April 2011 Calgary Real Estate Statistics

Sales are down.  Prices are up.  A third into the year, and the market is unfolding close to how some have envisioned.     However, for CREB’s vision of  a 19.9%  surge in SFH sales and a 15.8% increase in condo sales in 2011 to come to fruition requires that this market better start gaining traction soon.

April SFH sales  totaled 1217,  down 10% from the previous month and from April 2010.    Year-to-date,  sales are slightly trailing last years levels (-0.2%)  But bear in mind that 2010 was also the lowest sales in a decade.

Condo sales aren’t looking any prettier.  In April, a total of 535 units changed hands.  That’s down -7.9% from last month and down  -16.7% from last April.  Year-to-date, condo sales are down -12.6% from the same time period last year.

Not everything is bleak though.   There are other factors that are helping stabilize the market.    SFH inventory is down nearly 12% from last April – that translates to almost 600 fewer homes on the market.    This means that the inventory absorption rate of 3.6 for April is still in “balanced” market territory with neither sellers or buyers having a substantial advantage.  (An interesting sidenote:  Unoccupied listings are higher than this time last year, even though total inventory is down)

There are also 18% less condo units on the market compared to the end of April 2010, resulting in an inventory absorption rate of 3.7 – again, “balanced”.

Prices have been fluctuation wildly the past couple months.  If you’ve been following this blog, you’d understand that the low prices reported in March were caused by more “marginal” buyers jumping into the market before the mortgage rule changes.

Similarly, prices dropped last April when that round of rule tightening came into effect.   The following month, sales were lower while prices jumped about $23k higher.

And it’s the same story this year.  SFH average prices in April surged over $16,000 to approx $480,000 while sales weakened.

One response to “April 2011 Calgary Real Estate Statistics

  1. Hi Mike, thanks for the measured and prompt analysis.

    I have noticed that during each and every month the “active listings” lose a bunch of units on the last day. This month, almost 100 units were pulled on the last day. This could be called “banging the close” to make the numbers look better, particularly the absorption rate, as they are calculated at the end of the month. A day or two later the listings magically reappear. This could be “massaging the statistics” when in reality it is just lying to the public by pulling official listings to get more desired statistical results.

    It does not make a huge difference, but those vacant unit numbers are starting to look like trouble. An alternate question, if the statistics are available, which they probably are not: How many vacant houses are there in Calgary that are unlisted? I know of at least 5 on my street. No visible activity, maybe some sporadic renovation activity and no renters or “for rent” signs. Why do they just sit? And, what happens if (when) the market gets flooded with these units?

    Mike Fotiou says: Thanks for your comments. Many listings just expire at the end of the month – there’s no conspiracy. It’s just natural to have a listing contract end then. Sellers will then usually relist at a lower price, with another agent, or just keep their home off the market for a while.

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