New condo sales in Calgary in 2012 reached their highest level since 2006, according to a report by consulting firm AltusGroup.
The report said new multi-family sales were 4,180 units, which was 26 per cent higher than 2011’s 3,317.
Sales peaked in 2005 at 5,868.
“The strength in the market was felt equally in the downtown and suburban markets with both sectors of the market seeing increased demand in 2012,” said the report, authored by Matthew Boukall. “Particularly strong demand was seen for highrise condominium units in the downtown and townhouse units in the suburbs. The stronger sales seen in 2012 was a result of the introduction of new, affordably-priced projects which boosted the available inventory in the market and gave consumers considerable choice in terms of product, location, and price.”
The report said the new product entered the market as consumer and investor demand increased, with strong population growth, a strengthening economy and improved consumer confidence encouraging more consumers to purchase a new home in 2012.
It said sales activity was strongest in the downtown and inner-city market where over 1,800 new homes were sold, almost double the rate in 2011.
“Condominiums have been a good option for many buyers, especially those looking for their first home, or looking to downsize,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. “With the decline in inventories for condos in the resale and new home market, along with some price growth, some buyers have decided to move ahead with their buying decision.”
AltusGroup said suburban townhouse sales were particularly strong during the year, accounting for 32.5 per cent of the sales in the market.
“The strong sales in the past year absorbed more units than were introduced into the market despite the more than 25 new projects, which introduced 1,600 new units into the market in 2012,” said the report.
“The key metrics to watch in 2013 will be the supply of available inventory and price movement of apartment product in the downtown region. Lower levels of inventory and higher prices are expected to modestly slow sales in 2013 to more historic levels with approximately 3,500 sales forecast for the year.”
In the resale housing market, the Calgary Real Estate Board statistics indicate condo apartment sales in 2012 rose by 11.53 per cent from the previous year to 3,501 transactions while the condo townhouse category saw sales increase by 16.09 per cent to 2,597 units.
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