Calgary’s final real estate numbers are in for 2018 and according to the Calgary Real Estate Board, they were anything but stellar.
CREB’s latest figures show overall home sales in 2018 dropped by 14.5 per cent compared to 2017. December’s sales were even worse, down about 21 per cent.
Benchmark prices also fell 1.5 per cent year over year, and 3.4 per cent in December.
There were some winners and losers last year. The losers were those who had their homes up for sale with no buyers. The winners were the buyers who got some great deals.
“There’s many buyers out there who are basically bottom feeders,” John Hripko said on Wednesday.
The realtor with Calgary’s Royal LePage Benchmark has been listing homes since 1984. He said 2018 was definitely a slower year, with buyers cashing in.
“Many buyers are expecting to have steals — not deals.”
CREB’s chief economist said the numbers for 2018 weren’t really a surprise, despite predictions that Calgary should have seen a bit of a recovery.
“It (the recovery) was supposed to be driven by economic improvements, which we just didn’t have,” Ann-Marie Lurie said. “In fact, we just had more troubles happening in the latter part of the year.”
Those troubles include a lack of job growth, a lack of pipelines, higher interest rates and tougher lending rules.
“This is not going to be a quick recovery,” Lurie said.
Some parts of the city are recovering better than others. It all depends on the area of the city, the type of home and the price point.
It also depends on the inventory levels and right now, those levels are not easing much.
Lurie said there are also other factors impacting the slow sales and prices.
Hripko, who also owns a property management and leasing company, said many sellers are choosing to go that route.
He added that some of his clients believe any money coming in is better than no money coming in.
“Right now, they’re hemorrhaging money because they have mortgages, utilities, taxes etc.,” he said. “So leasing it out will stop the hemorrhaging but it won’t necessarily stop the bleeding.”
Neither Hripko nor Lurie expect that bleeding to stop for a while.