Local market classified as balanced
By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald
CALGARY — Short-term year-over-year price growth is expected to be in the five to seven per cent range for Calgary, according to the Conference Board of Canada. In releasing its monthly Metro Resale Index on Wednesday, the board said Calgary’s real estate market is currently classified as being under balanced conditions. In February, the average residential resale price rose to $406,216, up from $401,743 the previous month and $394,850 in February 2010.
The board also said that sales, on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis, were up by 6.1 per cent in Calgary to 23,784 following a 2.2 per cent hike in January to 22,416. But that is still down from 23,820 in February 2010. “It’s a reasonably balanced market. That’s what we’re seeing,” saids Robin Wiebe, senior economist with the board. “Sales are on the upswing. They rose six per cent in February from January and that builds on a two per cent growth the month before. And that’s starting to eat away at the stock of listings. “Sales are bouncing back from a bit of a tough spot later in 2010. They’re coming back . . . There seems to be a little bit of momentum building in the Calgary market which is why we are forecasting a decent price outlook.”
The sales to new listings ratio in Calgary increased to 0.558 from 0.547 in January and 0.531 in February 2010. The board also said that new listings were 46,812 in February on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis compared with 44,748 the previous month and 48,576 a year ago. “Over the last couple of months, we’ve definitely seen sales pick up,” said Dan Sumner, economist with ATB Financial in Calgary. “I still think all in all sales aren’t really strong. We are seeing kind of a recovery from really low levels. “In Calgary, it’s been stronger than other areas of the province. The Calgary resale market has been better than most of the rest of Alberta but it’s still nothing to get too excited about.”
Sumner said preliminary data indicates that March “has not been a blockbuster month” for MLS sales in the city. In its Metro Resale Index, the board classified Saskatoon, Gatineau, Montreal, Quebec, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivieres and Saguenay as having short-term price growth expectations in the seven per cent and higher range.