Mario ToneguzziA new housing market scorecard by BMO Capital Markets lists both Calgary and Edmonton as being in buyer’s market conditions.

The report said that sales in the existing home market were down 7.8 per cent year over year in Calgary and by 2.6 per cent in Edmonton.

The report also said that average sale price fell by 1.7 per cent year-over-year in Calgary and by 3.1 per cent in Edmonton.

Compared to the 10-year annual average, Calgary is off by 16.4 per cent and Edmonton is down by 5.6 per cent.

“Firm global oil prices aren’t helping much amid pronounced weakness in Canadian prices and persistent pipeline uncertainty,” said Douglas Porter, BMO’s chief economist.

Across Canada, average sale prices were up 0.1 per cent in August but sales fell by 5.4 per cent and sales are off 2.4 per cent from the long-term average.

“The national results for August showed that existing sales, most measures of prices, and even new listings were again little-changed from year-ago levels. That’s quite a change from the wild swings in all measures in recent years. However, the outward calm masks some still-serious regional shifts beneath the placid surface,” said Porter.

“A stabilization in the Toronto area stands in the middle of a renewed correction in Vancouver area sales, but budding strength in some other central Canadian markets. From an overall macro standpoint, the key take-away is that the housing market is for now no longer a major source of concern for policymakers, especially with household borrowing decelerating notably.”

Calgary and Edmonton are both seeing tepid demand in the resale housing market these days with an elevated level of listings.

The housing markets are still being impacted by the province’s overall economy. In late 2014, oil prices collapsed sending the economy in Alberta into a tailspin. Recessions were recorded in both 2015 and 2016. The economy bounced back in 2017 with solid growth and continues to move in a positive direction this year. But economic experts say the recovery is a slow one.

Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

Calgary, Edmonton buyer's markets for housing but demand slumps

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