So September has arrived and many people are returning from holidays, packing up campers and enjoying the end of summer. August was a slower month, as is usually, as so many residents take every opportunity to take advantage of the many adventures Calgary and Alberta have to offer. In the recent week or so, however, many people are back focusing on a potential move and activity has again began to pick up and that trend is also a seasonal expectation.
Depending on how you slice and dice numbers, the averages and medians, benchmark prices and indexes, the general trend of positive growth holds true. Sales are up from last year, though slower than previous months, and prices are up in many areas. An average across the board shows a very small adjustment, while specific areas have seen larger increases.
To understand the differences, we should consider what is fueling the real estate market. It is jobs and economic outlook. Most newcomers to a city want a move in ready home near a good school for their children and near good transportation options to work and community gatherings. Newer homes that are well presented are doing very well in this market as are homes that provide the layouts and functions expected by busy families. I personally am finding that homes that require a remodel, especially at a higher price point, are more challenged in finding as many interested buyers. Other buyers are pursuing condo options and walkable communities so areas in the inner city are also seeing stronger growth patterns. Interestingly, the lack of inventory in some parts of the city have resulted in a strong growth surge in Calgary's surrounding communities.
The rental market has also gotten very tight. I personally know of families looking for rental accommodation the NW and are finding it hard to find. This lack of rental inventory is driving up rental prices and some renters are reviewing the rent vs buy option and looking to home ownership instead instead of $1500 per month rental costs.
With mortgage rates remaining very low and the summer sun fading, September is expected to be a busy month.