When we look at the Calgary market lately, the last thing anyone would expect are price declines. But, funny enough, we have had a few segments start to show some cracks in their pricing due to the higher interest rates and the summer months.
In this breakdown we look at these particular segments and how price declines can occur in a market that saw sales increase 3% while new listings drop 6%.
Let’s get to the details!
The Absorption Rate - All Calgary Residential Segments
In the month of August, we saw new listings drop by 6% to 3,454 while the number of sales increase by 3% to 2,736. This activity drove our absorption rate back up to 79%.
This means that nearly 8 of 10 homes that are listing on the market today across all segments are selling.
Compared to this same month last year, the number of active listings has dropped 48% while the number sales has increased by 22%
This 5% increase in the absorption rate month over month is not uncommon as we have seen in previous years where a tiny increase usually happens around August. If this trend continues, we should see another drop in activity in September before an increase in the later months of the year.
This is not new information. Our market has been hot. But where the interesting story lies is how this hot market has been sustaining and how the different segments are reacting to the changes in our market conditions and seasonality.
The Median Price By Segment - Calgary
These segments present a picture of the market still increasing as the months progress, but as you can see in the chart above, two big segments of our market have seen price declines month over month.
The single-family detached and attached (semi-detached) segments both saw decreases in their prices to bring them to levels closer to March of this year.
While these two segments have shown a little crack in their prices, townhomes and apartments continue to keep the market as a whole strong.
While the market has shown some mixed signals so far, we will breakdown the rationale behind the drop in some segments as well as the slight increase in market in our breakdown below.
As we have seen this past month, detached and semi-detached homes have seen drops in their pricing while townhomes and apartments have seen a increase. This is understandable once we start to look at a few different factors contributing to these increases.
In Calgary, rents for 2-bedroom units have ballooned to over 2,300/month, which is only $200 less than owning a 2-bedroom condo apartment with 5% down and a condo fee of $600/month.
As more people to move to Calgary, rental vacancies are low leaving more and more people to purchasing an apartment (or a townhome if they have a family). This increase in demand has activated our condo market to become more in demand.
Interest Rates and Affordability
Lest we forget the overarching reason for our real estate market being in such a crazy phase. Higher interest rates continue to eat into the purchasing power of potential home owners leading them to afford less and continue to look at more affordable housing options for their home.
As the rates continue to stay high, we will continue to see this demand of more affordable housing continue until which time that even these segments will be priced too higher for a buyer.
But we cannot forget that the BOC cannot keep rates high for long. And when a small decline in the rate occurs, this will also lead to more demand as buyer’s purchasing power increases and their appetite to take advantage of the lower rate market will increase.
This might change the way the pricing increases go. A lower interest rate will increase affordability for a buyer leading them to start looking the other way on the spectrum towards detached and semi-detached homes.
The market will continue to run at this pace until something significant comes along to change it. This can either come, and most probably from, the BOC next rate announcement in September or a significant change in policy or production speeds for new housing development (which is not likely).
September will be a little bit of drop in the market if seasonality gives us any clue. People are getting back into their routines, school has started, and the focus is no longer into getting the home, but starting to live it in with the family. This might be a great time for a buyer to take advantage of the lack of competition.
Once that is complete, we should continue to see increases in the demand again as those that would like to move before the holidays will start to be come active.
My favourite time to list a home is actually December because of lack of sellers during that time. Buyers will continue to look, but most sellers don’t want to inconvenience their holidays.
If you are currently in the market, the apartment and townhomes market might not be where you want to be looking right now. I would start to focus in on the detached and semi-detached homes to see if you can find some savings.
And for sellers, if you have a property in the townhome or apartment segments, this when you will get your maximum return. Year over year this same month apartments are up 22%. Definitely a great return on your investment.
As always, thank you for time and checking out this update and market breakdown. I hope you found it useful. If you’d like to set some time aside with me to chat about your questions or needs in the market, please feel free to click here to access my calendar directly.
I have some great resources if you are looking to buy, sell, or invest. Set up a time with me above and lets talk about how I can help you achieve your real estate goals.
Thanks - Aly