Calgary

Condo sales in Calgary drop to 2010 levels

Calgary’s new condominium market has slumped to sales numbers not seen since 2010, a new report says.

But over 500 sales in 1st quarter 'remarkably strong' given economic slump, analyst says

Calgary's new condominium market has slumped to sales numbers not seen since 2010, a new report says.

In the first quarter of 2015, sales totals were down 61 per cent compared to the first quarter of last year, the Altus Group market update says.

And so far this year sales are 53 per cent lower than the average over the past five years.

But Altus research director Matthew Boukall says the volume of new home sales is actually remarkably strong given the gloomy economic outlook.

"For the first three months of the year, there were lots of negative media stories about how bad the economy was becoming in Alberta, yet over 500 consumers still went out and purchased a new home," he said in an email to CBC News.

Boukall says it's particularly significant that people are still confident enough to buy new homes.

The vast majority of the sales so far this year are for homes that have not even been built, or in some cases are not even under construction, he says.

One reason sales are down from recent years is that fewer investors are buying condos to rent out.

"Sales launch activity is substantially weaker than the past few years with investors having effectively exited the market for the time being," the report says.

The available inventory of new condominium supplies is up to over 2,700 units, the highest level since 2008.

Boukall says the cooler economic climate is dampening rental demand, providing less of an incentive for investors to spend in the condo market.

"Unlike Vancouver or Toronto which has a significantly larger foreign investor segment — and who have benefited from the drop in the Canadian dollar — Calgary has seen comparatively little foreign investment, which means our sales volumes will decline with the economy," he said. 

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