COVID-19’s impact on Calgary housing market continues
City of Calgary, June 1, 2020 – Housing market activity in May remained slow, but sales exceeded the lows from April, which saw less than 600 sales in Calgary.
May sales totalled 1,080 units, a 44 per cent decline from last year’s figures.
“The initial shock of COVID-19 and social distancing measure is starting to ease. This is bringing some buyers and sellers back to the market. However, this market continues to remain far from normal and prices are trending down,” said CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
“Activity has also shifted toward more affordable product, which is likely causing differing trends depending on product type and price range.”
Sales are down in all price ranges, but a greater share of sales are priced below $500,000.
In the higher price ranges the drop in inventory has not been enough compared to the drop in sales.
Additionally, the months of supply is far higher than the already elevated levels seen during the past five years.
The shift in sales toward lower-priced product is contributing to steep average price declines in the Calgary market. Benchmark pricing, which reflects comparisons of the same type of home, has eased by over two per cent compared to last year and 0.4 per cent compared to last month. This does not come as a surprise as the market continues to struggle with more supply than demand.
COVID-19 and social distancing measures have contributed to rising unemployment rates and job losses throughout many economic sectors. This is weighing on consumer confidence and the housing market. Some of this job loss is temporary, but the energy sector remains the largest concern.
Significant job loss throughout the typically higher-paid professional and technical services sector points to a longer adjustment period in the housing market, particularly in the higher end of the market.