Calgary sales pick up in the inner city

In May, the Calgary Real Estate Board said inner city year-to-date sales grew 4% -- something quite different from the overall Calgary average of a 3% decrease from the 2010 spring market.

"Consumers are looking for shorter commute times to work and easy access to a wider range of services provided by these inner city communities," said CREB President Sano Stante.

He said despite the more urban connotation of the inner city, many of these communities are surrounded by parks and mature trees, but also have diverse shopping and nearby transit. Many also see better long-term value sticking near the city's core, Stante said.

Prices have remained fairly stable in Calgary since last year, with the average single-family home sale price rising 1.2% since a year earlier to reach $470,616. The average price of condo dropped 1.7% over that same period to reach $286,903, while townhouses edged down 2.8% to reach $358,879.

"While condominiums continue to experience some decline in sales and prices, the rate of decline seems to be easing, indicating signs of improvement in this market," said Stante.

He said the market will ultimately need a better employment picture before the real estate market shows stronger signs of improvement. Employment growth has thus far remained sluggish in Calgary, but Stante said that could change later this year.

Residential listings in Calgary were down 14% over last year to reach 2,552 in May.

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