Calgary home sales in the first week of March totaled 310, a -16% drop from last year and the slowest start to the month dating back to 1996 – although not far behind 2009’s pace.
New listings are up nearly 8% y/y to 872, but remain between the 5 & 10 year average. While those figures alone aren’t alarming, coupled with low sales, inventory breached the 6,000 mark yesterday and is expected to climb higher as it typically does during the spring season.
Thirty-five per cent of homes for sale right now (2112/5980) on MLS® in Calgary are unoccupied (vacant or new), a decrease from the 45% recorded in January (2032/4510). Of course, that percentage drop from 45% to 35% is because of the rise in overall inventory, but it’s still interesting to note that unoccupied listings only increased by 3.9% or 80 during that span.
The number of judicial sales/foreclosures sits at 85, not much of an increase from the ~70 active in January. You can spin it with a clickbait headline: “Foreclosures spike 20% since January” 😛
In any case, I’m hearing that refinancing has become more popular of late as homeowners draw on the equity to get through this economic downturn and make ends meet.
Calgary Luxury Sales
Last month, million dollar-plus sales were up 52% year-over-year. A total 38 luxury homes sold compared to 25 the previous February. The $1.5m+ bracket particularly saw an increase: the 18 sales were a 125% annual jump.
It was a strong start to this month as well with 15 high-end sales in the opening week – the second best March start on record.
Sotheby’s explains a reason for this increase in their 2016 Spring Market Forecast:
While the Calgary market is expected to weather volatile oil prices, uncertain economic conditions and job losses into spring, the market for real estate over $1 million has the potential to see an uptick in sales activity.
Projected price reductions in the condominium, attached and detached single family home segments, as well as increasing resale inventory listed by motivated sellers, will encourage transactions, even as consumer confidence remains unstable.
With declining prices and a weak Canadian dollar, top-tier Calgary real estate has experienced an increase in U.S. and domestic, out-of-province interest, a trend that may solidify in 2016.
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