First-time Calgary homebuyers back in the market

CALGARY — First-time buyers have re-entered the Calgary resale housing market with “a renewed sense of confidence,” says a report released Tuesday by real estate firm Re/Max.

In the first two months of this year, 32 per cent of all sales occurred under $300,000 in Calgary, said the report.

Average price in the metro area was about $410,000, it said.

“The strength of the entry-level segment is good news for the spring market as sales of starter homes are expected to have a domino effect, prompting greater move-up activity in the weeks and months ahead,” said the report.

In the overall market, the number of homes sold in Greater Calgary is slightly below 2010 levels, with 3,199 properties changing hands as of February 28 versus the 3,297 sales reported during the same period last year.

“Rising consumer confidence levels, buyer’s market conditions, ample inventory and low interest rates continue to be the primary impetus among buyers, especially now that prices have resumed upward growth,” said the report. “Those who held off in late 2010 have finally jumped back into the fold.

“Overall, the majority of entry-level buyers are in their 20s and 30s. A growing number are singles, opting to get into the market earlier in life and build equity. With consumer confidence finally gaining momentum, an improving oil and gas sector and a brightening economy, demand for housing is set to rise this spring, while average price makes modest gains.”

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald