8458287549_441c66c246_b Photo: Doug Zwick

High demand and insufficient inventory drove up Calgary home prices in the first three months of the year, according to a new report by Royal LePage.

The average price for a standard two-storey home surged 7.5 per cent to $472,644 compared to the first quarter of 2013, while detached home prices increased 6.3 per cent to $480,222 and the price of condos rose 5.3 per cent to $274,700.

“The market continues to be red hot and new listings are being snatched up quickly, with most properties being sold in less than a week,” said Royal LePage agent Ted Zaharko in the quarterly report. “Calgary is still very much a sellers’ market.”

According to Zaharko, while unit sales have been strong — up approximately 14 per cent over the first quarter of 2013 — there is still pent-up demand.

“If there were a better supply of inventory on hand, there would probably be even more sales. While this high demand exists there are still well positioned listings that are not getting showings or the activity we would expect across the market,” he said.

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Across Canada, most regions showed healthy year-over-year price growth, with the average price of a home in Canada rising between 2.5 per cent and 5.4 per cent. In the first quarter, the average price of a two-storey home increased 5.4 per cent to $428,943, while detached bungalows rose 4.4 per cent year-over-year to $380,765. Condos posted slightly lower gains of 2.5 per cent to $252,174.

“With the slightest trace of a weather recovery in most parts of the country, we are now finally seeing the arrival of housing inventory. This, combined with pent-up demand following a particularly long and harsh winter is setting the stage for an exceptionally robust spring 2014 market,” said Royal LePage president Phil Soper. “This is good news for buyers, as the price spikes we have seen in a number of cities will be alleviated by this additional supply.”

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