Calgary’s resale housing market lost more than $4.6 billion in sales in 2015, data from the Canadian Real Estate Association show.
It said the total dollar volume of MLS sales fell to $10.89 billion in 2015, from $15.5 billion in 2014 — a plunge of 29.7 per cent that was by far the largest in Canada.
The drop was the result of sales declining by 28.6 per cent to 23,994 transactions combined with the average sale price falling by 1.5 per cent to $453,814.
“The recent decline and uncertain outlook for oil prices means that housing market prospects are unlikely to improve in the near term in regions where job market prospects are tied to oil production,” said Gregory Klump, chief economist with CREA, the national association of realtors.
Across Alberta, total dollar volume in 2015 fell by 22.8 per cent to $22.2 billion from $28.8 billion the year before based on a 21.3 per cent decrease in sales to 56,477 units and a 1.9 per cent decline in the average sale price to $393,138.
Diana Petramala, economist with TD Economics, said listings are rising fastest in cities facing significant economic uncertainty including Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Saskatoon.
“Rising economic uncertainty and the lower-for-longer mantra of oil prices are likely to continue to take a toll on housing markets in economies heavily tied to the oil business,” she said.
“Calgary home prices appear on track for a 10 per cent peak-to-trough decline over 2016.”
The benchmark price, which tracks the sale price of a “typical” home, was down 2.3 per cent in the Calgary region from a year ago to $443,900.
MLS sales in the Calgary area were down 20.8 per cent in December from a year earlier. The average sale price was off by 0.4 per cent.
It was a different story nationally.
CREA statistics indicate the total dollar volume in MLS sales rose 14.4 per cent in 2015 to $224.2 billion from $195.9 billion in 2014. That was a result of sales rising by 5.5 per cent to 506,334 units while the average sale price was up 8.5 per cent to $442,857.
MLS sales in Canada were up 10 per cent in December while the average sale price rose by 12 per cent to $454,342.