Transitioning from 2019 into 2020

The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) has just released their forecast for the 2020 market but before we get into that, let’s take a quick look back at how things fared in 2019.

It’s no surprise that 2019 had significant chunks of weak sales activity throughout the year. Yard signs hung out a lot longer than usual and many listings had to expire and re-list or drop their price before they sold.  But interestingly, December sales improved to a level more consistent with the past five years and annual sales for the year were actually up by one per cent from 2018. Any move into positive territory is welcome.

So where was the brunt of the sales activity? Well, in detached single family homes under $500,000 for starters. People were definitely targeting this price range, as we saw an increase of 9 percent in sales. On the flip side, sales of detached homes above $500,000 dropped by nearly 11 per cent.  

Attached homes also performed fairly well. Annual sales improved by nearly seven per cent for a total of 3,780 sales.

Even apartment style condo sales are showing signs of life. December sales were enough to push annual levels to 2,672 units – just above last year’s levels. Again, small, but at least trending in the right direction. 

“Price declines, lower mortgage rates and some modest improvements in full-time employment helped support some demand growth in the city. Reductions in supply are also contributing to the slow adjustment to more stable conditions in the housing market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

If we do a little deeper dive into some of the more significant 2019 housing numbers, here’s what we find:

Overall prices in 2019 declined by three per cent over last year’s levels. The total adjustment in prices is a 10 per cent decline since the 2014 peak.

The Benchmark price for detached homes for the year overall was $484,808, a drop of just over 3%, from 2018. The median price was also down (nearly 4%) to $465,000, showing that sales activity was stronger in the lower price ranges.

The total number of residential sales in Calgary was 16,365, up 1.4% from 2018’s total number, but still below the number of sales in 2017 and 2016.

We saw the average days on market to sell climb from 53 in 2018 to 59 in 2019, which is curious because the number of new listings dropped by 10% year over year.  

It’s always great to have statistics and data, especially if you want to make an informed decision around buying or selling a home this year. And we are happy to provide you as much as you want!

We can email you a PDF of the full CREB 2020 forecast package, including detailed statistics on rental rates, interest rates, net migration and more. Drop us a line and we’ll send it your way. 

But for a brief overview, here you go!!

CREB is predicting a 0.69% drop in real estate prices across all property types. The numbers fluctuate only slightly between type, with detached houses at just -0.5% and attached houses at -1.1%.

They are also predicting a 2.2% increase in the number of sales through the year.

For some perspective, we looked back at CREB’s past couple of years of forecasts:

  • In 2018, they forecast a 0.13% drop in prices and the actual number came in at -1.52%.
  • In 2019, they forecast a 2.35% drop in prices and the actual number came in at -3.39%.

Even without a crystal ball, the economists at the real estate board have been doing a pretty close job of predictions!

Even if they are off by a percentage point, like they were the last couple of years, that would only mean less than a 2% drop overall. That means a potential $10,000 difference on a $500,000 property, or, if the board is totally accurate, a $3,450 difference.

Keep in mind this is a prediction for the year overall. If 2020 is similar to most years in the past, that will mean a busier spring (March to May) market with slight price increases, then slight price decreases through the second half of the year.

These seasonal price fluctuations can have an impact on your life so please contact us SOON if you are thinking about making a move in 2020!

As always, remember we are your go-to source for all real estate related information. If you need to know anything, just ask!    

– Bob & Amie