The latest round of statistics released from the Calgary Real Estate Board show May was another strong month in our city.
Single-family home sales in metro Calgary were up 23% from April 2009, according to the MLS sales activity, with 1,584 properties exchanging hands.
Better yet, May 2009 single-family homes sales were an increase of 16% from May 2008.
"We are seeing the first year-over-year gain in single family homes sales since last September," says Bonnie Wegerich, President of the Calgary Real Estate Board. "A pent up demand has been building - with many first-time home buyers now taking advantage of affordable prices, record low interest rates and federal government housing incentives."
And first time buyers are coming out in droves. In the Calgary metro area, homes priced at $400,000 or less accounted for nearly 70% of all home re-sales in the month of May.
While reduced interest rates make payments an easier pill to swallow for those making the transition from tenant to homeowner, lower house prices are assisting those who might have previously been priced out of the market as well.
The average price of a single family home in metro Calgary in May 2009 was $436,427, an increase of 2% from April pricing, but a substantial 9% decrease from May 2008's average house price of $479,564.
The increased market activity is also lowering the gap between supply and demand, which was driving prices down at the end of last year.
"Since December we have seen five consecutive months of increases in home sales, while our inventory continues to trend lower. The gap has narrowed and prices are stabilizing" Wegerich says.
Wegerich went on to say that "all signs indicated we are moving to a balanced and stable market. Consumer confidence is improving, prices are holding steady and inventory is trending downward."
While inventory is heading down fixed interest rates took a jump recently due to increasing pressure from the raising bond rates. Some lenders increased rates as much as 30 points in one day with hints of additional increases on the horizon.
For those that have been sitting on the fence waiting to take advantage of the current market conditions the window of opportunity may be starting to close on historic low interest rates.
Prospective buyers could protect themselves by securing a pre-approval rate hold, typically available with most lenders for 90 - 120 days, or by ensuring that any pre-approval already in place does not lapse.
It is important to recognize that if you do have a pre-approval in place which is allowed to expire, the slightly increased interest rates available today could lower your maximum purchase price. This is because higher interest rates drive up monthly payments, which translates into a larger payment to factor into your total debt ratio.
Contact an experienced mortgage expert today to determine your best course of action, ensuring you are positioned to take advantage of all the market conditions available to those willing to take action right now, including low interest rates. Nothing can last forever.
Home Sweet Home Team
CENTURY 21 THE PROFESSIONALS LTD.
#1, 4600 CROWCHILD TRAIL NW
CALGARY, AB T3A 2L6
WEBSITE: www.homesweethometeam.ca & www.century21.ca/jeffrey.leblanc