Alberta resale housing market sees decline in sales/prices this year

But the longer term outlook calls for an increase in sales and average prices across the province

Mario Toneguzzi: Alberta resale housing market sees decline in sales/prices this yearHere are some interesting statistics obtained by Calgary’s Business from the Canadian Real Estate Association regarding the resale housing market in the province.

Year-to-date, until the end of July, there were 33,225 MLS sales across the province. That’s down 6.5 per cent compared with the same period in 2017.

During the same period, the average MLS sale price in Alberta fell by 2.9 per cent year over year to $391,952.

Alberta’s economy is slowly recovering from the depths of recession a few years ago. The economy took a tailspin in late 2014 after oil prices collapsed. That sent the province into two years of recession in 2015 and 2016. The economy rebounded in 2017 with strong growth year over year and that momentum is being carried through into this year.

That’s all good news but experts are cautioning that the recovery is slow and will take some time.

Here’s a look at what housing markets in different regions of the province are doing so far this year, through the end of July. The numbers are for MLS sales and their percentage change from the same period last year:

Alberta West: 656, -5.9 per cent
Calgary: 12,836, -14.6 per cent
Central Alberta: 2,380, +3.7 per cent
Edmonton: 12,114, – 3.4 per cent
Fort McMurray: 759, +14 per cent
Grande Prairie: 1,623, +23.7 per cent
Lethbridge: 1,525, -3.0 per cent
Lloydminster: 350, +3.2 per cent
Medicine Hat: 763, -11.0 per cent
South Central Alberta: 219, -8.4 per cent

Here’s a closer look at the average MLS sale prices in the different regions so far this year through the end of July and their percentage change from a year ago:

Alberta West: $349,998. -2.2 per cent
Calgary: $467,947, -1.0 per cent
Central Alberta: $295,767, -5.8 per cent
Edmonton: $373,743, -2.0 per cent
Fort McMurray: $397,731, -8.4 per cent
Grande Prairie: $305,386, +2.3 per cent
Lethbridge: $261,579, -2.9 per cent
Lloydminster: $293,188, -6.5 per cent
Medicine Hat: $278,291, +2.4 per cent
South Central Alberta: $199,110, +0.3 per cent

Recently, Calgary’s Business reported that RBC Economic Research in its Canadian Housing Market Forecast Update said Alberta MLS sales in 2018 are expected to drop by 5.8 per cent from 2017 to 53,900 units.

But the report says 2019 will see a rise in sales of 4.1 per cent year over year to 56,100.

“Markets such as Calgary and Edmonton remain abundantly supplied at this stage,” said the report.

The aggregate price in Alberta is expected to see an annual hike of 0.5 per cent this year to $433,800, followed by another increase of 2.2 per cent in 2019 to $443,200.

Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

Alberta resale housing market sees decline in sales/prices this year

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