Real estate sales in Alberta at lowest level since 2010: AREA

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The real estate industry in Alberta saw year-over-year sales declines in November, with low volumes now at a five-year trend and the worst since 2010, the provincewide association reports.

There were drops in all regions except Fort McMurray and south central Alberta, reports the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA).

A total of 3,525 units were sold, a three per cent decline over November 2018. Year-to-date sales are just less than one per cent below last year’s levels and 11 per cent below long-term averages. The provincewide average sale price also dropped from $374,932 to $370,440 year-over-year.

In all, 50,534 homes were sold in Alberta year-to-date. Annual sales have steadily declined since 2014, when the year-to-date volume was 72,343. The total dollar value of homes sold year-to-date dropped from $19.7 billion in 2018 to $19.1 billion this year.

Anne-Marie Lurie

“Uncertainty, combined with job losses is weighing on the market,” said Anne-Marie Lurie, AREA chief economist. “This is impacting resale demand, with saves activity settling into lower levels since 2014.

“While supply adjustments continue, the provincewide conditions continue to favour the buyer, weighing on prices.”

New listings are also declining from 6.671 to 6,258 units – six per cent lower than last year. This improves the sales-to-new-listings ratio and reduces inventories. Yet, the supply of housing (28,286 units) is eight months – a high level that favours buyers.

It’s a buyers’ market in many regions of the province, AREA reports, yet conditions vary by regions of the province. Lower priced homes, or “affordable product,” have seen improved conditions, while the higher end of the market has seen rising levels of oversupply.

Calgary Region

Year-over-year sales activity eased in November compared to last year; but it was not enough to erase earlier gains as year-to-date sales remain slightly higher than last year’s levels. At the same time, there are fewer new listings, helping reduce the oversupply in the market. Conditions favour the buyer and prices are trending down.

While the Calgary market is starting to show modest improvements in terms of the supply and demand balance, these improvements are being driven by affordable segments of the detached, attached and apartment sectors.

Edmonton Region

November sales eased by nearly four per cent compared to the previous year making it one of the weakest Novembers since 2012. Despite the pullback, year-to-date sales remain relatively consistent with last year’s level. Edmonton has recently struggled with some job loss likely impacting confidence and ultimately sales activity.

At the same time, Edmonton as has fewer new listings, helping support reductions in inventories and modest improvements in the months of supply compared to the same time last year. Despite the adjustments, the market remains oversupplied and prices continue to ease.

The full report can be accessed here.

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