Monthly Market Report - January 2018

Housing Market Déjà Vu in January:

As expected, Calgary sales activity similar to last year.
 Jan. 2018 City of Calgary, February 1, 2018 – The new year opened predictably, with monthly figures close to the Januarys of the past three years. With new mortgage rules and rates officially in effect, sales activity in January remained comparable to last year, as rising sales for attached properties were not enough to offset declines in both the apartment and detached sector. Overall January sales totaled 958 units, nearly two per cent above last year and 11 per cent below long-term averages. “2018 was kicked off with higher rates and the official implementation of the new mortgage requirements. While it is too early to see the impact of these changes, so far, January levels are consistent with what we saw last year,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie “The recovery will be bumpy, and we will continue to monitor the impact of the lending changes relative to the overall economic climate.” Stable sales were met with rising new listings, causing further gains in inventory levels and impacting prices. Citywide, unadjusted prices totaled $432,300, 0.21 per cent below last month and 0.25 per cent below last year’s figures. Prices eased across all product types compared to last month, but price declines were more pronounced in the apartment and attached sectors. In the detached sector, new listings rose with declining sales activity for product priced over $500,000. However, product priced between $300,000 and $399,999 saw an increase in activity. This will be an adjustment to the new reality buyers and sellers face, as pockets of the market will experience a mismatch between supply and demand. “Sellers needs to be aware of the competing supply in the market. This can influence the timing of their decision, along with setting realistic expectations regarding time on the market and selling price,” said 2018 CREB® president Tom Westcott. “For buyers, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is essential, along with getting advice from a REALTOR® to get into a home they will be happy with.”

• Detached sales totaled 583 units, similar to last year and 13 per cent below long-term averages. Easing sales were met with rising new listings. Months of supply rose to 3.75, slightly higher than last year’s levels at 3.18 months. Overall detached benchmark prices totaled $499,400, similar to levels recorded both last month and in January 2017. 
• Apartment sales eased to 145 units, well below long-term averages, but consistent with the slower activity seen over the past three years. New listings eased modestly compared to last January, but it was not enough to cause any meaningful change in inventory levels. Elevated supply compared to demand continued to weigh on pricing. 
• The attached segment of the market saw a rise in sales, but was met with a stronger gain in inventory levels. This caused the months of supply to push above last January’s figures. The elevated inventory relative to sales continued to weigh on prices. Attached prices totaled $328,000 in January 0.64 per cent below last month and 0.33 per cent below last year.

Mike Baylis 
RE/MAX House of Real Estate