Calgary MLS sales rise in August from year ago

By Mario Toneguzzi

CALGARY — MLS sales in Calgary in August were up compared with a year ago.

Statistics released by the Calgary Real Estate Board Thursday, show single-family sales during the month hit 1,106, up 27.9 per cent from 865 in August 2010. The average sale price last month was $453,969, an increase of 1.8 per cent from $445,814 a year ago. The median price also rose by 1.8 per cent to $402,250 in
August from $395,000 last year.

“We are seeing a lift in sales at both ends of the market,” said Sano Stante, president of CREB. “Improving economic conditions coupled with affordability and price stability has given Calgary a boost in buyers for upper-end homes and entry-level condos.

“With Calgary’s energy sector slated to grow, it is expected to lift the city’s employment, income and in-migration, and in turn help contribute to growth in the resale market. We expect price growth to improve as we approach the end of 2011 and move into 2012.”

Many Calgarians are watching the local real estate market closely these days to determine where it’s headed in the near future for both prospective buyers and sellers.  Alexandria (Ali) Cohen is one of them. She owns a home in Tuxedo, but is considering listing it for sale in the near future, and also looking to purchase a bigger
home.

“I’m a little conscious that the market’s low. However, the interest rates are holding and that should be relatively good for the near term for sellers and buyers. So that’s a good thing,” said Cohen.

With sales up in August from a year ago, that could be a boost for real estate locally.

“It should be but typically the summer months are definitely more active than the winter months. So if I don’t list in September, I’m not going to list until next year sort of thing,” added Cohen, who will be keeping a close eye on the market in the coming weeks.

Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., said labour market conditions have improved from the previous year which is contributing to the gain in sales in Calgary.  “The economy in 2011 has supported job creation in Calgary, something we did not see last year. The rise in sales, however, may also look a bit pronounced as we are also comparing against a period in 2010 when activity began to slow down,” he said.

“The housing market in Calgary has generally favoured the buyer so far this year. The supply in the resale market has kept price growth fairly modest . . .We expect activity in the resale market to gradually improve in the months ahead. Aside from some recent financial uncertainty, there are still many factors that will help support the Calgary housing sector.”

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