Sales improve as consumers have more choice
City-wide price gains and better weather support year-over-year gains in new listings
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Calgary, June 2, 2014 – Residential sales in the city of Calgary totaled 2,948 units in May, a 16 per cent increase over the previous year. Sales last month were well above long-term trends and are the highest May activity on record.
“Strong sales activity is a reflection of improving fundamental conditions such as a growing population, favourable lending rates and rising wages,” says CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Leading up to May, resale market sales were somewhat restricted by lack of choice. However, recent price gains have encouraged growth in new listings, helping meet some of the housing demand.”
In May, new listings totaled 4,327, a 16.5 per cent rise over figures reported during the same time last year with gains in new listings nearly matching sales growth. While inventories remain nearly five per cent below levels recorded last year, this is the first time in over two years that year-over-year declines were not in the double digits.
While market conditions continue to favour the seller, improving supply has helped ease some of the tightness in the market.
“Market conditions vary depending on the product type,” says CREB® president Bill Kirk. “Both condominium apartment and townhouse style products have recorded inventory growth relative to last year. This is good news for consumers looking for more choice in condominiums priced between $200,000 and $400,000.”
Year-to-date condominium apartment sales have totaled 2,020 units, a 21 per cent increase over the first five months of 2013. Meanwhile, the recent boost in new listings caused inventory levels to rise to 1,051 units, a 13.1 per cent increase compared to last year, representing 23.3 per cent of all city-wide inventories.
“The single family market varies depending on the price and location,” explains Kirk. “While the majority of sales are occurring in the $300,000 to $500,000 range, the number of new listings in this segment has lessened relative to last year, which indicates most new listing growth is occurring in the higher end of the market.”
Year-to-date, single family sales and new listings totaled 7,662 and 11,093 units respectively. While May saw new listings improve by 11 per cent compared to the same month last year, sales growth continued to exceed new listings growth, keeping inventories levels nearly 12 per cent below May 2013 levels.
The unadjusted single family benchmark price totaled $504,300 in May 2014, a 10 per cent increase over the previous year.
Meanwhile, typical condominium apartment and townhouse prices reached a respective $295,400 and $321,400 in May 2014. Despite year-over-year gains that surpassed double digit per cent in both segments, condominium prices in both segments continue to remain just below peak.
“Persistently tight market conditions continue to support stronger than expected price gains,” says Lurie. “While supply levels are improving, demand remains strong preventing any significant run up in inventories. However, we may see more divergent behaviour in the single family and condominium markets, impacting the relative price growth in each of these sectors.”