Calgary’s resale housing market was in ‘balanced’ territory in November as sales and prices dropped from the previous month, but it has rebounded this month with the pace of activity picking up.
In a report released Thursday, the Conference Board of Canada said the seasonally-adjusted rate of annual MLS sales in the city dropped 1.5 per cent from October to 35,292 units in November while listings rose by 5.1 per cent to 52,236.
The average price was also down by 0.4 per cent to $466,255.
So far in December, Calgary’s housing market continues to shine compared with December 2013.
“I’m not sure if the reality (of lower oil prices) has set in,” said Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial. “Everyone’s watching these oil prices and it kind of means something to them on one level. But I think it will start to have a broader impact on the housing market in 2015 when we do start to see some of those layoffs coming. Some of those bonuses are going to be scaled back. All of the things where it really starts to affect people’s budget and even their ability to purchase homes.
“It just hasn’t shown up yet but I think it will.”
According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, month-to-date up to and including Wednesday, there have been 776 MLS sales in the city, up 2.78 per cent from the same period a year ago. New listings have risen by 42.75 per cent to 985 and active listings of 3,621 are up by 33.86 per cent.
The median price of $419,200 has increased by 4.93 per cent while the average sale price has risen by 5.15 per cent to $476,425.
The conference board report said the short-term year-over-year MLS price expectation for Calgary is in the range of a three to 4.9 per cent hike.
On a year-over-year basis compared with November 2013, sales were up by 11.2 per cent; listings rose by 21 per cent; and the average price increased by 3.8 per cent.
“The impact of economic shifts, such as the price of oil, take approximately six months to really be felt in the real estate market,” said Don Campbell, senior analyst with the Real Estate Investment Network. “The current market numbers are a reflection of the in-migration we have witnessed over the last 12 months combined with a very low vacancy rate, pushing potential renters into the purchase market sooner than would normally occur.
“The on the street reality is that the higher end homes are having fewer showings than at this time last year, which signals a market that is being a bit more cautious. These fewer showings will lead to fewer sales in the new year, unless the oil price finds a stable bottom in the next couple of months.”