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The Calgary real estate market is now much in line with those of many other major Canadian cities: demand is high, but inventory is far too low.

According to statistics published by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) on Friday, the City of Calgary recorded a grand total of 2,135 home sales, which represents a 22.8% year-over-year increase. New listings also improved in February, reaching 2,711, which represents a 13.6% year-over-year increase.

On the other side of the equation, inventory is now down to 2,355, a 14.2% year-over-year decrease, and months of supply is now down to 1.1, a 30.2% year-over-year decrease.

What happens when demand is high and supply is low? Prices go up.

Accordingly, residential benchmark prices have risen substantially over the past year, across all property types, with year-over-year increases of 13.2% for single-detached homes, 12.7% for semi-detached homes, 18.8% for rowhomes, and 17.2% for condominiums.

The benchmark price is now up to $721,300 for single-detached homes, $639,100 for semi-detached homes, $436,500 for rowhomes, and $329,600 for condominiums.

“It is this strong demand and low supply that continues to drive price gains in Calgary,” says CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Purchasers are acting quickly when new supply comes onto the market, preventing inventory growth in the market.”

February and year-to-date statistics for the City of Calgary.February and year-to-date statistics for the City of Calgary.(CREB)

Lurie notes in particular that the biggest supply challenge Calgary’s housing market is facing right now is with homes priced under $500,000, the supply of which has fallen by approximately 31% in the past year. Simultaneously, Lurie mentions, supply levels for higher-priced homes have risen.

This has likely played a big role in Calgary’s condo boom, which hit record highs at multiple points in the past year. While home sales decreased from 2022 to 2023 for single-detached homes, semi-detached homes, and rowhomes, condos were the only property type to see an improvement in sales in 2023, by 27%.

That trend appears to be continuing in 2024, as condos have again seen the biggest year-to-date increase in sales, by 39%, although sales for other property types have all also improved.

“Relative affordability has supported the strong demand for apartment-style homes, and sales growth has been possible thanks to the continued growth in new listings,” the CREB noted.

Conversely, the CREB describes the supply of detached homes as “below typical levels for February,” and both the semi-detached market and rowhouse markets as having a “low inventory situation.”

All of these trends extend outside of Calgary, the statistics show, including to Airdrie, Cochrane, and Okotoks.

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