Monthly Market Report - March 2020

Mike Baylis Calgary Real Estate


Media release: COVID-19 weighing on housing market

City of Calgary, April 1, 2020 –


After a strong start to 2020, economic conditions have dramatically changed, as COVID-19 is impacting all aspects of society.

The economic impact is starting to be felt across many industries. This includes the housing market.

March sales activity started the month strong, but quickly changed, as concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 brought about social distancing measures. This had a heavy impact on businesses and employment.

“This is an unprecedented time with a significant amount of uncertainty coming from both the wide impact of the pandemic and dramatic shift in the energy sector. It is not a surprise to see these concerns also weigh on the housing market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

By the end of March, sales activity had fallen 11 percent compared to last year. This is 37 percent lower than long-term averages. The drop in sales pushed March levels to the lowest recorded since 1995.

“The impact on the housing market will likely persist over the next several quarters,” said Lurie. “However, measures put in place by the government to help support homeowners through this time of job and income loss will help prevent more significant impacts in the housing market.”

New listings dropped by 19 percent this month. This decline in new listings compared to sales caused supply levels to ease and helped prevent a larger increase in oversupply. Overall, the months of supply remain just below five months, similar to levels recorded last year.

Prices were already forecasted to ease this year due to oversupply in our market. In March, the citywide benchmark price was $417,400. This is nearly one percent lower than last year’s levels. The reduction in both sales and new listings should help prevent significant price declines in our market.

However, price declines will likely be higher than originally expected due to the combined impact of the pandemic and energy sector crisis.

HOUSING MARKET FACTS

Detached
Detached sales eased by 15 percent this month, driven by pullbacks in all districts except the North, which remained flat compared to last year.
The decline in sales was met with a larger decline in new listings, causing inventories to fall by 17 percent and keeping the months of supply slightly lower than last year’s levels.
Detached benchmark prices have remained relatively unchanged compared to last year at $480,800. Price declines this month continue to be the highest for the City Centre, North East and West districts.

Apartment
With 217 citywide apartment sales in March, this was the only category to record a year-over-year gain. Much of the gain was due to improving sales in the South, South East and North West districts.
New listings this month did ease, helping support a small decline in inventory levels.
Persistent oversupply has resulted in continued downward pressure on prices. In March, the citywide benchmark price eased by more than two percent compared to last year for a total of $243,700.

Attached
Both semi-detached and row sales declined this month compared to last year. Like the other property types, there was also a significant reduction in new listings.
The decline in new listings helped push down inventory levels for both property types, but it was not enough to prevent a rise in the months of supply.
However, this segment was oversupplied prior to the recent changes, impacting prices. As of March, prices remained nearly one percent lower than last year’s levels for both semi-detached and row properties.

REGIONAL MARKET FACTS

Airdrie
Like many other areas, Airdrie saw a decline in sales activity, along with a reduction in new listings and inventory. The reductions in supply and demand helped prevent any significant changes to the months of supply.
While the full impact of the COVID-19 crisis has not yet played out in the housing market, March prices remained comparable to last year’s levels.

Cochrane
Both sales and new listings fell this month compared to last year, causing inventories to fall to the lowest levels in five years. Like many other markets, Cochrane remains oversupplied, with easing prices.
The March benchmark price was $398,700. This is nearly two percent lower than the previous year.

Okotoks
Trends changed this month, with flat sales and a decline in new listings. The decline in new listings was enough to cause a significant reduction in supply levels and the months of supply fell below five months.
Prices are trending down on a monthly basis, but remain comparable to last year’s levels, with a March benchmark price of $405,000.

Mike Baylis 
RE/MAX House of Real Estate 
587-897-6453