Lack of choice in single family sector impacts sale growth
Following double digit gains last month, sales growth in the city of Calgary totaled 1,854 units, or an 8.68 per cent increase over the same period in 2013. Slower sales growth resulted in a reduction of listings in the single family sector. However, single family sales still totalled 1,230 units, a 1.9 per cent increase over the previous year. Demand growth in the single family sector has been restricted by the availability of product. New listings in this sector fell for the second consecutive month, causing further tightening in an already undersupplied market.
Despite the pull back in the single family sector, condominium sales continue to surge. After the first two months of the year, both condominium apartment and townhouse sales increased by 28 per cent compared to last year. Consumers who are in the market for single family homes priced below $300,000 do not have many options, and when product does become available, it typically does not stay on the market for long. However, nearly 54 per cent of the new condominium apartment listings this year are priced below $300,000, which is providing options for consumers looking for affordable product. The condominium market benefited from significant gains in new listings. Year-to-date, condominium apartment and townhouse listings improved by a respective 17 and 4 per cent for a combined total of 1,737 units.
As we move into the spring market it is expected that listings will improve in all sectors. The rise in listings will help ease some of the tightness in the market, with price growth impacts varying by community and property type. With no significant additions to the housing supply, resale prices continued to rise. The unadjusted single family benchmark price totalled $482,800 in February, a 1.28 per cent increase over the previous month and a 9.1 per cent increase over the previous year. Meanwhile condominium apartment and townhouse prices totaled a respective $283,400 and $309,700. Condominium apartment price increases remain at double digit levels this month with a year-over-year gain of 12.4 per cent. Despite the strong gains in condominium prices, overall benchmark prices in both the apartment and townhouse sector continue to remain below peak records set back in 2007.
Resale market conditions have favoured the seller, and this has translated into price gains, which is strongest in the condominium sector. However, it is important to note that condominium prices have not yet risen above previous highs, whereas single family prices recovered last year.