Detached home sales in Calgary hit lowest level since the 1990s

Sales of detached homes in the city were down 8.6 per cent in October compared with the same month last year, bringing the year-to-date decline to 15 per cent.

Calgary Real Estate Board says this is the slowest level of detached home sales since the late 1990s

Sales of detached homes in Calgary fell 8.6 per cent in the month of October compared with the year before. (Robson Fletcher/CBC)

Sales of detached homes in Calgary are at their lowest level since the 1990s, according to numbers released by the Calgary Real Estate Board. 

There were 869 sales in the month of October, a drop of 8.6 per cent compared with the same month last year, bringing the overall year-to-date decline to 15 per cent.

So far this year, the largest drop in sales was in the $600,000 to $999,999 price range.

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The benchmark price of housing also fell for the fifth straight month in Calgary to $426,300, marking a year-over-year dip of 2.9 per cent.

As a result, sellers need to be realistic about pricing, says Corinne Lyall with Royal LePage Benchmark.

"You need to do a really good job of understanding what have been the most recent sales, where should I be pricing my home relative to the last sales that have occurred and where is the market going in my area," she said.

"If you are pricing your home simply because you need a certain amount out of your house, that's not going to help you."

The Calgary Real Estate Board attributes the sluggish sales to a lack of job growth as the unemployment rate in the city — which sat at 8.2 per cent in August and September — remains above levels expected for this year.

It's not all bad news, however.

"I believe that it's a good investor's market, so somebody that is potentially looking at property where they'll be renting it out, there are some positive signs the rental market is really good right now so it could be your opportunity," said Lyall.