Calgary’s hot resale housing market showed no signs of cooling off in August as sales and prices continued to climb with the condo market setting a monthly record.
According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, August was the 17th consecutive month of year-over-year gains in MLS sales and the 31st consecutive month of year-over-year annual price growth.
There were 2,267 sales in August, up 3.42 per cent from last year. The median price rose by 6.02 per cent to $423,000 and the average sale price increased by 5.27 per cent to $477,783. New listings were up by 13.6 per cent to 3,150 and active listings at the end of the month climbed by 17.91 per cent to 4,596.
The benchmark price, which CREB says is the cost of a typical home, was up 10.18 per cent to $459,800.
Total sales were the second highest ever for August behind only the 2,326 sales level set in August 2005.
Calgary sales this month were buoyed by strong activity in the condo market as single-famly home sales actually dropped from a year ago. The single-family market saw activity decline by 2.38 per cent to 1,477 sales but the median price rose by 6.47 per cent to $479,000 while the average price was up by 5.42 per cent to $545,238. The benchmark price rose by 10.24 per cent to $512,300.
“Sales activity has continued to improve but it’s due to the condo sector,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist, adding that August MLS sales hit new highs for the month in the condo apartment and condo townhouse categories as well as for condos overall.
It was the second consecutive month that single-family sales have declined year-over-year.
“This is all coming down to the affordability of product. This has been a trend that we’ve continued to see happen. With less and less product being available in the single-family price range at that lower end (below $400,000) we’ve seen that pick up in demand in the condo side,” said Lurie, adding the decline in single-family sales is taking place in the lower end of that market while sales above that price point have risen.
Lurie said more than 76 per cent of new condo listings are priced below $400,000 and represent more than 68 per cent of the total inventory within city limits.
Sales for condo apartments were up by 13.85 per cent to 452 units as the median price rose by 10.58 per cent to $287,500 and the average price was up by 11.48 per cent to $332,006. The benchmark price increased by 10.2 per cent to $298,200.
In the condo townhouse sector, sales increased by 19.86 per cent to 338 units as the median price jumped by 9.86 per cent to $339,894 and the average price rose by 13.27 per cent to $377,958. The benchmark price of $328,300 was up by 9.98 per cent.
The market that includes towns outside the city also saw a spike in activity with sales up 12.3 per cent to 484. The median price grew by 5.34 per cent to $375,000 while the average price was up by 7.29 per cent to $391,595. The benchmark price rose by 7.9 per cent to $375,600.
“Sales activity is still strong relative to long-term averages,” said Lurie. “And prices are still improving. Listings are increasing. So with inventory rising as it pushes to more balanced levels, we’re seeing prices start to level off. This is what we would expect . . . But we’re still going to see strong year-over-year price gains.”