CIR Real Estate Review, July 2019

It has been an interesting summer as the sales activity in July continued to outpace recent years past across the Province.  This has primarily been driven by improvements in the Calgary, Edmonton and Central Alberta markets but across the markets sales activity has increased 5.54%.  For the fourth consecutive month, we have seen year over year inventory levels ease which has led to greater stability of pricing with a decrease of -1.95% to an average sale price of $391,461 in Alberta.

The activity across the ten regions in Alberta continue to vary greatly with five regions showing improvements in sales year over year, and five regions lagging behind. The Northern regions of Fort McMurray and Grand Prairie have had the greatest slowdowns of -21.43% and -12.5% year over year. These are two very interesting cases as the inventory levels have been a different story which has resulted in very different impacts on the average price points. In Fort Mac, the inventory levels dropped -1.23% and in Grand Prairie, the inventory levels increased by 16.94%!   As a direct result of the inventory levels compared to dropping sales numbers the average price point in Fort McMurray has held strong and has had an increase of  0.39% to $397,731, and the opposite is the case in Grand Prairie showing a decline of -8.06% in the average price dropping to $305,543.  
The other regions that have had a decrease in sales are Central Alberta (-0.75%), Lethbridge (-0.67%), and South Central Alberta (-7.14%). The inventory levels in these areas have had a greater decline than the drop in sales so we anticipate the pricing to remain stable. The exception to this is Lethbridge who has seen an increase of inventory year over year by 18%.  This could be due to the increase of the average price and sales activity that Lethbridge experienced earlier in the year which has led to more people trying to sell.  This could lead to softer markets through the Lethbridge if higher inventory levels persist.
The markets that have had an increase of sales activity are Alberta west (4.13%), Calgary region (7.29%, Edmonton region (10.27%), Lloydminster (10.81%) and Medicine Hat (20%).  All of these areas except Lloydminster have had a substantial decrease in inventory which is helping bring in more balanced markets.  We anticipate these trends to continue to help balance markets and pricing.
While economic activity does still vary greatly across the Province, recent improvements in full-time employment, a continued increase in net migration, stable/improving lending conditions and lower price points in the housing markets have all led to greater stability. It will be no surprise if markets slow through the month of August but we are looking forward to a healthy Fall market if these conditions continue.  Knowing the markets within the markets, and how each area/community is being impacted is critical in pricing decisions for anyone looking to buy or sell.

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