It was a record setting year for Calgary’s condominium apartment and townhouse sectors, as sales reached new annual highs despite year-over-year residential sales declines of 7.5 per cent in December.
Single family sales totaled 708 units in December, a year-over-year decline of 8.3 per cent. Meanwhile, total condominium sales also declined by six per cent over the same time frame, but overall activity remained consistent with long-term averages.
“It is not unusual to see slower activity in the month of December as consumer focus often shifts toward the holiday season,” said CREB® president Bill Kirk. “While monthly sales activity has slowed, it is consistent with December activity over the past several years. Overall, annual sales activity has actually increased by 9.3 per cent over last year.”
Yearly condominium apartment sales totaled 4,742 in 2014, an 18 per cent increase over the previous year. Meanwhile, townhouse sales totaled 3,737 units, a 17 per cent annual increase. Both sectors recorded record years of sales activity.
“Changes in the economic climate are expected to cool housing market conditions in 2015, and December activity may be the first indication of this shift,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “However, any pullback that may occur needs to be kept in perspective as 2014 housing activity far exceeded our expectations.”
City of Calgary sales and new listings totaled a respective 25,664 and 36,329 in 2014. The 13 per cent growth in new listings outpaced the nine per cent growth in sales, contributing to an overall rise in inventory levels.
With more availability in the market, residential benchmark prices continued to level off in December. However, annual average benchmark gains remained above nine per cent. Unadjusted benchmark prices for single family, condominium apartment and townhouse properties all remained similar to levels recorded in November.
Single-family sales totaled 17,185 in 2014, an annual increase of 5.5 per cent. While the single-family sector represents the largest component of sales at 67 per cent, the growth in sales in both the condominium markets has outpaced activity in this sector.
“The activity that we’ve seen in the condominium sectors is, in part, is related to product availability in the lower price ranges,” said Kirk. “The under $400,000 segment of the single-family market within city limits has been declining. With the bulk of condominium products available for under $400,000, more consumers have been turning to these sectors for their housing needs.”
Strong demand for condominium apartments was also met with rising supply levels. New listings totaled 7,297 units in 2014, a 30 per cent increase over the previous year.
While rising listings helped take the pressure off prices, on an annual basis, unadjusted condominium apartment and benchmark prices have recovered and exceeded previous highs recorded in 2007.