CALGARY -- Calgary's housing market is feeling the effects of COVID-19, but the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) says a decline in sales and new listings should keep home prices from plummeting in the city.

CREB said Tuesday the month of March started strong but the situation changed dramatically once COVID-19 hit the province.

As a result, sales activity had fallen 11 per cent compared to last year and the drop in sales pushed March to its lowest record since 1995, CREB said.

The number of new listings in the Calgary area also dropped by 19 per cent in March.

Social distancing measures have made selling homes more difficult. Last week, the Alberta Real Estate Association prohibited its members from hosting open houses and encouraged real estate agents to use virtual tours, video-conferencing and digital contract signatures to minimize the need for face-to-face business.

Detached home sales saw a 15 per cent decline in March, while semi-detached home sales also dropped. The only area to see a boost was condo/apartment sales, however the oversupply of those units on the market has put downward pressure on prices.

"Prices were already forecasted to ease this year due to oversupply in our market," CREB said in a release. "However, price declines will likely be higher than originally expected due to the combined impact of the pandemic and energy sector crisis."