December has turned out to be another challenging month in Calgary’s residential real estate market.
The year has been characterized as one of decreased demand combined with increased supply, which of course has led to lower prices.
With one day left in the month, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board website, month-to-date as of Monday, there were 780 MLS sales in December, a 21.6 per cent decline from the same period a year ago.
Pending sales of 34 are also off by 44.26 per cent.
The lower demand this year can be explained by a sluggish economy.
For example, in its recent Business Barometer Index, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said Alberta small business confidence was the worst in Canada.
The Calgary resale housing market has shifted somewhat in the latter half of 2018 as the number of new listings have fallen. In December, month to date, there were 1,038 new listings, which is down 14.36 per cent from the same period a year ago.
However, active listings in the market continue to be elevated at 5,455 – and that 13.95 per cent higher than at the same time in 2017.
With lower sales and higher listings, it’s taking longer to sell a home in the market. The average days on the market to sell as risen from 57 a year ago to 69 today, which is a hike of 21.05 per cent.
In this overall dynamic, prices have taken a hit.
The median sale price in December has fallen by 2.55 per cent to $401,000 while the average MLS sale price has dipped by 1.57 per cent to $447,296.
As the market heads into 2019, real estate experts don’t expect much to change due to the economic uncertainty Calgary continues to face, related to a collapse in the oil patch, which began in the latter half of 2014.
Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.