Calgary resale housing record set in July

July was anything but the dogs days of summer for Calgary’s hot resale housing market.According to data released Friday by the Calgary Real Estate Board, there was a record number of MLS transactions in the city during the month.

The 2,336 sales bested the previous July peak of 2,273 set in 2005.

July was also the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year gains in sales with transactions up by 3.18 per cent from last year. And it was the 30th consecutive month of annual growth for average sale prices coming in at $482,487, which was 4.85 per cent higher than a year ago.

The median price of $425,700 was up by 6.52 per cent. The benchmark price – the price of a typical home in Calgary – rose by 10.89 per cent to $459,200 which was the 35th consecutive month of a year-over-year price increase.

“The forecast and expectations show no signs of slowing down this year and sellers are acting on this with confidence while buyers remain motivated to buy and move fast as we see prices continue to rise every month,” said Claudia Walz, a realtor with RE/MAX Real Estate (Central). “July has been a record month in 10 years of business and I did not see the usual Stampede slow down that we typically experience in July. I expect 2015 to mirror 2014 quite closely as interest rates continue to stay low and make it very attractive for buyers to keep this pace going.”

The Calgary market has been buoyed by stunning net migration to the area. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., net migration to the Calgary census metropolitan area reached a record 45,168 in 2013.

Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist, said July’s activity in the housing market reflects the city’s positive economy and the strong net migration.

“It is a reflection of the strong amount of population growth that we’ve had that’s been supporting that demand,” said Lurie. “It does reflect the overall health in our economy and we do expect that trend’s going to continue through the end of the year.”

According to Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, there were 21,316 net migrants from other parts of Canada and the world in the first quarter, representing the second highest first quarter gain in record.

“The economy in Calgary has supported job growth for the last couple of years. Not only has employment risen, but a bulk of the growth has been full-time jobs,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. “In addition, home prices have increased, and many existing home owners have realized higher equity gains. This along with rising incomes and low mortgage rates has helped boost resale activity.

“In 2012 and 2013, we also had a record number of people move to the region. Many of these migrants have come to take advantage of our favourable labour market, and will also be looking for a place to live. The demand for housing in Calgary has not been dependent on only one or two factors, but supported by a variety of factors.”

During July, there were 3,219 new listings which was an increase of 18.13 per cent from a year ago and active listings of 4,659 at the end of the month are up by 13.86 per cent.In July, it took an average of 33 days for a property to sell, down from 39 days a year ago.

July also set another record for luxury home sales in the city with 80 properties selling for more than $1 million. Every month this year has set a monthly record for luxury home sales with the all-time high of 104 established in June.

In July, single-family home sales in Calgary of 1,553 units were down 1.27 per cent from last year but the average sale price of $553,451 rose by 5.42 per cent and the benchmark price was up by 10.83 per cent to $511,600, which established a new record.

In the condo apartment market, sales increased by 11.84 per cent to 444. The average price was up 6.91 per cent to $323,164 and the benchmark price rose by 11.40 per cent to $298,100.

The condo townhouse market saw sales of 339 units, up 15.31 per cent from last year. The average price climbed by 12.04 per cent to $366,064 and the benchmark price jumped by 11.04 per cent to $327,000.

In the towns outside Calgary, sales amounted to 558 units which was up 16.25 per cent year-over-year. The average sale price grew by 6.32 per cent to $398,358 and the benchmark price was up by 7.88 per cent to $373,700.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

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