The Calgary real estate market is currently acting as a model for what seems to have been intended by many of the regulatory changes that have recently been enacted in the lending industry. Sales are down, listings are up, and prices are holding steady. Overall, this demonstrates that a once red-hot market is slowly becoming a more accessible place for home buyers to purchase real estate in.
Sales are down throughout the city. This was expected after the new mortgage stress-test regulations came into effect. Throughout the first quarter of 2018, 3,423 homes sold in the city. This was a year-over-year decline of 18%, not to mention being more than 20% below the long-term average for the first three months of the year.
Prices in Calgary Mirroring 2017
Calgary has seen monumental price increases over the last 10 years. However, the benchmark price for real estate in the city has stayed relatively steady from 2017 to 2018 when looking at the first quarter of those years. This year, the benchmark price over the first quarter landed at $502,000. This essentially mirrors home prices over the same period last year.
Moving into the first month of the most active real estate quarter of the year, similar trends in pricing can be observed. In April, the benchmark price in Calgary was $436,500. This is only 0.21% higher than the benchmark of $435,600 for the month of April last year. Even when broken down by category and area of the city, it is difficult to find any drastic price swings in Calgary at this moment in time. In the City Centre region, detached houses increased by 3.46% year-over-year to a new benchmark of $699,700. With condos, the largest swing was the -5.93% drop in benchmark prices in the southern part of the city.
Overall Inventory Starting to Grow
Like many of the cities which have had extremely hot real estate markets over the last few years, Calgary has struggled at times to maintain adequate inventory levels. This year, however, an influx of new listings is helping to remedy this. Both new listings and inventory were up on a year-over-year basis. New listings grew to 3,569 for April, an 8.32% year-over-year change. Overall listings grew much more, thanks to an ongoing pattern of slower sales. The total inventory at the end of the month was 7,324 homes, a year-over-year increase of 32.73%.
Certainly, it seems as though buyers have a reason to be optimistic in Calgary moving forward: prices are holding steady and inventory is increasing, providing them with more options. How the market responds during the busy spring months should give prospective buyers a better picture of what to expect through summer and fall in Calgary.
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