Calgary market steps into 'spring swing'

The month-to-date numbers from March 1-10 show a total of 657 MLS sales, an increase of 3.46 per cent compared to the same time last year. Also up is the average sales price, having increased 9.80 per cent to $456,814.

Senior market analyst in Calgary for CMHC Richard Cho said the performance in the city outweighs that of the rest of Canada.

“The rate of growth is anticipated to be higher here than in many other areas of the country as the average resale price in Canada is forecast to increase by only one per cent in 2013,” said Cho. “Supply of homes in Calgary’s resale market has come down from a year earlier while sales have been fairly stable.”
The low levels of inventory consistent with other cities in North America are contributing to favourable buying conditions, says Becky Walters, president of CREB. “The demand is being pushed up and gradually so are the prices,” she says. “The low inventory is also being reflected in the rentals. Vacancy rates are being reduced, and monthly rents are going up.”

There is another unassuming factor that has played a part in the early upswing of sales in Calgary - the early arrival of warm weather. Buying trends have been recorded in February/March that are usually associated with March/April.

“The market is moving into it’s spring swing quite early,” says Walters. “We are seeing the market is strong, we’ve had some wonderful weather here which has made people thing of spring earlier than normal, so we’re seeing buying happening much earlier in the season.”

New listings were down almost 10 per cent to 1,052, and active listings down to 3,790, but Walters says the market is balanced and will continue to provide investors with ample opportunity. “We’d like to see a few more homes come on the market to keep it that way,” she says, “and I think the Calgary market is going to be a steady choice for investors this year.”

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