‘Tis the Seasonality

The myth that Calgary real estate slows down during the Stampede was busted this past summer.  When it comes to the winter holidays, however, there is definitely a marked drop off in activity.

Not only is December historically the slowest month of the year, but the majority of sales occur in the first two weeks of the month.

December is the slowest month in Calgary real estate

December is the slowest month in Calgary real estate

In the past decade, overall home sales between December 1-14 have been 16% higher than sales made from December 15-31 despite three fewer days in comparison.

Some sellers withdraw their home from the market around the holidays so as not to be disturbed.  Home shopping takes a back seat for many buyers.  The kids are on winter break.  Many real estate, lawyer and mortgage offices are closed for a couple days at least.

That’s the great thing about seasonality – it’s for the most part, predictable.  For example, there were 646 sales in the first two weeks of this month.  Seasonality dictates that at the end of the month, sales will likely be under 1200 – and that’s not accounting for outside forces such as the negativity around oil prices.

I’ll check back and update this post on January 1st 🙂

December sales are front-loaded

6 responses to “‘Tis the Seasonality

  1. Explosion in new listings by over 42% from last year is far from supportive of the narrative that sellers take units off the market. Not this year and not a great sign.

  2. Len, that’s a myopic view of the stats without any context.

    Active inventory at the beginning of the month was 3849, the third lowest level to start December since 2006, and it’s down -5.7% from that point today to 3628, despite the “explosion” of new listings.

  3. Dave Rhydderch

    Garth posted about you. Apparently you’re a perma real estate bull!

  4. Yeah, had to chuckle at that.

    Between Garth calling me a perma-bull pumper on one side and Don Campbell blocking me on twitter on the other, I’d say I have a fairly balanced & objective view of the market 😉

  5. Sales and inventory levels fall from November to December, and this year is no exception.

    Active Listings
    21-Nov: 4165
    30-Nov: 3849
    07-Dec: 3745
    14-Dec: 3676
    21-Dec: 3589

    Nov 1-21: 1299
    Dec 1-21: 898

    That’s a -13.8% drop m/m in inventory, but make no mistake – it will be higher again in January.

  6. Checking back to see how predictable seasonality was.

    As expected, inventory fell in December. By month-end, there were 3,229 active listings, a -16% drop month-over-month. Inventory will increase again in January.

    Sales between December 15-31 were lower than they were in the first two weeks of the month, again exactly as seasonality dictated they would be.

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