September sales and prices up in Calgary’s resale housing market

CALGARY — MLS transactions and average resale housing prices in Calgary grew in September compared with a year ago, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board.

Total MLS sales in the city of 1,617 were up 10.68 per cent from September 2011 while the average price increased by 0.44 per cent to $419,332.

“We have definitely seen a rise in the market this past month,” said Christina Hagery, a realtor in Calgary with RE/MAX Realty Professionals. “Clients have returned from their summer holidays and taking their real estate search more seriously. They are taking advantage of the surplus in the market left over from the summer before interest rates increase. The right properties priced at market are selling.”

Growth in September was experienced in each of the housing sectors.

The single-family home market saw year-over-year sales rise by 9.37 per cent to 1,132 with the average sale price up by 0.47 per cent to $468,360.

In the condo apartment category, the average sale price of $286,226 was up 4.01 per cent from a year ago and sales rose by 16.95 per cent to 276 transactions.

And in the condo townhouse sector, sales of 209 during September represented a 10.0 per cent hike from last year while the average sale price rose by 0.14 per cent to $329,558.

“There has been significant discussion over the slowing national market,” said Bob Jablonski, CREB’s president. “However, Calgary is seeing improving sales activity and price growth with no indication that the market is poised for a correction.

“In fact, for the first time in several years, the Calgary housing market is demonstrating typical behaviour for this time of year.”

In September, the single-family benchmark price of $432,900 was up 8.2 per cent from a year ago while the benchmark price for a condo apartment rose by 3.83 per cent to $249,300 and for a condo townhouse it was up 2.25 per cent to $277,700.

The benchmark price represents a typical home price, according to CREB.

“At the end of last year, a concern regarding the economic climate was heightened,” said CREB’s economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “There was discussion of a double-dip recession in the United States, coupled with weak domestic economic growth.

“While much of this uncertainty in the economy persists, consumers’ confidence in the Prairie region has improved, compared to last year. This does not come as a surprise, given our province has recorded strong economic growth relative to Canada-wide figures. Calgary’s unemployment rate continues to fall, wages are improving, and our full-time employment growth is far outpacing national averages.”

Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., said sales in the city continue to move forward.

“Full-time job growth has been robust this year and average weekly earnings are also up. This, along with positive migration flows and relatively low mortgage rates has helped support housing demand,” he said.

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