It’s a sellers’ market for resale condos in the city — the first time since the crazy days of 2007, says the Calgary Real Estate Board.
Resale condo apartments and townhomes are following the trend set by detached single-family resale homes, says the board.
Higher sales demand, coupled with lower listings, pushed the total resale market into sellers’ territory.
“Calgary’s housing market continues to defy national softening trends as gains in the employment sector, migrant growth, rising wages and low interest rates are translating into growing demand for housing,” says chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie of CREB.
While conditions favour sellers for the first time since 2007, the economy is much different today, says Lurie.
“The economy is nowhere near as strong as it was in 2007,” she says. “There is still a lot of risk in our economy. During that time (in 2007), both natural gas and oil was going very strong, which is not the case today.
“Back then, we had far greater employment growth and net migration numbers were much stronger.”
Net migration refers to the inflow of people to Calgary minus the outflow.
Another difference affecting the city’s resale market is the availability of dwellings in the new home market, as well as in the communities surrounding Calgary.
“At the time, it was even difficult to get anything in the surrounding areas,” says Lurie about the market in 2007.
“Their inventories were also quite low, as well as options in the new home market. They were going crazy as well, building as fast as they could.
“Now, there are still options. The City of Calgary market is tight, but you can still go into the surrounding towns and buy property. There are options in the competing markets.”
Because there are currently more options in the market compared to 2007, Lurie predicts prices will continue to rise, but not at the rate that they did then.
Average prices for condo apartments rose to $291,345 in April, up 8.74 per cent from $267,931 during the same month in 2012.
While the benchmark price of condo apartments has risen, it is still about 12 per cent off the peak benchmark price of $297,000 in August 2007.
New listings for new condos went up slightly to 3.19 per cent in April to 614, rising from 595 in April 2012.
But the number of new listings from Jan. 1 to the end of April dropped 7.68 per cent, to 2,079 from 2,252 listings.
Sales are moving more quickly than last year for condo apartments. In April, apartments sold in an average of 41 days, 18.62 per cent faster than the average of 50 days for the same month last year.
Sales from January to the end of April were similarly faster, with apartments selling in an average of 44 days, which was 13.73 per cent faster than 51 days during April 2012.
Townhomes experienced a 27.24 per cent rise in sales in April compared to last year, to 341 sales from 268. The transactions were 26.64 per cent faster in April than the year before, with homes selling in an average of 36 days compared to 49.
The average price of resale townhomes in April rose 5.15 per cent to $337,119 from $320,607 in April 2012. The benchmark price also rose by 4.52 per cent during this time to $288,900, up from $276,400.
The average price for townhouses from Jan. 1 to the end of April rose 8.75 per cent to $339,814, up from $312,478 during the same period in 2012.
April’s benchmark price of $288,900 for townhomes was about 12 per cent off the peak benchmark price of $338,000 in 2007.
The price is that of a typical home based on a formula that uses various factors to ensure accurate comparisons.
The benchmark price for detached single-family homes set a new high of $452,900 last month, up from the previous high of $451,300 in July 2007.
The benchmark price for apartment condos rose 7.35 per cent to $261,300 in April, up from $243,400 during the same time period.
Benchmark prices for detached single-family homes have also surpassed the past high-water mark from 2007.
They reached $452,900 in April, up from $451,300 in July 2007.
DID YOU KNOW
Most resale condo townhomes sold in Calgary from Jan. 1 to the end of April were priced from $200,000 to $299,999. About 42 per cent of sales were in this range, down slightly from 44 per pent during the same time period the year before. The next sales category, from $300,000 to $399,999, accounted for about 27.5 per cent of sales from the first four months of this year. For resale condo apartment sales during this time, about 19 per cent were less than $200,000, with 46 per cent ranging from $200,000 to $299,999 and about 22 per cent from $300,000 to $399,999.