It’s a buyer’s market, says Len

With summer coming to an end, it’s time to take a look at the Calgary housing market. Fortunately for buyers, not much has changed over the last few months. The number of sales sits about twenty per cent lower than the average over the last decade. “If you’re a buyer, it’s a great opportunity; and if you’re a seller, you need to be priced right to sell your property. It’s not like you can hedge upwards,”says realtor Len T. Wong.


With that said, August 2019’s numbers were up six per cent from 2018, so there was a slight trend upward even if we are sitting below the ten-year average. Ann-Marie Lurie states that we are sitting at about 18 per cent below long-term averages even with the six per cent increase.


Apartment-style and attached homes have seen the largest growth with numbers rising consistently over the last six months. The other large increase has been seen from homes priced at $500,000 and under. Those have been rising about seven per cent on a year-by-year basis. Homes over $500,000 however, have seen a significant decrease, falling by 13 per cent. The best guess for this trend is that the slow economy is still playing a major role in Calgary’s real estate market. With oil and gas still not back to where they were, and unemployment being slightly higher than normal, many people are looking at cheaper options when house hunting rather than the luxury homes that we were selling a few years ago. We still haven’t seen growth in the higher-paying jobs, but as the economy starts to come back, so too will the sale of homes.


With the market being in the buyer’s favour for so long now, we are seeing fewer and fewer homes listed on the market which will eventually bring the market back to an equilibrium. There has been a nine per cent decrease in listings, creating more competition between the homes already listed which can help put some power back in the hands of the sellers. Lurie says,“sales activity hasn’t exactly picked up to the level that we’ve seen pre-recession, by any means. It still is reflecting a slower demand environment. But at least we’re starting to see the supply adjustment occurring relative to that demand.”


So, for first time buyers, there really isn’t a better time to buy. The average home in Calgary is listed at $426,600 which is 2.6 per cent lower than this time last year. While it might not seem like a lot, you could be saving thousands of dollars by making your move now. Trends show the market slowly balancing out and it’s unclear as to when things will start to look more equal, so it’s better to be safe than sorry if you’re hunting for a new home. It doesn’t look like prices will continue to drop much more so move now before the home you’ve been eyeing up comes off the market or skyrockets in price.

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