by CREB on October 01, 2015
Inventories rise as sales activity softens further
Following four months of relative stability, unadjusted benchmark prices eased as expected in September to $456,300, a 0.26 per cent decline compared with last year.
Most of this aggregate moderation was due to price declines in the apartment sector brought on by higher-than-average inventory levels.
“Overall sales activity relative to new listings caused a softening in absorption rates, which resulted in inventory gains and ultimately placed moderate downward pressure on pricing,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
Residential sales in the city totaled 1,448 units in September, well below typical activity levels for this time of year. Year-to-date Calgary sales remained below both the five and 10-year year averages by a respective 10 and 26 per cent.
“Rising unemployment and persistent weakness in the local economy is impacting housing demand,” said Lurie. “However, unlike earlier this year when consumers were reacting to uncertainty, recent activity reflects current economic conditions.”
While all property types recorded a notable drop in the sales-to-new-listings ratio, both the apartment and attached segments saw the most significant declines. Ratios in both categories dropped to the 40 per cent range, while months of supply pushed up to 4.95 and 4.35, respectively.
In comparison, the detached category saw its ratio hover around 50 per cent in September and months of supply settle at 3.32.
Elevated inventory levels in the apartment segment, in particular, are the result of moderate listing declines relative to sales activity, noted Lurie.
Year-to-date apartment sales have fell by 32 per cent, while listings have dropped by just 7 per cent.
As a result, the apartment benchmark price totaled $290,600 in September, a 1.19 per cent decline over last month and 2.71 per cent below last year.
CREB® president Corinne Lyall said that while the apartment sector now favours buyers with added selection and attractive pricing, other factors will continue to play into purchase decisions.
“While the apartment sector offers more choice, not all units are created equal,” she said. “When considering apartment condominiums, it’s important to understand that the corporate and physical health of the building can also influence both buying and selling decisions in this type of market.”
Despite higher months of supply, typical home prices in both the detached and attached sectors remain relatively unchanged in September, totaling $517,200 and $357,000, respectively.
Although citywide inventory levels remain elevated compared to activity seen in the past three years, Lyall noted they still remain well below highs recorded during the previous economic downturn in 2008/09.
“There is no question that we have seen a shift in our local housing market conditions, but it needs to be put in perspective,” she said.
Aggregate prices have eased by one per cent from the beginning of the year, a moderate correction when compared against the aggressive gains last year that averaged more than nine per cent, noted Lyall.
by CREB on September 01, 2015
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.”