Residential real estate prices in Calgary and Edmonton continue to decline and now sit about 10 per cent lower than five years – just before the oil price collapse sent the province into an economic tailspin.
Data released Friday by the Canadian Real Estate Association shows that the MLS benchmark price in January for Calgary of $416,500 is down 10.28 per cent from five years ago while Edmonton’s price of $317,200 has fallen by 9.05 per cent.
In contrast, the national aggregate price, which has been buoyed by hot markets in Vancouver and Toronto, has seen an increase of 39.93 per cent in those five years to $648,600.
In January, Calgary prices fell by 0.75 per cent from a year ago while Edmonton was down 1.39 per cent and the national aggregate rose by 4.55 per cent.
The national association said MLS sales across Canada rose 11.5 per cent year-over-year, marking the best sales figures for the month in 12 years.
“Home price growth continues to pick up in housing markets where listings are in short supply, particularly in Southern, Central and Eastern Ontario,” said Jason Stephen, president of CREA, in a news release. “Meanwhile, ample supply across the Prairies and in Newfoundland and Labrador is resulting in ongoing competition among sellers.”
“Looking at local market trends across the country, one thing that stands out in markets with historically tight supply is a larger than normal drop in new listings at this time of the year,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist. “The logic being that if you are a seller, you’re not just choosing when to list but effectively when to sell, so why not hold off until the spring when the weather is better and more buyers are looking?
“Deferred listings mean deferred sales, which could explain some of January’s decline in activity. The question going forward is how many sellers are out there waiting to list their property, how much demand will respond, and how that will impact prices later this year.”
Mario Toneguzzi is a business reporter in Calgary.
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