Pace of sales slowing from pandemic peak, but Calgary real estate market continues to see steady growth

The real-estate market in Calgary is expected to remain healthy throughout the fall as sales and prices continued to climb in September according to the latest data.

Chief Economist with the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB), Ann-Marie Lurie says the pace has slowed from the pandemic peak seen earlier this spring, but the market is still hot.

“As we moved in through September, sales remain strong and in part because we saw some improvements and new listings coming on the market so that helps you know basically provide some options for people who are looking to buy,” she said.

“Unfortunately, the inventory levels really haven't moved changed enough yet, but I mean we are seeing that at least people are listing some of their homes, and that demand is staying strong.”

Calgary saw 2,162 sales in the month of September, which is down from the all-time record high peak in April of 3,209.

Sales activity for the month was up 26 per cent year over year, while the benchmark price grew from September 2020 by 8.6 per cent to $457,900.

That benchmark price was just slightly down from its peak in July at $460,100.

New listings also reached 2,907 in September, which is up six per cent year over year, but inventory is still down about 10 per cent at 5,607.

Single detached homes continue to drive the market with the benchmark price increasing 10 per cent year-over-year to $537,500, which is also down from the peak price reached in July of nearly $540,000.

CALGARY MARKET GAINING INTEREST FROM OUT OF PROVINCE

Calgary is quickly becoming a real-estate hot spot, especially for those looking for a more affordable option compared to Toronto where the median home price is $1 million.

According to Justin Havre & Associates, Calgary has seen a 197 per cent increase in online traffic from Quebec, a 79 per cent increase in traffic from Ontario and a 27 per cent increase from British Columbia.

Jennifer Adams recently made the move to Calgary from Newfoundland with her family and says Alberta made the most sense from an affordability standpoint.

“It’s definitely much more affordable than Ontario, and of course (you get) much more affordability here over B.C., particularly Vancouver because that would have been the other option for us,” she said.

“We love the opportunities that Calgary really provided for our children in terms of the active lifestyle, the education and then of course affordability too, because there were a few opportunities in the country but Calgary just seemed to really fit the bill.”

CALGARY HITS SIX YEAR HIGH FOR CONDO SALES

A boost in new listings for Calgary apartment condominiums in September translated into some gains in sales activity, which marked a six-year high in the city.

However, with a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 58 per cent, inventories still trended up relative to the previous month and last year’s levels.

The months of supply remained just below five months in September, far lower than levels recorded last year and over the past five years.

Lurie adds that the trends for sale recovery of different property types in the city all depend on location.

“We are seeing trends that are a little different so some of the price recovery has really happened, mostly in the detached market, but not necessarily in the city center,” she said.

“What we are seeing is kind of that city center district hasn't had that same uplift, and that's kind of interesting to see if that's something that is going to persist or if that's really a factor of, you know COVID and people not necessarily being as concerned about their proximity to the downtown core.”

LUXURY MARKET IN HIGH DEMAND

The most recent report released from Sotheby’s International Realty Canada found that $1 million-plus property sales experienced double digit growth across all housing types during both the summer and the first 15 days of September.

Vivienne Huisman, senior vice president of sales at Sotheby’s says buyers are gravitating more towards homes with ample and luxurious outdoor living space since the pandemic began.

“We've definitely seen the luxury market pick up and it's very active,” she said.

“There are a lot of people looking for properties in the million plus price range, and there aren't enough options available for people so we're starting to see some competing offers, we're looking at people jumping very quickly on properties as they become available and anxiously waiting for new inventory to hit the market.”