Calgary, September 2012 – Following several months of higher than expected sales growth, Calgary residential sales in August totaled 1,725 units, a 10-per-cent increase over last year. While the sales growth remains strong, it is slower than previous five months in part due to the lack of new listings in the City’s single family market. With fewer products to choose from, many consumers are holding off on transacting or turning to surrounding towns, the new home market and condominiums.
New listings within the City of Calgary total 2,585 units in August, down 13 per cent from one year ago and down more than four per cent on a year-to-date basis. Meanwhile, new listings in the surrounding towns have improved by nearly 10 per cent after the first eight months of this year.
Improving choice, affordable prices, combined with lifestyle factors and the lack of choice in the single family market within city limits, have driven sales growth in towns surrounding the city. In general, the area has witnessed sales activity that is comparable to peak sales activity.
Single family sales totaled 1,169 in August 2012, six per cent above levels recorded in 2011. Meanwhile, new listings declined by 14 per cent on a year-over-year basis over the same time frame. This year, demand has far outpaced new additions to supply in the single-family market, causing a significant depletion of standing inventories. However, the recent decline in sales growth helped ease the pres-sure on the market, as months of supply have risen to levels more consistent with balanced territory.
While sales growth activity did cool, the upward price pressure on single family homes will not likely ease until the fall. As of August, the benchmark price for a single family home was $432,600, an eight-per-cent increase over August 2011 levels. The increase may seem sig-nificant, but the prices have leveled off compared to the previous month and remain nearly $20,000 below peak levels recorded in July 2007.
August sales in both condominium apartment and townhouse units recorded year-over-year growth that outpaced the single family mar-ket. Year-to-date apartment sales have improved by nearly 10 per cent over 2011, while the level of new listings remained at levels simi-lar to last year. The improvement in sales relative to new listings has helped reduce the elevated inventory levels, keeping this market in balanced territory.
The benchmark price of a condominium apartment for the month of August was $248,700, a 3.6-per-cent increase over the previous year. Meanwhile townhouse style condominiums had a monthly benchmark price of $278,200, only a 2.5-per-cent increase. While the upward momentum is a signal of continued recovery in the condominium market, the benchmark price for condominiums remains nearly 16 per cent below peak levels.