CREB: Calgary market conditions balancing out

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Benchmark prices in Calgary have improved for the first time since December 2014 as housing prices totaled $454,100 in May, a monthly and year-over-year increase of 0.55 and 0.96 per cent.
“The market has been active since the start of spring, which is almost a 180 from what we saw seven years ago at the start of the recession when the spring cycle didn’t turn out for us,” Mike Leibel, an agent with CIR Realty, told REP.

“We have an influx of new buyers coming into the market and people looking to invest and take advantage before interest rates go up so it’s business as usual for us.”
The comments come as new listings in Calgary totaled 3,161 units for May, a 27 per cent decrease over the last year. What’s more, total inventory levels for the month rested at 5,342 units, a 16 per cent jump as opposed to this time last year. The decline in new listings appears to have protected sales prices at a time when the Alberta market has been rocked by an oil shock.
“For the third month in the row, new listings have eased compared to last year, helping push the market toward more balanced conditions, despite the current environment of slower sales activity,” said CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie in a recent statement. “This has helped prevent further declines in the unadjusted benchmark price.”
According to the latest CREB numbers, sales numbers are 25 per cent lower during the month of May, although the average price of a home remains about the same with just a 1.5 per cent drop to $478,790.
“Back in January, higher inventory levels relative to sales activity caused months of supply to rise above five months,” said CREB president Corinne Lyall in a statement. “While some challenges continue to exist for sellers, depending on the property type, price and location, the decline in the months of supply points toward more stability for both buyers and sellers.”
Two measures of balance are the months of supply and the sales to new listings ratio. In May, the months of supply decreased to 2.43, while the sales to new listings ratio was 69 per cent, both within the norms for balanced conditions, according to numbers from the Calgary Real Estate Board.