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.