Calgary's luxury real estate market shows signs of 'rebalancing,' says Sotheby's report

Calgary's $1 million-plus real estate market is likely to stay stuck in the doldrums for some time to come given the city's fragile economic recovery, a new report from Sotheby's International Realty Canada predicts.

Sales of Calgary homes valued at over $1 million dipped by 21 per cent year-over-year in the first half of 2019, says the national real estate sales and marketing company's fall report.

"In spite of a six per cent uptick in overall residential sales in the City of Calgary in August 2019, as well as easing listings supply through the summer months according to the Calgary Real Estate Board, the city's top-tier real estate market performance was muted leading into the fall," the report said.

After falling 65 per cent in the first half of 2019 from 2018 levels, Calgary's luxury condominium market showed a nominal uptick over the summer months. And in the first two weeks of September there seemed to be evidence of some "rebalancing" in the market as $1 million-sales rose by 10 per cent, an uptick to 23 properties, the report said.

"Out of all the markets, Calgary is the one that's lagging behind," said Don Kottick, president of Sotheby's International Realty Canada.

He says it continues to be a buyer's market for luxury homes in Calgary.

"One of the things we're finding in the top-tier market — the $1 million-plus category — the supply continues to outstrip demand."

The report says the potential of rising inventory is another challenge to the recovery of the city's luxury home market.

Calgary ReMax agent Ron Garneau says he finds he needs to coach new clients to curb their expectations when they go to sell their luxury homes.

"Obviously nobody wants to sell for a loss, so some people are having to sell for less money. So they're sitting longer on the market," he said.