Real Estate News

Vast majority of Greater Calgary doesn’t favour sellers, but there are pockets (October 2018)

Believe it or not, there are three small areas in Greater Calgary that favour sellers but the vast majority are firmly entrenched in a buyer's market
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Selling a single-family home in Greater Calgary, Alberta is a challenge. It’s not that inventory isn’t moving, it is, just at a much slower pace than sellers and their agents would like.

According to the latest housing statistics report from the Calgary Real Estate Board, the city’s total sales activity was an anaemic 1,272 units in September — 13% decrease from September 2017. While all housing types were affected, detached units suffered the highest decrease.

“Calgary’s economy continues to struggle with unemployment, which rose again last month to over 8%. Concerns in the employment market, higher lending rates and shaken confidence are weighing on housing demand,” stated Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s Chief Economist. “At the same time, supply levels continue to remain high, resulting in persistent oversupply and price declines.”

But there’s always a silver lining. The decreased sales activity and persistent price declines make this a great time for buyers looking to get a great deal on a house or semi-detached house in the Greater Calgary Area.

Here’s an overall snapshot of the current Greater Calgary Area housing market:


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Key takeaway: Buyers looking for acreages are in luck

In a buyer’s market, the prospective buyer has the upper hand and nowhere is this more evident than in Greater Calgary. Buyers can really take the time to shop around and compare before doing their due diligence on a single-family home. What’s impressive is that buyers looking for a property close to the city, but with a bit of land and view, are really in a bargaining position at the moment. Many areas in Greater Calgary that are in a buyer’s market are the more rural spots that offer land and mountain views. For a few areas that appear to really favour buyers, consider the following (ranked based on the market absorption ratio or sales-to-listings ratio):

10 Top Regions in Greater Calgary that Favour Single-Family Home Buyers

  1. Three Hills, Kneehill Region
  2. Rural Foothills, Foothills Region
  3. Trochu, Kneehill Region
  4. Heritage Pointe, Foothills Region
  5. Rural Mountain View, Mountain View Region
  6. Rural Vulcan, Vulcan Region
  7. Stavely, Willow Creek Region
  8. Rural Rocky View, Rocky View Region
  9. Rural Wheatland, Wheatland Region
  10. Sundre, Mountain View Region

What should seller’s expect?

Things don’t look great for sellers in the Greater Calgary marketplace. Not that you can’t sell a home, but you need to be competitive, realistic and have stamina. There are pockets were sellers can still expect to have a bit of say, but they are few and far between. By our count, only three areas in Greater Calgary recorded inventory and sales that put them in a seller’s market. Those regions were:

3 Top Areas in Greater Calgary that Favour Sellers

  1. Blackie, Foothills Region
  2. Champion, Vulcan Region
  3. Cayley, Foothills Region

Why use active listings versus new listings?

We examined the Greater Calgary market for single family homes using the sales-to-active listings ratio and not sales-to-new-listings (SNLR) ratio. This means we compare demand — all homes sold within a given period of time — with current supply (all homes available for sale within a given period of time), without omitting stale listings — homes that weren’t new listings that month, but are still available because they haven’t sold, yet.

The sales-to-active listing ratio gives a more realistic and comprehensive view of supply and demand for a particular region over a specified period of time — commonly referred to as the market absorption rate. It’s also why the sales-to-active-listings ratio is also known as the Market Absorption Rate.

Expressed as a percentage, the sales-to-active ratio (or MAR – Market Absorption Rate) is 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 higher the ratio, the more demand for the property and the more opportunity a seller will have to attract a higher price for their home for sale. A lower ratio indicates slower sales and the potential for falling house prices. 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.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB), 0 to 2 ½ months of supply (available inventory divided by the number of sales in the last 30 days) puts a region in a seller’s market. Inventory that will last more than 4 ½ months is a region considered to be in a buyer’s market. Any region with inventory between  2 ½ to 4 ½ months of inventory is considered to be in a balanced market.

Romana King
Romana King

Romana is an award-winning personal finance writer with an expertise in real estate. She is obsessed with the property marketplace and is the current Director of Content at Zolo.