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Sept 2017 sales dip in an otherwise better year for Calgary real estate

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We just got the stats for September 2017 and sales slipped a little in Calgary real estate last month.  The good news is that we had some good numbers in the first six months of 2017 and this activity managed to boost our year-to-date average up by 7% over 2016.  It’s still 11% under those long-term averages, and I agree with the Calgary Real Estate Board's take on the market – with more listings coming in and sales slowing in this last quarter of the year, we’re going to have to work hard to maintain our optimism!

There was a bump in inventory last month – we were up by 6,861 units – with attached properties and apartment condos setting a record for the highest inventory ever.  That means, from a buyer’s perspective, selection has literally and figuratively, never been better than it has been this month.  We hope this number stabilizes and that we don’t set another record in October.

Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist at the CREB office and analyst, said in her September report that this unprecedented inventory in Calgary real estate is keeping prices down.  It’s important to our clients that we price their homes competitively and with so many homes for sale we are careful to make sure homes are priced to sell.  We’re looking for the economy to improve even more so we can continue to sell homes at an appropriate price.  The analysts agree – in fact, CREB is calling for “substantial economic improvements”.

These slower sales last month might feel like a setback, but really the first half of 2017 was better than expected, so it all balances out.

There were 3,266 new listings that entered the marketplace last month and only 1,462 sales across all property types.   That translates to 10% more listings compared to September 2016 and very slight difference in the number of sales. This time last year there were 1,479 properties that changed hands.

What made September different?

CREB’s take on the surge in listings last month is this:  Sellers have been watching the market the past two years. They’ve watched prices fall – not dramatically, but they’ve been watching the potential value of their homes diminish.  So, with economic conditions in Calgary improving, sellers most likely decided they were tired of waiting and they were going to jump into the market and list their properties.

So in those heavily saturated property sectors, like duplexes or townhouses and apartment-style condos, the up side of this is that first-time buyers just waiting for the opportunity to finally – FINALLY – buy a home of their own are able to do so.  Especially in the North and Southeast areas of Calgary, which is where we’re seeing the biggest spike in inventory in the city.  One of the reasons for this is new builds – these areas are seeing the most vigorous construction with new homes competing for resale homes in a big way

September’s Prices in Calgary

Single-family homes continue to fare the best in Calgary.  The unadjusted benchmark price for detached properties dropped by a nearly imperceptible .2% over August 2017 and it’s actually 1% higher than September 2016.  It sits at $441,500 – so this sector is very stable.  Condos, unfortunately, are 4% lower than they were in September 2016 and when you compare them to three years ago, prices are 12% lower.   There is an eight months supply of condos in Calgary – that’s extremely high.  Again, if you’re a buyer and you’re looking at a condo, time to give it some serious consideration.

September 2017 - Days on the Market

The average days on the market statistic for September was 45, which is one day less than September 2016.   Relatively little change.

If you’re interested in knowing more about how Calgary real estate did last month, and how it’s trending, make sure you give me a call at 403-264-7653 

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