Calgary remains a buyer's market awash with inventory

Tuesday, December 24, 2019   /   by Sergey Korostensky

Calgary remains a buyer's market awash with inventory

As of November 2019, Calgary remained a buyer’s market amid oversupply, while home prices dropped by 2% (down to $419,100) on an annual basis, latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association indicated.


Sales levels last month were also only a little above 2018 levels. Detached home transactions remained almost flat, but around 20% than long-term trends.


“Like some of the other sectors, the detached market is slowly moving toward more balanced conditions. However, it is still oversupplied, and this trend continues to weigh on prices,” CREA stated in its most recent market report, as quoted by CBC News.


“Achieving more stable conditions will take time. Sales activity has been settling in at lower levels and is likely being influenced by the economic conditions and uncertainty weighing on our market,” CREA chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie added.


Weaker purchasing power is a major component of the phenomenon. 


Despite some promising signs of recovery earlier this year, the Albertan economy continues to struggle with the impact of oil sector weakness, with the province losing 18,000 jobs last month alone.


In an interview with the Calgary Sun, University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe said that this was the worst monthly drop in employment in five years, as well as the second-largest monthly decline ever registered in the province.


Tombe also noted that Alberta has lost approximately 60,000 jobs in the last five years. The province’s unemployment rate is now at 7.2%.


“Over the past year, employment has remained roughly flat but population kept growing,” Tombe stated.


“It’s incredibly unfortunate to see so many Albertans lose their jobs before the holidays,” according to Deron Bilous, NDP critic for Economic Development, Trade and Tourism. “The UCP’s risky experiment to hand over billions of dollars to corporations has failed Albertans. All we’ve seen are companies taking their corporate tax gift and creating jobs in Wisconsin.”


This development came amid the latest Statistics Canada data release, which indicated that national employment significantly weakened in November.


The Canadian economy suffered the loss of 71,200 jobs last month, far exceeding the decline of 1,800 in October. This was the largest labour market decline since 2009, StatsCan stated.


“Canada’s jobs report is disappointing, showing job losses for the second month in a row,” ZipRecruiter labour economist Julia Pollak told BNN Bloomberg.


Despite some promising signs of recovery earlier this year, Alberta continues to struggle with the economic impact of oil sector weakness.


The province lost 18,000 jobs in November alone. University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe noted that this was the worst monthly drop in employment in five years, as well as the second-largest monthly decline ever registered in the province.


“Over the past year, employment has remained roughly flat but population kept growing,” Tombe told the Calgary Sun.


Overall, Alberta has lost approximately 60,000 jobs in the last five years. The province’s unemployment rate is currently at 7.2%.