Employment and migration needed to shake off winter chill
Low Interest Rates and Affordability to Support Housing Recovery in 2011
Calgary, January 4, 2011 – Home and condo sales in Calgary and area remained relatively unchanged in December 2010, indicating that a full-fledged recovery in the housing market has yet to take hold, according to figures released today by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®).
The number of single family home sales in the month of December 2010 were 734, compared with November 2010, when sales were 891—a decline of about 18 per cent. The number of condominium sales for the month of December 2010 was 320. This was up from the 310 condominium transactions recorded in November 2010.
Year-over-year, the number of single family homes sold in December 2010 in the city of Calgary were down 8 per cent. In December 2009, single family home sales totaled 799. Condominium sales saw a decrease of 6 per cent from the same time a year ago. In December 2009, condominium sales were 341.
Looking back in 2010, total single family home sales in the city of Calgary were 12,095, a decline of about 16 per cent from 2009, when total single family sales were 14,440. 2010 marks the lowest number of single family home sales since 1995, when 9,534 single family homes were sold. Total MLS® sales for Calgary and area in 2010 were 21,789, a decline of about 15 per cent from 2009, when total MLS® sales for Calgary and area were 25,719. This is the lowest number of total MLS® sales for Calgary and area since 2000, when total MLS® sales were 20,488.
"Undoubtedly housing markets in Alberta and Calgary underperformed in 2010, as sales recoveries did not materialize as forecasted. In many ways, re-sales in 2010 showed a repeat of 2008, with a short lived resurgence in the first few months, when confidence returned to the market," says Diane Scott, president of CREB®.
"Employment and net-migration have been slower to pick up here in Calgary—and these are key drivers of our housing market. The good news is we are now seeing marked improvements in investment and employment in the energy sector. We believe these green shoots in our economy, supported by improved affordability and low interest rates, will eventually translate into a gradual recovery of our housing market as we move into 2011," adds Scott.
The average price of a single family home in the city of Calgary in December 2010 was $441,341, showing a 3 per cent decrease from November 2010, when the average price was $455,460, and a 2 per cent decrease from December 2009, when the average price was $451,341. The average price of a condominium in the city of Calgary in December 2010 was $282,768, showing a 1 per cent decrease from November 2010, when the average price was $284,667 and a 2 per cent decrease over last year, when the average price was $288,640. Average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods, or account for price differentials between geographical areas.
The median price of a single family home in the city of Calgary for December 2010 was $389,000, showing a 3 per cent decrease from November 2010 when the median price was $399,900. This was a 3 per cent decrease from December 2009, when the median price was $401,000. The median price of a condominium in December 2010 was $258,500, showing a 2 per cent increase from November 2010, when the median price was $253,300, and a 2 per cent decrease from December 2009, when it was $265,000.
All city of Calgary MLS® statistics include properties listed and sold only within Calgary's city limits. The median price is the price that is midway between the least expensive and most expensive home sold in an area during a given period of time. During that time, half the buyers bought homes that cost more than the median price and half bought homes for less than the median price.
"Supply outstripped demand in the second half of 2010, establishing conditions for a buyers' market. Overall we did see significant improvements in affordability in the Calgary market in 2010—and I think the message to prospective buyers is that this is a great time to buy if you're looking for good selection, specific locations and price points. The median price did indeed decline in 2010, signaling a year-over-year price correction of about 2 per cent for single-family homes, just over 4 per cent for condos and 6 per cent for the outlying towns," adds Scott.
Single family listings in the city of Calgary added for the month of December 2010 totaled 744, a decrease of 44 per cent from November 2010 when 1,318 new listings were added, and showing a decrease of 8 per cent from December 2009, when 806 new listings came to the market.
Condominium new listings in the city of Calgary added for December 2010 were 369, down 42 per cent from November 2010, when the MLS® saw 632 condo listings coming to the market. This is a decrease of 17 per cent from December 2009, when new condominium listings added were 444.
"There has been some curbing of inventory levels during the last three months of 2010, albeit at a slow pace. Early 2011 will see inventory levels adjust, resulting in a gradual return to a more balanced and sustainable housing market. All in all we believe it will be a slow and gradual warm up in 2011, but it will take some time for the housing market to bring inventory levels down and shake off these winter blues," says Scott.