Calgary home sales, prices spike in February while inventory remains low, CREB says

The Calgary Real Estate Board said Monday that the market has faced low inventory levels compared to sales for the past several months, while prices continued to climb.

The board’s February numbers show that prices jumped by about 8 per cent to reach an average of $485,870, up from $446,690 the year prior.

CREB’s chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie attributed the spike to pandemic conditions.

“Despite continued COVID-19 restrictions, housing activity continues to improve. Much of the strong sales activity is expected to be driven by exceptionally low mortgage rates,” she said.

“Confidence is also likely improving as vaccine rollouts are underway. Additionally, some of the worst fears concerning the energy sector are easing with recent gains in energy prices.”

Sales totalled 1,836 last month, a more than 54 per cent increase over February 2020 and a volume not seen since February 2014.

New listings, however, didn’t keep up the pace. They amounted to 2,848, a 13 per cent increase from 2,517 the year before.

The gap between sales and new listings is doing little to help the market’s inventory woes, CREB said.

It estimated the area now has fewer than three months’ worth of homes on the market.

Conditions are particularly tight in the detached sector, especially for homes priced below $600,000, said CREB.

That portion of the market alone has less than two months of housing supply, but is also experiencing the most significant price gains.

Detached home sales in February amounted to 1,123, up from 678 the year prior, while prices edged up to $572,670 from $526,084 previously.

New listings for the category were up about 17 per cent, but inventory was down by almost 30 per cent.

At the other end of the housing spectrum, apartments and condos have a relatively high level of inventory compared to sales.

CREB said 272 apartments sold in February, up from 209 the February before.

Inventory in the category reached 1,433, a slight dip from 1,470 the year prior.

-Globe and Mail

Weekly Showing Report

The week over week showings have continued to climb across the Province. 

While we have not caught up to the showing activity of 2020, there is some speculation that restrictions to showings due to the current climate, and how fast new listings are selling are both contributing factors to fewer showings being available.

The activity on CIR Realty’s listings has climber 12% week over week, and is 49% higher than the same week in 2020.  With record amounts of new listings being brought on (and sold), the brokerages showing activity continues to do well.

With showing restrictions, and the pace of the market, there are some solid strategies to host “Live online open houses” prior to launching the listing to allow more people to see the home, which has the potential to increase more interest.

After all, the key to selling anything is to generate the highest amount of exposure possible, to create the largest amount of demand.

-Steve Phillips, CIR Realty

Weekly Showing Report

I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that the showing activity continues to climb week over week as the markets continue to heat up.

The showings across Alberta are actually slower than we experienced in 2020, but they are catching up rapidly! What certainly is not down year over year is the number of transactions, which, as of the 24th of February were up 73% for the month across the Province compared to the same time period last year.

For CIR Realty’s listings, we saw an increase of 7% week over week for showings which is 33% higher than the same week in 2020.

It is very important to understand that even with the increased activity, and the busier markets, pricing is still critical as the average list to sales price ratio through February is at 97.5%! Yes, there are multiple offers causing over list prices sales, but the majority are still seeing price negotiations. Pricing a home properly will have an impact on the time that it takes to sell, even in these busy markets.

This will begin to adjust if we continue to move into sellers markets, so each sector, and each area is critical to examine what is happening in that market, and how to properly price it for the activity occurring.

-Steve Phillips, CIR Realty