March 1-21, 2015 Calgary Real Estate Market Update

It may be spring, but you wouldn’t be able to guess that looking at Calgary’s real estate figures.

March is historically one of the four busiest months of the year.  So far this month there have been a total of 1173 sales, down -29% year-over-year, and below the 5 and 10 year average by -17% and -21% respectively.

Calgary home sales March 21 2015

Calgary home sales, March 1-21, Y/Y comparison

The amount of new listings have scaled back by -6.83% from the same period last year, easing supply growth.  But the number of homes for sale is still rising.

Inventory, now at 5785, towers 78.6% above a year ago and 44.4% higher than two years ago.

Calgary new listings March 21 2015

Calgary new listings, March 1-21, Y/Y comparison

The high-end market is especially struggling with sales of million dollar plus homes off by -44% from last March.

With a large numbers of layoffs being reported in Calgary (Nexen, Talisman and ConocoPhillips each announced job cuts this past week) and provincial migration into Alberta slowing, the real estate market faces heavy headwinds going into the second quarter and the seasonally busiest time of the year.

Calgary luxury home sales March 21 2015

Calgary luxury home sales, March 1-21 and month-end, Y/Y comparison

Sales-to-new-listings ratio - March 21 2015

Sales-to-new-listings ratio – March 1-21, 2015

Calgary Real Estate Stats Summary - March 21 2015

Calgary Real Estate Stats Summary, March 1-21, Y/Y comparison

March 1-14, 2015 Calgary Real Estate Market Update

With the focus of attention largely on markets being hit by the plunge in oil prices, it is encouraging to see possible signs that the worse may soon be over in Calgary,” notes RBC in their February housing market update released on Friday.

The report continues: “In particular, we point to the drop in new listings…as a positive development that, if sustained, would suggest to us that panic is not setting in and that activity may be close to reaching a floor. Upcoming economic news will tell whether the degree of market reaction in December-January was appropriate.” (Source)

While it’s premature to be calling a bottom, new listings have pulled back sharply in March.   There have been 1427 new listings month-to-date, down -9% year-over-year and below the 5 and 10 year average.  In fact, new listings 2 weeks into March are at the lowest level since 2003.

Calgary new listings March 14 2015

Calgary new listings, March 1-14, Y/Y comparison

The deceleration of new listings has helped boost the sales-to-new-listings ratio for Calgary into balanced market territory.  According to the ratio, the Attached home segment is on the cusp of a seller’s market, Detached homes are in balanced conditions, but Apartments remain in a buyer’s market.

What the sales-to-new-listing ratio doesn’t take into account is the amount of inventory already on hand before the current month.   For that we’ll look at the absorption rate, or months of supply.

For Calgary overall, there’s currently 3.8 months of supply (buyer’s market), Attached: 3.4 months (balanced), Detached: 3.8 months (buyer’s market), Apartments: 5.7 months (buyer’s market)

Sales-to-new-listings ratio - March 14 2015

Sales-to-new-listings ratio, March 1-14 2015

No improvement in sales yet as they are down -31.2% y/y, -21.7% below the 10-year average and -17.5% under the 5-year average.  Attached homes are faring the best,  off by “only” -15% from last March but right in line with the 5-year average.

Average and median prices month-to-date are higher than a year ago for 2 out of the 3 housing segments:  Attached and Apartments.  Prices have dipped for Detached homes and because that category makes up the bulk of sales, it ultimately means prices have fallen for Calgary overall as well. (See last chart for prices)

Back to the outset of this post: why is it too early to be calling a bottom in Calgary’s market?  Because Alberta’s economy hasn’t found a bottom.   Last month, employment fell by 14,000 giving back the 13,700 jobs gained in January and then some.    Since there haven’t been any developments to suggest there aren’t more job losses on the way, we can expect a slow market for the short-term at the very least.

Calgary home sales March 14 2015

Calgary home sales, March 1-14, Y/Y comparison

Calgary luxury March 14 2015

Calgary luxury home sales, March 1-14 & month-end, Y/Y comparison

Calgary Real Estate Stats Summary (click to enlarge)

Calgary Real Estate Stats Summary (click to enlarge)

Calgary New Housing Price Growth Slowing

Following 25 months of increases, new housing prices in Calgary were flat month-over-month in January according to the New Housing Price Index released by Statistics Canada today.

At 5.1% annual growth, however, Calgary new home price gains continued to lead Canada albeit at a slower pace than previously.

Statistics Canada reports that nationally the NHPI fell 0.1% in January, largely as a result of lower negotiated selling prices. This was the first decrease at the national level since July 2010.

Calgary annual new housing price growth leads Canada

Calgary annual new housing price growth leads Canada

Calgary new housing price growth slowing

Calgary new housing price growth slowing

NHPI January 2015 (click to enlarge)

NHPI January 2015 (click to enlarge)

Calgary Repeat Home Sale Prices Up 5.6% In February

Calgary home prices were 5.6% higher in February than the year before according to the Teranet – National Bank House Price Index™ released today.  Annual price growth decelerated from the 7.1% gain recorded in January.

Prices were down -0.3% on a monthly basis in February, extending the downturn to four consecutive months for a cumulative decline of 2.3% (Nov: -0.2%, Dec: -1.1%, Jan: -0.7%) The last time Calgary had a four month slide was in August-November 2010.

Month-over-month percent changes

Month-over-month percent changes

Calgary Index

Calgary Index

The Teranet–National Bank House Price Index™ is estimated by tracking ob­served or registered home prices over time using data collected from public land registries. All dwellings that have been sold at least twice are considered in the calculation of the index. This is known as the repeat sales method.

DIY: Check Land Title To View Sale Price (Free Method)

Did you know that you can check the sale price of a home by just previewing the land title in Alberta – for free?

The only caveat is that the property must have already transferred ownership, so it won’t show the selling price for any recent sales. In those instances, feel free to post a comment here and I’ll get back to you.


To preview the title, you need to know one of four descriptors of the home:

  • Legal description (Plan, Block, and Lot Number)
  • Land Identification Number Code (LINC number)
  • Title number
  • Street Address

For the purpose of this tutorial, I’m going to assume all you have is the street address to go by.


Go to the Alberta Land Titles Spatial Information System (SPIN2 for short) and click on “Guest Login” and agree to the terms.

Click on "Guest Login"

Click on “Guest Login”


Click on the “Search”

Click on Search

Click on “Search”


Select “Search By Street Address”

Select: "Search By Address"

Select: “Search By Street Address”


After entering the address and clicking “FIND”, the map will zoom to the general vicinity.  From here, hover your cursor over the correct parcel of land and a small white box with numbers will pop up.

Enter the address, click find, and then find the correct parcel

Enter the address, click find, and then find the correct parcel

The white box that appears displays the LINC Number and the Legal Description (Plan/Block or Unit/Lot)

Write down the LINC number

LINC Number and Legal Description for future reference


While still in map view, there’s a navigation bar at the bottom of the page.  Click the first icon located under “tools”( the information circle and arrow).  Then select the parcel for the home you’re interested in.

Click on the tool icon

Click on the tool icon


When this screen pops up, click on the preview icon (the paper and binoculars).

Click on the icon with the binoculars

Click on the icon with the binoculars

This will bring up a preview of the Title with the value of the property.



I hope you found this tutorial easy to follow and helpful!


March 1-7, 2015 Calgary Real Estate Market Update

The supply-side of the equation looked bleak in December & January as new listings spiked 42% & 37% respectively on an annual basis.  In February, new listings growth eased to just 9%.   A week into March and new listings are only up 3% year-over-year, inline with the 5-year average and below the 10-year average for the month.

Calgary new listings - March 7 2015

Calgary new listings – March 7 2015

New listings have pulled back so far that the sales-to-new-listings ratio has climbed to a balanced 45%.

Sales to New Listings Ratio - March 7 2015

Sales to New Listings Ratio – March 1-7 2015

Unfortunately, there has been no such improvement on the demand side of things.  A total of 365 homes have sold month-to-date, down -30% year-over-year.  For those pointing out that 2014 was an exceptionally strong year thereby invalidating annual comparisons, sales this month are also off -18% from the 5 year average and -21% below the 10 year average.  It’s slow, alright?

The hope is that buyers are cautiously circling the market in a holding pattern until they are confident about their finances and job security.   It’ll be some time before we know the full economic impact of low oil prices in our province; job loss figures have barely started trickling through to Statistics Canada’s LFS results.

In the meantime, although new listings levels have found normalcy, inventory will keep climbing until buyers make a return.

Calgary home sales - March 7 2015

Calgary home sales – March 7 2015

Luxury home sales continue to wither, falling by nearly half from the same period a year ago.   On a positive note, a Britannia home sold  for $5,200,000 making it the most expensive Calgary MLS® sale since June 2013.

Calgary luxury home sales - March 7 2015

Calgary luxury home sales – March 7 2015

Early in the month, the average price is down -1% y/y, and the median by -4%.

Please note that the statistics currently showing on the homepage of are inaccurate and have been glitchy for most of the month.  Below are the correct figures for the City of Calgary overall:

Calgary real estate stats - March 1-7 2015

Calgary real estate stats, March 1-7, Y/Y comparison

Chestermere Real Estate Market Report: February 2015

Benchmark and median prices for the City of Chestermere increased in February, while the average price dipped from the previous year.

The benchmark price of a typical home increased 9.6% from $441,300 to $483,800.  Even with the nearly double-digit percent gain, the benchmark price remained below the 2011 February peak of $532,500.

The median price increased 2.8% from $442,500 to $455,000, but the average price was down -2.4% from $490,527 to $478,833.   Average and median prices can be highly volatile and skew easily with a small sales sample.  Speaking of which…

A total of 18 homes sold in Chestermere during February, a -44% drop from the previous year and below the 5 & 10 year average for the month.

A positive development was that new listings, after spiking 41% in January, eased in February and actually fell -4% year-over-year.    This kept inventory stable, only rising by 5 from January.

Chestermere homes sales, February, Y/Y comparison

Chestermere homes sales, February, Y/Y comparison

Chestermere February real estate stats, Y/Y comparison

Chestermere February real estate stats, Y/Y comparison (click to enlarge)