Bill & Amy Ewing

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CREB Aug. 12 Soft Demand

August 28th, 2016 by ewingteam

Soft demand to impact home prices, CREB® forecasts
by CREB on August 12, 2016

The economic situation in Alberta has impacted all aspects of the economy, including housing demand. However, price declines have been only slightly lower than expectations, as easing amounts of new listings has prevented steeper gains in supply levels, CREB® said today in its 2016 mid-year update.

Benchmark prices have trended down this year and there is no expected change in direction for the remainder of 2016. City-wide annual benchmark prices are expected to contract by 3.8 per cent this year. Since the start of the downturn, monthly prices have declined by nearly five per cent, with the most severe pullbacks in the apartment sector.

“While the market as a whole continues to be challenging for home sellers, the highest price declines are typically in the neighbourhoods and sectors where the largest amount of supply has built up, either from the resale market or the competing new home market,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “In this kind of market, both buyers and sellers continue to be forced to adjust their expectations. Not all districts and product segments are reacting the same way.”

With no near term changes expected for Alberta’s economy, housing demand will remain soft for the second consecutive year. Overall sales in Calgary are expected to contract by eight per cent this year, following a 26 per cent decline in 2015.

“The scope of this economic downturn has been worse than original estimates,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Job levels have contracted more than expected, which means we have more people looking for work and more people making the decision to leave the city—not exactly an environment that supports growth in housing demand.”

Layoffs, weak employment prospects and low oil prices are expected to challenge our market for the remainder of 2016. The risk to the housing market lies mainly with additional resale inventory and new home supply.

“There are some roadblocks in this market, but people still need to buy and sell real estate, regardless of the current operating environment,” said Stevenson. “The big thing is making sure consumers are well informed about how the market is reacting in specific segments and within specific communities, so they can make sound decisions. That’s the unique value add of a real estate professional.”

CREB July 2016

July 8th, 2016 by ewingteam

Home prices down, but not out
by CREB on July 04, 2016

Calgary home prices continue to slide in most areas of the market, but not at the rate that many might expect. This is partly due to June’s resiliency in the detached and semi-detached sectors of the market, where sales compared to new listings and standing inventory started returning to more balanced levels.

“The detached market has been gradually moving towards more balanced conditions, helping to prevent price levels from declining at the faster rates we saw in the previous two quarters,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “While this is welcomed news for sellers, it’s very likely that pricing challenges will persist in the housing market until economic conditions start to improve.”

Detached benchmark prices totaled $502,400, which is 0.4 per cent higher than last month, but 3.4 per cent lower than last year’s levels. This is the first time in eight months that detached prices recorded a monthly gain, helping ease the quarterly decline from 2.2 per cent in the first quarter to 0.7 per cent in the second quarter.

Overall sales activity remained relatively weak in June, falling by seven per cent to 2,028 units. Inventory levels went in the other direction and continued to climb in June to 5,973 units, 16 per cent higher than last year. Both the attached and apartment segments of the market have recorded inventory gains around 30 per cent, far greater than the year-over-year increase of five per cent in the detached sector.

Higher inventories and weaker demand continue to have a larger impact on pricing in the apartment and row sectors. June apartment prices slid by another 0.1 per cent over last month, pushing the average year-to-date benchmark price down 5.3 per cent below last year. Attached product experienced a monthly slide of 0.3 per cent, mostly due to steeper price declines in row style product.

“The price adjustments that we’ve seen in the past year have allowed some buyers to get into homes that were previously unattainable,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “This is especially true for homeowners with financial stability and a good amount of equity in their home. With so much choice out there, it’s giving consumers an opportunity to find their ideal home at a price they can afford.”

June CREB Housing Supply Swells

June 1st, 2016 by ewingteam

CREB June 1st

Housing supply swells in cool spring market

Calgary’s housing inventory was on the rise once again in May as new listings climbed and sales slowed to 1,923 units.

“While recent oil price gains may have some feeling optimistic, weakness in the labour market continues to impact housing demand,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Job losses are spreading into other sectors, wages are declining and unemployment levels remain high. At the same time, we’re seeing housing supply levels rise in the rental, new home and resale markets.”

Inventory levels rose by 14 per cent in May to a total of 6,148 units. Every product type is experiencing these gains, but the largest inventory growth has occurred in the apartment and attached categories. Together, these sectors represent half of all resale inventories in Calgary.

“The resale apartment market has been the most difficult for sellers,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “They are competing with improved selection in the lower price ranges of the detached and attached markets, and facing increased competition from the new home sector, where builders are offering incentives to attract potential buyers.”

While apartment resale supply remains 22 per cent below the May high of 2,055 units in 2008, the combination of rising supply in the apartment sector and steep declines in sales activity has elevated months of supply to nearly six months.

The apartment sector of the market has experienced buyers’ conditions for more than 10 months, so the impact on pricing is more dramatic, compared to the detached and attached sectors.

In May, the apartment benchmark price totaled $278,500, a monthly and year-over-year decline of 0.7 and 5.6 per cent. In the detached and attached markets, home prices totaled $500,500 and $332,100, a year-over-year decline of 3.4 and 4.3 per cent.

CREB update May 2016

May 2nd, 2016 by ewingteam

Market imbalance in Calgary’’’s residential resale housing market continued to weigh on citywide prices in April.

Much like the previous month, year-over-year sales fell while new listings increased, resulting in inventory gains across all sectors of the market.

As a result, benchmark prices in the city declined by 0.4 per cent from last month, and 3.4 per cent from last year, to $441,000.

For sellers, the reality of seven consecutive months of price declines has started to sink in, said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson.

“From re-considering the listing of their home to lowering expectations on price, sellers are beginning to adjust to the current market reality,” he said. “However, some buyers in the market are still not willing to pull the trigger because they expect even bigger discounts. And so that gap between buyers’ and sellers’ expectations still persists across many product types and locations.”

Despite this, the detached sector fared better relative to the other sectors of the market. While detached sales activity has fallen by over four per cent so far in 2016 compared to last year, the sales to new listings ratio improved in April. This prevented sharper inventory gains and caused months of supply to move toward more balanced levels.

The same cannot be said of other market sectors. Year-to-date apartment and attached sales declined by a respective 19 and 13 per cent compared to last year. Slower sales, combined with rising inventories, ensured that market conditions continued to favour buyers in these segments.

“While the weak economic climate is influencing demand, the apartment and attached sectors are further impacted by increased supply in the competing new home sector and rental markets,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “This is one of the contributing factors to the steeper price declines recorded in the apartment sector.”

Since the start of the price declines, monthly unadjusted benchmark apartment prices have declined by 7.6 per cent, while semi, row and detached have declined by a respective 5.9, 4.6 and 4.1 per cent.

April 2016 from CREB. March trends down

April 3rd, 2016 by ewingteam

CREB
Housing prices trend down in March
Unemployment impacting housing activity

Home prices declined further in March as economic conditions weigh on Calgary’s housing market.

Calgary’s benchmark price totaled $442,800 in March, a 0.49 per cent decline over February and 3.51 per cent lower than levels recorded last year.

“With no improvement in the labour market, it’s no surprise that we continue to face downward pressure on housing sales activity and prices,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“Provincial unemployment rates are at the highest level recorded since the early ‘90s,” said Lurie, adding that Calgary’s unemployment rate in February rose to 8.4 per cent, which is higher than the provincial average of 7.9 per cent.

March home sales in Calgary totaled 1,588 units, 11 per cent below the same time last year and 28 per cent lower than long-term averages for the month.

Calgary also saw housing supply gains in most price ranges. Inventory levels rose by seven per cent to 6,084 units in March. Overall, months of supply has averaged five months in the first quarter of 2016.

“As we move into spring, we are starting to see more foot traffic at open houses and showings from potential buyers,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “For now, this activity hasn’t translated into improved sales in most segments of the market.”

The apartment sector has been the hardest hit by the recent downturn. After the first quarter of the year, apartment sales totaled 554 units, a 17 per cent decline over the same period last year.

Apartment benchmark prices have been trending down since late 2014. In March, benchmark apartment prices totaled $281,300, seven per cent lower than levels recorded prior to the slide and 4.93 per cent lower than levels recorded last year.

The detached and attached sector has also felt the brunt of Calgary’s weakening economy. Detached and attached home prices have dropped by four per cent from the recent peak.

“Homebuyers continue to wait and see if there are going to be further declines in home prices before making an offer,” said Stevenson. “Timing the bottom of the market is proving to be quite a challenge in the housing market we are faced with now.”

Spring Market is here!! Don’t wait and miss it.

March 22nd, 2016 by ewingteam

Glad to help if your thinking of buying or selling.
Sellers: The Spring Market is now here don’t miss it if your thinking of selling. This could be you best opportunity to sell this year!
Buyers: This year will offer a great opportunity for you to move up. That larger home you wanted 2 years ago may now be in your price range.

March 16/16 AREA update

March 22nd, 2016 by ewingteam

Alberta home sales remain down year-over-year in February

The Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) compiles provincial MLS® sales data for dissemination to REALTORS® and other interested groups. The data that is provided represents statistics provided to AREA by way of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). For more detailed statistical information for Boards/Associations or for individual areas, contact your local real estate Board/Association or your local REALTOR®.

The Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) reports that a total of 3,170 residential unit sales were recorded through the MLS® Systems of real estate Boards/Associations in Alberta in February, down 8.0 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price increased 0.6 per cent from February 2015 to $388,037.

CREB Feb 1/16

February 23rd, 2016 by ewingteam

Housing market remains unchanged in January

Slow sales activity and inventory gains place downward pressure on prices

Calgary’s housing market is starting 2016 firmly in buyers’ market territory, much the same as last year ended.

“The recent slide in energy prices has raised concerns about near-term recovery prospects for the city,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Energy market uncertainty and a soft labour market are weighing on many aspects of our economy, including the housing sector.”

City wide, January sales totaled 763 units, 13 per cent below last year and 43 per cent below long-term averages. While new listings declined by 16 per cent compared to January 2015, the number of new listings far outpaced the sales, causing inventory gains. January’s city wide months of supply levels rose above six months.

“Selection for buyers in all product types and price ranges has improved,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “More choice and low interest rates have encouraged some potential buyers to start window shopping. So far, this hasn’t translated into sales activity as many are waiting for steeper price declines from motivated sellers.”

The aggregate benchmark price of $447,300 in January was 1.21 per cent lower than the previous month and 3.27 per cent below the January 2015 price of $462,400.

“As expected, the imbalance between housing supply and demand is continuing to place downward pressure on prices,” said Lurie. “However, the recent price retraction has not erased all the gains recorded in recent years, as the benchmark price remains 4.41 per cent above the January 2014 price of $428,400.”

While all property types have recorded price contractions from recent highs, the largest price declines have occurred in the apartment sector as this segment has had elevated months of supply since the second quarter of 2015.

The apartment benchmark price totaled $281,900 in January, a year-over-year decrease of 6.35 per cent and 2.12 per cent lower than the previous month’s price. In fact, apartment sector prices have once again fallen below the 2007 monthly high of $301,500.

The detached segment of the market continues to show variations depending on price range. The under $500,000 segment remains relatively balanced. However, recent trends are pointing to weaker sales-to-new-listings ratios in the $500,000 to $600,000 range of the market.

“Calgary’s housing market continues to face a wide range of challenges,” said Stevenson. “Sellers are reflecting on their expectations and considering all options available to them, given the dynamics of their specific market. In this environment, buyers have the opportunity to carefully consider their housing needs and make a decision based on their lifestyle and future goals

AREA Alberta Housing down

February 23rd, 2016 by ewingteam

Alberta home sales down year-over-year in January

The Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) compiles provincial MLS® sales data for dissemination to REALTORS® and other interested groups. The data that is provided represents statistics provided to AREA by way of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). For more detailed statistical information for Boards/Associations or for individual areas, contact your local real estate Board/Association or your local REALTOR®.

The Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) reports that a total of 2,277 residential unit sales were recorded through the MLS® Systems of real estate Boards/Associations in Alberta in January, down 13.8 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price decreased 2.7 per cent from January 2015 to $371,620.

Three of Alberta’s ten real estate Boards/Associations saw an increase in monthly residential average prices from year-ago levels:

Board Year-Over-Year Change
Alberta West +13.1 per cent
Fort McMurray Region +2.7 per cent
Calgary Region +0.4 per cent

The seven remaining Boards/Associations saw the monthly residential average price decrease to varying degrees from January 2015:

Board Year-over-Year Change
Lethbridge Region -0.9 per cent
Grande Prairie Region -5.3 per cent
Central Alberta -7.7 per cent
Medicine Hat Region -8.4 per cent
Edmonton Region -8.4 per cent
Lloydminster Region (AB Only) -9.9 per cent
South Central Alberta -38.5 per cent

Note: The data above is national data and may not perfectly reflect the data reported by a Board/Association. The numbers represented are for the full Board/Association region, rather than city/town proper areas that may be reflected in a board’s name. Click here for a general guideline of Board/Association boundaries.

The value of all home sales in the province totalled $846 million for the month, falling 16.1 per cent from January 2015.

There were 9.8 months of inventory at the end of January 2016, up from 7.4 months at the same time one year ago.

New listings on the MLS® Systems of real estate boards in Alberta numbered 8,559 units in January, a decrease of 8.5 per cent from a year earlier, while active residential listings numbered 22,362 units at the end of January, up 15.1 per cent from one year earlier.

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CREB Nov. 2/15

February 23rd, 2016 by ewingteam

From CREB Nov. 2/15
Prices decline for the second consecutive month

Sales activity remains well below long-term averages

Elevated inventory levels in October contributed to a second consecutive month of price declines in Calgary’s resale residential housing market.

Benchmark prices declined 0.7 per cent from the previous month, and 1.2 per cent from the same time last year, to $453,100.

“Persistent weakness in the overall economy continued to impact housing demand in Calgary as October sales were nearly 16 per cent below long-term averages,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“In addition, new listings did not decline enough to prevent inventory gains and, ultimately, price contractions.”

The steepest declines occurred in the apartment sector, where the benchmark price fell to $288,300, a 0.8 per cent decline from September and nearly four per cent from the same time last year.

Lurie attributed the declines to a continued rise in months of supply – from a low of three months in June to nearly six months in October.

“That sector is facing added competition from several new apartment projects, improved vacancy in the rental market and more supply in the attached sector,” said Lurie, noting months of supply in the sector has remained above four since August.

“When combined with a steep pullback in demand, it creates conditions that generally favour the buyer.”

Aggregate prices in both the detached and attached sector also recorded both monthly and yearly declines, but were moderate compared to apartments due to less severe drops in absorption levels.

“In this type of market, both sellers and buyers need to have those hard discussions with their real estate professionals about their objectives,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall, noting increased competition from both the rental and new home markets.

“If sellers are serious about selling, they need to consider how they are positioning their home on the market. Buyers, meanwhile, have to consider whether that home satisfies their lifestyle needs.”

Overall, October sales in the city declined by 33 per cent year-over-year to 1,421 units, with year-to-date sales falling by more than 26 per cent.

Meanwhile, inventory levels during the month remained at 5,578 units, pushing months of supply up to 3.93.

Market balance in the detached sector, which accounts for more than 60 per cent of all sales in the city, varied depending on price segment.

More than half of detached sales in October occurred below $500,000, where demand relative to supply remained relatively tight – thereby potentially offsetting some of the price losses in the higher end of the segment.

“Sales activity has varied depending on market segment and price,” said Lyall.

“For example, while some price adjustments have occurred in the higher-end detached category, this is less likely for the under-$500,000 detached segment, which had more balanced conditions.”

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board
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Trademarks used under license from CREA