Inventory increases and sales drop in September, but overall sales for the year remain higher than last year.


Strong gains in the first-half of 2017 have put the Calgary year-to-date sales at seven percent above last years' levels and 11 percent below long-term averages, but challenges remain with easing sales and rising new listings.


Inventories rose across all property types to 6,861 units, while both apartment and attached-style properties saw the highest inventory on record for the month of September.


"The recent rise in inventories is preventing further price recovery as sales activity has moderated over recent months.


This does not come as a surprise as sales activity is expected to remain modest by historical standards until more substantial economic improvements take hold," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.


"Some may consider this a setback, but it is important to note that recent movements are balancing out the higher than expected gains that occurred in the first half of the year."


New listings in September totaled 3,266 units, a year-over-year gain of nearly 10 percent.


"There are several factors influencing new listings. Given the falling prices over the past two years, some sellers were waiting for market conditions to improve prior to listing their homes. More stability in the market has prompted many of those sellers to no longer delay their listing decision," said CREB® president David P. Brown.


"In some segments, rising new home inventories are also impacting total housing supply. Ultimately, prices are affected.


However, this inventory also opens up an opportunity for buyers to step up into a home that was financially unattainable."


As of September, unadjusted benchmark prices totaled $441,500. This is 0.2 percent below last month, but nearly one percent above last year. Downward price pressure this month occurred across most product types. However, year-to-date benchmark prices in the detached sector remain comparable to last year.


Prices in the detached sector remain relatively stable compared to last year. Condominium apartment prices remain four percent below 2016 levels and twelve percent below 2014 highs. This sector continues to struggle with price declines resulting from excess supply as months of supply pushed above eight months.

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These days, with many homebuyers searching for their new homes online, many people wonder about the effectiveness of an open house. While some consider open houses to be an outdated practice, it can actually be a rather effective tactic, if done correctly. Here are 8 ways to make sure your open house is a success. 

1. Stage Your Home

Staging your home is a critical step that allows anyone walking into your home to imagine themselves living there. When you stage your home, it should be a neutral environment. While it may be difficult to do, declutter your home and depersonalize it, removing personal items (such as family photos). Remove anything that might be considered controversial. Take the time to clean up. Steam clean carpets (which freshens them and removes odors). Pick up area rugs to show off wood flooring. Clean counters, sinks, and cabinets. Leave on the lights. You may want to consider a fresh coat of paint as well.

2. Take Advantage of the Internet

Since homebuyers are on the web anyway, utilize the internet to advertise your open house! There are some real estate sites (like Zillow) on which you can post your open house for free. Real estate agents have the advantage of being able to advertise your open house on other popular real estate sites as well. When you post, make sure you have plenty of high-quality pictures to go along with the information.


3. Don’t Be Afraid of Signs

Even though many people rely on GPS to get where they need to go, never underestimate the power of “Open House” signs. And don’t be afraid to place several, helping potential buyers to easily find your house (especially if you are located off of a main road). Your open house signs may even attract potential buyers who may just be driving by and haven’t seen your house online. You never know who will see your home as their dream home.


4. Invite the Neighbors

Oftentimes, people get irritated by nosy neighbors. Your open house is exactly the time you want them to be checking out your home. Invite your neighbors to your open house. They may know of someone looking to move to the area (family, friend, or otherwise), and may be willing to recommend your home to them. Think of them almost as your scouts. Nosy neighbors will be the first to tell their friends about the amazing kitchen counters or bathroom remodel that you had done months ago. Consider sending your neighbor's personal invitations or fliers. Or, if you prefer, send an email or personalized electronic invitation.


5. Lock Up Valuables

Before allowing potential buyers into your home, make sure you secure your valuables (and any medication). Even though you might like to think that everyone entering your home is there as a potential buyer, thefts can happen. Pharmaceutical theft is one of the biggest. Make sure your medicine cabinets are clear. Dispose of any medications you no longer need and lock up the ones that are in use (or take them with you). Also, be sure to lock up anything else that may tempt someone, such as jewelry, cash, credit cards, or one of a kind knickknacks.


7. Take Off

With a real estate agent helping you sell your home, there is no reason for you to be present during your open house. In fact, it may be more beneficial if you take off. Pack up the kids, and the pets (if you have any) and go for a drive, visit with friends/family, or head to the park. This will lessen the stress on potential buyers, and help them to feel as though they can speak freely and candidly with the agent. If you can, take your pets items with you (dishes, litter box, etc.). If not, make sure they are spotless.


8. Leave Informational Packets

Make sure you leave informational sheets for potential homebuyers to take home with them. If they are looking at multiple houses, having information easily accessible about your home will help them to more easily recall it. Consider such things as property details, community information, and information regarding the school district.


9. Provide Some Treats

Providing freshly baked treats has two advantages. One, it creates an inviting, enticing aroma, and two, your potential buyers have a delicious snack to enjoy while they tour your home. With a special treat, potential buyers are sure to remember your property.


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Data supplied by CREB®’s MLS® System. CREB® is the owner of the copyright in its MLS® System. The Listing data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by CREB®.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
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