Housing Market News

Buyers’ and sellers’ markets in Calgary (December 2018)

The vast majority of Metro and Greater Calgary still sits in a buyer's market — but the market is stable and has been for the last four months
Calgary Market Report - December 2018 - Zolo
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The real estate markets in Metro and Greater Calgary feels a bit battered. The Alberta economy continues to struggle since the price of oil per barrel collapsed almost five years ago. It’s bad enough that both federal and provincial governments are working hard to get the economic pipeline that relies on oil back online.

For current homeowners, this economic stagnation has meant that most of Metro and Greater Calgary sits in a buyer’s market. Over the last four months, since we started tracking the market absorption rate — calculated by taking the total number of sales at the end of a given time period (in this case, a calendar month) and dividing it by the total number of active listings available during the same time period — the overall market has been pretty stable.

For instance, for single-family homes (also known as freeholds), in Greater Calgary, the market in August showed:

  • 46% were in a buyer’s market
  • 19% were in a balanced market
  • and 3% were in a seller’s market
  • (the remaining neighbourhoods recorded no transactions that month)

By November:

  • 49% of the single-family home markets in Greater Calgary were in a buyer’s market
  • while 11% of the Greater Calgary single-family home communities were in a balanced market
  • and 1.5% were in sellers’ markets.

For Metro Calgary, the trend was very similar:

In August:

  • 86% of Metro Calgary’s condo and townhouse markets were in a buyer’s market
  • only 1 in 7 of Metro Calgary’s communities was in a balanced market (the city’s NorthWest area)
  • while 0% of communities were in a seller’s market
  • For single-family homes, 57% of the areas were in a buyer’s market
  • 43% of the areas were in a balanced market
  • and no neighbourhoods were in a seller’s market

By the end of November, nothing had changed:

  • 86% of Metro Calgary’s condo and townhouse markets were still in a buyer’s market
  • There was still only 1 in 7 of Metro Calgary’s communities in a balanced market (this time it was the city’s NorthEast area)
  • while 0% of communities were in a seller’s market for condo and townhouse markets

For single-family homes:

  • 57% of the areas were in a buyer’s market
  • 43% of the areas were in a balanced market
  • and no neighbourhoods were in a seller’s market

Remember, a balanced market is when the supply of housing meets the demand from potential buyers. In a balanced market, sellers usually accept reasonable, close-to-list-price offers; homes typically stay on the market for close to the average number of days and prices remain fairly stable within the region.

To help you assess what you need to know about the precise neighbourhood or communities you are currently interested in, here are the results for the Zolo Market Report for December 2018. We created a searchable list that allows you to find your neighbourhood or to sort by market absorption rate or degree of monthly change.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, an area is in a seller’s market when housing supply equals 2.5 months or less. The area is in a balanced market when housing inventory is between 2.5 months and 4.5 months. A buyer’s market exists when there is more than 4.5 months of inventory. when there are  balanced territory when the sales-to-listings ratio is between 35% and 55%. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, ratios above 55% indicate a seller’s market, while ratios below 35% indicate a buyer’s market.

To help, we identified balanced markets in green, seller’s markets in orange and buyer’s markets in yellow.

Metro Calgary Condo & Townhouse Market – December

AreaMarket Absorption Rate (Aug)Months of Inventory (Aug)Market Absorption Rate (Sept)Months of Inventory (Sept)Market Absorption Rate (Oct)Months of Inventory (Oct)Market Absorption Rate (Nov)Months of Inventory (Nov)Month-to-month change
East 17%5.9116%6.2721.43%4.6721.28%4.7-0.15%
South East 14%7.3916%6.0714.16%7.0618.55%5.44.39%
South 17%5.7517%5.9317.76%5.6316.85%5.9-0.92%
West 12%8.0211%8.839.41%10.6313.54%7.44.13%
North West 24%4.1815%6.7122.82%4.3819.59%5.1-3.23%
North 15%6.7213%7.8312.24%8.1713.70%7.31.46%
North East 14%6.9711%9.0923.70%4.2222.52%4.4-1.18%
City Centre 14%7.0612%8.5912.28%8.1416.82%5.94.54%
Calgary (Total City) 15%6.5913%7.6414.50%6.9016.98%5.92.49%

Metro Calgary Single-Family Home Market – December

AreaMarket Absorption Rate (Aug)Months of Inventory (Aug)Market Absorption Rate (Sept)Months of Inventory (Sept)Market Absorption Rate (Oct)Months of Inventory (Oct)Market Absorption Rate (Nov)Months of Inventory (Nov)Month-to-month change
East 22%4.4617%5.7722.14%4.5227.83%3.65.68%
South East 27%3.6520%4.9923.09%4.3319.07%5.2-4.02%
South 18%5.4718%5.4922.31%4.4822.54%4.40.23%
West 20%4.9516%6.1015.40%6.4917.11%5.81.71%
North West 26%3.9221%4.6721.83%4.5817.73%5.6-4.10%
North 19%5.1418%5.5923.68%4.2222.24%4.5-1.44%
North East 19%5.1922%4.6520.93%4.7817.49%5.7-3.44%
City Centre 13%7.5411%9.1313.77%7.2613.49%7.4-0.28%
Calgary (Total City) 20%5.0018%5.7019.90%5.0318.56%5.4-1.34%

Greater Calgary Residential Market Report – December

AreaMarket Absorption Rate (Aug)Months of Inventory (Aug)Market Absorption Rate (Sept)Months of Inventory (Sept)Market Absorption Rate (Oct)Months of Inventory (Oct)Market Absorption Rate (Nov)Months of Inventory (Nov)Month-to-month change
Other - Bighorn ----31.25%3.2015.38%6.5022.22%4.506.84%
Canmore 26.60%3.7627.47%3.6414.74%6.7920.00%5.005.26%
Rural Bighorn 0.00%--0.00%--10.00%10.0025.00%4.0015.00%
Bighorn Region (Total)20.80%4.8125.21%3.9714.41%6.9420.56%4.866.15%
Other - Vulcan ----15.38%6.500.00%--20.00%5.0020.00%
Champion 0.00%--50.00%2.0025.00%4.000.00%---25.00%
Carmangay 0.00%--12.50%8.000.00%--0.00%--0.00%
Vulcan 3.33%30.006.90%14.506.90%14.500.00%---6.90%
Rural Vulcan 2.44%41.005.26%19.003.57%28.000.00%---3.57%
Vulcan Region (Total)2.97%33.679.78%10.225.33%18.752.70%37.00-2.63%
Other - Willow Creek ----0.00%--0.00%--0.00%--0.00%
Stavely 6.25%16.005.56%18.007.14%14.0014.29%7.007.14%
Nanton 11.90%8.4015.79%6.3331.25%3.205.88%17.00-25.37%
Claresholm 4.76%21.0019.44%5.1410.26%9.7511.76%8.501.51%
Rural Willow Creek 26.67%3.750.00%--0.00%--0.00%--0.00%
Willow Creek Region (Total)10.26%9.7512.50%8.0013.76%7.277.84%12.75-5.92%
Other - Wheatland ----4.76%21.000.00%--0.00%--0.00%
Gleichen 0.00%--33.33%3.000.00%--0.00%--0.00%
Strathmore 11.56%8.6512.88%7.7611.04%9.0611.11%9.000.07%
Rockyford 28.57%3.5020.00%5.000.00%--40.00%2.5040.00%
Lyalta 33.33%3.009.09%11.008.33%12.0010.00%10.001.67%
Carseland 50.00%2.000.00%--0.00%--0.00%--0.00%
Rural Wheatland 7.14%14.006.25%16.008.33%12.000.00%---8.33%
Wheatland Region (Total)11.57%8.6510.59%9.449.05%11.058.60%11.63-0.45%
Other - Kneehill ----0.00%--0.00%--0.00%--0.00%
Trochu 12.00%8.334.17%24.004.35%23.003.85%26.00-0.50%
Torrington 0.00%--0.00%------0.00%----
Three Hills 7.32%13.672.38%42.008.82%11.330.00%---8.82%
Linden 20.00%5.000.00%--40.00%2.500.00%---40.00%
Acme 0.00%--23.08%4.337.69%13.0018.18%5.5010.49%
Rural Kneehill 5.56%18.007.69%13.007.69%13.009.09%11.001.40%
Kneehill Region (Total)8.77%11.405.66%17.678.42%11.884.30%23.25-4.12%
Other - Mountain View ----0.00%--22.22%4.5014.29%7.00-7.94%
Olds 10.66%9.387.87%12.7011.54%8.679.00%11.11-2.54%
Didsbury 16.67%6.0016.67%6.008.93%11.2018.52%5.409.59%
Cremona 0.00%--20.00%5.000.00%--0.00%--0.00%
Carstairs 14.12%7.089.41%10.6311.54%8.6712.33%8.110.79%
Rural Mountain View 10.08%9.925.17%19.336.32%15.834.94%20.25-1.38%
Mountain View Region (Total)12.42%8.058.31%12.039.37%10.689.97%10.030.61%
Other - Foothills ----0.00%--0.00%--0.00%--0.00%
Longview 0.00%--0.00%------0.00%----
Priddis Greens 6.67%15.007.14%14.000.00%--0.00%--0.00%
Turner Valley 22.58%4.4317.24%5.807.69%13.004.00%25.00-3.69%
Okotoks 10.71%9.3313.86%7.2217.24%5.809.25%10.81-7.99%
High River 18.90%5.2916.92%5.9114.05%7.1210.71%9.33-3.34%
Heritage Pointe 20.00%5.005.00%20.005.13%19.500.00%---5.13%
De Winton 0.00%--0.00%--0.00%--0.00%--0.00%
Cayley 14.29%7.0040.00%2.500.00%--0.00%--0.00%
Blackie 20.00%5.00--0.000.00%--0.00%--0.00%
Black Diamond 27.59%3.639.68%10.3314.81%6.750.00%---14.81%
Rural Foothills 8.26%12.103.29%30.385.70%17.548.16%12.252.46%
Foothills Region (Total) 14.84%6.7412.02%8.3211.57%8.647.42%13.48-4.15%
Other - Rocky View ----14.29%7.000.00%--10.00%10.0010.00%
Redwood Meadows 0.00%--13.33%7.506.25%16.008.33%12.002.08%
Langdon 22.50%4.4415.79%6.334.65%21.5013.51%7.408.86%
Irricana 45.45%2.207.69%13.0042.86%2.3333.33%3.00-9.52%
Crossfield 15.38%6.5011.90%8.4010.00%10.007.27%13.75-2.73%
Cochrane 13.04%7.6712.78%7.8315.87%6.3014.05%7.12-1.82%
Chestermere 13.66%7.3213.83%7.2311.88%8.4213.73%7.291.85%
Bragg Creek 17.39%5.7510.00%10.0011.76%8.5030.77%3.2519.00%
Beiseker 0.00%--10.00%10.0020.00%5.008.33%12.00-11.67%
Rural Rocky View 8.04%12.445.64%17.736.23%16.047.29%13.711.06%
Rocky View Region (Total)11.78%8.4910.37%9.6510.81%9.2511.36%8.800.56%
City of Calgary18.35%5.4516.01%6.2518.00%5.5618.01%5.550.01%

Romana King and David Weisz
Romana King and David Weisz

Romana is an award-winning personal finance writer with an expertise in real estate. David is a Toronto-based journalist who specializes in data-driven reporting.

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