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

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
Calgary (Total City) 15%6.5913%7.6414.50%6.9016.98%5.92.49%
City Centre 14%7.0612%8.5912.28%8.1416.82%5.94.54%
North East 14%6.9711%9.0923.70%4.2222.52%4.4-1.18%
North 15%6.7213%7.8312.24%8.1713.70%7.31.46%
North West 24%4.1815%6.7122.82%4.3819.59%5.1-3.23%
West 12%8.0211%8.839.41%10.6313.54%7.44.13%
South 17%5.7517%5.9317.76%5.6316.85%5.9-0.92%
South East 14%7.3916%6.0714.16%7.0618.55%5.44.39%
East 17%5.9116%6.2721.43%4.6721.28%4.7-0.15%

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

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