The oversupply trend in Calgary has continued through the end of 2018. As expected, December continued the slower trend as inventories and sales levels dropped for the holidays and the year end. This is a normal trend for December and is totally expected. The December sales were down year over year with inventories having increased. It was a difficult year for both Buyers and Sellers in 2018.
Sellers watched as inventories in 2018 were higher than previous years and sales were down each month over 2017 levels as well as long-term trends. This caused sellers to make a choice to either lower their expectations or choose to wait to sell their properties at a different time in the future.
Buyers on the other hand were saddled with new challenges of getting financing with the new mortgage qualification rules. The incremental increases to interest rates through the year have brought them back to what would be considered normal in historical terms.
What’s to come?
It’s difficult to forecast attitude but Alberta needs an attitude change! This may come with the spring election or just an increase in oil prices but we need something to drive a better attitude. Currently inventory is up and sales are down, so if you need to purchase this is an excellent time. If you need to sell in the foreseeable future, now appears to be the best time as waiting may cost you money. Real estate history tells us that prices will recover but the turnaround will take time. Normally we never see a turn in the market coming, we just see it in the rear view mirror but when it happens, we usually get a period of more stable conditions before the upturn.
Some of Alberta’s Key economic indicators include:
Retail Trade is down 1.9% yr. / yr.
Consumer Price Index is up 1.7% yr. / yr.
MLS Sales Values are down 12.7% yr. / yr.
Net Migration up 47.5% to 14,514 yr. / yr.
Average Weekly income net 0 at $1,155
Unemployment Rate down 1% at 6.3%
Manufacturing Sales up 13.3 %
Housing Starts down 23.0%
Together the total picture shows we still have some very difficult times ahead of us in 2019. This could all change overnight with the final approval of a pipeline to tidewater and may show some improvement with the Spring election.