Calgary

Sales are up 55% but prices drop as Calgary housing market copes with COVID-19

Calgary’s housing market is regaining some pre-COVID-19 signs of health as sales figures rise, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

CREA report shows prices have dipped 2.8% since last June

Canada's housing market went into a deep freeze when pandemic-related lockdowns began in March. (Robson Fletcher/CBC)

Calgary's housing market is regaining some pre-COVID-19 signs of health as sales figures rise, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Home sales in Calgary rose 54.9 per cent in June on a month-over-month basis, CREA said in a release Wednesday.

However, prices in the Calgary market are continuing their downward trend.

The average selling price in Calgary in June was $405,200. That's down 2.8 per cent year-over-year from $417,000 in June 2019.

"Generally speaking, prices are re-accelerating east of Manitoba with the exception of Toronto for now. B.C. prices are also picking up with the exception of Vancouver. Home prices are declining in Calgary, while elsewhere on the Prairies prices are either flat or rising," CREA said.

Last month, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) predicted the average price of a house in Calgary could drop by tens of thousands of dollars over the next two years.

The country's real estate industry came to a near standstill earlier this year as non-essential businesses closed to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the country overall, CREA says, the market is starting to rebound both in terms of prices and sales.

The average price of a Canadian resale home was $539,000, up 6.5 per cent from the average price a year earlier. And it's up by more than 10 per cent from what it was just one month earlier, in May.

And a total of 41,628 homes changed hands during the month, an increase of 63 per cent from May's level, and a jump of more than 15 per cent compared with June 2019.

But while the national market may be hitting "normal levels," the overall market is "obviously not back to normal at this point," said Shaun Cathcart, CREA's senior economist.

"The market has recovered much faster than many would have thought, but what happens later this year remains a big question mark," said Cathcart in a statement.

"That said, daily tracking suggests that July, at least, will be even stronger."

With files from The Canadian Press

now