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December sales activity rises again, but so does supply

Sales activity for all product types improved in December and pushed monthly sales to long-term averages for the second month in a row.

However, new listings also rose, keeping inventory elevated compared to typical levels for December. With more supply remaining compared to sales, benchmark prices edged down for the fifth consecutive month.

“Many of the economic indicators continue to post modest improvements, including improving sales. However, demand gains have not outpaced the additional supply coming into the housing market. This is creating some of the bumpiness in terms of price recovery,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie, who added that prices have stayed comparable to last year.

The gap between detached supply and demand closed in the first half of 2017 and supported early price growth. As prices improved, this was perceived as a signal for many who delayed selling their home, and caused a late rise in inventory that limited price growth.

Overall, the detached benchmark price in 2017 averaged $504,867, 0.63 per cent above last year’s levels.

Challenges continue to face the apartment sector, with elevated supply in the resale market. The new-home and rental markets weighed on this sector. The excess supply caused average annual benchmark prices to decline by four per cent this year. This is a total annual adjustment of nearly 12 per cent since the start of the recession.

In the attached sector, the first half of the year saw an improvement in sales relative to inventory levels. This supported stronger price gains in the second and third quarter. However, a late rise in inventory levels took some of the momentum away from price growth. On an annual basis, attached prices totalled $332,325, comparable to last year’s levels.

“This year, we saw a rise in the number of consumers willing to purchase in the market with the expectation that the economy had already shifted. There were also many who waited to list their property until prices showed more stability,” said CREB® president David P. Brown.

“Those who acted were typically driven by long-term plans that best suit their current lifestyle. We are ending the year with stronger sales in the last quarter, but supply levels are holding back price gains. The year played out as expected, with a transition from price declines to general price stability in most sectors of the market.”

For more information on the 2017 housing market, CREB®’s 2018 Forecast Conference & Tradeshow (crebforecast.com) will be on Jan. 31.

 

Watch CREB® president David P. Brown as he recaps sales activity and the key influencers that shaped September’s housing market.

 

#calgarydreamhomes.com

Creb: Mid-Year market update shows stability

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates


 

CREB® forecasts a process of recovery for the remainder of 2017

The first-half of 2017 marked a shift in Alberta's economy from recession to recovery, with conditions supporting stability rather than expansion.

"Economic challenges continue to exist, as high unemployment rates, weak migration levels and more stringent lending conditions are weighing on the housing market," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. 

"This will continue to cause some adjustments in the housing market for the remainder of this year. However, this is not expected to offset earlier gains supporting general stability in 2017." 

Resale sales activity is expected to total 18,401 units in 2017, a 3.3 per cent improvement over last year. The pace of growth is slightly faster than originally anticipated, due to the stronger growth that occurred in the first half of the year.  

"We saw many of those consumers who delayed any purchasing decisions willing to re-enter the market as concerns regarding the economy eased," said CREB® president David P. Brown. 

"More potential buyers on the market helped move some of the product in inventory and started to create some price stability." 

Improvements in the supply demand balance, primarily in the detached and attached sector, caused prices to start to trend up. Demand growth through the remainder of the year is expected to ease relative to inventory levels. This should prevent further substantial shifts in pricing. Overall, annual city wide prices are expected to remain at levels comparable to last year.

Despite generally improving trends, difficulties continue to exist in the condo-apartment ownership market. Rising sales cannot keep pace with the growth in new listings, keeping supply levels high and placing continued downward pressure on prices. This area of the housing market will likely continue to face challenges well into next year, as it will take time to absorb additional inventory in the resale, new and rental markets. 

"Improvements in the labour market are supporting the shift in the housing market this year. However, activity over the past two years was amongst the weakest we have seen since the financial crisis," said Lurie.

"While the shift is welcome news for many, we continue to expect that process of recovery will be slow and dependent on the property type and location within the market." 

For more information, please refer to the CREB®'s 2017 Economic Outlook & Regional Housing Market Mid-Year Update below

Creb Calgary : A transition in the making

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

Detached sales activity boosts February housing market

After the first two months of the year, Calgary's detached sector continues to drive a slow transition in the housing market. February sales totaled 1,342 units, which is still 19 per cent below long-term averages, but an improvement over the past two years.

As sales kept trending upward, detached inventory levels continued to ease in February. These conditions caused months of supply to fall to 2.4 months, putting less downward pressure on pricing. Unadjusted detached benchmark prices totaled $501,900 in February, which is one per cent lower than prices recorded last year, but slightly higher than January figures.

"There seems to be a new sense of optimism these days," said CREB® president David P. Brown. "Some home selling guide are feeling upbeat about the changing landscape and the improved chances of selling their home. Other people are looking at the spring market with caution and wondering if we're going to see a higher than expected surge of listings. While there's less product on the market right now, sellers still need to be realistic with their pricing."

The amount of excess inventory eased in the overall market in February, setting the stage for a transition to a more stable market this year. Months of supply totaled 3.4 months, down from five months over last February. At the same time, the sales-to-new-listings ratio trended from a near record February low of 39 per cent last year to 55 per cent this February.

With sales improving and new listings and inventories contracting—two key measures of market balance, there's good evidence to show that the housing market has started a trend toward more balanced conditions.

 "The transition in the housing market appears to be underway," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lure. "However, it is important to note that this change is primarily being driven by improvements in the detached market and stability in the labour market."

"It will take some time for these conditions to translate into all housing segments and achieve price recovery," said Lurie. "But all indicators continue to point toward a slow transition from a contracting market toward one that is stabilizing at lower levels."Lurie. "But all indicators continue to point toward a slow transition from a contracting market toward one that is stabilizing at lower levels."

Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package. 

The full Calgary region monthly stats package will be available later today on creb.com

Calgary home sales rise for second consecutive month- NOV 2016

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

REID SOUTHWICK- Calgary HERALD

NOVEMBER 1 2016

Calgary’s real estate market surged in October as home sales reached pre-recession levels for the first time in two years.

Sales increased from year-ago levels for the second straight month, with more than 1,600 housing units sold in October, a nearly 16% spike from 2015 levels.

Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with the Calgary Real Estate Board, said the lift in sales may be linked to mortgage rule changes, falling prices and availability of homes with lower price ranges.

Lurie said sales growth was unexpectedly high, but she remained cautious about whether it signalled a trend or simply a blip in an otherwise depressed market.

“Not just did it increase, but it rose to levels that were really consistent with what we’ve seen in normal conditions,” she said. “It is just one month to see that level of activity, so it is something I want to continue to monitor.”

 

Jesse Davies, a Calgary real estate agent, said he closed six sales last month, a big boost from the two or three deals he has been inking monthly in the past two recession-riddled years.

“People are trying to time the bottom of the market, and I think people kind of think the bottom may be here and want to catch it before the upswing,” he said. 

The increase in sales helped put a dent in the number of homes on the market, as inventory fell 3.5 % from a year ago, marking the first decline in at least 21 months.

Average home prices rose slightly, up one per cent to $462,279, but that likely indicates more higher-end homes selling rather than an increase in home values; the median price was down two per cent.

Benchmark prices for single detached homes — the price of a “typical” Calgary home — fell 3.2 % in October, while benchmark prices for apartments faced a steep decline of 6.3 %, the real estate board said.

Sales were up across all housing categories, the board said, with the largest gains in detached homes.

Sales were also heavily concentrated in lower-priced homes. Among single detached homes, the greatest amount of sales growth occurred in houses priced $300,000 to $400,000.

Despite lower prices, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said in its most recent housing report there continues to be moderate evidence of over-pricing in Calgary’s real estate market.

The indicator means current prices are not supported by the economic reality in a city dealing with a protracted downturn and high unemployment.

Still, Canada Mortgage and Housing analyst Richard Cho said there have been improvements in the past year.

“We have seen prices adjust and start to get closer to the current economic environment,” Cho said. “We do expect to see the market gradually shift from a buyer’s market to more of a balanced market as we move into 2017.” 

rsouthwick@postmedia.com

 

 

 

 

Overall sales activity was down again in August, totalling 1,567. However, this figure does not reflect the big differences in activity between the detached sector, versus the high density apartment and attached segments of the market.

“While overall sales have eased for detached homes, so too has the amount of new listings on the market preventing inventories from reaching previous highs and limiting the downward pressure on pricing,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “This is not the case in both the attached and apartment sectors which have recorded inventory levels near August highs.”

The detached benchmark price totaled $503,200 in August, 3.3 % below last year, but similar to levels recorded last month. Meanwhile, condominium apartment prices continue to decline totaling $274,900 in August, 7% below last year and are at levels comparable to figures reported at the end of 2013.

Price declines were higher in the apartment sectors, due to the more pronounced imbalance between supply and demand. On average, apartment inventories rose to levels well above historical norms. At the same time, sales are at their weakest level since 2003 causing months of supply to average over 6 months so far this year.

“It is very important for both buyers and home selling guide to pay close attention to the data in their particular area, segment, and price point,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “We are clearly seeing a significant difference in the performance between our detached, and our attached and apartment segments of the market, making it very difficult to use city-wide housing data for decision making purposes in today’s market.”

Trends in the attached segment of the market tend to resemble the apartment sector. However, the extent of the pullback was not as severe in the attached sector mostly due to the semi-detached product within this segment. On average, this year benchmark prices declined by 2.6% for semi-detached product compared to the 5.7 % decline in row style properties.

Source: Creb

 

Spring has come early!! - Creb

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

 

Home prices declined further in March as economic conditions weigh on Calgary’s housing market.. But spring has come early!! Creb Video

JUST SOLD -251083 Range Road 271

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

Congratulations to Pattie & Randy on the sale of the Rural Rockyview County Acreage !!

 

5 Reasons Why Calgarians Should Buy A Home In 2016

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

by Wayne Karl

Why is 2016 a good year to buy a home in Canada? Let us count the ways.

1. LOW INTEREST RATES

In its latest rate announcement on Jan. 20, the Bank of Canada held its target for the overnight rate at 0.50 per cent, citing a setback brought on by a decline in oil and commodities prices. BoC expects the economy to grow by about 1.5 per cent in 2016 and 2.5 per cent in 2017.

Some experts, such as Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC World Markets, expects interest rates to remain low through 2016, if not fall.

At least one lender, in Ontario, even recently introduced what it says is the lowest posted fixed mortgage rate on the market - at 1.69 per cent for a one-year term.

The BoC's next rate announcement is March 9.

2. THE UPSIDE OF DOWN PRICES

When the The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) released its latest statistics on Feb. 16, one number jumped off the page and into the headlines: 17 per cent - the rate by which the national average sale price rose on a year-over-year basis in January.

"Holy," prospective homebuyers might have thought, "how will I ever be able to buy a home if this keeps happening?"

The key thing to look for when you see such news, however, is what's happening in your market. Real estate is local, not national. You don't buy the Canadian market, or even a provincial or regional one. You buy one home in one location.

Excluding British Columbia and Ontario from CREA's January stats, the national average sale price actually declined slightly, by 0.3 per cent.

Economies and housing sectors in markets such as Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon are feeling the pinch of the extended slowdown in oil and gas. For existing homeowners, of course, this isn't great news; average home prices in Calgary dropped 3.05 per cent year-over-year in January, and in Saskatoon they fell 2.11 per cent.

For prospective buyers, however, this means opportunity.

Naturally, buyers might not too jazzed about getting in when prices are dropping, fearing their home's value will go down after they purchase. But look at the longer term. In Calgary, prices have increased 14.29 per cent over the last three years; in Saskatoon, 2.07 per cent.

FULL ARTICLE 

NO FRILLS MORTGAGES - MELISSA LEGAULT - JENCOR

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

"No Frills" mortgages are bare bones products designed for one type of person:  someone who doesn’t want to pay for added flexibility!

No Frills products are also sometimes used as bait.  It’s no secret that low rates generate phone calls.  Once a customer is on the hook, he/she can then be up sold into a more profitable mortgage.  (That is how a small number of people–but by no means the majority–use them.)  Over time, our prediction is that you’ll see more and more mortgage sites advertising no frills rates for this reason.

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 35

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Photo of Stewart J. Lowe &  Associates Real Estate
Stewart J. Lowe & Associates
Real Estate Professionals Inc
202 5403 Crowchild Trail
Calgary AB T3B 4Z1
Direct: 403-850-0669
Fax: (403) 476-7608