The month of December finished off with a bang! There seemed to be carry over from the November spike in sales. Buyers were slipping in under the wire before the new mortgage rules came in to effect January 1st. Overall, 2017 played out as expected. Sales saw a moderate increase (6% to 18,882) and prices started to stabilize. Higher supply levels are putting some downward pressure on prices, however, not enough to make any big movements.
The detached segment paced all segments for 2017. Sales year to date were up 5.6% to 11,831 units. Benchmark prices were down slightly 0.63% year over year while inventory levels have been creeping up. Currently there are 2,033 homes which represents an 18.6% increase from last year at this time. Although this number seems high, it still represents a balanced market within the segment. The City Centre, West and South districts all showed strong sales growth while the Northwest and South sales to new listings ratios were over 100%. This translates to lower supply levels. If you are thinking of selling in these areas, it might be a good time to get your home on the market now instead of waiting until the spring.
Apartment segment showed signs of life with a 16% increase in sales compared to last December and closed out the year with sales 5% higher than 2016. Inventory levels are 6% higher than this time last year (1,182 units) and currently sits with just under 7 months supply. This is a marked improvement from last year, but still well in to a buyer’s market. Overall benchmark prices have gone down 4% since December of last year ($257,700). The Southeast district is showing low supply (under 4 months) while the North, West and City Centre have all had the least amount of price erosion since last year.
The attached segment saw some nice gains through the first half of 2017, however, the tail end of the year saw more listings, less sales and consequently higher inventory levels. Enough to push prices down. Overall the segment lost 4% year over year, however, it’s a tale of two tapes as row homes have fared quite different than semi-detached homes.
Row homes prices have dropped 3% year over year to $329,200 and are 9% off the highs seen in 2014. Inventory levels are 14% higher than last year at this time which has pushed months of supply to 5.2. Year to date sales are up 10% though, which hasn’t been enough to outpace supply. The South and Northeast districts have the best deals as prices have seen a 4%+ drop year over year.
The semi-detached segment has fared better. Prices are only off 0.4% since the peak of 2014. However, this could change depending on demand this year. Inventory levels are up 20% year over year (441 units) and months of supply is rising to 4.6 months. The Northwest, West and City Centre districts all saw over 4% increase in prices year over year. There is lower supply in the North and Northwest districts as sales to new listing ratios are over 100%.
There was an increase in sales and an even bigger increase in listings which has caused prices to drop. Overall benchmark prices are down 0.6% since December of last year ($377,485). There seems to be quite a bit of competition in the new home sector.
Year to date sales are up 12% to 663 homes. Average prices look similar to Airdrie with a 0.8% drop year over year. Inventory levels have increased substantially in the last few months. Leading in to 2018, if the demand isn’t there, you may see prices drop further.
Sales are up 3% since this time last year. Average prices are up 1% year over year, however, they are still below 4% from peak levels of 2014.
The Q3 labour report was recently released (I don’t know why there is such a lag for the report), but there was some interesting information in the report.
6.3% vacancy rate which is down from 7% last year
Unemployment was down to 8.5% from 9.2%
Migration is expected to see moderate growth of 0.9-1.4% over the next 5 years
All of these points seem to indicate the economy has stabilized and will be taking steps in a positive direction. It will be an interesting year! With interest rates expected to rise and the mortgage rule changes in full effect, it may shake some buyers out of the market. On the other hand, it may motivate buyers to dive in head first and make sure they catch the next uptick in the Alberta economy.
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