Calgary Real Estate Statistics for December 2020
Calgary housing market ends 2020 on a high, despite economic challenges
December sales were 1,199, which is the highest December total seen since 2007.
"Housing demand over the second-half of 2020 was far stronger than anticipated and nearly offset the initial impact caused by the shutdowns in spring. Even with the further restrictions imposed in December, it did not have the same negative impact on housing activity like we saw in the earlier part of the year," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
Prices that remained lower than several years ago and current interest rates likely encouraged some recovery in the second half of the year. It is important to note sales activity annually decreased by one percent compared to last year and remains well below averages long-term.
December new listings increased by 11 percent. However, the number of sales surpassed the number of new listings contributing to further inventory declines.
Increasing demand and supply reductions in the second half of the year have contributed to recent price improvements in the market. However, the benchmark price's current gain was not enough to offset earlier pullbacks as Calgary's annual residential benchmark price decreased one percent over last year.
A notable shift in economic conditions has occurred due to the pandemic. The housing market is beginning in 2021 in considerably more balanced conditions than has been seen in over five years. Helping to provide a cushion for the market going into 2021, yet conditions continue to differ depending on product type, price range, and location.
HOUSING MARKET FACTS
Detached sales totalled 9,950, with the improved sales in the second half of the year sufficient to offset earlier pullbacks, just moderately higher than levels last year. Despite the modest gain, detached sales activity remains below levels reported since the introduction of the stress in 2018.
Inventory adjustments are causing sellers' market conditions for detached homes across all zones except in the West and City Centre, supporting some price recovery in the market over the last several months.
City-wide price annually remains relatively level compared to last year. However, there were notable gains in both the South and Southeast zones, with both reporting price increases of almost two percent. Despite some of the annual shifts, prices remain considerably below past highs in all city zones.
Growth in sales for the North East, North, West and Southeast zones offset by declines in the City Centre, North West, South and East zones. Similar to levels reported last year, sales this year were 1,663.
Sales did not improve sales across the zones. However, there were reductions in inventory that helped reduce the months of supply.
Reductions in inventory are starting to affect prices, but not enough to offset earlier pullbacks. City-wide semi-detached prices eased by more than one percent in 2020, with the largest declines in the City Centre, North West and West zones.
More moderate sales in the west zone were not enough to offset the increases reported in the rest of the city. Sales totals for row were 2,145 in 2020, almost two percent more than levels last year. Despite the gain, levels continue to remain under averages long-term for the city.
Increased sales were met with a reduction in supply. Causing months of supply to trend down, notably over the second half of the year.
The decline in the months of supply was enough to help support some stability in prices. However, the adjustment did not occur soon enough, while annual prices were reduced by almost two percent compared to the prior year and remained nearly 14 percent less than previous highs.
Depending on location, price adjustments differed. The most significant decline occurred in the Northeast with a decrease year-over-year of five percent. The most vital gain happened in the West zone with a two percent increase.
Sales this month reported the best December since 2014. However, it was not enough to offset earlier pullbacks as apartment condominium sales eased by ten percent in 2020. Resulting in the slowest year for apartment condo sales since 2001 and the only property type that reported a significant annual decrease in sales.
Supply levels have not adjusted like other property types, and this section remains oversupplied. In the past two months, prices have trended down due to excess supply. Annually the benchmark price decreased by more than two percent this year and is greater than 16 percent below the 2015 highs.
REGIONAL MARKET FACTS
Throughout the second half of the year, the improved sales added to the annual sales of 1,407, a year-over-year increase of 18 percent. December sales ended with a new record high for the month.Increased new listings in December likely contributed to a certain amount of the monthly sales gains.
New listings overall have remained considerably below last year's levels. And the improved sales caused the inventories to decline.
Months of supply remained below three months since June, with prices trending up. The benchmark price by December had increased by almost five percent compared to last year.
The annual gains in price were enough to offset the earlier pullbacks and is causing stability in prices, which was not the case for all product types. Annually, detached prices increased by nearly two percent. Benchmark prices for row and apartment-style products eased by a respective seven and one percent compared to last year.
Decembers record sales contributed to the annual 16 percent gain, making it the best sales year compared to the past five years. In 2020 new listings also eased in comparison to last year. Increased sales and a decline in new listings caused inventories to ease to the lowest levels reported since 2014.
The benchmark price for December was $419,900, a 5 percent increase over last year. Prices continued to trend up with months of supply of only two months, which remain relatively stable for the past six months compared to the previous year. With the easing prices for higher density products, offsetting increases in the detached sector.
December sales improved despite further declines in new listings. Sales year-to-date increased by almost eight percent. The shortage of new listings and stronger sales made inventories decline to 63 homes in December, the lowest seen for any month since 2006.
The high demand and inventory shortage has supported the increased prices for the second half of the year. The benchmark price as of December was $434,700, almost two percent above levels last year. Notwithstanding the recent gains, benchmark prices for 2020 remain over one percent less than levels last year.
However, this may be because of the higher price declines for semi, row and apartment-style products.