Photo: Ryunosuke Kikuno / Unsplash

Alberta’s two largest housing markets have shown signs of recovery after the pandemic slowed transactions. Throughout October, Calgary continued to outpace Edmonton in both sales and price growth.

According to the most recent market report from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB), the city set a new record with 2,186 transactions last month, 35 per cent higher than the long-term average for October.

The most recent figures, combined with a flurry of sales that occurred earlier in the year, have seen Calgary’s year-to-date transactions surge 61 per cent higher than the average for the January to October period over the past five years. Home sales were also reported to be 42 per cent higher than 10-year averages.

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However, the CREB noted that the city is experiencing the same supply issues witnessed elsewhere around the country, as sellers are hesitant to put homes on the market. New listings fell 16 per cent below both 2020 numbers and the market’s long-term average.

The imbalance between supply and demand has pushed Calgary home prices higher, rising to an average of $460,100, nearly nine per cent higher than this time last year.

“Moving into the fourth quarter, the pace of housing demand continues to exceed expectations in the city,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, the CREB’s chief economist. “Much of the persistent strength is likely related to improving confidence in future economic prospects, as well as a sense of urgency among consumers to take advantage of the low-lending-rate environment.”

Edmonton has also seen a spike in year-over-year sales activity, but hasn’t reported property price increases like their neighbours to the south. The average price of an Edmonton property, now $377,848, dropped 1.1 per cent from $382,003 in October 2020, and held steady compared to the previous month.

Despite dipping 0.6 per cent from September, total residential sales in the region were 11.7 per cent higher than October 2020, according to the Realtors Association of Edmonton (RAE).

New listings dropped 11.7 per cent from the month before, while total inventory fell by 5.8 per cent annually and 7.5 per cent from September.

“The Edmonton market in October saw only a nominal increase in new residential listings as compared to October 2020,” said RAE chair Tom Shearer. “The year-over-year residential unit sales in the GEA were higher than October of last year, while we have continued to see small decreases in the month-to-month activity. The market continues to see a normalization as we head into the winter months.”

An expected, seasonal slowdown has begun in Alberta’s capital as single-family property sales were up 0.9 per cent year-over-year in October but fell 2.3 per cent from September.

Condo unit sales increased 33.8 per cent year-over-year, but were down 0.6 per cent from the previous month. Duplex and rowhouse sales were the only housing segment to increase on both an annual and monthly basis, surging 31.3 per cent and 12.4 per cent, respectively.

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