The Big Slump: No heat in Alberta Real Estate

Posted by on Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 at 11:15am.

Sales across the province have fallen and they can’t get up.

Real estate boards across the province checked in with the Alberta Real Estate Board, reporting MLS® activity for June 2016 and it’s just as everyone suspects. More than 6,000 transactions occurred in Alberta in June, but that number is still down by 9.2% from June 2015. 

When comparing the first six months of 2016 to the previous year, sales on average are 10% below 2015 numbers in Alberta.  Meanwhile in the rest of the country, sales activity from June to June is actually up by 5.2%.

How are home prices holding up?

Across Alberta, the average home price was $397,269 which didn’t far too badly in comparing June 2015 prices.  This average is down by just 1.4% - certainly a manageable or perhaps cautiously optimistic drop.   When reviewing the first six months of this year compared to the same time period of 2015, the average price is in the same range - $393,442 which is only a drop of 1.1% in this time frame.   The average home price nationally last month, was $503,301 which is a jump of 11.2% which puts Alberta well below the national average.  It’s not a place that Alberta likes to be.

Regional breakdown

Reports outlining average homes prices collated from the various real estate associations across Alberta paint an interesting picture.  It’s up and down when comparing June 2016 prices with June 2015.

  • Lethbridge:  2% gain
  • Calgary:  0.2% gain
  • Edmonton: 0.6% drop
  • Lloydminster: 2.1% drop
  • Grande Prairie: 4.5% drop
  • Medicine Hat: 5.2% drop
  • Fort McMurray: 19.9% drop  (although these numbers may or may not reflect the extraordinary circumstances the city found itself in)

Outside Alberta cities, Central Alberta experienced a 5.3% drop, Alberta West down 9.7% and South Central Alberta 32.3%.

The story on inventory

In June 2016, 10,349 residential units entered the MLS® system across the province which is 4.4% less than June 2015.  The number of properties actively for sale as of the end of June was 29,432 and that number represents 11.5% more properties for sale across Alberta than what we had in June 2015.   This number means there is 4.9 months of available inventory in Alberta, a bit of a jump from the 4 months’ worth available at the end of June 2015.

Adding it all up

In total, home sales in Alberta in June 2016 came in at $2.4 billion which is 10.5% less than June the previous year.  Compared nationally, the dollar volume in June this year was 16.9% more than June 2015 with big ticket items in Vancouver and Toronto helping to bump up sales figures.

Big city story

Edmonton:  The REALTORS® Association reported MLS® sales in June came in at 2,063, a drop of 10.1% from June 2015.  The dollar volume was $768.8 million, a decrease of 10.7% from June 2015.

Calgary:  CREB® reported 2,589 MLS® sales in June 2016, a drop of 7.4% from 2015.  The dollar volume was $1.2 billion, down 7.2% year-over-year.

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