Tough times continue to weigh on Calgary and Alberta home sellers

Click to play video: 'Tough times continue to plague Calgary and Alberta homeowners looking to sell'
Tough times continue to plague Calgary and Alberta homeowners looking to sell
WATCH: Home sales continue to slump in Calgary and across Alberta, in some cases declining to levels not seen since the late 1990's. Tomasia DaSilva speaks to one homeowner whose home hasn't sold in months and indications more tough times are ahead – Nov 5, 2018

When Scott Hartley put his Calgary home up for sale back in June, he thought it may take a few weeks to sell. He was wrong. Months later, it’s still on the market, despite three price drops.

“We started at $700,000,” Hartley said.

Recent figures from The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) show Hartley’s situation is not surprising.

Overall home sales declined almost 10 per cent in October across the city, with detached home sales down to levels not seen since the late 1990’s.

The homes seeing the biggest sales decline are those in the $600,000 to $999,999 range.

Benchmark prices have also fallen almost three per cent.

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CREB credited the continuing slump to concerns over job growth and rising cost of ownership, with both holding buyers back from taking the leap.

“The offers aren’t there. We’re getting lots of good positive feedback, yet no offers,” Hartley said. “Even low-ball offers.

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“Even though everybody is talking about it being a buyer’s market, we’re not seeing buyers really being active.”

The latest numbers come at the same time as a new report examining the challenges, preferences and home-buying habits of modern families — a moniker for young urban families, specifically between the ages of 20 and 45.

The 2018 Modern Family Home Ownership Trends Report from Sotheby’s International Realty found about half of Canadians have abandoned the dream of owning a single-family home.

In Calgary the numbers aren’t as high, but buyers remain cautious.

“They’re abandoning the belief that they can make enough money to afford the down payment,” Sotheby’s president and CEO Brad Henderson said.

Henderson also believes new mortgage stress tests are keeping buyers from investing.

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However, he doesn’t think it will be a long-term problem for the city or the province as both economies recover.

“I think the Alberta market will come back in a positive way over the next 12-18 months.”

Hartley hopes it doesn’t take that long. He can stick it out for a while, and even lower the price a bit, but there are limits.

“Every individual has got their floor that they can’t go below and I’m pretty close to that.”

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