CALGARY — Calgary’s resale housing market had its best January for sales since 2008 as average prices also climbed to their highest level ever for the month.
According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, total MLS® sales in the city in January were 1,230, up 15.17 per cent from a year ago while the average sale price rose by 12.34 per cent cent to $439,671.
The previous record high for the average sale price in any January was in 2008 at $413,271.
“In today’s Calgary real estate market there are a number of significant factors that influence our housing sector. The growth within the energy sector is significant along with consumer confidence in the marketplace as well as steady economic performance,” said Kaitlyn Gottlieb, Realtor® with Century 21 Bamber Realty Ltd. in Calgary. “While these factors continue to increase home sales, should inventory continue to decline, pricing may continue to increase steadily, yet moderately. Although it is early in the year to make market predictions, if 2013 continues to bring good economic activity there is a great possibility that 2013 will exceed our expectations both in the Calgary real estate market and in Calgary’s outlying areas. While 2013 growth may be modest, we can still expect a positive market for this year.
“Alberta continues to fuel growth as a commodity-rich province and is expected to continue to support moderate price growth as we saw in 2012. The increased prices we have seen on single-family homes can partially be attributed to the record number of luxury homes sales we saw last year.”
In the single-family home market in Calgary, sales during January of 879 were up 15.20 per cent from last year and the average sale price rose by 12.74 per cent to $496,579.
The average sale price was the fifth highest ever for any month in the single-family market. The peak was $506,670 set in July 2007.
In the condo apartment category, sales of 204 for January were up 13.97 per cent from a year ago while the average sale price jumped by 13.09 per cent to $280,273. The condo townhouse sector saw sales increase by 16.67 per cent from a year ago to 147 transactions and the average price rise by 7.61 per cent to $320,590.
“Prices have improved in the Calgary market but as always it is important to keep some perspective on this,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist. “While January’s year-over-year increase seems significant, price recovery occurred in the spring months of 2012 under tighter market conditions and home prices leveled off for the remainder of the year.”
CREB also tracks the prices for what it calls typical properties sold. The overall benchmark price in the city rose by 8.35 per cent to $392,000. The single-family home benchmark price jumped by 9.01 per cent to $436,900. It rose by 7.49 per cent in the condo apartment category to $251,300 and it was up by 4.85 per cent in the condo townhouse category to $283,400.
“The employment gains achieved in previous years along with rising income, low mortgage rates and robust net migration levels has sustained demand for housing,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. “Many buyers have benefited from Calgary’s growing economy, giving them opportunities to move into homeownership.
“Some of the resale activity will have likely come from renters as well. As the rental market has tightened with average rents moving up, some renters may have decided to purchase a starter home and take on a mortgage instead of paying rent.”