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Stable prices in detached sector signal balanced conditions despite increased inventory
Calgary's housing market in June saw a modest improvement in sales along with an increase in new listings.
However, demand gains have not kept pace with the amount of new listings coming onto the market. This caused inventory levels to increase to 6,659 units, which is 11 per cent higher than last year's levels.
Despite the recent shift in inventory this month, second quarter activity continues to demonstrate improved supply-demand balance and price stability. City wide benchmark prices totaled $441,500 in June. This is a 0.5 per cent gain over last month and nearly one per cent higher than last year.
"The supply gain this month will be monitored. However, on a quarterly basis, inventory levels remain comparable to last year, sales have improved and there have been modest price gains. All of this remains consistent with expectations of a gradual recovery," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
Year-to-date residential sales in Calgary totaled 10,322 units, which is 12 per cent above last year's levels. New listings increased by three per cent over the same time period.
Overall, both the sales-to-new listings ratio and months of supply have trended down this year. This signals more stable pricing in the housing market this year.
"While there were many buyers waiting for lower prices to step into the housing market, there were also many sellers waiting until prices stabilized before listing their home," said CREB® president David P. Brown.
"Some of this recent growth in listings will help provide more choice, particularly in the detached market where market conditions had significantly tightened over the past few months."
Detached inventories and sales totaled 3,224 and 1,385 units, for a month of supply of 2.3 in June. Despite the recent rise in supply, over the first half of this year inventories have averaged 16 per cent below last year's levels while sales are 13 per cent higher, keeping this segment in more balanced conditions.
While activity is also improving in the attached segment of the market, resale activity in the ownership of apartment-style product continues to face challenges with weak sales relative to listings and rising months of supply.
As of June, the unadjusted benchmark price for an apartment style product totaled $265,800. This is nearly four per cent below last year's levels and 11 per cent below recent highs.
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Demand for detached housing continues to rise
Fueled by the detached sector, Calgary home prices trended up for the fourth consecutive month, but remain below 2014 highs.
"The economic climate is supporting detached housing market recovery," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
"Improved demand and easing supply has created more balanced conditions and ultimately some modest price gains. While it will still take some time for prices to recover, the transition in the detached segment is an important first step to stabilization across all segments of the housing market."
For the first time since June 2015, prices in the detached sector did not decline on a year-over-year basis. Unadjusted detached benchmark prices reached $509,000 in May, one per cent higher than last month and May 2016 levels.
Like the detached market, the attached product has moved towards more balanced conditions. This has supported some recent directional shifts in pricing. However, monthly price declines had fallen by 4.7 per cent over peak levels and year-to-date benchmark prices remain two per cent below last year's levels.
"We can really see a slow but sure recovery in the housing market," said CREB® president David P. Brown.
"Demand for detached product is driving a new sense of optimism for consumers as we move further into spring."
Against this backdrop, the number of new listings rose to 3,866 units in May, which is 17 per cent higher than last year's total for the month. Despite this rise, year-to-date new listings have declined by one per cent over last year.
"With the change in market dynamics, people no longer feel like they may need to settle for a second choice in a property," said Brown.
"There are lots of housing choices in every segment of the market and that made for a good situation in an already active spring market."
The variation in market activity also extends to regional areas outside the city of Calgary.
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