Gateway Gazette

Condominium sector boosts Calgary resale housing activity

Price growth eases as supply improves

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Calgary, Nov 2014 – Continued double-digit gains in the condominium apartment sector helped to fuel a 10 per cent increase in Calgary’s residential resale housing market in October. Overall sales for the month totaled 2,147 units, compared with 1,948 during the same period last year.

“Two consecutive years of relatively strong employment and population growth, combined with rising wages and low lending rates, have supported demand growth in our housing sector,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

With a 14 per cent gain, the city’s condominium apartment sector recorded the largest year-over-year growth. It represents the sixth consecutive month that sales in this category have increased by double digits – due, in large part, to better selection of relatively affordable product. More than half of this year’s new listings have been priced below $300,000.

“Tight rental market conditions combined with low mortgage rates have supported demand growth for condominium product in Calgary,” said CREB® president Bill Kirk, noting apartment sales have also set a year-to-date record, totaling 4,202 units. “Much of this demand is coming from both first-time homebuyers and investors.”

While sales improved, year-to-date condominium apartment listings also increased by nearly 30 per cent to 6,528 units. The pace of growth has exceeded sales growth causing a rise in inventory levels.

“Rising listings relative to sales activity has caused apartment inventories to improve,” said Kirk. “This has pushed this sector into more balanced territory, reducing some upward pricing pressures and giving buyers more options.”

Meanwhile, year-over-year condominium townhouse sales growth eased to eight per cent in October compared to the same period last year. Year-to-date sales, however, are still up 19 per cent to 3,303 units. New listings have similarly kept pace, creating access to more inventory for buyers.

Much like the condominium sectors, October sales in the singlefamily market experienced healthy gains, growing by 9.7 per cent to 1,462 units compared to same period last year. Meanwhile, new listings totaled 1,871 units. Year-to-date single-family sales and new listings have totaled 15,301 and 21,890 units respectively.

As of October, only 18 per cent of new single-family listings were priced below $400,000 and only 387 remained in inventory by the end of the month.

“While buyers can still find single-family product priced under this threshold in Calgary, the selection has consistently declined over the past four years,” said Kirk. “As our market moves into more balanced conditions, there has been a notable shift in the composition of the market. Not only do condominiums represent a larger share of total activity, but product availability by price range and property type has shifted.”

Single-family, apartment and townhouse benchmark prices totaled a respective $513,500, $299,800, and $337,800 in October. While all sectors saw unadjusted monthly prices level off and growth ease, year-over-year increases remained above nine per cent across all categories due to gains achieved this past spring.

“All citywide resale segments have recorded a moderate easing of supply constraints, which should help stabilize prices as we approach the end of the calendar year,” said Lurie. “Nonetheless, consumers should be aware that market conditions can vary significantly depending on the location and property type.”

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