Alberta’s home sales in the second half of March plummeted by 9% year-over-year, and new listings suffered a more dramatic 15% drop, according to the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA).
This is after the coronavirus pandemic essentially wiped out the market gains seen during the promising first few days of the month.
“This is an unprecedented time with a significant amount of uncertainty,” AREA chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie said, as quoted by CBC News.
“It is not a surprise to see these concerns also weigh on the housing market,” Lurie noted, adding that the shockwaves “will likely persist over the next several quarters.”
Calgary, which was already wrestling with less-than-stellar performance in the higher-end market even before the COVID-19 crisis, was hit especially hard.
Even outside the luxury housing sector, the city’s home sales activity is now 24% lower than the five-year average, and new listings contracted by nearly 19% annually, AREA stated.
“The Calgary market was already struggling with oversupply and price declines prior to the recent changes caused by the pandemic and oil price crash,” the Association explained.
However, there is a silver lining, as “the reductions in both demand and supply will help prevent steeper price declines.”