 highs. Market prices continue to ease with competition from the new home market. Okotoks Sales growth of ten percent following strong sales throughout most of the second half of the year compensating for the earlier pullback. Eased new listings compared to sales, causing a decline in inventory levels and months of supply in comparison to last year. Oversupply in the market has eased in comparison to the previous year, which helped to lessen the downward pressure in prices in the fourth quarter. Annually prices remained over five percent below than previous highs and almost four percent less than levels last year.