Calgary home sales soared in June
July 23, 2020
Housing sales in Calgary surged 55 per cent in June compared to a month earlier, part of a national recovery that has seen housing sales defy predictions of a prolonged COVID-19 slowdown.
Across Canada, June sales were up 63 per cent from a month earlier and 150 per cent above where they were in June 2019, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
The sales spike is in sharp contrast to a recent forecast from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
CMHC predicted that average housing prices would fall by 9 to 18 per cent this year.
As of June, the average price for a home sold through the multiple listing service of Canadian real estate boards was up 5.4 per cent from a year earlier and 0.5 per cent higher than in May.
“The market has recovered much faster than many would have thought, but what happens later this year remains a big question mark. That said, daily tracking suggests that July, at least, will be even stronger,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA's senior economist.
Calgary’s sales increase in June was indicative of action in major markets across Western Canada. Sales were up month-over-month by 60.3 per cent in Greater Vancouver, 59 per cent in Edmonton and 22.5 per cent in Winnipeg, CREA noted.
The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) injected a note of caution while it celebrated the upturn.
“Recent price declines, easing mortgage rates and early easing of social restrictions are likely contributing to the better-than-expected sales this month,” said CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “However, the market remains far from normal. Challenges, such as double-digit unemployment rates, will continue to weigh on the market for months to come.”
She added that Calgary sales remain about 2 per cent lower than in June 2019. The benchmark composite price of a Calgary home is now $405,200—down 2.8 per cent from a year ago and well below the national benchmark price of $538,831 as of June 2020.