It’s been a slow start for the housing market in Calgary in 2019 and real estate analysts are blaming the economy for a continued decline in the statistics.

The Calgary Real Estate Board released its report on the housing market in January and it found that sales are down by 16 percent from last year.

In January, while the number of new listings remained comparable to 2018, only 804 homes were sold during the month.

The statistic is 21 percent below the long-term averages as well.

Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist, said in a release that the disappointing result isn’t much of a surprise and will be a trend for some time.

“We anticipate that the slow market conditions will persist throughout much of the first quarter.”

As a result, the average price of a home in Calgary dropped to $414,800 last month, one percent lower from December and four percent lower than January 2018.

The report says the most significant declines in sales occurred in the north and west districts of Calgary.

The south, northwest and City Centre districts suffered the most in terms of prices.

Apartment sales also dropped last month, with only 126 units being sold. That’s 13 percent lower than 2018 and over 20 percent below the long-term average, CREB says.

The report also states that housing markets in a number of communities in the Calgary area are also being affected by the poor economy.

Detached home prices dropped in Airdrie ($354,300) and Okotoks ($416,900) by 0.5 percent and one percent respectively.

New listings eased in Cochrane, but an oversupply in the market has started a downward trend in prices in that community. However, the detached benchmark price ($408,600) still hasn’t changed from last year just yet.

Earlier this week, at CREB’s annual conference, analysts forecasted that housing prices will continue to drop for a good part of the year, continuing the buyer’s market conditions in the Calgary region.