Calgary’s single-family real estate market showing ‘sense of optimism’

Josh Skapin, Calgary Herald
Published on: March 3, 2017 | Last Updated: March 3, 2017 2:23 PM MST

For the second straight month, resale of single-family homes in Calgary recorded a double-digit percentage increase over the same time in 2016.

There were 825 single-family homes sold through the city’s resale market in February, climbing 19 per cent from a year ago, says the Calgary Real Estate Board. This follows a 25 per cent year over year sales jump in January.

Sales were paced by an area CREB defines as south Calgary with 166 transactions, followed by 126 in the city’s southeast and 118 in the northwest.

“There seems to be a new sense of optimism these days,” said CREB’s president David P. Brown. “Some sellers are feeling upbeat about the changing landscape and the improved chances of selling their home. Other people are looking at the spring market with caution and wondering if we’re going to see a higher than expected surge of listings.”

As for February, both new listings and inventory pulled back from the same time a year ago. Inventory tumbled 32 per cent to 1,990 units from 2,953, while new listings slipped 20 per cent to 1,294 from 1,611.

South Calgary led the city in both inventory and new listings last month, with counts of 376 and 261, respectively.

While prices on single-family homes were down from the same month last year, they outperformed the previous three months. The segment’s benchmark price in February was $501,900, down one per cent from $507,000 a year ago.

This followed benchmarks of $500,400 in January, $501,200 in December 2016 and $501,400 in November 2016.

Benchmark prices are that of a typical home based on a formula that uses various factors to ensure accurate comparisons.

The highest benchmark price on single-family homes last month came from an area CREB defines as west Calgary, reaching $707,300. This marked a two per cent increase over the same month in 2016.

The only other areas with increases to their respective benchmark prices were northwest Calgary, rising 0.3 per cent to $541,500, and an area CREB calls east Calgary, inching up 0.1 per cent to $357,200.

Most of the single-family homes sold through the city’s resale market last month belonged to the $450,000 to $499,999 price range. This bracket had 226 deals, up from 176 a year ago. However, the most substantial upswing was from the $600,000 to $649,999 range, more than doubling its output from February 2016. Sales jumped to 103 from 47 year over year.

People selling their single-family home last month came slightly closer price to what they were asking for than their counterparts from a year ago. CREB says the sales to price ratio was 97.36 per cent last month, versus 96.76 in February 2016.