Driven by improvements in Calgary and Edmonton, July sales activity in the province improved by more than five per cent. Recent improvements in fulltime employment combined with easing home prices and stable lending conditions is likely supporting some of the demand growth in the province. However, economic activity does vary by region as some areas continue to struggle with job losses and rising unemployment rates impacting their local housing markets.For the fourth consecutive month, year-over-year inventories have eased, helping reduce the oversupply in the market. The reductions in July oversupply have been most driven by Calgary, Edmonton and Central Alberta. Despite the monthly adjustments, each region in the province continues to see their months of supply levels remain well above their historical norms.“While housing demand has been impacted in areas facing more economic challenges, supply challenges have been present across most regions of the province,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, AREA Chief Economist. “With most oversupplied markets we have seen the impact on prices. Yet if supply continues to adjust, it should start to support the conditions required for recovery.”
Calgary RegionImproved sales in July combined with reductions in new listings helped reduce the overall inventory in the market and push it towards more balanced conditions. However, the market continues to favour the buyer, causing prices to ease compared to last year.Nonetheless, if the supply adjustments continue, it will help reduce the oversupply in the market and support more stability in pricing by the end of the year.
Edmonton RegionJuly sales improved by over 10 per cent compared to last year, making it the best July since 2015. At the same time the new listings also eased, helping reduce inventory levels and reducing the oversupply in the market.While the months of supply remain slightly elevated in July at five months, this is a significant improvement over last July where months of supply were pushed close to seven months. Despite these shifts, prices remain below last years levels, but the pace of growth is easing compared to the first part of the year.
Fort McMurrayFor the third month in a row, sales activity eased compared to the previous year. This caused year-to-date sales to fall below last years levels, keeping them well below historical levels of activity. At the same time, the new listings have not adjusted fast enough, preventing reductions in inventory or oversupply in the market. With buyer’s market conditions persisting, prices continue to ease in this market.
Grande PrairieFor the second month in a row, sales activity eased compared to the previous year while new listings rose. This has caused inventories to rise to new record highs for the month of July. While sales have remained relatively consistent with longer term trends, the supply growth has outpaced demand resulting in buyers market conditions.This is starting to weigh on prices with some reductions being recorded over the past few months. However, on a year-to-date basis prices remain comparable with levels recorded last year.
LethbridgeFor the third month in a row, year-over-year sales activity slowed compared to the previous year; however, year-to-date sales remain slightly higher than last year’s levels and consistent with long-term trends. The challenge in this market remains with supply growth, new listings continue to rise causing inventory gains and a rise in months of supply.As of July, the months of supply rose to just over six months, an increase from the previous year’s levels of five months, but well below the July high of 10 months recorded in 2011. The rising supply compared to sales has caused some downward pressure in monthly prices, but it is not enough to derail previous gains as year-to-date prices remain four per cent higher than last years levels.
LloydminsterSales in the area improved compared to the previous year, pushing year-to-date sales up by nearly five per cent. While sales are improving, they remain well below levels recorded prior to the slow down in the energy sector. At the same time, further gains in new listings offset any gains in sales keeping inventory levels elevated. As the market continues to favour the buyer, prices continue to trend down.
Medicine HatFollowing several months of easing sales, July sales activity improved compared to the previous year. However, the growth in new listings outpaced the sales growth resulting in a rise in overall inventory levels. The additional supply in the market relative to sales caused the months of supply to increase to nearly six months, just above longer-term trends.While some signs of oversupply are starting to appear in the market, prices have remained resilient with a year-to-date increase of nearly three per cent.
Central AlbertaWhile the pace of decline eases, year-to-date sales have declined by more than eight per cent this year. The easing sales come at a time when the region has struggled with rising unemployment rates and full-time job losses.At the same time, new listings have declined by over eight per cent causing a reduction in inventory levels and the months of supply. The reductions in the amount of oversupply are helping to prevent significant price adjustments in this market.
Alberta WestGains in sales activity were met with increases in new listings preventing any significant improvements in both inventories and months of supply. However, prices in the region continue to generally trend up. Given the economic diversity of the region it is likely that trends vary significantly depending on the location within the region with activity in higher priced areas such as Canmore impacting the regional figures.
South Central AlbertaYear-to-date sales improved in the region and despite July gains in new listings, overall supply growth is slowing. Declines in inventory compared to sales has eased some of the oversupply pressure in the market, preventing further downward slide on prices.
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