Resale market continues slow and steady recovery
Calgary, Oct. 1, 2012 – Residential sales activity continues to improve in the Calgary area, as year-over-year sales for the month of September increased by 11 per cent. After the first three quarters of the year, residential sales within city limits totaled 17,018, a 15-per-cent increase over 2011.
“There has been significant discussion over the slowing national market,” said Bob Jablonski, CREB® President. “However, Calgary is seeing improving sales activity and price growth with no indication that market is poised for a correction.
“In fact, for the first time in several years, the Calgary housing market is demonstrating typical behavior for this time of year.”
Single family sales activity is rising, even though new listings are steadily declining. The total number of active listings has slightly improved over August. This slight increase, combined with slower unadjusted sales activity in September compared to August, helped push the months of supply into a balanced position.
As of September, the benchmark single family home price totaled $432,900. While this figure is eight-per-cent higher than levels recorded in September 2011, prices appear to have leveled off over the past three months, not considering any potential seasonal factors.
Year-to-date condominium apartment sales totaled 2,762 units, a 10-per-cent increase over 2011. With new listings in decline and improving demand for condominiums, overall inventory levels are down and this has started to translate into moderate improvements in pricing. The apartment benchmark price for September was $249,300, a four-per-cent increase over September 2011. While the price increase may seem significant, it is important to note that, at this time last year, apartment prices were in decline.
Condominium townhouse sales totaled 2,061 units after the first three quarters of the year, 14-per-cent higher than last year. The benchmark price for a townhouse in September was $277,700, a two-per-cent improvement over September 2011.
These recent significant gains are returning the resale market to average levels of activity and price recovery. The resale market at the end of 2011 was well below typical levels of activity.“At the end of last year, a concern regarding the economic climate was heightened,” said CREB® Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “There was discussion of a double-dip recession in the United States, coupled with weak domestic economic growth.
“While much of this uncertainty in the economy persists, consumers’ confidence in the prairie region has improved, compared to last year. This does not come as a surprise, given our province has recorded strong economic growth relative to Canada-wide figures.
“Calgary’s unemployment rate continues to fall, wages are improving, and our full time employment growth is far outpacing national averages.”
A note on pricing: The benchmark price represents the typical home price. As the benchmark price represents consumers wiliness to pay for the same type of home it provides a better representation of price changes in the market. Commonly used approaches, such as median and average prices, can misrepresent price changes as we do not know if the shift is caused by a change in the composition of what has sold.