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Inventory Levels Rise


Inventory       levels rise


August sales activity falls below long-term averages


Click here to view the full monthly stats package.


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.


The residential unadjusted sales-to-new-listings ratio       eased from 67 per cent in July to 60 per cent in August, contributing to       a monthly rise in inventory levels to 5,146 units. Combined with weaker       sales activity, months of supply pushed up to 3.13 months.


While every price range experienced fewer sales per new       listing, homes in the higher price ranges saw the most significant       decline in absorption rates compared to last year, noted Lurie.


Year-to-date new listings in the $600,000-plus category       increased in share of activity compared to last year. However, sales       activity in this price range represented 18 per cent of all the sales       last month, down from nearly 20 per cent last year.


“With more options in the higher-end of the market,       sellers will need to consider their competition as well as their goals       regarding a sell date,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall.       “This will influence the pricing strategy they agree upon with their real       estate professional.”


Lurie added that despite challenges near the top of the       market, absorption rates in the under-$500,000 detached sector remained       relatively tight and is likely causing some price trend discrepancies.


Despite weaker absorption rates, benchmark prices remained       relatively stable, totaling $456,300 in August. Lurie credits this       steadiness to both the detached and attached sectors, which have remained       more balanced relative to the apartment sector.


The apartment sector continued to struggle with increased       competition from competing properties during the month, as unadjusted       months of supply rose to 4.3. Increased supply is ultimately weighed on pricing,       as prices declined on a year-over-year basis by 1.44 per cent in August.


Overall, the combination of price declines and higher       inventory levels in some segments of the market are influencing buying       patterns in Calgary, said Lyall.


“Improved selection in these segments is giving buyers the       opportunity to be discerning about their purchase decisions,” she said.       “They may be weighing their options between resale and new product, along       with what community fits their lifestyle.”


“Although market conditions affect consumers’ real estate       decisions, so do their lifestyles. People move for a number of reasons,       including proximity to work and schools, along with changes in family       dynamics.”