This will be the last report for 2017. It looks as though November has seen a spike in sales to the tune of 15% compared to last year. This does make some sense considering the new mortgage rules coming in to effect January 1st. What doesn’t make sense is that the increase in sales is in the lower price ranges (under $500K). The new mortgage rules will affect conventional mortgages (more than 20% down). Most of the people I work with buying a home under $500,000 do not have the 20% to put down. Whether it is the new rules or recent increase in interest rates, buyers are more motivated than they have been in the last few months. This works well for both sides of the coin. Buyers have had the luxury of more selection due to the higher inventory and there has been decent clear out of inventory leading in the holidays. Currently we sit at 5600 listings which is quite a bit better than the 6500 listings we were sitting with a few months ago.
Detached homes year to date sales are up 5.5% with benchmark prices down 3% since the highs seen in 2014. That’s not too bad considering the economic conditions of the last couple years. Inventory still remains high at 2,758 homes (20% higher than this time last year). Benchmark prices sit at $504,000 which is 1% higher year over year. The City Centre is showing higher supply while the Southeast, South, East & Northwest districts are all under 3 months supply (sellers territory).
Condo apartments sales are up 14% compared to last November. Sales are up 4.6% year to date which are both positive signs for a segment that has underwhelmed for the last couple years. There are definitely more buyers out there. More than likely motivated by the 14% savings from peak levels of 2014 and the looming threat of interest rates increasing in the next few months as well. Inventory levels are only 4% higher than last year (1,491 units). The City Centre saw a spike in new listings last month and the West, South and Northeast areas all have over 8 months worth of inventory. The West side has fared the best for prices as they have been flat for the last 12 months.
Row housing sales were up 31% year over year! Year to date sales are up 10% as well. This segment started the year off sluggish, however, there has been some decent sales activity in the last few months. Inventory levels still remain 11% higher than last year though putting some downward pressure on prices. Despite that, prices have remained close to flat over the last year. Once again, buyers are seeing this as a good option for getting in to the market before interest rates put their dreams out of reach.
The semi-detached home segment has mirrored what has happened in the detached market. Inventory levels are higher than last year (up 22%), however, there has been decent sales to match (up 12% year over year). Benchmark prices are up 3.3% ($417,800). Year to date sales are up 6.3%. Sales and new listings for the month are both above the 10 year average. With that kind of balance we should continue to see stabilized prices in the segment. The biggest increase in prices were in the City Centre, Northwest and West districts (all over 5%) while the Northeast saw prices dip 1.6% year over year.
- Sales are above the 10 year average
- Increase sales, however, increased listings so prices are still trending down
- Benchmark prices are down 1.5% since last month, flat year over year & 5% below peak highs of 2014
- Prices have dropped 3% in the last 3 months
- Benchmark prices are $421,982 (down 0.5% since last year and 5% below peak levels of 2014
- Also has seen prices take a steep decrease in the last 3 months (5%)
- Currently a lot of supply and less sales year to date have pushed prices down
- Benchmark prices are at $430,109 (down 1% year over year & 4% lower than peak levels of 2014
- Sales for the month are quite a bit lower than the 10 year average
- Prices have been flat since April
This was a bit of a strange year. The spring market was a strong one with plenty of optimism for the economy and that slowly eroded away through the summer leading to slower sales. The fall market never really materialized with sporadic pushes here and there. Overall, the year will end on a high note of an increase of sales compared to 2016, but you have to remember that 2016 was not a great year for sales to begin with. The outlook for 2018 is looking up with many pundits projecting better growth within Alberta.
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