2015 recap and a cautious look ahead

The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) has just released their forecast for 2016’s market but first, let’s take a quick look back at how we fared in 2015.

Many news headlines of late posted news of the “real estate market” dropping by 20%+. This can be deceiving since prices have not dropped anywhere close to that. Yes, the number of sales did drop a significant amount year-over-year. However, let’s keep in mind that we are comparing to an extraordinarily strong year in 2014.

The total number of residential sales in Calgary was 21,723, down 25.5% from 2014’s total number. This is also lower than the number of sales in 2013 and 2012 but it is higher than 2011.

We saw the average days on market to sell climb from 34 in 2014 to 42 in 2015, but this is still lower than 2011 and 2012.

As for pricing, the Benchmark price for detached homes for the year overall was actually up over 2014, from $503,300 to $510,925. However, the median price was down, showing that sales activity was stronger in the lower price ranges.

Apartments declined in both benchmark and median pricing from 2014 but only 0.7% for benchmark and 3.6% for median pricing.

You may have already heard that CREB is forecasting an overall 3.44% drop in prices for 2016. Unless you have been in hiding the last few weeks, you have likely also heard lots of bad economic news and forecasts, both locally and globally.

It is certainly not looking to be a strong year for Calgary and it will be very important this year to price your home right if you are planning to sell. As a buyer, it’s important to be patient but also ready to make a move if the right property for you comes available. Buyers will have more to choose from this year as well as more bargaining power.

The breakdown for pricing predictions by property type is as follows:

Detached:  -3.2%

Apartment:  -4.2%

At a current benchmark price of $505,200 for detached homes, this translates into an average drop of $16,166. For apartments, at a benchmark price of $283,600, this means a drop of $11,911.

If you would like a PDF of the full CREB forecast package, including detailed statistics on rental rates, interest rates, net migration and more, please send me an email.

There should be some good purchasing opportunities this year and, as always, if you are buying and selling in the same market, the fluctuations in price shouldn’t affect you as much. To discuss your unique situation and timing, please contact me to set up a meeting.