The number of houses sold in Calgary in April fell by 22 per cent from the previous year, as declining opportunities for work and falling consumer confidence hit hard.
Calgary house sales in the first three months of 2015 dropped by 33 per cent. At the same time, there was a flood of new listings as Calgarians tried to sell properties before the impact of low oil prices took hold.
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Those conditions are creating a buyer’s market, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board.
“With fewer buyers making purchase decisions and improved selection for resale, new home and rental property, sellers have been either adjusting their expectations on price or delaying their plans about when to list their home,” CREB president Corinne Lyall said in a news release.
The number of new listings eased to 3,064 units in April, down 18 per cent from the previous year, but the number of sales was 1,957 units, down 22 per cent from last year. That’s about 15 per cent lower than would usually be seen in April, with the spring house-buying season is underway.
The sales decline has started to have an impact on prices, with the benchmark for detached homes falling 0.7 per cent for the month to $510,200, still 1.9 per cent higher than in April 2014.
Particularly hard to sell were higher-priced homes, with far more on the market than buyers interested in them, CREB said.
“This does not come as a surprise as many of the job losses in recent months have occurred in the higher paying sectors,” said CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
Apartment prices recorded a monthly sales decline of 0.7 per cent and an annual decline of 0.2 per cent. The number of apartments sold is down by 33 per cent from last year.
At the end of March, the median price for a Calgary apartment was $265,000.
Edmonton’s market also quiet
Three hours north, Edmonton’s housing market is also slow, but not quite as slow as Calgary’s.
In the first three months of the year, 4,896 homes were sold, a drop of 16 per cent from the same period in 2014. The average home price was two per cent higher at $370,997. The average home price went up between March and April, as more homes were sold month over month.
By CBC News