Housing Recovery Continues with Active December Market
Year-over-year sales increase for seventh consecutive month
Calgary, January 5, 2010 – The Calgary housing market continues to show signs of a sustained recovery according to figures released today by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®).
The number of single family homes sold in December 2009 in the city of Calgary was up 78 per cent from the same time a year ago, while condominiums sales saw an increase of 66 per cent from the same time a year ago.
“What a difference a year makes. Undoubtedly the recovery in Calgary’s housing market came sooner than expected this past year,” says Bonnie Wegerich, president of CREB®. “Pent up demand by first time buyers, record low mortgage rates and improved affordability have helped bolster the Calgary market in 2009.”
December 2009 saw 799 single family homes sold in the city of Calgary. This is a decrease of 27 per cent from 1,095 sales in November 2009. In December 2008, single family home sales totaled 449. The number of condominium sales for the month of December 2009 was 341. This was a decrease of 32 per cent from the 504 condominium transactions recorded in November 2009. In December 2008, condominium sales were 205.
“The same time last year the cards were stacked in favour of the buyer. But this month sales once again show Calgary has returned to a balanced market,” says Wegerich. “While our sales did taper off slightly in December, as expected for this time of year, home buying activity in Calgary indicates we are in a sustained recovery.”
The average price of a single family home in the city of Calgary in December 2009 was $451,349, showing a decrease of 3 per cent from November 2009, when the average price was $464,444, and showing an increase of 8 per cent from December 2008, when the average price was $417,398. The average price of a condominium in the city of Calgary was $288,640, showing a 2 per cent decrease from November 2009, when the average price was $294,264 and a 5 per cent increase over last year, when the average price was $274,919. Average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods, or account for price differentials between geographical areas.
The median price of a single family home in the city of Calgary for December 2009 was $401,000, showing a decrease of 2 per cent from November 2009, when the median price was $408,000, and up 6 per cent from December 2008, when the median price was $380,000. The median price of a condominium in December 2009 was $265,000, showing virtually no change from November 2009, when the median was $264,900, and up 4 per cent from December 2008, when the median price was $254,000.
All city of Calgary MLS® statistics include properties listed and sold only within Calgary’s city limits. The median price is the price that is midway between the least expensive and most expensive home sold in an area during a given period of time. During that time, half the buyers bought homes that cost more than the median price and half bought homes for less than the median price.
Single family listings in the city of Calgary added for the month of December totaled 806, a decrease of 41 per cent from November 2009 when 1,365 new listings were added, and showing a decrease of 4 per cent from December 2008, when 836 new listings came to the market. Condominium new listings in the city of Calgary added for December 2009 were 444, down 37 per cent from November 2009, when the MLS® saw 705 condo listings coming to the market. This is an increase of 3 per cent from December 2008, when new condominium listings added were 431.
“Our inventory, while lower than last year, still offers a good selection for all ranges of buyers. Typically we see lower inventory at the end of the year with the listing count rising in the spring months. Our absorption rate remains under three months for single family homes, and just under four months for condos. Both are in a balanced market range,” Wegerich says.
“As we look to the year ahead, interest rates along with employment will continue to be key factors for a sustained recovery in the housing market. We expect a modest rise in interest rates by the middle of year—and this may spur some buyers to take advantage of low rates before the end of 2010,” adds Wegerich.
CREB® is a professional body of 5,393 licensed brokers and registered associates, representing 252 member offices. The board does not generate statistics or analysis of any individual member or company’s market share. All MLS® active listings for Calgary and area may be found on the board’s website at www.creb.com