Calgary MLS listings significantly down from last year Pushing prices upwards

The single-family home inventory of 1,515 MLS listings is the lowest level to begin a year since 2006 and it’s the second fewest active listings in a decade to begin a year, says a Calgary realtor.

According to research by Mike Fotiou, associate broker with First Place Realty, there were 2,236 active listings in the city’s overall real estate market to begin the month of January, down 17.9 per cent from a year ago.

In January of last year, there were 1,267 fewer homes for sale in Calgary, representing a 31.8 per cent reduction in listings from the 3,989 the city had to start 2012.

“Calgary’s market has worked through the glut of inventory we experienced after the boom in 2008 when speculators expecting house prices to continue their meteoric rise were left holding multiple properties,” said Fotiou. “Record levels of net international and interprovincial migration in Alberta over the past couple years has resulted in high demand for housing. In Calgary’s resale market, continued strong sales have kept inventory low despite a rise in new listings.

“The new home sector has benefited as buyers looking for quick possession turn to builder spec homes. We’ll likely see more construction this year as new home builders step up to meet demand.”

As of Sunday, Calgary Real Estate Board data indicates total active listings in the city at 2,302, down 17.46 per cent from a year ago while the single-family inventory has dropped by 18.39 per cent to 1,549.

The lack of listings, combined with continued demand, has pushed prices upwards. Calgary’s resale housing market finished 2013 with all-time records in average sale prices for total MLS ($456,703) and single-family homes ($517,887).

Records were also set in 2013 for the median sale price for total MLS at $401,000 and for single-family homes at $450,000. The median price rose by 5.53 per cent from the previous year for total MLS and it was a 7.14 per cent hike in the single-family market.

Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist at CREB, said it’s only a week into January so it’s difficult to see what the trend will be for sales and listings during the month.

“What we had been seeing throughout last year is that in the second half of the year those listings were actually starting to improve. The level of new listings,” she said. “Now, overall the inventory levels are still relatively low compared to what they had been in previous years.

“I would be concerned if I still saw those active listings basically declining and new listings declining. That would concern me more than what I am seeing now. Because we’ve seen new listings start to rise, that actually means that decline in active listings is starting to improve.”

On a historical basis, she said, active listings are still trending higher than the lows the real estate market experienced in 2006 during the housing market boom.

“That’s a good sign. We’re not as tight as we were back then,” said Lurie.

“Looking forward, active listings they have been declining. Will they continue to decline? It will depend on if we continue to see these new listings rising. If new listings keep going up, this should help alleviate some of the supply pressure in the market. That tends to happen as prices increase. Another thing to note is you’re starting to see some increased activity in the new home sector which should start to ease some of the pressure on the resale market.”

 

City of Calgary MLS Market
Year
Sales
New
Listings
Sales to
new listing ratio
2004
22,842
35,230
0.65
2005
26,833
32,962
0.81
2006
27,426
37,539
0.73
2007
26,611
44,644
0.60
2008
19,084
45,244
0.42
2009
20,668
32,588
0.63
2010
17,218
36,944
0.47
2011
18,494
34,068
0.54
2012
21,204
31,844
0.67
2013
23,489
32,153
0.73

 -Source: Calgary Real Estate Board

 

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

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