Calgary home prices static in March

First quarter see prices, sales and listings fall compared with 2010

By Dina O’Meara, Calgary Herald

 CALGARY — Calgary’s real estate market is in balance, with March seeing lower prices, sales and listings compared with a year ago, according to the latest report by an industry association.  That’s good news for people on the prowl for a new home as the average price for a single family home fell by two per cent from a year ago, the Calgary Real Estate Board said Friday.  The average price of $462,947 was virtually unchanged from February, the board said.

During the first quarter, sales were up four per cent to 3,309 from a year prior, driven by a combination of stable prices, low interest rates and stronger job numbers, president Sano Stante said.  “We’ve come to a period where we have a combination of good affordability, low interest rates and large selection,” said Stante. “That makes it a really attractive market to buy in to.”  Single family homes are more affordable in a wider area of Calgary, enabling people to buy into neighbourhoods which used to be out of their price range, he noted.

The less happy news for realtors is the number of single family home sales in the city slid three per cent last month from March 2010, to 1,355.  However, a 19 per cent drop in new listings, year-over-year, could support the market heading toward the spring.  Sales in Calgary’s northwest quadrant were the strongest, seeing a 13 per cent increase over the first quarter in 2010.  The most affordable quadrant in the city remains the northeast, where single family homes averaged around $282,713 during the first quarter.

Meanwhile, the southwest recorded the highest single family average home price during the quarter, at $570,748 compared with an average price of $464,990 in the northwest and $422,821 in the southeast.   The board considers quarterly results moreindicative of overall real estate trends.

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