As expected, sales in April declined drastically with 12 sales; a year over year drop of 80% and month over month drop of 60% in total transactions. We need to look back to 2011 to find a similar month with as weak sales volumes. In January 2015, there were 14 sales for the month, however April is typically one of the best months of the year for volume. Year over year, between March 14th and May 6th, there has been a 75% drop in sales transactions. (April 2019 was an outlier with 90 sales; however, 30 of those transactions were new construction sales that had occurred earlier and just all posted in April; we have been using 60 sales in April 2019 for our calculations).
Jan 2009 10 sales and 397 active listings
Jan 2015 14 sales and 259 active listings
Aug 2011 14 sales and 485 active listings
As of yet, we have not seen a significant rise in active listings with year over year inventory up 6% to 241 active listings, which was expected. Month over month, listing are up 0.4%; if this were a normal (non-COVID time) we would have expected to see listing up month over month by 5-6% as homes came to the market in anticipation of the spring market.
What we are currently experiencing is both buyers and sellers sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what happens. We are very much in a buyer’s market at this point, but we have yet to see broad price decreases in the market. With only 12 sales, the sample size for statistics is very hard to determine. Before COVID really started to take hold, we were experiencing downward pressure on the townhouse market in particular in Three Sisters due to the concentration of listings in the community. If we continue to see months of low sales volume, we expect to see a decrease in values.
Detached & Semi Detached Homes 5 sales down 58% median price $1,165,000 up 44% year over year
Townhouses 3 sales down 86% median price $645,000 up 6% year over year
Apartment Condominiums 2 sales down 95% median sale price $464,000 down 22% year over year
Hotel Condominiums 1 sale down 94% median sale price $504,000 up 23% year over year
The majority of the buyers in the market currently are looking for a deal or a unicorn. Sellers must be prepared for offers to start well below market value unless they are already aggressively priced. Our suggestions to sellers at this point is if you want to sell – it is better to be ahead of the market than chasing it.
No one knows what things will look like in the next few months to a year. Much depends on the safe and timely reopening of the economy and eventual reopening of borders. Anecdotally, many agents we know in US resort markets say sales are brisk with buyers leaving large urban centres and trying to secure homes in resort markets to escape to. Canada does not necessarily have the population to see the same exodus and the oil markets will limit the capability of many of our traditionally Alberta based buyers to make a second home purchase. With international borders closed, US or European buyers who would consider purchasing here are currently prevented from using their secondary residences.
We are continuing to showcase all of our listings through virtual tours, virtual showings and in person showings with the proper COVID-19 protocols.