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Detached home sales in Calgary are leading the way for recovery in the city’s housing market, according to the latest statistical release from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).

“The transition in the housing market appears to be underway,” says CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lure, in a statement.

“However, it is important to note that this change is primarily being driven by improvements in the detached market and stability in the labour market,” she continues.

Even though February saw a 19-per-cent drop in home sales compared to long-term averages, sales have improved over the last two years. A total of 1,342 units sold last month.

With home sales climbing, months of housing supply fell to 2.4 months in February, easing “downward pressure” on pricing.

The unadjusted benchmark price for a detached home in Calgary rose modestly on a month-over-month basis in February, reaching $501,900.

However, that’s still down 1 per cent from the same time last year.

Calgary’s sales-to-new-listings ratio, determined by dividing sales by new listings in a given month and expressed as a percentage, has increased since last year’s near record low of 39 per cent, sitting at 55 per cent in February.

Markets with ratios between 40 and 60 per cent are generally considered to be balanced.

As home sales trend upwards, CREB says the housing market is shifting towards more-balanced conditions.

“Some sellers are feeling upbeat about the changing landscape and the improved chances of selling their home,” says CREB President David P. Brown.

“Other people are looking at the spring market with caution and wondering if we’re going to see a higher than expected surge of listings. While there’s less product on the market right now, sellers still need to be realistic with their pricing,” he adds.

Overall, Calgary’s inventory dropped from five months last year to 3.4 months of supply in February.

There is optimism for overall housing market balance and price recovery in Calgary — not just for the detached corner of the market.

“All indicators continue to point toward a slow transition from a contracting market toward one that is stabilizing at lower levels,” says Lure.

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