5 things to know about Calgary’s single-family home market

New construction and resale activity pulled back for Calgary’s single-family housing segment over the first two months of 2016.

But certain ends of the city had a noteworthy start to the year. Here are five things you should know about Calgary’s single-family market through the first two months of 2016.

Homes changing hands

People selling single-family homes on the resale market have been busiest in three key ends of Calgary; the city’s south, southeast and northwest areas. Citywide, sales were down nine per cent over the first two months of 2016 from a year earlier. But it’s been a strong start for the city’s south end, which led the first two months in resale with 264 deals on the books, says the Calgary Real Estate Board. Its most bustling neighbourhoods for sales were Evergreen and Chaparral with 22 and 21 transactions, respectively, year-to-date. Southeast Calgary followed with 189 sales and there were 163 in the northwest. The southeast’s leaders in sales were master-planned communities by Brookfield Residential, with Auburn Bay at 33 and 28 in New Brighton. In the northwest, it was 26 for Tuscany and 16 in Silver Springs, topping the list.

Breaking ground

Over the first two months of the year, new construction of single-family homes in the Calgary census metropolitan area eased to 443 starts from 778 a year earlier, says Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. CMHC tracks new home construction in neighbourhood clusters. Between Jan. 1 and the end of February, three of these clusters recorded at least 50 single-family starts. A stretch of southeast Calgary, which includes New Brighton, Copperfield, Cranston, Auburn Bay and Mahogany carried the pace with 77 starts.  A section of northeast Calgary, including Saddle Ridge, Saddlestone, Cityscape and Redstone was next with 64. Then Sherwood and Nolan Hill, in the city’s northwest, followed with shovels in the ground for 51 single-family homes.

Resale prices

Overall, single-family homes were more affordable in Calgary over the first two months of 2016 compared than the same time a year earlier. The benchmark price dipped to $506,200 from $521,950, says CREB. The benchmark price is that of a typical home based on a formula that uses various factors to ensure accurate comparisons. The benchmark price in Calgary’s city centre was the highest through the first two months of 2016 at $659,950 It was followed by $695,450 in south Calgary, $539,750 in the northwest, $458,350 in the southeast and $444,000 in the north. Then there was the northeast with a $397,250 benchmark and $356,200 on the east end.

New listings

There were 3,098 additions to the single-family home market over the first two months of 2016. The bulk came in south Calgary where there were 564 new listings, topped by Evergreen with 62. Then there were 534 in the southeast, paced by 86 in Cranston and 84 in Auburn Bay. Northwest Calgary was next with 425 new listings and there were 401 in the city centre. Leading the northwest in additions were Tuscany and Edgemont with 78 and 36, respectively. In the city centre, most of the listing growth came from 37 in Altadore and 30 in Mount Pleasant, says CREB.

Ready for possession

CMHC tracks the number of completed but unabsorbed homes in the Calgary area and says this largely represents spec and show homes. At the end of February, there were 360 of these homes in the single-family segment, with an average price of $736,291. Last month’s count marks an increase from 334 spec or show homes in Calgary a year earlier. Most of the constructed but unabsorbed single-family homes last month were in southeast and northwest Calgary, with 82 and 81, respectively. The average cost in the southeast was $693,890 and it was $642,667 in the northwest. The most affordable price was in the northeast quadrant, where the average was $628,558 on 35 units, says CMHC.

-Calgary Herald