What a difference a year has made in Calgary’s resale housing market.
According to a report released Thursday by the Calgary Real Estate Board, MLS sales for the month of March in the city of 2,903 were 147.3 per cent higher than they were a year ago.
The boost in activity can be attributed to two factors. First, the housing market basically shut down for a while beginning in mid to late March of last year when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit. But market activity picked up a few months after that and especially since last fall has been very robust. Activity has carried through into this year and continues.
“Low lending rates and improved savings have supported sales activity,” said CREB’s chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “However, sales have been somewhat restricted by the lack of listings. This month there was a jump in new listings, contributing to the strong monthly sales.”
Inventory levels pushed above 5,400 units, but citywide months of supply fell below two months. This reflects the lowest months of supply for March since 2014 and these tight conditions have contributed to price gains. In March, the benchmark price trended up over last month to $441,900, over six per cent higher than last year’s levels, said CREB, adding that the price gains have moved the market closer to recovery, but prices remain over five per cent lower than 2014 highs.
“Improving prices will likely support further gains in new listings, as sellers try to capitalize on the recent shift toward rising prices,” said Lurie. “Eventually, this will help support more balanced conditions, but it could take time before we see this shift in the market.”
Because of increased demand and activity and the low inventory level, prices are moving in an upward direction.
In March, the median sale price of $459,900 was up 12.17 per cent compared to last year while the average sale price of $505,452 has increased by 12.79 per cent.
New listings of 4,437 during March are up 83.5 per cent from a year ago while active listings of 5,416 at the end of the month are down 7.6 per cent year over year.
The months of supply, which measures the amount of time it would take to sell all the inventory given the current demand, was 1.87 months in March, which is down 62.6 per cent from a year ago.