Rise in new listings prevents further tightening in the resale market
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 one third 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.