The overall trend we have seen this year of transitioning to a balanced market has now had a significant shift in the market. The real estate market for Canmore and the Bow Valley has gone from a very active fall market to a winter market more quickly than we anticipated. Great news if you are in the market for a home as we are now in a buyer’s market for homes in Canmore. A caveat to the stats below, due to being such a small market, our sample sizes are very small and can vary wildly. That being said, the trendlines are showing a shift in the market.
Month over month sales dropped 55% from October’s 63 sales to just 28 in November; year over year, sales are down 35%. The good news is that inventory levels continue to decline as fewer homes are coming to market and others are coming off the market for the winter. Currently there are 232 active listings, down 5% month over month; inventory is up 14% year over year.
This shifting market is a combination of the continued economic headwinds facing Alberta – other than locals moving within the market, our largest feeder markets are Calgary and Edmonton. The other challenge is most likely some post-election blues as those who were waiting out the federal election may decide not to pursue a secondary residence. Lastly, winter came in with a roar this year and the weather wasn’t ideal for looking at homes or making early ski season trips up to the mountains.
The single family home / duplex market has dramatically moved into a buyer’s market. At current absorption rates, there is 25 months of inventory on the market, the highest levels since 2011. Between the fall of 2016 and the fall of 2019, average prices for detached / semi-detached homes has been flat. The median price has however increased during this time. This is a reflection of the soft luxury market and stronger entry level market. The luxury market has been in buyer’s market territory for years and prices have softened. Whereas, the entry level market and mid-range market has had strong pricing pressure with low supply levels driving up the median price.
Townhouse absorption rates have increased significantly with almost 16 months of inventory at current sales and listing rates. Entry level townhomes remain scare while there is an abundance of supply of luxury townhomes and townhomes in Three Sisters. The three month average sale price of townhomes has decreased almost 8% year over year. This is a combination of fewer sales in the top end of the market and prices decreasing especially in the Stewart Creek area.
Over the next few months, we expect sales to be in the low 30s per month and listings to stabilize in the 220 range. Come spring, we do expect to see a surge of listings coming back to market that did not sell this fall. Pricing and being cognisant of the market and one’s competition will be very important.