Greater affordability in the single-family home market, particularly for properties under $350,000, led to Januaryâ€™s uptick in sales, CREB President Sano Stante said in a statement released on Feb. 2.
â€œThis may suggest more first time homebuyers are entering the market, providing the fuel needed for a sustained housing recovery,â€ he added. â€œMore affordable housing will continue to attract homebuyers to the inner city, particularly as employment in the city of Calgary continues to improve.â€
The cityâ€™s unemployment rate was at 6% in December, compared to 7.6% across Canada, according to Statistics Canada. The figures represented about a 6,000 increase in full-time jobs from a year ago in Calgary.
Prices for both houses and condos were up in Calgary. The average price of a single family home in January was $454,287, up 3% from the same time last year. The average price of a condominium in the city was $287,954 this January, a 2% increase over a year earlier.
"Alberta will begin to see growth in net-migration as the oil and gas sector regains traction. This will help boost consumer confidence and ultimately bring improvements to employment and family incomeâ€”key drivers of our housing market," said Stante.
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Single-family home sales rose 3%, up from 762 last January to 787 this year, while condominium sales fell 22%, down from 376 last January to 297 this year.