Alberta MLS sales spike to start 2018

Calgary sales of 1,140 were down 0.6 per cent year-over-year while they rose by 10.8 per cent in Edmonton to 1,034

Mario ToneguzziThe new year started off on a good note for the resale housing market in Alberta.

According to statistics released on Thursday by the Canadian Real Estate Association, there were 2,984 MLS transactions in the province in January, up 6.8 per cent from a year ago. The average sale price though dipped 1.5 per cent to $380,230.

In Calgary, MLS sales of 1,140 were down 0.6 per cent year-over-year while they rose by 10.8 per cent in Edmonton to 1,034.

The Calgary average sale price of $451,953 was up 0.2 per cent from last year while the Edmonton average sale price fell by 1.3 per cent to $360,254.

Across Canada, total sales decreased by 2.4 per cent to 24,931 but the average sale price rose 2.3 per cent to $481,562.

“The piling on of yet more mortgage rule changes that took effect starting New Year’s Day has created homebuyer uncertainty and confusion,” said CREA president Andrew Peck. “At the same time, the changes do nothing to address government concerns about home prices that stem from an ongoing supply shortage in major markets like Vancouver and Toronto. Unless these supply shortages are addressed, concerns will persist.”

“The decline in January sales provides clear evidence that the strength in activity late last year reflected a pull-forward of transactions, as rational homebuyers hurried to purchase before mortgage rules changed in 2018,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist. “At the same time, a large decline in new listings prevented market balance from shifting in favour of homebuyers.”

See the CREA report at https://goo.gl/vbUcpa

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.


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