CALGARY - February saw a substantial increase in MLS sales in Calgary as well as continued growth in the average price compared with a year ago.
Data released Monday by the Calgary Real Estate Board showed single-family home sales for February were 1,035 units, which was up 25.45 per cent from February 2009 (825). The average sale price hit $458,254, an increase of 10.27 per cent from last year’s $415,568.
Also, condo sales were up a whopping 56.27 per cent to 536 units compared with 343 unit sales in February 2009. The average price also increased by 5.17 per cent from $269,971 to $282,880.
“There is a spring in the step of Calgary homebuyers as we get ready for the spring market,” said Diane Scott, president of CREB. “Indeed, the Calgary housing market has shifted from fragile to fervent in just over 12 months. We will see strong activity in the spring market as many buyers will view 2010 as the time to take advantage of affordability and to get in before interest rates rise.
“The market is tightening and we are seeing a moderate rise in the number of competing offers on homes,” said Scott. “But Calgary’s market remains in a healthy and stable position. There has been much talk of a housing bubble in some markets across Canada but we believe balance, not bubble, is the story of the Calgary housing market for 2010.”
In the towns outside Calgary market, sales were up 55.81 per cent to 335 units from 215 a year ago but the average sale price dropped by 4.82 per cent to $353,912 from $371,829.
In the country residential market (acreages), sales increased by 84.38 per cent going from 32 last year to 59 last month with the average price remaining virtually the same at $748,506.
Scott said many first-time buyers are seeing this as the time to take advantage of record-low interest rates.
“We will see a rise in both our inventory and demand this spring—and we expect both to stay in a healthy balance. Prices will edge up as the year progresses, but the rise in prices will be moderate,” added Scott.
Single-family listings in Calgary added for the month of February totaled 2,154, a 4.72 per cent jump from a year ago.
Condominium new listings for February were 1,109, up 24.33 per cent from last year.
“The story of the housing market is all about interest rates at the moment,” said Scott. “When the rates will rise is the wild card. Canada’s economic recovery showed marked improvement in the final quarter of last year. This will put pressure on the Bank of Canada to begin raising rates sooner than planned to curb inflation.”