The level of transactions was well above long-term trends for the month, mostly due to improved activity in the single-family sector. However, on a year-to-date basis, activity is only slightly higher than expectations.
“The sales have been limited by the need for more resale listings,” said CREB® President Becky Walters. “However, August did see more new listings than last year, giving buyers more choice.”
August new listings recorded a year-over-year improvement of 7.4 per cent. While seller’s market conditions persist and total inventory levels keep falling, improvement in new listings helped prevent further tightening in the market despite the sales growth.
Single-family sales totaled 1,517 units in August, a 30 per cent increase over the previous year. Despite strong sales in the past couple of months, year-to-date sales activity has grown by 5.4 per cent, slightly stronger than anticipated.
“Lack of choice, particularly in single-family homes, has limited single-family sales growth,” said Walters. “However, improved new listings in the higher end of the market have created an opportunity for those looking to upgrade.”
Year-to-date condominium apartment sales totaled 2,823 units, a 13.7 per cent increase over the previous year. Unlike the single-family market, new listings are declining, causing the market to become tighter than levels recorded in the previous month.
Meanwhile, the condominium townhouse market, like the single-family market, not only recorded strong sales growth but also saw a rise in new listings, helping ease some tightness in this market. Year-to-date sale and new listings increased at a respective 21.4 and 2.6 per cent.
“Housing demand has been supported by another year of strong migration levels, improving employment and wage growth,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® Chief Economist. “Last year’s mortgage rule changes did not reverse the sales growth in our city, but did redirect demand to more affordable product.
“While recent increases in lending rates may require purchasers to adjust their expectations, Calgary remains a relatively affordable Canadian city. Our affordability, combined with a positive economic outlook is expected to support demand growth for the remainder of the year.”
Single-family benchmark prices reached $464,700 in August, a 7.4 per cent rise from the previous year and a 0.7 per cent increase over July.
Meanwhile, condominium apartment and townhouse prices totaled a respective $270,600 and $298,500 in August, increasing by more than seven per cent compared to the previous year.
“Price appreciation typically reflects the level of supply and demand in the market,” said Lurie. “Tight market conditions have supported stronger-than-expected price growth in the city, but this price appreciation needs to be taken into context.
“While citywide single-family benchmark prices have risen above unadjusted highs by $13,400, as of August both c-ondominium apartment and townhouse units are a respective $26,400 and $32,300 below the unadjusted highs recorded in 2007.”