Calgary housing market continues to cool, board cites rising unemployment

Real estate signs marking residential properties for sale in Calgary, Alberta on Aug. 19, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal

Calgary’s real estate picture continues to diverge from the hot markets in Toronto and Vancouver with a 20th consecutive month of declining home sales in July.

The Calgary Real Estate Board said Tuesday that sales activity totalled 1,741 units last month, for a 12.6 decrease over last year.

READ MORE: Calgary real estate prices not as precarious as Vancouver, Toronto: market analysts 

Total detached home sales were down slightly less at 9.2 per cent, but with only 6,908 sales so far this year activity is 22 per cent below the 10-year average and at the lowest level since 1996.

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The real estate board said continued rising unemployment and fewer people coming to the city are helping contribute to the weaker Calgary market, where the economy has been hit by a significant fall in oil prices.

READ MORE: How knowing how much homes sell for could make it easier for you to buy a home in Canada

But a 10.2 per cent drop in listings helped prevent much further eroding of prices, which were down only slightly from the month before.

Calgary’s benchmark price, which aims to represent the price of a typical home, dropped only $400 from June, but at $440,000 is down 4.16 per cent from July 2015.

READ MORE: Calgary real estate market creates ‘accidental landlords’ forced to rent instead of sell

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