Calgary region new home prices on the rise Prices in Calgary are up 0.3% in May

New home prices in the Calgary region continued to rise in May, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported Thursday, in its New Housing Price Index, that prices in the Calgary census metropolitan area were up 0.3 per cent from April. Prices were also up 0.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

Nationally, the NHPI rose by 0.3 per cent and prices were up 2.4 per cent from May 2011.

“The metropolitan regions of Toronto and Oshawa, and Calgary were the top contributors to the increase in May. The impact of these regions on the overall index was slightly offset by the decrease observed in Victoria,” said Statistics Canada.

“In Toronto and Oshawa as well as in Calgary, the rise in prices was predominantly explained by market conditions.”

From April to May, the aggregated metropolitan regions of Sudbury and Thunder Bay (1.6 per cent) posted the largest monthly price advance, followed by Toronto and Oshawa and by Regina (both 0.5 per cent), said the federal agency.

The most significant monthly price declines were recorded in Victoria (0.8 per cent) and Charlottetown (0.4 per cent).

The largest year-over-year price increases were recorded in Toronto and Oshawa (5.5 per cent), Winnipeg (4.4 per cent) and Regina (4.3 per cent).

Among the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed, three posted 12-month price declines in May, with Victoria (3.2 per cent) recording the largest decrease.

Earlier this week, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., said housing starts in the Calgary CMA totalled 1,184 units in June, compared with 719 units in June 2011. In the first half of the year, total housing starts in the Calgary CMA increased to 7,044 units, up 99.5 per cent from the 3,530 units for the same period last year.

“After six months, both single-detached and multi-family starts have risen from the previous year. Low mortgage rates, full-time employment gains, positive migration flows, and a more balanced resale market have contributed to the demand for new homes,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for the CMHC.

Single-detached starts increased 18 per cent to 531 units in June, up from 450 units in the previous year. To the end of June, single-detached starts in the Calgary CMA rose 20 per cent to 2,830 units from a year earlier. Multi-family starts, which include semi-detached units, rows, and apartments, totalled 653 units in June, up from 269 in June 2011. After six months, builders have started 4,214 multi-family units in the Calgary CMA, an increase from the 1,118 over the same period in 2011.

Also this week, the Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast showed varied year-over-year resale house price increases in Calgary.

In the second quarter, detached bungalows posted the largest average year-over-year price increases, rising five per cent to $432,322. Prices for standard two-storey homes rose a modest 2.5 per cent year-over-year to $425,456. Standard condominiums declined slightly by 0.8 per cent year-over-year to $247,056.

“Despite the recent changes to mortgage lending rules, mortgage rates and packages still remain very attractive to buyers at all levels,” said Ted Zaharko, broker and owner of Royal LePage Foothills. “Market activity has increased approximately 30 per cent compared to the same period in 2011 and we are seeing every type of buyer making purchases.”

According to Royal LePage, by the end of 2012, average house prices in Calgary are expected to increase 6.5 per cent. Market activity is forecast to be the strongest in Canada with 2012 unit sales expected to rise 18.0 per cent higher than they were in 2011.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Calgary house sale activity sparks memories of 2007 MLS market sees sales and prices on the rise

Recent activity in the Calgary real estate market has discount realtor Roy Almog thinking back to the frenzied days of 2007.

In late June, he listed a “modest” house in the northwest neighbourhood of Mount Pleasant. In less than 24 hours, it had 14 showings and nine offers. The house sold for close to $30,000 above the asking price in less than 20 hours on the market.

“It was like 2007 all over again,” said Almog of 2% Realty.

“It’s been very busy this spring and summer. Very steady activity. We’re not seeing so much a huge increase in price but just the speed of sales. The properties are not lasting as long. They’re usually selling quite quickly. The days on market are a lot lower and getting lower.”

Almog said that’s the first step to seeing prices on the upward swing. Inventory is not lasting as long. People are starting to lose out on properties so they get a bit nervous.

“And the latest thing which I think really took it over the top was the mortgage rules that have just changed where a lot of people were rushing in to lock in their mortgage before the new rules commence in early July,” he said of the federal changes recently announced to tighten lending across the country.

Total MLS residential sales in the city, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board, rose by 12.12 per cent in June from a year ago to 2,202 transactions and the average sale price jumped by 3.61 per cent to $441,418. Days on market to sell a home dropped from 45 in June 2011 to 40 last month.

“The sky is not falling. Despite the fact of everything else that’s going on in the States, in Europe, with Greece, with this and that, I think we’re still humming along,” said Almog. “We’re always a bit sheltered and a little bit more buffered than some of the other places that are susceptible to these spikes up and down. We’ve still go a very strong economy. The banking system. Interest rates aren’t going anywhere. All of those contributed to a healthy market and encouraging people to get out and purchase.”

Single-family home sales increased in June year-over-year by 16.17 per cent (1,609) while the average sale price rose by 1.87 per cent ($489,271). The condo apartment market saw sales rise by 0.89 per cent (340) and the average sale price jump by 9.03 per cent ($300,806). And the condo townhouse category had a sales hike of 4.55 per cent (253) and a price hike of 0.40 per cent ($326,053).

“There are a couple of reasons leading to the increase in sales that we seeing this year compared to 2011,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. “Mortgage rates are still relatively low and home prices are experiencing some upward pressure with the market more balanced. The growing economy and tighter labour market conditions has also helped lift income levels for many prospective buyers.”

Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist, said recent mortgage rule changes may dampen some of the gains in the resale market.

“But this is not expected to cause a full reversal of either sales or price growth, provided the global economic situation does not significantly worsen,” she said.

“Our housing market is returning to normal levels of activity, supported by the improvements in our employment sector and rise in migration.”

At the midway point of the year, the following are year-to-date sales and average prices for the city market and percentage change from the same period last year:

Total MLS — Sales 11,752 (15.78 per cent); Average price $429,453 (2.53 per cent)

Single-Family MLS — 8,520 (18.53 per cent); Average price $480,294 (1.68 per cent)

Condo Apartment MLS — Sales 1,858 (7.15 per cent); Average price $278,040 (1.24 per cent)

Condo Townhouse MLS — Sales 1,374 (11.89 per cent); Average price $318,947 (3.18 per cent)

CREB also released Tuesday its benchmark prices for the month of June. Benchmark prices indicate how typical properties are valued in the market and are calculated using a statistical model that estimates prices based on several factors. Benchmark prices in June and their percentage change from a year ago were: Total MLS for the city, $385,800, 5.87 per cent; Single-Family, $430,800, 7.35 per cent; Condo Apartment, $246,300, 1.48 per cent; and Condo Townhouse, $278,000, 3.27 per cent.

“Overall the Calgary market is trending towards long-term stability,” said Bob Jablonski, CREB’s president. “Activity levels are consistent with our expectations, and are not demonstrating an overheated market. We’ve seen a slight lack of supply in single-family homes, but this is not the case in the broader residential market, including surrounding towns.

“Homebuyers are confident about long-term prospects in our city, and continue to search for homes in those communities that align with their needs. People who are in the market to buy right now have to make their decisions quicker, but they are well informed and they continue to seek out value for their money.”

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald