August 2012 CREB Stats: City growth slows while town sales continue to soar

Residential sales in the city and surrounding towns record respective gains of 10 and 42 per cent

Calgary, Sept. 4, 2012 – Following several months of higher than expected sales growth, Calgary residential sales in August totaled 1,725 units, a 10-per-cent increase over last year.

“While the sales grow remains strong, it is slower than previous five months in part due to the lack of new listings in the City’s single family market,” said Bob Jablonski, CREB® President.  “With fewer products to choose from, many consumers are holding off on transacting or turning to surrounding towns, the new home market and condominiums.”

New listings within the City of Calgary total 2,585 units in August, down 13 per cent from one year ago and down more than four per cent on a year-to-date basis.  Meanwhile, new listings in the surrounding towns have improved by nearly 10 per cent after the first eight months of this year.

“Improving choice, affordable prices, combined with lifestyle factors and the lack of choice in the single family market within city limits, have driven sales growth in towns surrounding the city,” said Jabslonski.  “In general, the area has witnessed sales activity that is comparable to peak sales activity.”

Single family sales totaled 1,169 in August 2012, six per cent above levels recorded in 2011.  Meanwhile, new listings declined by 14 per cent on a year-over-year basis over the same time frame.  This year, demand has far outpaced new additions to supply in the single-family market, causing a significant depletion of standing inventories.  However, the recent decline in sales growth helped ease the pressure on the market, as months of supply have risen to levels more consistent with balanced territory. 

While sales growth activity did cool, the upward price pressure on single family homes will not likely ease until the fall.  As of August, the benchmark price for a single family home was $432,600, an eight-per-cent increase over August 2011 levels.  The increase may seem significant, but the prices have leveled off compared to the previous month and remain nearly $20,000 below peak levels recorded in July 2007.

August sales in both condominium apartment and townhouse units recorded year-over-year growth that outpaced the single family market.  Year-to-date apartment sales have improved by nearly 10 per cent over 2011, while the level of new listings remained at levels similar to last year.  The improvement in sales relative to new listings has helped reduce the elevated inventory levels, keeping this market in balanced territory. 

The benchmark price of a condominium apartment for the month of August was $248,700, a 3.6-per-cent increase over the previous year.  Meanwhile townhouse style condominiums had a monthly benchmark price of $278,200, only a 2.5-per-cent increase.  While the upward momentum is a signal of continued recovery in the condominium market, the benchmark price for condominiums remains nearly 16 per cent below peak levels.

“Some continue to foresee a scenario where price declines are looming in the local housing market, especially given national trends,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® Chief Economist.  “There is no question economic concerns can threaten our housing recovery. However, to date Calgary housing market consumers are exhibiting confidence evidenced through the pick-up in sales activity across all housing types. 

“The rapid sales growth caused supply levels to drop, particularly in the single family market, resulting in price gains.  While we anticipate recent movements in the single family resale market will take some pressure off the higher-than-expected price growth, another city wide price correction is not expected given current economic growth expectations combined with one of the best affordability climates in the country."

 

About CREB®

CREB® is a professional body of more than 5,100 licensed brokers and registered associates, representing 239 member offices. CREB® is dedicated to enhancing the value, integrity and expertise of its REALTOR® members. Our REALTORS® are committed to a high standard of professional conduct, ongoing education, and a strict Code of Ethics and standards of business practice.

For Calgary Metro, CREB® statistics include only Zone A, B, C and D for properties located in Calgary. Furthermore, all historical data has been adjusted to the most current information.

Any use or reference to CREB® data and statistics must acknowledge CREB® as the source. The board does not generate statistics or analysis of any individual member or company’s market share.

Average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods, or account for price differentials between geographical areas. All MLS® active listings for Calgary and area may be found on the board’s website at www.creb.com.

CREB® is a registered trademark of the Calgary Real Estate Board Cooperative. The trademarks MLS® and Multiple Listing Service® are owned by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR® and REALTORS® are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA, and subsequently the Alberta Real Estate Association and CREB®, used under licence.

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