Calgary home prices fell in November as inventories hit low levels

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Monthly sales and new registrations also fell

A real estate sign A “For Sale” real estate sign outside a home in Calgary. Photo by Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia Files

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In the Calgary real estate market, monthly sales, prices and new listings fell in November as the inventory of homes for sale fell to the lowest level since 2005.

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The city’s total sales fell to 1,648 units for the month, down from 1,901 units in October and 2,108 in November last year, according to figures released Thursday by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).

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While the average home price, median price, and median price fell month-over-month in November, year-over-year results rose. The most significant increase came from the city’s benchmark price, which grew 8.6 percent to $520,000 from $479,200 a year ago.

“The decline in sales was primarily driven by declines in the freestanding building segment of the market,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist, in the report. “Higher lending rates are affecting buyers’ purchasing power, and the limited choice of offerings at the lower price points of the freestanding market is likely causing many buyers to put their purchasing decisions on hold.”

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Despite weakness in some segments, Calgary condominiums and townhouse sales continue to rise, contributing to year-over-year gains of 10 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively.

According to the board, the guide price for a condo in November was $277,000, down slightly from the previous month’s $277,800 — while the guide price for a townhome was $358,700 in November, again slightly below from 361,200 in October.

For those looking for affordable products in the single-family housing sector, homes priced under $500,000 are down more than 36 percent year-over-year, contributing to an overall decline of 34 percent across all price points.

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For higher-priced single-family homes, new listings skyrocketed in November, providing more balance at the top end of the market.

“We’ve improved at the top end of the market, so we’re seeing more supply, but we’re not seeing it particularly at the bottom end of the single-family home market,” Lurie told an interview. “We’re in an environment of higher interest rates, which makes it much harder for buyers who are moving up.”

Lurie says potential buyers looking to move up are choosing to “wait and see” when it comes to interest rates rather than listing their cheaper detached properties, so listings in the sector have stalled somewhat.

“Honestly, people haven’t seen rates like this in a while,” Lurie said.

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