March 2023 Calgary Real Estate Report
The real estate market is constantly evolving and adjusting to external forces that can impact buyers and sellers with the purchase or sale of properties.
This past month, the failure of a major US bank might have spurred our real estate market to recuperate to levels that we had only seen during the pandemic.
A time when rates were low.
In this breakdown, we look at the current market conditions for the first month of the spring market and how this major bank failure has caused ripple effects to the housing industry in Calgary.
Let's dive right in.
Aggregated Market Stats
In March we saw the absorption rate (ABS) soar to 11% from the previous month's 71%. This 11% increase is attributed to an increase of 18% in listings versus an increase in sales of 39%.
With the number of sales outpacing listings 2 to 1, the inventory in Calgary continues to see declines.
Compared to last year at this same time, our ABS rate was 88%. Listings have declined year over year at this time of 36% while sales are down 68%.
In 2021, at this time our ABS rate was 51%
When the ABS rate is over 40% it is considered a strong seller's market.
Median Prices By Segment
The prices in the great Calgary area show to share the same tale as the ABS rates.
Prices increased across all segments between 2-5%. Year over year, the greatest increase has been seen in the attached segment.
This increase in the attached segment can be attributed to affordability for buyers as they become more and more squeezed out of the single-family detached homes as prices continue to rise.
Apartments also exhibited increases year over year with the increased cost of renting vs. owning. This segment is also very appealing to investors that are noticing higher rates of returns from rentals as vacancy rates continue to decline.
These numbers show a great story of how our real estate market has been progressing this year. However, as we all know, the spring market is a beast in itself. Below we look at some of these factors and how they can impact April and May.
Sales are up. The number of listings is down. When this normally happens, we have prices increase.
The simplicity of the above statement might be a bit of a stretch...but is it really?
If you hear most economists or bank representatives, they all predicted a significant shift in the market while the interest rates rose each quarter in the last couple of years.
Before the failure of Silicon Bank in the US, all rates were extremely high. The prime rate is still around 6.7% at the time of this publication.
But prices are still the highest they have been. Along with other expenses like food and gas.
So where is the disconnect here?
Housing prices are not the direct inverse of interest rates. If that were the case, when rates were super low through 2009-2014, our real estate market should have soared with pricing.
That didn't happen. And neither are the declining prices now with the higher rates.
For this relationship of prices to interest rates to be directly related, you'd have to assume that:
1. Everyone is getting a mortgage that is purchasing a property.
2. They are all in long-term mortgages
But what happens when those with cash to invest do so without a mortgage and those that have a mortgage obtain a variable rate mortgage and get to ride the highs and lows of the benchmark rate?
Not to mention they have a 3-month penalty to break their mortgage and refinance it with a lower rate and higher discount later on.
This is where the direct relationship of price to interest rates falls apart.
The failure of this US Bank has shown that the economy, even one as strong as the US market, cannot continue to accommodate higher interest rates.
Our economy is significantly smaller and is more exposed to failures like this.
That is why the 5-year bond yield (which drives the fixed mortgage rates) fell off a cliff once this bank failed. Below is an illustration:
Now, what happens when the cost of borrowing declines?
More money is available to buyers to put towards their homes rather than service debt, leading to the ability to pay more for their purchase.
Which is music to sellers' ears allowing them to continue the trend of higher prices.
The spring is generally when we see both higher inventory numbers and higher prices. However, if the inventory continues to be outpaced by sales, we can continue to expect higher pricing and an increase in the pool of buyers with more money to spend with less selection.
Thank you for taking the time to check out this breakdown and market update. As always if you have questions, I'd love to answer them. Please feel free to reach out to my office at (587) 871-5532 or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are considering a sale right now, I'd love to chat. Please feel free to reach out any way above or connect with me on social media and we can go from there.
Take care and have a great day ahead.
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