Calgary housing sales slump could worsen in 2020

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Some local realtors are speaking out about the grim outlook for Alberta housing sales. As Silvana Benolich reports, they fear things will be even worse in 2020. – Nov 21, 2019

Some Calgary realtors fear the city’s housing sales slump will worsen in 2020.

Jamie Ruff has spent the last 20 years as a realtor in Calgary, but this is the most difficult one he’s faced.

“It’s been a tough place to live — and this is our fifth year in a recession,” Ruff said.

“I think a lot of couples are talking about leaving… They’re having those conversations now whereas before, they never considered leaving the city or selling their properties and looking elsewhere for jobs.”

READ MORE: Online real estate platform promises to save buyers and sellers time, money

The latest numbers from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) show homes are sitting on the market for 59 days before selling — up from 52 last year.

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According to CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie, challenges will continue to dog Calgary sellers in 2020.

“This is a long path back and I often view it as we’re almost seeing a new norm,” Lurie said.

“There isn’t really much change on the economic front… I can’t see what that driver will be for increased demand. So really, any adjustments that are going to come in the housing sector will be based off supply.”

Ruff worries Calgary could continue to be in a slump for a while because many people don’t realize how bad the economic situation really is.

“Calgary just figured this would be a flash in the pan and I think a lot of people started to go into debt and pull equity out of their homes,” Ruff said.

“Oil and gas is no longer able to just throw money at problems and solve them. The world is demanding more — our economy is changing — and I think we’re going through a revolution, of sorts.”