What’s happening in the Calgary housing market may be a warning for Texas, South Dakota and other shale states.
Just last year, one of the hottest places in Canada's housing market was Alberta's oil capital of Calgary, where buyers were competing for middle and high-end homes.
But a year later, the drop in crude prices is pulling home prices down.
It’s no longer a seller’s market in Calgary – home sales were down an amazing 34% in February compared to the same period last year, according to data from the Calgary Real Estate Board.
Local reports show that active listings have more than doubled since February 2014 as homeowners hurry to get their homes on the market before jobs losses hit hard and prices sink further.
Home prices are also being hit – the average Calgary home dropped 4.3% from a year earlier, which marks the biggest drop since the summer of 2009.
Moreover, February's drop was the second consecutive monthly decline in year-over-year prices, and the first back-to-back slide since June and July of 2011.
Arch Mortgage Insurance Company recently released its Winter 2015 Edition of its Housing and Mortgage Market Review, and it highlighted the risks facing oil states, given the recent drop in crude oil prices.
“While no one knows if current oil price levels will be sustained long-term, we view the dramatic decline in the price of oil as having a real and meaningful impact on the potential for home price declines in these regions. As a result, our ranking for the highest-risk states and MSAs has shifted significantly since our last publication of the Review, the Fall 2014 edition,” said Ralph DeFranco, Arch MI’s Senior Director of Risk Analytics and Pricing.
“Our findings in this edition show that, while the national average risk score remains low at 8%, risk scores of states with high levels of employment in the oil sector, including North Dakota and Louisiana, have risen sharply,” said DeFranco.