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Consumer confidence blamed for a drop in housing sales in Calgary

The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) says monthly housing sales in the city have fallen to levels ‘not seen in five years’.

January sales totaled 880 units – well below typical activity, according to CREB.

CREB’s chief economist says economic conditions this year are now expected to be weaker than originally estimated in December.

Low oil prices combined with a drop in consumer confidence is to blame, according to Ann-Marie Lurie.

CREB says many people are concerned about their employment status, and that has led to weaker sales activity.

In January, sales levels were more than 35 per cent lower than the 10-year average. At the same time, new listings jumped by 39 per cent city-wide, causing inventory levels to rise.

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CREB says however, benchmark prices are still ‘relatively stable’.

January benchmark prices totaled $459,000, a 7.7 per cent increase compared to the same month last year.