Real estate slowed after strong start at beginning of March

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Calgary’s real estate market started hot last month, but cooled significantly as the COVID-19 pandemic struck the city, recent data shows.

The Calgary Real Estate Board published its March numbers earlier this month, pointing to a strong start only to see sales, prices and news listings begin to fall as the COVID-19 crisis grew.

“Before everything happened, things were looking a lot better for our city,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with CREB.

“The first two weeks saw growth in sales, but by the last couple of weeks we saw reductions in the 20 to 30 per cent range.”

Overall, March ended with sales falling by more than 11 per cent compared with the same month last year. Sales activity was also 37 per cent below long-term averages. In fact, sales volume for the city was the lowest since 1995, Lurie says.

The largest segment — detached single family homes — saw a more than 15 per cent decline year over year.