Photo: Bill Longstaff/Flickr

April saw home sales rise in Calgary, keeping supply levels below three months for a second consecutive, a key indicator of market stability.  

And, with labour conditions improving in the city, home prices remained steady last month, according to the latest data from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).

The average price of a residential property in the city was $439,600, down 0.9 per cent from in April 2016.

“More jobs means less uncertainty for people who are sitting on the fence,” says CREB president David P. Brown, in a press release.

“There also tends to be fewer people who need to sell when employment improves and that can prevent inventory gains and further price reductions in the market. It’s a good scenario for sellers who are entering a spring market that’s in better shape than anything we’ve seen in recent years,” he adds.

In April, year-over-year sales activity improved in each sector of Calgary’s housing market, says CREB. In total, 1,917 properties sold in April, up 8.43 per cent compared to the 1,768 homes sold in April 2016.

In the detached homes segment, 1,204 units sold last month, a nearly six per cent increase from the 1,136 homes sold last April. The benchmark price of a detached home was $504,100, a small decrease of 0.06 per cent compared to April 2016.

Last month, the detached home segment recorded 1,861 new listings, an uptick of 2.25 per cent from April 2016. Months of supply reached 2.09, a drop of 24.17 per cent from a year ago.

Meanwhile, in Calgary’s apartment sector the growth in new listings continued to surpass growth in sales last month.

This imbalance has caused the segment’s supply level to rise to nearly six months in April.

“Detached product has not faced the same supply pressure as the apartment sector,” says CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“Detached supply from new construction didn’t surpass previous highs. That helped prevent steeper price adjustments in the detached sector when demand eased,” she continues.

Last month, 287 apartments sold in Calgary, up 5.13 per cent from April 2016 while 693 new listings were recorded, a 4.05 per cent increase from last year.

With an abundance of supply in the apartment sector, prices faced downward pressure. The benchmark price of an apartment last month was $269, 200, a 4.23 per cent decrease from the same period last year.

The semi-detached segment recorded 206 sales last month, a 18.39 per cent increase from a year ago. Semi-detached home prices also increased 1.72 per cent from April 2016 to $390,200.

New listings for semi-detached properties totaled 272 last month, a drop of over 11 per cent compared to the 306 new listings recorded a year ago. Months of supply also declined to 2.25 from 3.37 last year.

To achieve overall price stability in Calgary’s housing market, CREB says more balanced conditions are needed.

“Improvements in the employment situation were necessary to prevent further declines in the housing sector,” says Lurie.

“However, economic recovery is still expected to be slow, impacting the pace and quality of job growth. Based on current expectations this should translate into a more prolonged period of recovery in the housing market,” she adds.

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