Update: Record month for Calgary real estate as floods change market dynamics

June was another record month for Calgary’s resale housing market.

Data released Tuesday by the Calgary Real Estate Board indicate average MLS sale prices for both the overall market in the city as well as for single-family homes were the highest ever.

The overall MLS average sale price in the city reached $466,458, up 5.6 per cent from last year, eclipsing the record of $462,076 which was set in May.

In June, the average single-family home price hit $527,162, up 7.7 per cent from last year, and eclipsing May’s record of $521,887.

Calgary realtor Rachelle Starnes said the past week of flooding has changed the market dramatically.

“We have seen in the past week properties sell, sight unseen, for families that have lost their homes in the flooding,” said Starnes, who is with Royal LePage Foothills. “It is shifting into a sellers’ market where buyers must buy immediately when a property enters the market or risk losing it to competing offers if they wait. The rental market is becoming non-existent so the families must purchase an alternative.

“There is limited overall supply and therefore pure Keynesian economics say prices must increase with low inventory … We have seen zero showings on luxury homes for months at a time and then all of a sudden in the past few weeks, we get three offers in one week on homes that have had no activity. It is very volatile at the moment.”

Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with CREB, said that until the full extent of the damage from the flood is known it is difficult to accurately assess the full impact this will have on the city’s housing market.

“The tighter market conditions are placing upward pressure on pricing in all city sectors,” she said. “While the areas affected by the flood may face some short-term impacts on pricing, any adjustments occurring are unlikely to outweigh the impacts on the overall city wide price growth.”

According to the website of Mike Fotiou, associate broker with First Place Realty, there were 74 luxury home sales in June, setting a record for the most $1-million plus sales for the month of June. The month was capped by the record sale last week of a home in Crescent Heights for $11.1 million. The all-time monthly record for luxury home sales was established in May at 84.

Year-to-date until the end of June, said Fotiou, there have been 394 luxury home sales, up from 299 for the same period last year, which set a record of 544 sales for the year.

The mid-year total so far this year has already surpassed year-end totals for 2010 (365), 2009 (337), and 2008 (369), pointed out Fotiou.

According to CREB, there were 2,317 total MLS sales in the city in June, an increase of 5.51 per cent from last year. The median price rose by 3.32 per cent to $405,000.

In the single-family market, sales rose by 2.06 per cent to 1,638 and the median price was up by 4.65 per cent to $450,000.

The condo apartment category saw sales rise by 6.78 per cent to 362 units with the average price dipping by 0.35 per cent to $301,193 but the median price rising by 2.12 per cent to $265,500.

The condo townhouse category experienced a sales increase of 25.79 per cent to 317 units as the average price moved upwards by 5.14 per cent to $341,518 and the median price increased by 5.35 per cent to $305,000.

And the towns outside of Calgary market had sales dip by 0.63 per cent to 473 transactions in June but the average price was up by 5.01 per cent to $370,178 and the median price rose by 6.34 per cent to $361,500.

CREB also tracks what it terms benchmark prices for typical properties sold. The benchmark prices in June and percentage change from a year ago were: total MLS, $412,000, 6.79 per cent; towns, $346,200, 6.39 per cent; single-family, $459,700, 6.71 per cent; condo apartment, $264,000, 7.19 per cent; and condo townhouse, $295,000, 6.12 per cent.

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