For a second month in a row, year-over-year sales activity improved. The growth was driven mostly by gains in both Calgary and Edmonton. Despite recent improvements, year-to-date provincial sales activity remains nearly three per cent lower than last year’s levels and more than 14 per cent below long-term averages. Trends also vary by location, as the slowest sales relative to long-term averages persisted in the Calgary Region, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster and Central Alberta.
“Easing prices combined with some optimism that the province’s economic situation will improve are supporting some demand growth in the larger centres,” says AREA Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “While this has helped reduce some of the oversupply pressure in the market, it will take time before we see more balanced conditions and ultimately price stability.”
Improving sales were generally met with reductions in new listings. This caused year-over-year inventories to decline for the first time since early 2017. Like sales, easing inventories were not consistent across the province as inventories only eased in Calgary, Edmonton, South Eastern Alberta and Central Alberta.
While improvements in the amount of oversupply will help support price stability, prices remain just below last year’s levels. Year-to-date provincewide average prices have eased by nearly three per cent. Declines occurred throughout most regions except Alberta West, Grande Prairie, and Lethbridge. Despite recent shifts, prices across most regions remain below previous highs.
Calgary RegionFollowing an extended period of oversupplied conditions, recent improvements in sales, combined with a pullback in new listings, helped reduce inventory levels and ultimately the amount of oversupply in the market. While the market continues to favour the buyer, easing inventory compared to sales should start to support more balanced conditions and price stability.
Edmonton RegionAs prices have eased, the Edmonton region has seen some modest improvements in sales activity and easing in new listings. These shifts have helped reduce inventories by nearly seven per cent, from the May record high last year. While inventories remain elevated compared to historical levels, the decline is helping with the oversupply situation. If this trend continues it could help support more balanced conditions and price stability in the market.
Fort McMurrayDespite a pullback in sales this month, year-to-date sales activity has remained relatively stable compared to last year. However, unlike other centres, new listings have been rising, causing further inventory gains and keeping the months of supply high relative to historical standards. While there have been some recent price gains – likely related to changes in the composition of sales – overall year-to-date prices remain nearly four per cent below last year’s levels and well below prerecession highs.
Grande PrairieSo far this year, sales activity has eased compared to stronger-than-expected figures reported last year. While sales have declined, they remain only five per cent below long-term averages for the centre. However, new listing growth has increased relative to the sales, and inventory levels have seen some significant gains over levels recorded last year.
The gains in inventory relative to sales have caused the months of supply to rise above longer-term trends. While this has not yet had any significant impact on prices, if the months of supply remain elevated it could start to weigh on prices.
LethbridgeSales activity remains relatively stable in the region. However, new listings growth continues to rise causing further inventory gains in the market. This has caused May’s months of supply to rise to levels not seen in over six years. While rising oversupply has not translated into easing prices, the pace of price growth does appear to be easing and if the oversupply persists this could start to place downward pressure on prices.
LloydminsterMonthly sales activity continues to improve in the region, causing year-to-date sales to rise above last year’s levels. However, new listings continue to rise, preventing any significant changes to the amount of inventory and oversupply in the market. The persistent oversupplied market has continued to weigh on prices, which remain five per cent below last year’s levels.
Medicine HatSales in the region continue to ease, pushing year-to-date sales down compared to last year and long-term averages. At the same time, new listings continue to rise, and May inventories have risen to levels not seen since 2011. While year-over-year average price gains are likely caused by shifts in composition of sales, the higher inventories and gains in months of supply have been weighing on prices. Overall prices have been trending down in the region and so far this year are nearly four per cent below last year’s levels.
Central AlbertaFurther declines in sales caused year-to-date sales to decline by nearly 11 per cent compared to last year and sit 18 per cent below longer-term trends. However, new listings have also eased, causing inventories to decline and preventing any significant changes to the months of supply. Elevated levels of supply compared to sales have been weighing on prices which have generally been trending down since 2018.
Alberta WestThe overall area has seen sales activity improve this year. However, new listings growth has also persisted causing further inventory gains and no significant changes to the months of supply. While prices have shown some year-over-year gains, they have remained relatively flat on a trended basis. The region is comprised of a wide range of area with different economic drivers, potentially causing price gains in some areas to offset price easing in others.
South Central AlbertaImproving sales were met with easing new listings, causing inventories to decline and the amount of oversupply to ease compared to last year’s levels. While prices have generally continued to trend down as the market remains oversupplied, the pace of decline is easing. Overall year-to-date prices remain just below last year’s levels.
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