Home sales stumble in oil-producing markets

by Ryan Smith18 Nov 2015
Calgary’s resale housing market saw the biggest decline in the nation in October, according to new data from the Canadian Real Estate Association.

MLS sales in the region came in at just 1,810 in October – a 36.4% drop from a year ago. That’s the largest decline among Canada’s major housing markets, according to CREA. In Alberta as a whole, sales fell 28.9% to 4,327 transactions.

Nationally, however, MLS sales were up 0.1%. According to CREA, national MLS sales activity came near the peak recorded earlier in the year, and was at the second-highest level in nearly six years.

Calgary’s decline – along with declines in many cities – was driven in large part by softening oil prices, BMO Capital Markets chief economist Doug Porter told the Calgary Herald.

“The renewed sag in oil in recent months looks to have triggered a renewed weakening in housing markets across much of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Six of the 25 major markets reported double-digit declines in sales last month, and four of those were in these two provinces,” he said.

Sales also dropped 16.3% year-over-year in Edmonton, 21.4% in Saskatoon, and 12.3% in Regina.

“Markets in oil-producing provinces continue to be incredibly weak,” Diana Petramala, economist with TD Economics, said.

However, Petramala said overall Canadian home sales continued to see boosts from hot markets in Ontario and British Columbia, according to the Herald. While Calgary saw its average MLS sale price drop 4.4% from October 2014, the average sale price across Canada jumped by 8.3%.

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