Calgary home sales show positive signs of recovery

By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald

 CALGARY – After eight consecutive months of year-over-year declines, MLS sales for single-family homes in Calgary showed a positive move forward in January to begin the new year.  According to preliminary and unofficial statistics on the website of realtor Mike Fotiou, of First Place Realty, there were 791 single-family sales last month, up from 762 in January 2010. Condominium sales however continued to struggle during the month posting the ninth consecutive year-over-year decline with only 302 transactions in January compared with 376 a year ago.

Average prices for both single-family homes and condos were up from January 2010.  Official MLS statistics will be released later today by the Calgary Real Estate Board.

Chad and Melissa Kroeker were an example of the people who took the plunge in January and decided to buy a house in Wood Valley Estates through their realtor Claudia Walz of Re/Max House of Real Estate.  The couple had searched for a property for about six months.  “We’re really excited about our place that we found. It’s always a challenge to kind of break apart the good financial decision mixed with the emotion. This is a house that we want to raise our children. So it wasn’t something that we were just looking at it for the next few years,” said Chad Kroeker.  The couple looked at the real estate market a year ago in January but there was plenty of turmoil still in the economic world at that time.

“I’m a business owner myself and last January it kind of felt like it was not the greatest time in business. Whereas this year it kind of felt that the buzz was a lot more positive,” said Kroeker.  “We waited. This time we felt we weren’t as concerned about what was going on with the market and more concerned about getting into a place.”

According to Fotiou’s website, the average single-family sale price in January was $454,163 and the median price was $390,000 while the condo average was $288,291 with a median of $255,000.

In December, there were 734 single-family home sales for an average MLS sale price of $441,341 and a median price of $389,000. The condo market had 320 transactions for an average price of $282,768 and a median price of $258,500.  A year ago in January 2010, the average MLS sale price for a single-family home was $441,217 and the median price was $398,000 on 762 transactions. The average condo sale price was $282,639 with a median price of $265,000 on 376 sales.

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