Here’s something different: this is the first weekly update of 2016 where sales were up on an annual basis. Between April 1-7, 349 homes sold compared to 330 the previous year, a 5.8% increase.
Reported pending sales are currently off by -20%, so I’m not expecting this to be the beginning of a sales resurgence.
Tracking pending sales (aka conditional sales, C/S) isn’t as reliable an indicator of future sales activity as it once was. Calgary listing rules changed in 2011 which no longer required sellers to disclose whether the home was under contract. In short, we have no way of knowing exactly how many other homes are pending but not disclosed. I’m going under the assumption that a similar proportion of sellers don’t disclose today as a year ago which is why the sales bump may be short-lived.
Despite the 5.8% year-over-year improvement, sales remained -20.6% below both the 5 & 10 year average.
New listings increased by 7.5% over last year, but remained below the 5 & 10 year averages.
Overall inventory now sits at 6,201 – 6.2% higher or 363 more homes for sale than last April.
It wasn’t as strong a start for Calgary’s luxury home market as last month, but 8 properties sold for over $1 million.
At the time of this writing, there are 82 judicial sale/foreclosures active in Calgary on MLS®. There were 85 listings on March 8th and on February 8th.
I’m receiving more emails from prospective buyers wondering why they aren’t seeing a bigger drop in house prices and whether they should hold out for a larger decline (10%+).
Since we know overall prices are trending downward, my advice is to set aside the overall city stats and now focus on specific properties because some homes are selling for a lot more than just 10% off.
Take this inner city property that I had been watching as an example:
- Originally listed at $1,390,000 in December 9
- reduced to $1,375,000 on December 18
- reduced to $1,339,000 on January 12
- reduced to $1,150,000 on January 20
- reduced to $999,999 on Feb 9th
- sold on Feb 20 for $999,999
The home had last sold in April 2012 for $1,182,500.
Mr. Buyer got a 15% discount from the 2012 sale price, even though the benchmark stats for the community were showing prices had increased 9.8% since then.
City stats are great for tracking overall trends. Community stats are localized and more specific. But if you’re serious about buying, you need to begin researching individual properties.