Boom continues in Calgary luxury home market – MLS sales of properties over $1 million up 18%

The booming luxury home market in Calgary continues to soar as MLS sales of properties over $1 million are 18 per cent higher so far this year than a year ago when the all-time annual record was set.

According to realtor Mike Fotiou, associate broker with First Place Realty, until the end of September there have been 684 luxury home sales, up from 581 during the same period last year.

For annual sales, the peak was set in 2013 at 726 luxury home sales, eclipsing the previous high mark of 544 in 2012.

“The reason the market continues to see elevated sales is a function of how strong the market is. The sales would be substantially higher if the inventory was higher,” said Rachelle Starnes, realtor with Royal LePage Foothills, who specializes in the high-end market. “Traditionally, the market goes down at this time of the year but we have a situation where we have a lot of buyers looking for houses.

“We’ve got a healthier than normal market this time of the year but don’t have a lot of inventory. There are lots of potential buyers that have been looking for four or five months and when a property comes on the market at this time of the year for the right price, it sells quickly. Every indicator is that the market is strong. We are getting sustained sales growth during a normally relaxed period at the present time and expect this to continue through to the end of November.”

Every month this year has set a new peak for luxury home sales for those particular months.

September was no different, said Fotiou, as sales climbed to 73, handily beating the previous high of 59 set last year.

“Sales activity in the million-plus segment of the market continues to rise,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with the Calgary Real Estate Board. “This is mostly related to activity in the single-family sector. Year-to-date single-family sales over one million account for 4.6 per cent of all the single-family sales, a consecutive increase in market share since 2012 when this segment represented only 3.1 per cent of the market.

“Citywide price gains have pushed more homes into the million-plus category. In addition, the price growth has provided equity gains for some purchasers, enabling them to move up to the higher-priced homes. This combined with low lending rates, rising wages and a positive employment outlook has contributed to the rise in resale activity in this segment. Barring any significant change to underlying economic fundamentals, sales activity for homes priced over one million will continue to represent a larger share of total activity for the remainder of the year.”

Fotiou said there were 222 high-end sales in the third quarter, a 16.2 per cent hike year-over-year.

The most expensive sale in September was a Briar Hill home that sold for $4.6 million. Altadore/River Park and Elbow Park/Glencoe led the way with six sales each, followed by Aspen Hill and Lake Bonavista Estates with four each, added Fotiou.


September MLS sales in Calgary second best ever – Just shy of peak established in 2005

Calgary’s resale housing market fell just short of setting a new peak for MLS sales during the month of September as the city recorded its highest level of transactions since 2005.

Calgary Real Estate Board said Wednesday there were 2,148 MLS sales in September, up 11.93 per cent from a year ago. The all-time record in September was 2,197, which was established in 2005.

Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist, said sales were much stronger than expected in September due to healthy sales in the condo apartment and condo townhouse market.

“There has been a big increase in condo activity,” she said. “It is a move towards more activity in that more affordable range. That’s really what they’re offering. You see the trend with the single-family market as less and less are available under $400,000.

“The long-term potential for Calgary is very good. There’s a lot of positive factors that are influencing our market. We still have people moving here. We still have jobs. All of that is translating into improved demand.”

The overall median price in September was $425,000, a hike of 5.59 per cent from a year ago, while the average sale price rose by 7.3 per cent to $487,300.

New listings jumped by 16.72 per cent to 3,260 and active listings at the end of the month were up by 17.01 per cent to 4,589.

In September, Calgary recorded its 18th consecutive month of year-over-year gains in MLS sales and 32nd consecutive month of annual price hikes.

After two straight months of year-over-year sales declines, the single-family market rebounded in September with 1,398 sales, up 3.48 per cent from last year. The average sale price of $567,653 increased by 10.81 per cent and the median price jumped by 8.61 per cent to $488,750.

“It’s also important to keep in perspective that it (the previous two months) was still a strong level of sales eventhough they were lower than the previous year,” said Lurie. “It points to the fact that the market’s been improving and part of it is there’s more listings.

“The market now is much more balanced than it was in the spring. And the single-family market’s more balanced. So there’s more choice. There’s options. People have some time to make decisions.”

Sales in the condo apartment category rose by 33.33 per cent to 432. The median price of $294,750 was up by 7.77 per cent while the average sale price climbed by 9.21 per cent to $326,264.

The condo townhouse sector saw year-over-year sales increase by 30.33 per cent to 318 as the median price rose by 6.8 per cent to $330,000 and the average price increased by 4.21 per cent to $352,813.

In the towns surrounding Calgary market, sales were up by 24.67 per cent to 470. The median price saw a 3.54 per cent year-over-year hike to $380,000 and the average price was up 3.9 per cent to $393,518.

CREB also keeps track of a benchmark price which it says is the price for typical home sales in the market. The benchmark price and percentage change from a year ago for each housing category are: overall, $460,400, 10.25 per cent; single-family, $512,800, 10.59 per cent; condo apartment, $298,800, 9.49 per cent; condo townhouse, $330,200, 10.4 per cent; and surrounding towns, $377,800, 9.89 per cent.