Calgary February Market Explained

Photo by Gamma Ray Productions
Photo by Gamma Ray Productions

New sales report from Calgary Real Estate Board shows signs of continuous recovery of the local real estate market. Single family home sales grew substantially compared to both January 2011 and February 2010. Mont-over-month sales recorded increase of about 48%, jumping from 791 to 1,169 sold homes. Year-over-year, sales grew by 13%, from February 2010 level of 1,035 sales.

Good single family home sales were partly balanced by decrease in condominium sales. Condominiums recorded 486 sales in February 2011, up from the 302 sales in the previous month, however, on year-over-year basis, condominium sales declined by 13% from the level of 536 sales in February 2010.

Average price of a single family home in the city of Calgary reached $461,786, showing a 2% growth since January. Compared to the previous year, average price is 1% higher. Average condominium price was $290,145, showing 3% increase since February 2010. Median single family home price lost 3% since February 2010, and reached $400,000, while median price for a condo remained almost at the same level as the previous year, $267,000.

There was increased inflow of both single family (2,268) and condominium (971) listings, lifting the total MLS inventory in Calgary close to the 9,000 level.

The 48 per cent month-over-month increase may seem surprising. "Usually, there is more Real Estate Activity in February than January because of the Holidays. For the last few years, February sales have jumped up an average of 40% from January sales. The 13% year over year increase is a good sign that the market is recovering," David Tsegai explains.

He focuses also on the year-to-year condominum market decline decline. "The condo market has been going through price adjustment and sales have slowed down in the process. This trend will not continue as condos are becoming affordable again. When Real Estate Market slows down, the condo market gets affected more due to lack of attached land value."

Some potential buyers may be confused by declining median price, but rising average price. According to Dawit, this situation has simple mathematical explanation. "Fewer above average homes(highest priced homes) sold for lot more money which increased the average price and more properties sold for less than the average price (more towards the lower end of the price range) which brought down the median price."

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