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Lisa Merrett
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Improved activity across all sectors

Calgary, May 1, 2012 – For the month of April 2012, year-over year sales activity improved across all sectors in the city. Calgary residential sales total 2,200 for the month, a 26 percent increase over levels recorded last year.

“The growth in full-time employment, combined with improving migration levels, is translating into improved demand for housing,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® chief economist. “While sales growth does seem exceptionally strong, it is important to keep in perspective that the sales activity in Calgary is returning to levels more consistent with the long-term average.”

The single-family market continues to tighten, with months of supply dropping below three months. Sales growth continues to outpace new-listings activity, placing downward pressure on inventories. As the market tightens, single-family homes are selling quicker, and there has been some upward pressure on pricing. The MLS® Home Price Index for the month of April recorded a year-over-year price increase of 5.5 per cent for a total benchmark price of $449,500.

“While the balance between demand and supply in the single family market has shifted towards sellers’ territory, there are several components that make today’s market different from five years ago,” says Bob Jablonski, president of CREB®. “The main difference is there is still significant supply for consumers in surrounding towns and the condominium market in the city, and the new-home builders do have the ability to absorb some of the excess demand,” Jablonski adds.

After the first four months of the year, the condominium apartment sales totaled 1,133, a 2.2 per cent increase over the same period last year. Tighter supply in the single-family market has translated to improved demand for condominium apartments, and consumers active in this market have a sufficient amount of supply and new listings to choose from. New condominium apartment listings for the month of April rose by 5.9 per cent compared to last year, and remain at similar levels on a year-to-date basis. As the gap between inventories and sales narrows, the months of supply continues to trend toward levels that are more consistent with a balanced market.

While the condominium apartment market moved into more balanced territory, index prices remain relatively unchanged. The condominium townhouse  market is trending in a similar fashion to the single family market, and recorded a year-overyear index price increase of 2.7 per cent. Overall for the
month of April, the condominium townhouse and apartment markets recorded a benchmark price of 294,500 and 248,300, respectively.

“While sales activity and the level of new listings continue to remain below long-term trends, the spring market is definitely on the rise over the previous year,” says Jablonski. “As confidence in the local housing market continues to build, we anticipate a rise in demand, followed by improved listings from those waiting to see some price appreciation prior to listing their home.”

NOTE: The single family benchmark price has been pushed up to levels comparable to those recorded in 2007, but the index continues to remain below peak levels. Why the difference? This is mostly due to the community weighting factor inherent in the benchmark price. The index figure does not have the same bias, and therefore is a better measure of the true price appreciation in the market.

posted in CALGARY HOUSING MARKET STATISTICS at Tue, 01 May 2012 19:50:54 -0600

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