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Modest Gains in Calgary Housing Market Expected in 2021

CREB® Media Release


Media release: Modest gains in Calgary housing market expected in 2021  


Calgary, Jan. 26, 2021 – In 2020, housing markets across the country surprised many with a stronger-than-expected rebound in the second half of the year despite record-high unemployment rates and significant job losses.

Calgary did not hit record-high sales or prices in the third or fourth quarters, but still posted some of the strongest sales relative to the past five years. This was nearly enough to offset the initial losses recorded during the first shutdown caused by the pandemic.


“It is expected some of the momentum recorded at the end of 2020 will continue into 2021, fueled by exceptionally low lending rates and pent-up demand,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® Chief Economist.

“While sales are expected to rise by nearly five per cent on an annual basis in 2021, persistent economic challenges are expected to prevent stronger growth in our housing market.”


Reduction in supply relative to sales is the primary reason the Calgary housing market returned to more balanced conditions by the end of 2020. The pullback in new listings relative to sales activity resulted in inventory levels falling to the lowest levels seen in the past several years.


As we move into 2021, we anticipate new listings will start to rise, as COVID-19 likely caused many homeowners to delay listing their homes. We could start to see some supply come back in 2021, as concerns regarding the spread of the virus ease. Persistently high unemployment rates could also weigh on some existing homeowners who may need to sell their homes.


Growth in supply is expected to offset some of the gains in sales, pushing our market to the upper bounds of balanced conditions and slowing price recovery. However, the price gains that occurred at the end of 2020 are not expected to be eroded and 2021 annual prices are forecasted to improve by over one per cent.

“This year has been filled with twists and turns all over the world. The Calgary housing market was no exception,” said Alan Tennant, CREB® President and CEO.

“However, our local REALTORS® continued to serve at a high level by connecting homebuyers and sellers through this difficult period in a safe and timely manner.”

 

Click here for the full 2021 Economic Outlook and Regional Housing Market Forecast report


For more information, please contact: 

Economic Analysis
Email: stats@creb.ca
Phone: 403-263-0530

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CREB® Media Release

Amidst economic challenges, housing market ends 2020 on a high note


City of Calgary, January 4, 2021 –

With December sales of 1,199, this is the highest December total since 2007.

"Housing demand over the second-half of 2020 was far stronger than anticipated and nearly offset the initial impact caused by the shutdowns in spring. Even with the further restrictions imposed in December, it did not have the same negative impact on housing activity like we saw in the earlier part of the year," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

Attractive interest rates along with prices that remain lower than several years ago have likely supported some of the recovery in the second half of the year. However, it is important to note that annual sales activity declined by one per cent compared to last year and remain well below long-term averages.

New listings in December increased by 11 per cent. However, the number of sales exceeded the number of new listings in December contributing to further declines in inventory.

Reductions in supply and improving demand in the second half of the year have contributed to some of the recent price improvements in the market. However, the recent gain in the benchmark price was not enough to offset earlier pullbacks as the annual residential benchmark price in Calgary declined by one per cent over last year.

The pandemic has resulted in a significant shift in economic conditions, yet the housing market is entering 2021 in far more balanced conditions than we have seen in over five years. This will help provide some cushion for the market moving into 2021, but conditions will continue to vary depending on price range, location, and product type.

More information about the 2021 housing market forecast for Calgary will be available at the CREB® Forecast on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

For more event details, please visit crebforecast.com.


HOUSING MARKET FACTS


Detached

Stronger sales in the second half of the year were enough to offset earlier pullbacks as detached sales totalled 9,950, just slightly higher than last years' levels. Despite the modest gain, detached sales activity remains at the lower levels recorded since the stress test was introduced in 2018.

Supply adjustments is causing sellers' market conditions for detached homes across all districts except the West and City Centre. This has helped support some price recovery in the market over the past several months.

Annual city-wide price remains relatively flat compared to last year, but there were notable annual gains in both the South and South East districts which both recorded price gains of nearly two per cent. Despite some of the annual shifts seen, prices remain well below previous highs in all districts of the city.


Semi-Detached

Sales growth in the North East, North, West and South East district were offset by declines in the City Centre, North West, South and East districts. Sales this year of 1,663 were similar to levels recorded last year.

While sales did not improve across each district, there were reductions in supply across all districts and is helping to reduce the months of supply.

These reductions are starting to impact prices, but it was not enough to offset earlier pullbacks. City wide semi-detached prices eased by over one per cent in 2020, with the largest declines occurring in the City Centre, North West and West areas.


Row

Slower sales in the west district were not enough to offset the gains recorded in the rest of the city. Row sales totalled 2,145 in 2020, nearly two per cent higher than last years' levels. Despite the gains, levels continue to remain below long-term averages for the city.

Rising sales were generally met with a reduction in supply. This is causing the months of supply to trend down, especially over the second half of the year.

The decline in the months of supply was enough to help support some stability in prices. However, the adjustment did not occur soon enough and annual prices eased by nearly two per cent compared to the previous year and remain nearly 14 per cent below previous highs.

Price adjustments did vary depending on location. The steepest decline occurred in the North East with a year-over-year decline of five per cent. The strongest gain occurred in the West district with a two per cent rise.


Apartment Condominium

Sales this month were the best December since 2014. However, it was not enough to offset earlier pullbacks as apartment condominium sales eased by ten per cent in 2020. This is the slowest year for apartment condo sales since 2001 and the only property type to record a significant annual decline in sales.

Unlike other property types, supply levels have not adjusted in the same way and this segment remains oversupplied. Prices have trended down over the past two months due to excess supply. On an annual basis, the benchmark price declined by over two per cent this year and is over 16 per cent below the highs set in 2015.


REGIONAL MARKET FACTS


Airdrie

December sales reached a new record high for the month. Improving sales throughout the second half of the year contributed to the annual sales of 1,407, a year-over-year gain of 18 per cent. 

New listings also rose in December and is likely contributing to some of the monthly gains in sales. Overall, new listings have remained well below last year. Along with improving sales, this is causing inventories to decline.

Months of supply has remained below three months since June and prices have trended up. By December, the benchmark price had risen by nearly five per cent compared to last year.

On an annual basis, the gains in price were enough to offset the earlier pullbacks and is creating stability in prices. However, this was not the case for all product types. Detached prices rose by nearly two per cent on an annual basis. Benchmark prices for row and apartment style product eased by a respective seven and one per cent compared to last year.


Cochrane

Record sales in December contributed to the annual gain of 16 per cent, making it the best year of sales compared to the past five years. New listings in 2020 also eased compared to last year. Rising sales and less new listings on the market caused inventories to ease to the lowest levels recorded since 2014.

With months of supply of only two months, prices continued to trend up. December benchmark price was $419,900 and is a 5 per cent gain over last year. Prices have trended up over that past six months but remain relatively stable compared to last year. This is due to easing prices for higher density products offsetting gains in the detached sector.


Okotoks

Despite further declines in new listings, December sales improved. Year-to-date sales increased by nearly eight per cent. The lack of new listings and stronger sales caused inventories to drop to 63 homes in December, the lowest level for any month seen since 2006.

The lack of inventory and high demand has supported increasing prices for the second half of the year. As of December, the benchmark price was $434,700, nearly two per cent above last years' levels. Despite the recent gains, 2020 benchmark prices remain over one per cent below last years' levels.

However, this could be due to steeper price declines for semi, row and apartment style product.

 

Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package.

Click here to view the full Calgary region monthly stats package.



For more information, please contact: 

Economic Analysis 
Email: stats@creb.ca
Phone: 403-263-0530

October’s Housing Marketing Snapshot: The Numbers Aren’t Slowing Down

Canadian neighbourhood
October was another busy month for Canadian home buyers and sellers! Housing activity across the country continued to increase from September into October, begging the question: is this trend here to stay? 

Check out October’s stats and share the info with your clients to help them along their home buying journey.
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CREB® Media Release

Detached homes drive Calgary sales growth in October


City of Calgary, November 1, 2020 –

With strong gains in the detached sector, October sales in the city reached 1,764 units. This is a 23 per cent increase over last year and well above longer-term averages.

The gain in citywide residential sales outpaced the growth in new listings, supporting tighter market conditions and improving prices.

“Over the past several years, higher lending rates and the stress test pushed many out of the detached housing market. However, recent declines in rates, combined with prices that are lower than several years ago, have brought back some of that demand,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“This is helping support more balanced conditions and price improvements in the market. However, price improvements are not occurring across all product type and price ranges and downside risk still hangs over future conditions.”

Improving sales over the past four months were not enough to offset the pullbacks in the second quarter, leaving year-to-date sales nearly six per cent below last year’s levels.

The same is also true for prices. Benchmark prices have trended up over the past four months and October prices were slightly higher than 2019. On a year-to-date basis, prices are one per cent lower than last year’s levels and nearly 10 per cent below previous highs.


HOUSING MARKET FACTS


Detached

Detached sales totalled 1,139 in October, a year-over-year gain of 35 per cent. Unlike earlier this year, October’s largest gains in sales occurred for homes priced above $600,000. Easing prices for more expensive homes could be supporting this rise in sales.

There were more new listings this month than levels recorded last year, but inventories still eased, causing the months of supply to drop below three months. This is a significant improvement from the four-plus months recorded over the past several years.

There is, however, significant variation by location and price range. Detached homes priced under $500,000 are reporting less than two months of supply, supporting some price gains depending on location.

When looking at price movements by district, the only city district to record further price declines was the City Centre. The South and South East districts recorded year-over-year price gains of around four per cent. Despite recent price movements, prices in all districts remain far from recovery and are well below previous highs.


Semi-Detached

Sales activity trended up over the last month and new listings eased. This is causing inventories to decline and the months of supply to fall to just above three months.

The tighter market conditions continued to support some monthly gains in prices. Despite these gains, the October benchmark price remained nearly one per cent below last year’s levels. However, activity varies significantly based on location. Year-over-year prices eased in the City Centre, North West and West districts, offsetting the price gains in the other districts.

Despite improvements over the past several months, year-to-date sales remain over six per cent below last year’s levels and over seven per cent below long-term averages. Slower sales activity has been mostly driven by pullbacks in the City Centre, North West, South, West and East districts of the city.


Row

There were significant year-over-year declines in the City Centre and West districts, but citywide row sales improved over last year’s levels and year-to-date activity sits only two per cent below last year.

Inventory remained relatively stable this month, keeping the months of supply around four months.

Citywide benchmark prices were $274,400 in October. This is a slight improvement over last month, but nearly six per cent below last year’s levels. The price decline was mostly caused by the significant drop in row prices in the West district of the city.


Apartment Condominium

For the seventh consecutive month, apartment condominium sales eased compared to last year’s levels, resulting in year-to-date sales of 1,999 units.

This represents a 15 per cent decline from last year and is nearly 30 per cent below longer-term averages. The only sector of this market showing signs of improvement is the under-$200,000 segment. Sales have improved in this segment, but it has not been enough to offset declines in all other price ranges.

Citywide sales have been easing, but new listings have been on the rise. This is causing year-over-year inventory gains and is halting positive momentum in prices. As of October, the benchmark price totalled $248,600, similar to last month and over one per cent below last year’s levels.

Overall, apartment condominium prices remain over 17 per cent below previous highs.


Airdrie

With significant gains in the detached sector, sales once again improved this month compared to last year. The increased activity contributed to the year-to-date sales of 1,199 units. This is a 13 per cent increase over last year’s levels.

The year-over-year gain in new listings was not enough to outpace the sales gains. As a result, inventories continue to trend down compared to the previous month and remain well below last year’s levels. This caused the months of supply to remain just above two months.

Citywide year-to-date benchmark prices remained relatively stable compared to last year. However, activity does vary by product type. Detached year-to-date benchmark prices have increased by one per cent, while prices in all the other sectors remain below the previous year’s levels.


Cochrane

Sales activity this month rose compared to last year’s levels, contributing to a year-to-date increase of nearly ten per cent. Meanwhile, new listings have not kept pace with sales, causing reductions in inventory and the months of supply, which dropped to three months.

Tighter housing market conditions are supporting price gains. Benchmark prices trended up for the fourth consecutive month and, as of October, were over two per cent higher than last year’s levels. Despite the recent gains, year-to-date prices remain one per cent below last year’s levels.


Okotoks

Improving sales in October were enough to push year-to-date sales up by one per cent. However, new listings contracted by a significant amount, causing inventory levels to ease and the months of supply to fall below two months.

Persistent tightness in this market is supporting further monthly gains in prices. After five consecutive months of rising prices, October benchmark prices rose above last year’s levels. However, price gains have been driven by improvements in the detached market.

Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package.

Click here to view the full Calgary region monthly stats package.

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For more information, please contact: 

Economic Analysis 
Email: stats@creb.ca
Phone: 403-263-0530


November 1st, 2020

Calgary Long Term


While the realist and the optimist argued about whether the glass was half empty or half full, the opportunist drank the water. 


I am frequently asked by clients “what do I think the long term prospects for Calgary’s Real Estate Market are?”


In the short term, two-to-three years, Calgary is in for a rough ride. There is no avoiding it, our downtown commercial office space has a 25-30% vacancy rate. There are continued layoffs in the oil and gas sector, most recently the merger between Cenovus and Husky is expected to result in a 25% reduction in their workforce, adding to Calgary’s 12.6% unemployment rate. World wide demand for oil is expected to remain below normal due to the pandemic. Gathering and travel restrictions are putting extreme pressure on the hospitality and tourism industries.  We have a federal government that if not openly hostile to our primary industry, is at least not supportive of it. And finally, we are at the end of the mortgage deferrals offered by most major banks. The above will make a housing recovery in the short term unlikely for the following reasons: 1) when facing financial uncertainty people do not make major purchases like houses. 2) One in five mortgages was deferred in Alberta, a significant proportion of those will likely not be able to resume making payments and will fall into foreclosure. 3) The pandemic has caused people to use up personal savings and this combined with high unemployment/underemployment makes it difficult for buyers to qualify for mortgages. 


But what happens four to five years from now? Can Calgary bounce back? Are we destined to be the next Detroit, a failed one industry city with a hollowed out downtown, or are we the next Boulder Colorado, a destination city with a diversified economy where people come to live for the exceptional and affordable quality of life?


I would argue the latter. Calgary consistently ranks among the top places in the world to live, we have a young well educated population, we are a key logistics hub, and we are among the most affordable places to live in Canada in terms of percentage of income required to own a house (35% compared to Toronto 64.5% and Vancouver 74.7%).


 With some of the lowest income and corporate tax rates in Canada, a well educated workforce, and thanks to the above mentioned commercial vacancy rate, Calgary is an attractive place for businesses to set-up shop. As a result, in spite of the pandemic, there have been several recent announcements of technology companies investing in Calgary, Suncor is relocating the head office of Petro Canada to Calgary, many of Calgary’s biggest oil and gas companies are transitioning to become “energy” companies as they shift capital to investments in wind and solar power, and there is a surge in demand for natural gas (as more wind and solar projects are built, you need natural gas plants to provide back-up power for when there is no wind/sun). None of the above are in the near-term, these investments likely won’t bear fruit for several years, but they are laying the foundation for what will be a significant recovery for Calgary. 


So in the next two to three years with house prices depressed, a continued demand for rental properties, and record low interest rates there lies a lot of opportunity to accumulate real estate. Will you sit and debate how good or bad things might get, or will you take this opportunity and drink the glass of water?


Sincerely,

Jamie Palmer

President

Power Properties


CREB Media Release


Home sales rise along with supply


City of Calgary, October 1, 2020 –

September sales activity jumped to 1,702 units, the strongest September total since 2014.

New listings in September improved over last month, but levels remained comparable to the previous year. The increase in sales relative to new listings did prevent any monthly gains in inventory levels, but supply in the market is still down 12 per cent compared to last year.

"The recent rise in new listings, combined with low lending rates and softness in prices, has helped support some of the recent upward trend in sales," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

"However, conditions vary significantly based on the price range and property type."

The adjustment in supply relative to demand has caused the housing market to move toward more balanced conditions. The current 3.7 months of supply represents the most balanced conditions seen for September in over five years. This has helped support some of the recent monthly gains in prices.

Total residential benchmark prices have trended up over the past three months, resulting in September prices that are similar to prices recorded at the same time last year.  

Despite some of the recent improvements, the impact of COVID-19 is still present. Year-to-date sales remain nearly nine per cent below last year's levels, while city-wide prices are still over one per cent lower than last year. Considerable risk also weighs on the housing market due to economic uncertainty and a struggling labour market.


HOUSING MARKET FACTS

Detached

With significant gains in the $400,000 - $600,000 range, September sales are the highest they have been since 2014.

Improving sales and easing new listings resulted in further reductions in inventory levels and caused the months of supply to ease to balanced territory. Recent improvements in the supply/demand balance have supported some upward price movements. As of September, the benchmark price was nearly one per cent higher than last year.

However, the year-over-year gains have been driven by the more affordable end of the market, as prices remain well below last year's levels in both the City Centre and West districts of the city.

Semi-Detached

Given some recent monthly gains in new listings, sales in this sector improved in September, but at a slower pace than both the detached and row sectors. This could be related to the significant pullback in inventory.

September inventory levels were nearly 21 per cent lower than last year, the largest percentage decline in inventory among all property types. This shift in supply, along with improving sales, has started to help reduce the oversupply in this sector and ease the downward pressure on prices.

September prices remain nearly two per cent lower than last year's levels, but prices have started to improve in the South, South East and East districts of the city.

Row

Sales in this sector have continued to trend up for the past several months and September sales were significantly higher than last year's levels.

While it was not enough to offset the pullback that occurred during the COVID-19 shutdown, row sales activity is four per cent lower than last year's levels. The growth in sales could be related to the significant price adjustment that has occurred in this sector.

Prices in this sector have eased by seven per cent compared to last year and remain nearly 17 per cent below previous highs.

Apartment Condominium

All other sectors have seen some recent year-over-year gains in sales, but this sector continues to trend in the other direction. Year-to-date sales declined by 16 per cent, the largest decline among all property types.

At the same time, new listings continue to rise, which is causing further inventory gains. This is keeping the months of supply above seven months.

There have been some districts showing signs of price stabilization, but overall, year-to-date prices have eased by more than two per cent, amounting to a total adjustment from 2014 highs of over 18 per cent.


REGIONAL MARKET FACTS

Airdrie

For the fourth consecutive month, year-over-year sales improved. As a result, year-to-date sales for the city total 1,055 units, a nine per cent increase over the previous year.

While new listings did rise this month, the improvement in sales outpaced the gains in new listings, preventing any significant shift in monthly inventory levels.  However, inventory levels are over 20 per cent lower than last year's levels. And the months of supply has fallen to levels not seen since 2015. While prices remain below previous highs, tighter market conditions over the past four months have supported several months of price growth and September price levels are nearly one per cent higher than last year. These price gains were enough to cause year-to-date levels to stabilize relative to last year.

Cochrane

A reduction in new listings limited sales growth in September compared to August. However, September sales remain higher than last year and contributed to a year-to-date gain of nearly nine per cent.

Rising sales and easing inventories have kept the months of supply below four months, the lowest level seen since 2014. Tighter market conditions have supported an upward trend in prices over the past three months. The recent price gains did translate to year-over-year gains in September, but were not enough to offset earlier pullbacks, as year-to-date prices remain nearly two per cent lower than last year's levels.

Okotoks

September sales continued to improve from the low levels recorded earlier in the year and levels recorded last September.

However, recent improvements were not enough to offset earlier pullbacks. Sales remain three per cent lower than last year's levels, but this could be related to reduced inventory in the market.

Reductions in supply relative to demand have caused the months of supply to decline to three months. The tighter market conditions have caused prices to trend up over the past four months. However, both September and year-to-date prices remain lower than previous year's levels.

Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package.

Click here to view the full Calgary region monthly stats package.

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For more information, please contact: 

Economic Analysis 
Email: stats@creb.ca
Phone: 403-263-0530

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