Calgary Market Statistics - November 2016


November sales slide into old patterns

Coming off a month of stronger sales activity, November's housing market returned to previous trends. Year-over-year monthly sales totaled 1,227 units, which is nearly three per cent lower than last year and 17 per cent below long-term averages.

"November was the first full month with CMHC's new lending rules in effect," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. "As suspected, the gains in last month's sales were temporary. Stringent conditions for borrowers are converging with the current economic climate and weighing on demand."

While supply levels eased in November, the decline in sales resulted in a slight rise in months of supply. This caused benchmark home prices to contract even further. City-wide prices totaled $436,200 in November, a 0.6 per cent decline over the previous month and nearly 4.1 per cent below last year's levels. 

Detached home prices totaled $498,300 in November, making it the first time since early 2014 that the monthly benchmark price dipped below $500,000. Despite this price change, the detached resale sector has still fared better than most of the high density sectors, as it has not faced the same city-wide inventory pressure coming from the new home market. 

Year-to-date detached sales have declined by three per cent compared to last year, but have also seen some modest improvements in recent months in the high end of the market, which is likely a byproduct of larger price adjustments.

"These monthly figures aren't a big surprise given the dynamics of our market right now," said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. "We've seen pockets of sales activity in certain areas, but also lots of months where the expectations between buyers and sellers just aren't matching up. November was one of those months."

"Again, it can't be overstated how important it is for housing consumers to keep asking questions and drilling down on what's happening in their specific area," adds Stevenson. "This kind of exploration and learning is how good real estate decisions get made in any market."

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Calgary Market Statistics - October 2016


Home Sales Rebound in October

For the first time in two years, sales activity in October resembled normal levels. City-wide sales totaled 1,644 units, which is an increase of nearly 16 per cent over last year.


“The shift in sales activity this month is likely related to the new mortgage rule changes, inventory gains in the lower price ranges and further price adjustments,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “The combination of all these factors may have encouraged some purchases to take advantage of the market conditions, particularly in the lower price ranges. However, with several factors at play, the monthly shift in demand may be temporary and will need to be monitored over the next several months.” 

Sales activity rose across all product types in comparison to last year, but the largest gain in sales occurred in the detached sector at 18 per cent. There was a noticeable shift in sales activity by price range in October. In the detached market, homes priced between $300,000 and $400,000 saw the largest improvement in sales, while attached and apartment sales growth was mainly occurring in the lower price ranges.  

“This year has been a challenge for many sellers,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “So when we have a rise in sales, it means more buyers got into the market and more sellers got out, which is a positive for consumers on both sides of the transaction.”

“Sales activity changed direction in October, but we need to see some consistency next month and the month after to call it a trend,” adds Stevenson. “For now it’s a nice building block.”

Despite the monthly rise, year-to-date sales activity in all sectors remained lower than last year’s levels and well below longer term trends. In fact, year-to-date sales activity has totaled 15,642 units, which is 6.3 per cent below last year’s levels.

While increased activity in the lower price ranges had a greater impact on the average and median price, benchmark prices once again edged down in October. The city-wide unadjusted benchmark price totaled $438,900, or 0.34 per cent below last month and four per cent below last year’s levels.
  
Since the start of the downturn, home prices have declined from a low of 3.8 per cent in the detached market to a high of 9.4 per cent in the apartment condominium sector. And, despite the rise in October sales, monthly pricescontinued to decline for most product types in the market.


Calgary Market Statistics - September 2016


Detached prices stabilize in soft market

City of Calgary, Oct. 3, 2016 – The segment of Calgary’s housing market with the greatest influence on the overall market is showing signs of pricing stability. The detached benchmark price totaled $503,400 in September, which is 3.3 per cent below last year, but the second consecutive month at this price level.

While overall economic conditions remain soft, for now the detached sector is demonstrating some steadiness in terms of pricing.

“The decline in demand has caused many to anticipate steeper price declines for detached homes,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “That hasn’t happened in large part because detached supply levels haven’t climbed as sharply as many expected. There was a limited amount of supply in the overall market when this cycle began, and while levels did rise and remain somewhat elevated, they were well below previous highs.”

The level of detached new listings also eased compared to last year, helping push down year-over-year inventory levels for the second consecutive month.

“Consumers are really starting to come to terms with the current environment," said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “Most sellers have adjusted their expectations at the same time that many buyers are realizing the price of a home is influenced by factors like location, supply in specific price ranges and condition of the property.”

Residential inventory levels totaled 5,877 in September, five per cent higher than last year, due to gains in both the apartment and attached sectors. City-wide months of supply neared four months, but ranged from a low of three months in the detached sector to a high of eight months in the apartment sector.

Sales were equally inconsistent, improving by four percent in the detached market while declining by 23 percent in the apartment sector. Nonetheless, in every category, sales activity year-to-date sales activity has declined over levels recorded last year and remains below long-term averages.

The resale apartment market has recorded large inventory gains and a sharp pull-back in sales. This, combined with additional competition from new builds, is resulting in steeper price adjustments in this sector.

Condominium apartment prices totaled $274,700 in September, 0.1 per cent below last month and 6.8 per cent below last years’ price.

Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package.

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Calgary Market Statistics - July 2016


Demand down with net migration

In step with City census data on declining net migration levels, housing sales activity totaled 1,741 units in July, a 12.6 per cent decrease over last year and the 20th consecutive month of year-over-year sales declines.

“Continued pullback of sales activity is a sign of economic conditions,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “The number of unemployed workers keeps rising and when you combine job losses with declining net migration, the result is going to be weaker housing demand.”

Slower sales were accompanied by declining new listings in July. This helped prevent further inventory gains and minimize the downward pressure on benchmark prices. By months end, the residential benchmark price was $440,000, similar to last month, but 4.2 per cent below July figures from the previous year.

While detached prices seem to be leveling, this is not the case for all property types. With over six months of inventory in the apartment sector, oversupply continues to create steep price declines.

The apartment benchmark price totaled $277,000 in July, a 0.4 per cent decline over the previous month and 6.6 per cent below last year’s levels.

City-wide benchmark prices for detached product totaled $502,300 in July, which is similar to last month, but 3.4 per cent lower than last year’s levels. Meanwhile, semi and row attached product recorded a year-over-year decline of 3.1 and 5.5 per cent for July prices of $385,200 and $310,300.

“To buyers and sellers that have been paying attention to the housing market in Calgary and surrounding areas, it should come as no surprise that we continue to see a slowdown in sales activity,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “Buyers are expecting further declines in sold prices, and sellers are adjusting to softer demand with price decreases. When these expectations intersect, we're seeing sales activity in the market, but not at the level realized over the last several years.”

Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package.

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Calgary Market Statistics - May 2016


Housing supply swells in cool spring market

Calgary’s housing inventory was on the rise once again in May as new listings climbed and sales slowed to 1,923 units.

"While recent oil price gains may have some feeling optimistic, weakness in the labour market continues to impact housing demand," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. "Job losses are spreading into other sectors, wages are declining and unemployment levels remain high. At the same time, we're seeing housing supply levels rise in the rental, new home and resale markets."

Inventory levels rose by 14 per cent in May to a total of 6,148 units. Every product type is experiencing these gains, but the largest inventory growth has occurred in the apartment and attached categories. Together, these sectors represent half of all resale inventories in Calgary.

“The resale apartment market has been the most difficult for sellers,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “They are competing with improved selection in the lower price ranges of the detached and attached markets, and facing increased competition from the new home sector, where builders are offering incentives to attract potential buyers.”

While apartment resale supply remains 22 per cent below the May high of 2,055 units in 2008, the combination of rising supply in the apartment sector and steep declines in sales activity has elevated months of supply to nearly six months.

The apartment sector of the market has experienced buyers’ conditions for more than 10 months, so the impact on pricing is more dramatic, compared to the detached and attached sectors.

In May, the apartment benchmark price totaled $278,500, a monthly and year-over-year decline of 0.7 and 5.6 per cent. In the detached and attached markets, home prices totaled $500,500 and $332,100, a year-over-year decline of 3.4 and 4.3 per cent.


CALGARY MARKET STATISTICS -MARCH 2016


Housing prices trend down in March

Unemployment impacting housing activity

Home prices declined further in March as economic conditions weigh on Calgary’s housing market. 

Calgary’s benchmark price totaled $442,800 in March, a 0.49 per cent decline over February and 3.51 per cent lower than levels recorded last year.

“With no improvement in the labour market, it’s no surprise that we continue to face downward pressure on housing sales activity and prices,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“Provincial unemployment rates are at the highest level recorded since the early ‘90s,” said Lurie, adding that Calgary’s unemployment rate in February rose to 8.4 per cent, which is higher than the provincial average of 7.9 per cent.

March home sales in Calgary totaled 1,588 units, 11 per cent below the same time last year and 28 per cent lower than long-term averages for the month.

Calgary also saw housing supply gains in most price ranges. Inventory levels rose by seven per cent to 6,084 units in March. Overall, months of supply has averaged five months in the first quarter of 2016.   

“As we move into spring, we are starting to see more foot traffic at open houses and showings from potential buyers,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “For now, this activity hasn’t translated into improved sales in most segments of the market.”

The apartment sector has been the hardest hit by the recent downturn. After the first quarter of the year, apartment sales totaled 554 units, a 17 per cent decline over the same period last year.

Apartment benchmark prices have been trending down since late 2014. In March, benchmark apartment prices totaled $281,300, seven per cent lower than levels recorded prior to the slide and 4.93 per cent lower than levels recorded last year.

The detached and attached sector has also felt the brunt of Calgary’s weakening economy. Detached and attached home prices have dropped by four per cent from the recent peak.

“Homebuyers continue to wait and see if there are going to be further declines in home prices before making an offer,” said Stevenson. “Timing the bottom of the market is proving to be quite a challenge in the housing market we are faced with now.” 


Calgary Market Statistics - July 2014


Market moves toward balanced conditions

Growth in new listings outpace sales growth in July, supporting double-digit inventory gains

Calgary, Aug. 1, 2014 – Residential sales this month totaled 2,336 units, a record level for July activity. However, year-over-year sales growth slowed to 3.18 per cent.

“While July’s sales growth seems like a dramatic departure from the double-digit gains recorded in the first half of this year, it is in comparison to exceptionally strong sales during the same period last year,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie, noting July sales this year are nearly 19 per cent above long-term averages for the month.

New listings in July totaled 3,219 units, an 18 per cent increase over the previous year. The rise outpaced sales growth during the month, pushing inventory to 4,659 units, nearly 14 per cent higher than July 2013 levels.

“More selection is welcome news for many potential purchasers. However, improving supply levels have only come after nearly three consecutive years of declines,” said CREB® president Bill Kirk. “Along with improving inventories, other indicators support the notion that market conditions are moving toward more sustainable levels.”

Single-family unadjusted benchmark prices totaled $511,600 in July, just above May figures, but 10.8 per cent higher than $461,600 in July 2013.

“Following two years of annual increases and several months of monthly gains that exceeded one per cent, unadjusted benchmark prices appear to be leveling off,” said Lurie. “This fits with our expectations as the market moves into more balanced territory.”

Single-family sales totaled 1,553 units in July, a 1.3 per cent decline compared to the same period in 2013 and a 8.3 per cent increase year-to-date.

While overall single-family sales remain higher than long-term trends for this month, the year-over-year monthly decline reflects fewer sales and listings in properties priced under $400,000.

“With declining choices in the lower-priced single-family market sector, consumers are considering both condominium apartment and townhouse segments,” said Kirk.

Year-to-date condominium apartment and townhouse sales increased by 21 and 19 per cent, respectively. New listing growth far outpaced sales growth, particularly in the apartment sector, thus boosting inventory levels.

For buyers, more choice has helped ease some of the upward pressure on benchmark prices. Unadjusted prices in both apartment and townhouse-style condominiums were similar to levels recorded the previous month.  Despite slower monthly gains, year-over-year price growth grew by 11 per cent in the condominium sector.  Benchmark prices for apartment and townhouse-style condominiums in July totaled $298,100 and $327,000, respectively.

“Calgary’s housing market continues to demonstrate exceptional levels of sales, and strong year-over-year price gains,” said Lurie. “This is a reflection of the economic factors supporting this market, including gains in net migration, employment, wage growth and favourable lending rates.”


CALGARY MARKET STATISTICS - MAY 2014


Calgary, June 2, 2014  Residential sales in the city of Calgary totaled 2,948 units in May, a 16 per cent increase over the previous year. Sales last month were well above long-term trends and are the highest May activity on record. 

“Strong sales activity is a reflection of improving fundamental conditions such as a growing population, favourable lending rates and rising wages,” says CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Leading up to May, resale market sales were somewhat restricted by lack of choice. However, recent price gains have encouraged growth in new listings, helping meet some of the housing demand.” 

In May, new listings totaled 4,327, a 16.5 per cent rise over figures reported during the same time last year with gains in new listings nearly matching sales growth. While inventories remain nearly five per cent below levels recorded last year, this is the first time in over two years that year-over-year declines were not in the double digits. 

While market conditions continue to favour the seller, improving supply has helped ease some of the tightness in the market.

“Market conditions vary depending on the product type,” says CREB® president Bill Kirk. “Both condominium apartment and townhouse style products have recorded inventory growth relative to last year. This is good news for consumers looking for more choice in condominiums priced between $200,000 and $400,000.”

Year-to-date condominium apartment sales have totaled 2,020 units, a 21 per cent increase over the first five months of 2013. Meanwhile, the recent boost in new listings caused inventory levels to rise to 1,051 units, a 13.1 per cent increase compared to last year, representing 23.3 per cent of all city-wide inventories. 

“The single family market varies depending on the price and location,” explains Kirk. “While the majority of sales are occurring in the $300,000 to $500,000 range, the number of new listings in this segment has lessened relative to last year, which indicates most new listing growth is occurring in the higher end of the market.” 

Year-to-date, single family sales and new listings totaled 7,662 and 11,093 units respectively. While May saw new listings improve by 11 per cent compared to the same month last year, sales growth continued to exceed new listings growth, keeping inventories levels nearly 12 per cent below May 2013 levels. 

The unadjusted single family benchmark price totaled $504,300 in May 2014, a 10 per cent increase over the previous year. 

Meanwhile, typical condominium apartment and townhouse prices reached a respective $295,400 and $321,400 in May 2014. Despite year-over-year gains that surpassed double digit per cent in both segments, condominium prices in both segments continue to remain just below peak. 

“Persistently tight market conditions continue to support stronger than expected price gains,” says Lurie. “While supply levels are improving, demand remains strong preventing any significant run up in inventories. However, we may see more divergent behaviour in the single family and condominium markets, impacting the relative price growth in each of these sectors.” 

CALGARY MARKET STATISTICS - APRIL 2014


Calgary, May 1, 2014 – Following a slow start to the year, improved weather and price gains supported new listings growth. New residential listings in April totaled 3,754 units, an eight per cent increase over the previous year. Meanwhile sales activity totaled 2,545 units for the month, a seven per cent increase over April 2013.

“Throughout 2014, the condominium apartment market has recorded new listing gains, while until April, the single-family sector saw a reduction in new listings,” says CREB® president Bill Kirk. “Many single-family homeowners have been waiting for further price gains and the start of the spring market to list their homes.”

Single-family sales in April totalled 1,736 units, representing a year-over-year gain of eight per cent and a year-to-date increase of nine per cent. Meanwhile, single-family new listings totalled 2,584 units in April, a 7.4 per cent increase over April 2013.

As new listing growth outpaced sales growth, inventory levels improved, easing some of the tightness in the market. However, it was not enough to push the market back into balance. 
“While we did anticipate the rise in new listings this spring, certain segments of the market will likely remain tight,” says CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “The single-family market continues to record declining listings for product priced below $400,000. Meanwhile, the growth in listings in April was mostly due to gains in the $500,000 - $999,999 range.” 
Condominium apartment sales totaled 449 units in April, for a year-to-date total of 1,511. April’s year-over-year sales growth of 4.7 per cent was outpaced by the 11.2 per cent rise in new listings. This resulted in a rise in inventory levels to 898 units, three per cent higher than levels recorded in 2013. It’s also the only sector within the city limits to record annual growth in inventory availability. This growth is in part related to more new home product becoming available. “Improved selection in the market is welcome news,” says Kirk. “Many consumers are interested in entering the market but the lack of choice poses challenges. While we are still early in the season, if this trend continues, it should provide more opportunities for consumers who have been unsuccessful with finding properties.” Price gains continued across all property types this month. The unadjusted single-family benchmark price totaled $496,700 in April, a 9.67 per cent increase over April 2013 and up 1.24 per cent over March figures. While the price gains are still higher than expected, the pace of growth has slightly eased.

Meanwhile, unadjusted benchmark prices for condominium apartment and townhouse properties totalled a respective $291,700 and $316,700 in April. Despite the year-over-year price gains of 11.6 per cent for apartments and 9.6 per cent for condominiums, prices continue to remain just shy of peak levels recorded in 2007. 
“Gains in employment and net migration have supported demand growth in the housing sector,” says Lurie. However, with unadjusted prices only recently recovering in some sectors, it is not a surprise that resale supply has not kept pace. As prices continue to improve and lending rates remain low, this should help support further gains in new listings, easing some of the tightness in the market.”


Calgary Market Statistics - March 2014


Calgary, April 1, 2014 – Residential sales activity improved across all sectors in March. However, declining new listings in the single family sector combined with further gains in sales activity decreased single family inventory to the lowest March level since 2006.

“There are several factors contributing to the growth in housing demand, including the inflow of people to our province over the past two years, strong gains in employment and tight rental conditions,” says CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “However, supply conditions vary amongst the different property segments, impacting the number of sales and price growth. If supply constraints persist in the single family sector, prices are expected to record further gains as we move into the spring market.”

Single family sales at the end of the first quarter totalled 3,901 units, a 9.5 per cent increase over the same period last year. Meanwhile, the amount of new listings declined by nearly five per cent. As sales growth outpaced the amount of new listings growth in the market, inventory levels dropped to just over 2,000 units.         Persistently tight market conditions prevented any relief in terms of price gains. The unadjusted single family benchmark price totalled $490,600 in March, a 9.9 per cent increase over the previous year and monthly increase of 1.6 per cent. “With tight market conditions, particularly in the single family market, purchasers should ensure they have a clear understanding of what they can afford and what they are willing to pay for a home,” says Bill Kirk, CREB® president. “However, both sellers and buyers need to be aware that conditions are dependent on the community and price range that you are targeting.” Condominium apartment sales totalled 1,062 after the first quarter. Sales growth was strongest in this sector due to the availability of listings. New listings after the first quarter totalled 1,722, an 18 per cent increase over the previous year. While demand continued to outpace listing growth, keeping market conditions relatively tight, inventory levels are similar to the previous year. “Nearly 50 per cent of new listings in the apartment sector are priced in the range of $200,000 - $299,999, providing options for those looking for affordable product,” says Kirk. “However, there are far fewer options for those looking to spend less than $200,000. After the first quarter, apartment product priced below $200,000 has dropped from over 16 per cent of the market last year to 6.4 per cent.” Condominium apartment and townhouse prices totalled a respective $287,200 and $313,100. Condominium apartment price recorded a year-over-year increase of 11.5 per cent and are the highest relative to the townhouse and single family sector. Despite strong price gains across all sectors, overall the condominium sector continues to record price levels below peak records. “Some easing of the supply pressure in the condominium market is expected as new construction projects are completed,” says Lurie. “However, thanks to Calgary’s strong economy, it is expected that most new supply can be absorbed without risk of oversupply and condominium price correction.”


Calgary Market Statistics - February 2014


Calgary, March 3, 2014Following double digit gains last month, sales growth in the city of Calgary totaled 1,854 units, or an 8.68 per cent increase over the same period in 2013. Slower sales growth resulted in a reduction of listings in the single family sector. However, single family sales still totalled 1,230 units, a 1.9 per cent increase over the previous year.

“Demand growth in the single family sector has been restricted by the availability of product,” says CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “New listings in this sector fell for the second consecutive month, causing further tightening in an already undersupplied market.”

Despite the pull back in the single family sector, condominium sales continue to surge. After the first two months of the year, both condominium apartment and townhouse sales increased by 28 per cent compared to last year.

“Consumers who are in the market for single family homes priced below $300,000 do not have many options, and when product does become available, it typically does not stay on the market for long,” says CREB® President Bill Kirk. “However, nearly 54 per cent of the new condominium apartment listings this year are priced below $300,000, which is providing options for consumers looking for affordable product.”

The condominium market benefited from significant gains in new listings. Year-to-date, condominium apartment and townhouse listings improved by a respective 17 and 4 per cent for a combined total of 1,737 units.

“As we move into the spring market we expect that listings will improve in all sectors,” says Kirk. “The rise in listings will help ease some of the tightness in the market, with price growth impacts varying by community and property type.

With no significant additions to the housing supply, resale prices continued to rise.

The unadjusted single family benchmark price totalled $482,800 in February, a 1.28 per cent increase over the previous month and a 9.1 per cent increase over the previous year.

Meanwhile, condominium apartment and townhouse prices totaled a respective $283,400 and $309,700. Condominium apartment price increases remain at double digit levels this month with a year-over-year gain of 12.4 per cent.

Despite the strong gains in condominium prices, overall benchmark prices in both the apartment and townhouse sector continue to remain below peak records set back in 2007.

“Resale market conditions have favoured the seller, and this has translated into price gains, which is strongest in the condominium sector,” says Lurie. “However, it is important to note that condominium prices have not yet risen above previous highs, whereas single family prices recovered last year."


Calgary Market Statistics - January 2014


Calgary, Feb. 3, 2014On the heels of a strong year of sales growth, January sales in the city of Calgary totaled 1,440 units, a 17 per cent increase over the previous year. 

“Sales growth continues at the double digit pace seen over the later portion of 2013, mostly due to the gains in the condominium sector,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “While these are the highest January sales levels since 2008, total sales transactions are in line with long-term trends.” Condominium apartment and townhouse sales totaled 466 units in January, a 33 per cent increase over the same period in 2013.  This is relative to the 974 sales in the single family sector, only a 11 per cent increase over the previous year.

Condominium apartment and townhouse sales totaled 466 units in January, a 33 per cent increase over the same period in 2013.  This is relative to the 974 sales in the single family sector, only a 11 per cent increase over the previous year.   

“Consumers looking for more affordable product turned to Calgary’s condominium market, which was the only sector to record growth in new listings, compared to January 2013,” explained CREB® president Bill Kirk. “The improvement in listings helped ease some of the tightness in the condominium market, however overall conditions continue to favour the seller.”

New listings in the condominium apartment and townhouse market totaled 809 units, a combined increase of six per cent. Meanwhile, the single family sector lost momentum with new listings recording an eight per cent year-over-year decline. Overall market conditions continue to remain tight with months of supply remaining below two months.

“Two consecutive years of strong migration levels are expected to support improving housing demand this year, but at a slower pace,” said Lurie. “However, with no significant change in the supply situation this month, prices continue to rise at higher than expected levels.”

The unadjusted single family benchmark price was $476,700 in January, a 0.95 per cent increase over the previous month and a 9.1 per cent increase over the previous year. 

The availability of lower price single-family product continues to decline, resulting in a shift in sales distribution. In January, 29 per cent of the single family sales activity occurred in the $400,000 - $499,999 price range, making it the category with the highest share of sales. In previous years, the majority of the single family transactions occurred in the $300,000 - $399,000 range.

Condominium apartment and townhouse prices totaled $280,600 and $308,100 respectively in January. On average, year-over-year price growth in the townhouse market totaled just more than 8 per cent, compared to the apartment sector increase of nearly 12 per cent. 

While year-over-year condominium apartment price gains have pushed into double digit growth territory, the unadjusted benchmark price remains 5.5 per cent lower than levels recorded during the high.

Kirk noted that “While supply pressures have not yet eased in the market, it is important to note that we are in one of the traditionally slower months of activity in our housing sector as many consumers are waiting for the more robust spring market.”


Calgary Market Statistics - December 2013


Calgary, Jan. 2, 2014  December’s eight per cent year-over-year increase in sales volume in the city of Calgary capped a year that saw an 11 per cent growth in sales volume for the entire 12 months.

City residential sales totaled 1,172 units in December, bringing total sold units for 2013 to 23,489. Prices for the year were up by 8.6 per cent over 2012. 

“Sales growth exceeded expectations in 2013, pushing above long-term trends,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB®’s chief economist. “Two consecutive years of elevated levels of net migration, combined with an improving job outlook and confidence surrounding long-term economic prospects, supported the demand growth.” 

As expected, both new listings and transactions in December eased over the previous months because it is typically a slower time of the year for sales. However, sales activity for the month was in line with long-term averages, despite poor weather conditions just before the holiday season. 

“Typically, fewer sellers list their homes in December,” said Becky Walters, CREB® president. “There were more new listings this year than in 2012 because some sellers saw the continued price gains and decided it was the right time to list.” 

Market conditions favoured the seller for much of 2013, causing price gains in both the single-family and condominium sectors in the city. 

The single family benchmark price was $472,200 in December, a 0.3 per cent increase over the previous month and an 8.6 per cent increase over the previous year. On an annual basis, unadjusted single family prices grew by more than seven per cent in 2013, exceeding previous highs. 

“Prices have recovered in the single-family market, but sellers need to keep in mind there are differences between communities and types of homes,” said Walters. “Higher-end homes (priced above $500,000) have recorded slower price growth than those in the lower-price segment. And there are many communities where prices have not surpassed previous highs.” 

There were 16,302 single-family homes sold in 2013, an 8 per cent increase over the previous year. Meanwhile, the 22,569 new listings were nearly one per cent higher than in 2012. 

Condominium apartment sales totaled 4,007 units in 2013, more than 14 per cent higher than in 2012. Condominium townhouse sales totaled 3,180 units a 22 per cent increase over 2012. 

“The condominium market is more affordable than single family, and that is attractive to first-time buyers who are weighing rising rental costs against ownership costs,” said Walters. “Investors are also attracted to condos, because prices have not yet fully recovered to their previous highs.” 

Condominium apartment and townhouse prices totaled $278,600 and $307,100 respectively in December. On average, annual benchmark price growth in the townhouse market totaled just more than six per cent, compared to the apartment sector increase of nearly nine per cent. 

“In 2014, both sales activity and prices are expected to improve, but not at the same pace recorded this year,” said Lurie “While factors influencing demand will support growth in 2014, rising listings and increased competition from the new home sector should alleviate some of the supply pressure in the market.” 

Those factors, combined with potential increases in long-term lending rates, should take some of the steam off the exceptionally strong price growth recorded in 2013, said Lurie. 


Calgary Market Statistics - November 2013


Calgary, Dec. 2, 2013  City residential sales totaled 1,730 units in November, a 19 per cent increase in sales volume over the previous year.

Following another month of strong activity, year-to-date sales totaled 22,322 units, 11 per cent higher than long-term trends.

CREB® President Becky Walters said it appears that several factors are motivating buyers.

“Many first-time homebuyers appear to be moving now to get ahead of any further increases in home prices, rent hikes, or an increase in lending rates,” she said. “And current owners are taking advantage of the recent price gains to upgrade to a home that better fits their lifestyle.” 

There were 1,823 new listings in the city in November. While this is an 12 per cent increase over levels recorded at the same time in 2012, listings remain below long-term trends and total inventory levels is lower than normal for this time of year.

“Tight market conditions have resulted in higher-than-expected price gains in all sectors of the Calgary market,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, Chief Economist. “However, these increases need to be put into context.”

Citywide, only the price of single-family homes has fully recovered and started to push above unadjusted levels recorded in 2007. Meanwhile, condominium apartment and townhouse prices remain below peak, Lurie said.

Single-family benchmark prices totaled $470,600 in November, 8.5 per cent higher than one year ago. Meanwhile, condominium apartment and townhouse unadjusted benchmark prices totaled a respective $279,600 and $305,700 in November, 6 per cent below 2007 peak pricing.

Year-to-date, single-family sales totalled 15,533 units, eight per cent higher than the previous year. The higher-than-expected rise in sales activity is due to stronger activity in the second half of the year. 

Tightness in the condominium apartment market eased in November, as the year-over-year growth in November new listings of 23 per cent outpaced the sales growth of 20 per cent. While overall inventory levels remain 26 per cent lower than levels recorded in 2012, this is an improvement over the declines recorded throughout recent months. Year-to-date sales activity totaled 3,787 units, a 15 per cent increase over the previous year.

Condominium townhouse sales totaled 3,002 units after 11 months, a 21 per cent increase over the previous year. While this sector remains the smallest out of the Calgary housing types, it has recorded the largest gains in sales.

“Overall, sales growth in surrounding communities outpaced the city,” said Walters. “They offer the family friendly attractions of small towns, and they’re more affordable.”

Lurie noted the vibrant employment market has encouraged a large number of net migrants into the city over the past two years. 

“This, combined with tight rental conditions and optimism over the long term outlook of the city, has supported the significant growth in housing demand this year. 

Lurie said that concerns over affordability are often linked to potential house price corrections, but, “despite recent gains, Calgary’s housing market is still more affordable today than it was six years ago."


Calgary Market Statistics - October 2013


Residential sales activity totaled 1,953 units in October, an 18 per cent rise over 2012 and pushing year-to-date volume increases to just over 10 per cent.

However, on a year-to-date basis, city wide sales remain far below transactions levels recorded throughout 2005 – 2007.

“Some people have noticed that properties are selling quicker, and at times above list,” said Becky Walters, CREB® president.“But, in spite of very positive signs, we are not seeing a repeat of 2006.”

Year-to-date, the average residential home was on the market for 37 days before selling. That’s 16 per cent less time than last year, but much longer than the 20 days recorded in 2006. In addition, the citywide sales price-to-list price ratio has increased, but is lower than the levels recorded seven years ago.

New listings within the city of Calgary totaled 2,522 units in October, a nine per cent increase over the previous year.

While the rise in new listings was not large enough to result in inventory growth, it is the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

“Price growth and tighter market conditions have encouraged some of the recent rise in new listings,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist. “This is a trend worth noting as the rise is easing some of the tightness in the market. Despite some movement, seller’s market conditions persist.”

A total of 14,340 single-family homes sold after the first 10 months of the year, a seven per cent increase over the previous year. Sales growth has exceeded expectations mostly due to the recent rise in new listings, which was limiting growth potential in the first half of the year.

Year-to-date, 3,482 condominium apartments and 2,774 condo townhouses were sold. While condominiums remain a smaller segment of the market, year-to-date sales are 18 per cent higher than last year.

Unadjusted benchmark prices in the city of Calgary increased in October relative to both September of this year and October 2012. Single-family prices benchmarked at $468,000, while the benchmark price for condominium apartment and townhouse were a respective $276,100 and $302,200 in October.

Apartment-style condominium prices have been increasing at a faster pace than single-family home prices. However, unadjusted condominium prices remain seven per cent below peak levels, while single-family prices have risen above previous highs.

Single-family and condominium townhouse prices recorded year-over-year increases of eight per cent, while condominium apartment prices increased by 11 per cent.

"Employment growth, strong net migration, lack of rental product and low mortgage rate has contributed to the rise in housing demand over the past two years,” said Lurie. 

“Meanwhile, supply levels have not kept pace, causing prices to push up." 

While upward price pressure is expected to persist in the near term, she said, it is unlikely we will face the same spike seen in 2006. That’s because economic conditions are quite different today than they were in that time period. 


Calgary Market Statistics - September 2013


Calgary, Oct. 1, 2013 City of Calgary residential sales totaled 1,923 units in September, 19 per cent higher than last year and 14 per cent higher than long-term averages for the month. While sales activity over the past three months has been above long-term trends,     it was less so in September than in July and August.

“The impact of the floods likely boosted sales throughout July and August, and it appears as though some of that additional demand is starting to ease,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® chief economist. “Nonetheless, sales growth remains strong, in part because net migration has been stronger than anticipated and rental product is in short supply.”

As Calgary’s market remains in seller’s territory, a notable shift is occurring with new listings. While monthly levels of new listings have been declining since 2011, over the past three months the levels of new listings have improved. The growth was not enough to cause any significant changes in inventory levels, but it has helped prevent further tightening in the market.

“The increase in new listings has given buyers more choice,” said Becky Walters, CREB® President.

Activity varies by community, property type and price. Consumers searching for lower-priced single family homes often have to adjust expectations or consider alternative communities or property types. While many buyers think the seller’s market conditions should lead to a significant price premium for their property, consumers remain price sensitive.

“Selection is limited in the lower price ranges, but choice has improved for higher prices homes,” said Walters.

Condominium apartment and townhouse sales totaled a respective 3,147 and 2,494 after the first three quarters of the year. Year-to-date sales growth is more than double the levels recorded in the single family sector.

“The condominium market offer affordable options for consumers in the city, and the growth reflect that,” said Walters. “But keep in mind condominiums still represent less than onethird of residential sales within city limits.” Single family sales totaled 13,006 units after the first three quarters of the year, a 6.7 per cent increase over the previous year. Single family sales increased in the third quarter, while the first two quarters were on pace with activity in 2012.

“Tight market conditions have supported price growth in the Calgary market,” said Lurie. “But the pace of unadjusted monthly growth has eased in September.

“While prices show strong year-over-year gains, if the level of new listings continues to improve relative to sales activity, prices should level off for the remainder of the year.” Condominium apartment prices totaled $272,900 in September, a 9.5 per cent increase over 2012 and 0.9 per cent higher than August figures.

Meanwhile, single family and condominium prices totaled a respective $463,700 and $299,100, similar to unadjusted levels recorded in August and more than seven per cent higher on a year-over-year basis.


Calgary Market Statistics - August 2013


City Residential sales within city limits totaled 2,196 units, an 27.5 per cent increase over 2012 and 8.7 per cent on a year-to-date basis.

 
The level of transactions was well above long-term trends for the month, mostly due to improved activity in the single-family sector. However, on a year-to-date basis, activity is only slightly higher than expectations.
 
“The sales have been limited by the need for more resale listings,” said CREB® President Becky Walters. “However, August did see more new listings than last year, giving buyers more choice.”
 
August new listings recorded a year-over-year improvement of 7.4 per cent. While seller’s market conditions persist and total inventory levels keep falling, improvement in new listings helped prevent further tightening in the market despite the sales growth.
 
Single-family sales totaled 1,517 units in August, a 30 per cent increase over the previous year. Despite strong sales in the past couple of months, year-to-date sales activity has grown by 5.4 per cent, slightly stronger than anticipated.
 
“Lack of choice, particularly in single-family homes, has limited single-family sales growth,” said Walters. “However, improved new listings in the higher end of the market have created an opportunity for those looking to upgrade.”
 
Year-to-date condominium apartment sales totaled 2,823 units, a 13.7 per cent increase over the previous year. Unlike the single-family market, new listings are declining, causing the market to become tighter than levels recorded in the previous month.
 
Meanwhile, the condominium townhouse market, like the single-family market, not only recorded strong sales growth but also saw a rise in new listings, helping ease some tightness in this market. Year-to-date sale and new listings increased at a respective 21.4 and 2.6 per cent.
 
“Housing demand has been supported by another year of strong migration levels, improving employment and wage growth,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® Chief Economist. “Last year’s mortgage rule changes did not reverse the sales growth in our city, but did redirect demand to more affordable product.
 
“While recent increases in lending rates may require purchasers to adjust their expectations, Calgary remains a relatively affordable Canadian city. Our affordability, combined with a positive economic outlook is expected to support demand growth for the remainder of the year.”
 
Single-family benchmark prices reached $464,700 in August, a 7.4 per cent rise from the previous year and a 0.7 per cent increase over July.
 
Meanwhile, condominium apartment and townhouse prices totaled a respective $270,600 and $298,500 in August, increasing by more than seven per cent compared to the previous year.
 
“Price appreciation typically reflects the level of supply and demand in the market,” said Lurie. “Tight market conditions have supported stronger-than-expected price growth in the city, but this price appreciation needs to be taken into context.
 
“While citywide single-family benchmark prices have risen above unadjusted highs by $13,400, as of August both c-ondominium apartment and townhouse units are a respective $26,400 and $32,300 below the unadjusted highs recorded in 2007.”

Calgary Market Statistics July 2013


Calgary, Aug. 1, 2013 – City of Calgary residential sales totaled 2,268 units in July, a 17 per cent increase over the previous year and up more than six per cent so far this year.

 
The flood that devastated the Calgary area on June 20 likely contributed to pulling forward sales activity, said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® chief economist.
“Some of this activity is related to the displaced renters and owners seeking other accommodation,” said Lurie. “But those consumers already searching for a home may have sped up their purchase decision, in response to concerns regarding the impact tight supply levels would have on prices.”
 
The Calgary resale market is firmly in sellers’ territory, supporting price growth. While citywide prices are nearly seven per cent higher than levels recorded in July 2012, the unadjusted monthly gains have been easing. The benchmark price for the city of Calgary totalled $414,100 in July 2013.
 
“Some sellers have been waiting for prices to recover before listing their homes,” said President Becky Walters. “Current market conditions have encouraged listing growth this month, for single-family homeowners.” A total of 1,575 single-family homes sold in July, a 14 per cent increase over the previous year. Year-to-date, the growth is 2.5 per cent. While year-over-year new listings increased in July to 1,958 units, it was not enough to ease supply pressures in the market. Overall, active listings declined to 2,917 units, nearly 20 per cent lower than already declining levels recorded in 2012.
 
A total of 693 condominium apartments and townhouses sold in the month, a combined increase of 26 per cent over the previous year, and a year-to-date growth of 16 per cent.
 
Stronger sales growth in the condominium market relative to the single-family market is in part related to availability in the affordable price ranges. Year-to-date, there have been more new listings priced under $400,000 in the condominium sector than in the single-family market.
 
“Clients looking for affordable homes are considering community, product and price,” Walters said. “While there are affordable single-family homes in some communities, some may prefer condominiums in the same price range so they can live in a preferred community or get a home that requires less         renovation.”
 
The growing demand for condominiums has also led to a tightening of supply. July active listings in the apartment and townhouse segment declined to 768 and 407 units respectively.
 
Tight market conditions supported price growth for all categories in July. However, unadjusted monthly gains were strongest in the apartment sector. Apartment prices totaled $267,600 in July, a 1.4 per cent increase over the previous month and nearly eight per cent higher than the previous year. The benchmark price for single-family and townhouses were a respective $461,600 and $294,500 for the month.
 
“While the flooding will alter sales, listings and price trends in the affected areas, the impacts on the entire resale market will likely play out over the coming months,” said Lurie. “July sales growth has been stronger than year-to-date trends and longterm averages. However, if the level of new listings continues to rise, this could help ease tight market conditions.”

Calgary Market Statistics for May 2013


Calgary, June 3, 2013 – City of Calgary residential monthly sales improved over the previous year, mostly driven by increased demand in the condominium market.
        Sales activity in all categories totalled 2,544 units for the month, a seven per cent increase over May 2012 figures.
“We’re back to normal levels of activity,” said Becky Walters, president of CREB®’s board of directors. “Last spring was the first time since the recession that we saw more typical levels of sales, and this spring sales recorded further growth.”
Sales growth in the city is exceeding expectations, although the rate of increase has slowed from 2012’s double digits.There is downward pressure on inventory levels, because there are fewer than normal new listings at a time when sales volume is increasing. Inventory levels are 17 per cent lower than levels recorded in 2012. These two factors are creating market conditions that favour the seller, causing stronger than expected price growth.
“Buyers need to have financing in place so they can act quickly when they see the right property,” Walters said. She added that buyers also need to have a clear sense of what they can afford and what they are prepared to pay before entering negotiations.
        But she noted that market conditions today are much different for sellers than the last time our market favoured them. While properties are selling at a faster pace and at prices closer to list, buyers have a range of choice in various segments, communities and price ranges. Furthermore, consumers today are more cautious than a few years ago.
        Single-family sales totalled 1,766 units in May, three per cent higher than levels recorded in 2012. While sales volumes are consistent with long-term averages, sales growth is hampered by the decline in new listings, especially in the lower price ranges.
        The unadjusted benchmark single-family price totalled $456,900 in May, a seven per cent increase over 2012 and a one per cent increase over the previous month.
        After the first five months of the year, condominium apartment sales totalled 1,672 units, a 10 per cent increase over the same time in the previous year.
“Tighter mortgage rules impacted what buyers could afford to purchase in the Calgary market,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB®’s chief economist. “And while the majority of buyers are purchasing single-family homes, the attractive price point has improved demand for condominiums.”
With less supply relative to demand in resale, condominium prices are on a path to recovery. In May, the benchmark price for condominium apartments totalled $263,600, a year-over-year increase of seven per cent. Condominium townhomes reached a benchmark price of $292,100, a five per cent increase over the previous year.
“Improvements in Calgary’s resale housing sector are being fuelled by the combination of employment gains, migration growth and tight rental market conditions,” Lurie said. “However, resale price growth will likely moderate, as competition in the new-home sector and sluggish economic growth expectations will weigh on the housing market.”

Calgary March Sales Statistics 2013


Tightened housing supply curbs sales volume First quarter sales improve in condominium market, while declining in single family sector
Calgary, April 2, 2013 – The inventory of active homes for sale in Calgary are the lowest March levels in more than five years.  The decline in new listings hampered resale sales growth, which declined by more than two per cent in March compared to March 2012.
 
New listings in March are five per cent lower than levels recorded in 2012, and five per cent lower after the first quarter.  The overall active listings stand at just 4,006 units, up from February’s levels but well below the number available one year ago.
 
“Less resale product available to consumers is ultimately limiting sales growth,” said CREB® President Becky Walters. “In addition, resale homes are selling in less time and with continued upward pressure on prices.” 
 
Walters said buyers have grown accustomed to a market when they have more time to make decisions because there was ample supply. But, as market conditions have tightened, if they are serious about purchasing a resale home, they can no longer significantly delay that decision, she said.
“While market conditions are a far cry from activity witnessed throughout the frenzy in 2006 and 2007, there has been a noticeable change over what became the norm over the past few years.” Walters said.
 
Single-family, year-over-year sales growth declined by six per cent in March, a reflection of declining supply. Active inventory totaled 2,713 units, 22 per cent lower than levels recorded in 2012, and the lowest March inventory level recorded since 2007. The market balance continues to trend into seller’s territory in this segment causing a year-over-year price increase of nearly nine per cent, for a total of $446,500 in March 2013.
 
“Tighter rental conditions and continued employment growth has supported housing demand growth,” said Ann-Marie Laurie, CREB®’s chief economist. “However, for those looking for more affordable single family home products, their choices continue to narrow.”
 
She said new single-family listings under $500,000 are declining at double-digit rates, driving consumers at that price point to either surrounding towns, condominiums or the new home market.
 
The condominium townhouse market is the only category to record a year-over-year rise in sales activity for the month.  This is in part because the level of new listings improved in March 2013 relative to March 2012.  Condominium year-over-year apartment sales declined by nearly three per cent in March.                  However, after the first quarter, sales activity totaled 830 units a 6 per cent increase over the previous year.  Condominium townhouse sales totaled 652 units at the end of the first quarter, a 15 per cent increase over the previous year. 
 
“The condominium apartment market remains in balance,” said Lurie. “While it has moved to the lower end of the spectrum, it remains better supplied then the single family market and the majority of product available is in an affordable price range.”
 
The benchmark apartment price totaled $257,700 in March, a six per cent increase over the previous year.  Meanwhile, the condominium townhouse benchmark price experienced a year-over-year increase of 4 per cent, to $286,800.
 
“Despite tighter market conditions, it is unlikely that we will have another significant run-up in prices,” said Lurie. “Outside of easing economic factors expected this year, consumers have options in the total housing market.”


Calgary February Sales Statistics 2013


Calgary, March. 1, 2013  Total residential sales for the month of February 2013 totaled 1,711 units, a one per cent decline over the previous year. Accounting for the leap year in 2012, activity in the single family market resembles last year’s activity. However, even with one less day in the February 2013 figures, condominium sales have made significant gains increasing by 13 per cent relative to February 2012.

Year-over-year single family sales growth totaled 1,209 units in the month of February, as supply levels continued to decline, limiting choice for those in the market.
 
“When new product comes onto the market, buyers are not delaying their purchasing decisions as the majority of homes are selling in less time at prices closer to their list price,” said CREB® President Becky Walters. “The tighter market conditions have supported price growth, however despite the current gains, single family home prices remain below the unadjusted benchmark high of $451,000.”

The unadjusted single family benchmark price for February 2013 was $442,500, a 1.3 per cent increase over the previous month and nine per cent higher than levels recorded in February 2012.

“With less selection in the single family market, particularly at the lower price ranges, more consumers are turning to the condominium market,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® Chief Economist. “Throughout the downturn there were more single family homes priced under $400,000. However, over the past few years the number of new single family listings in this range represents a declining share of the market, leaving consumers looking for more affordable products.”

Improved sales activity combined with reductions in total inventory levels have provided room for growth in condominium prices. The condominium apartment benchmark price totaled $252,900 in February 2013, a six per cent increase over the previous year. Meanwhile, townhouse condominium prices recorded a year-over-year increase of 4.7 per cent for a total of $283,200 in February.

“During the boom years, Calgary experienced significant growth in the employment sector and shortages in housing supply, ultimately creating frenzy amongst consumers driving up prices at unsustainable rates,” said Lurie. “Condominium prices have since corrected, and while the current price gains are a sign of recovery, the unadjusted condominium apartment and townhome benchmark prices still remain 14 per cent below the peak levels.”

While the average price reflects record levels in Calgary, those numbers can be misleading,” said Walters. “Last year there were more home sales in the higher-end segment of the Calgary market compared to 2007, and this trend has continued into 2013, causing the average price to rise above peak levels.”

CREB® focuses on the benchmark price which is based on the attributes of the home including repeat sales. This pricing methodology provides a better indication of how prices for similar properties have trended over time.

“While our economy does not reflect growth recorded pre-recession and continues to be plagued by short term risk, consumers are feeling confident about the long term prospects of this city and continue to support growth in our housing sector.” Said Lurie.

January Sales Statistics


Calgary, Feb. 1, 2013  Residential real estate sales in the city of Calgary started the year on a positive note, increasing by 15 per cent over the same month in 2012.
        Total sales were 1,230 units, a significant increase over the 1,068 units last year. But sales remain well below January levels recorded through the peak years of 2003 to 2008.
“While activity is typically slower in the winter months, recent improvements in single-family new listings helped support improved sales in that market,” said CREB® President Becky Walters. “Overall indicators put the market in balanced conditions.”
Single-family sales totalled 879 units in January, a 15 per cent increase over January 2012 levels. New listings remained just above levels recorded at the same time in 2012, for a total of 1,737. The slight improvement in listings helped support sales growth, although inventory levels remain down by double digits.
“Inventory levels have improved relative to December, as is the seasonal trend,” Walters said.
        The lower level of inventories can pose a challenge for buyers, as they will have to make their buying decisions more quickly than buyers have done over the past four years.
“However, this is by no means a signal that the seller has the advantage,” Walters said. “Consumers are fairly price-sensitive and look for value in their purchases.”
Unadjusted single-family benchmark prices are showing improvement over January 2012, increasing by nine per cent. They are relatively unchanged over figures reported in December 2012.
“Prices have improved in the Calgary market, but, as always, it is important to keep some perspective on this,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB®’s chief economist. “While January’s year-over-year increase seems significant, price recovery occurred in the spring months of 2012 under tighter market conditions and home prices levelled off for the remainder of the year.”
Apartment and townhouse condominiums recorded respective sales of 204 and 147 units in January 2013. Although sales increased, the number of new listings declined.
“With excess supply relative to demand persisting for several years, the condominium apartment market has been slow to recover,” Lurie said. “Sales growth amidst declining listings has supported recent improvements in condominium apartment prices, something that has already been occurring in the single-family sector.”
The unadjusted benchmark apartment price totalled $251,300 in January, a 7.5 per cent increase over January 2012, and a one per cent increase over December figures.
        Meanwhile, the condominium townhouse benchmark price was $283,400 in January, 4.9 per cent higher than January 2012, and slightly lower than levels recorded in December.
“There is cautious optimism over the economic situation in Calgary,” Lurie said.
        While energy companies face market access challenges, several options are being considered to reach more diverse markets, she said.
“If some of these options are economically viable and pass regulatory approval, this would support economic growth moving forward.”

Final Statistics for December 2012


Calgary, Jan. 2, 2013  Residential real estate sales in the city of Calgary ended the year on a high note, with sales volume up 15 per cent in 2012 compared to 2011, and benchmark prices up five per cent.
 
“Calgary’s housing market has finally started to recover,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB®’s chief economist. “While prices remain shy of the highs recorded in 2007, this is a move in the right direction.” 

Much of the sustainable recovery is fuelled from the growth in the energy sector, spilling over into all aspects of our economy, including housing, Lurie said. “There is no question employment and migration growth has supported housing demand, a trend that is expected to continue this year, albeit at a slower pace.”

The single-family market sales growth outpaced increases in the total condominium market within city limits. Single-family sales rose by 15 per cent in 2012 compared to 2011. New listings did not keep pace, declining by seven per cent over the same period. This has significantly reduced the inventory of single-family homes in the market, pushing prices up.

“Consumers in the market were looking for value, and, if a home was priced right based on a longer term view of their housing needs, they were buying,” said 2012 CREB® President Bob Jablonski.|

The price spread is expected to narrow as balanced market conditions support further price growth, he said. But in most communities, prices remain lower than 2007 levels.

The unadjusted single-family benchmark price was $434,800 for the month of December, 8.7-per-cent higher than 2011. On average, single-family prices are up by seven per cent for the year, and remain two per cent below peak pricing in 2007.

Condominium sales are improving, as lower supply levels and rising prices in the single-family market drove consumers to explore alternatives. Sales in the apartment and townhouse sector recorded annual increases of 12 and 16 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, listings are declining in both sectors, keeping both markets in balanced conditions. Price growth has not been at the same pace as what was recorded in the single-family sector.

Condominium apartment benchmark prices totalled 248,700 in December, a 5.4 per cent increase over 2011. Annual average benchmark increases were two per cent, significantly lower than the five per cent increase in the annual average price.

The average price increase is misleading, as there were several multimillion-dollar condominium sales in 2012 that skewed figures up. With more sales occurring at the higher end of the spectrum, average and median prices are trending higher than the benchmark, which represents price growth for the same type of property.

“Calgary’s 2013 housing sector growth will ease both in terms of sales and price growth, differing from the declines expected on a national level,” Lurie said.

Calgary’s housing market did not recover at the same pace as other Canadian centres, and 2012 was the first time resale sales returned to more normal levels of activity, she said.

“It is expected that continued weakness in the natural gas sector, combined with the more cautious expansion approach in the oil sector, will persist this year. While economic activity will be strong enough to support moderate housing growth, the notion of an overheated housing market in 2013 is unlikely, given the economic backdrop.”