Calgary’s housing market is showing signs of stability heading into spring, as detached home sales returned to balanced levels in March while inventory dropped compared to the same period last year, according to the latest data from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).
In March, detached home sales remained 10 per cent below long-term trends but surpassed levels seen in recent years, says CREB.
Across all price ranges in the detached market, higher sales and lower inventory levels were seen in March, which in turn, caused months of supply to trend towards more normal levels for most price ranges.
“It’s not so much that demand went through the roof in March, but that we had less supply come onto the market, which is really helping to balance things out,” said CREB President David P. Brown.
“These changes are lifting the cloud of uncertainty for housing consumers and nicely positioning our market as we move into the more active spring season,” he adds.
Last month, there were 1,906 sales in the city, a 20 per cent increase compared to 2016, but eight per cent below long-term averages.
Inventory totaled 5,114 homes last month, a 16 per cent drop compared to the same period in 2016.
CREB says the decline in inventory was primarily a result of the 25 and 17 per cent contractions in the detached and attached markets.
Despite months of supply shifting downward for all product types, the apartment sector has remained elevated averaging 6.1 in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the 2.4 average in the detached housing sector for the same period.
Last month, unadjusted detached benchmark prices totaled $503,900, a 0.4 per cent increase compared to February and in line with last year’s levels.
However, apartment and attached prices are not seeing the same uptick, as these prices remain below levels recorded last year, says CREB.
“The additional supply coming from the new home sector is not easily reversed and the added competition is continuing to weigh on prices in the higher density sectors of the market,” says CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
In March, unadjusted semi-detached prices totaled $389,600, up 0.9 per cent over last month and a one per cent increase compared to last year’s prices.
Row home prices totaled $304,100 last month, a 0.6 per cent decline since February and a 4.5 per cent drop below levels recorded last year.
“The housing market transition in the first quarter appears to be consistent with trends in the labour market,” said CREB’s Lurie.
As spring is usually a busy season in real estate, Lurie says the coming months will determine the Calgary market for the remainder of the year.