This month showed us that the easing the Bank of Canada wants to see is starting to take effect in Calgary. Let's get into the numbers and understand where we currently are and how we can continue to see the last few months of this year develop.
In October, we saw the overall absorption rate (ABS rate) decline from 68% to 64% month over month. This is still significantly higher than the last two years at this time of the year (2021: 36% and 2022: 40%).
This decline has been driven by a significant decline of 11% in sales month over month while the number of active listings dropped 4%. Compared to a year ago, the number of active listings has dropped 21% while the number of sales is still higher by 15%.
The number of sales is down for the second straight month while the number of listings remains consistent in that same period.
On the pricing side, we have seen little change month over month, however, the greater story lies in how the absorption rate and pricing are tied. Which we will get into a bit later.
Month over month, across the detached and semi-detached segments have seen little to no change in median pricing. Townhomes continue to see price increases being up 2%, as well as apartments, which are up 1% but have continued to increase in pricing throughout 2023.
Compared to the average last year, across all segments, Calgary is up between 9-14% and year over year for the month, up between 12-25%.
The detached and semi-detached segments have seen stagnant pricing since April of this year eluding that their pricing may have capped out to the affordability of today’s buyer.
But what can all this mean for our current market and how can these performance indicators be used to determine where we will end for 2023? Let’s get into it below.
The absorption rate is a great indicator to follow. It allows us to estimate what kind of market we are currently in (>60% - seller, 40-60% - balanced, <40% - buyer) along with it being a leading indicator of how prices will start to change.
Since May, we have continued to see the ABS rate continue its trend of decline, while during this same time, we have seen the detached and semi-detached median pricing hold strong on their pricing and townhomes and apartments increase in value.
As the ABS rate declines, buyers continue to look for more and more affordability.
And now that we are on the fringe of a balanced market, we are now seeing the increases in apartments and townhomes start to decline. As these continue to decline, the further we will move to a balanced market, leading sellers to adjust their pricing across all segments.
Sellers will be competing more for that buyer as we move through the balanced market to potentially a buyer’s market leading to incentives for buyers to purchase their home.
Now, does the buyer market sound like a possibility soon? Not likely, but could it come in 2-4 years from now? It is a possibility that most should not take lightly.
It's been more and more prevalent in today’s media cycles of the added cost of renewals for those of us who are in a fixed low-rate mortgage from 2021 or early 2022. The sticker shock of these renewals has homeowners worried about how they will manage their next set of mortgage payments.
And this fear is justified with a rate of over 3 times what they have right now.
These forced renewals will create inventory in the market for those who cannot handle the increased mortgage payment, which will lower our ABS rate further by increasing supply, moving the needle to a buyer’s market where aspiring homeowners are waiting.
But will this massive crash come? Not now. Not in 2023.
And if you keep an eye on the delinquency rates for the charter banks, you will see that is not the trend…yet.
Only time will tell to see if this issue of higher rate renewals is the straw that breaks the housing market’s back to create the inventory that is desperately needed.
But it's also important to remember, that this increase albeit great for buyers, is horrible for homeowners and not something I hope we see in Calgary.
I worked through the declines of 2015-2018 and trust me the worst feeling in the world is speaking to a seller that wants to sell their home because they cannot afford it but can’t because it is short in value. Hopefully, those days never come.
As always, thank you for your time to check out my breakdown of the market and the latest stats. I hope you find this useful as always. I have a few links below for anyone that needs assistance. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have!
Thank you as always,
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