Calgary housing sales soar to level not seen since 2014

The Calgary Real Estate Board says the continued rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and low mortgage rates led to a spike in home sales and prices in February.

CREB said Monday that the market has faced low inventory levels compared to sales for the past several months, while prices continued to climb.

The board’s February numbers show that prices jumped by about eight per cent to reach an average of $485,870, up from $446,690 the year prior.

CREB’s chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie attributed the spike to pandemic conditions.

“Despite continued COVID-19 restrictions, housing activity continues to improve. Much of the strong sales activity is expected to be driven by exceptionally low mortgage rates,” she said.

“Confidence is also likely improving as vaccine rollouts are underway. Additionally, some of the worst fears concerning the energy sector are easing with recent gains in energy prices.”

Sales jumped by more than 54% over a year ago

Sales totalled 1,836 last month, a more than 54 per cent increase over February 2020 and a volume not seen since February 2014.

New listings, however, didn’t keep up the pace. They amounted to 2,848, a 13 per cent increase from 2,517 the year before.

The gap between sales and new listings is doing little to help the market’s inventory woes, CREB said.

It estimated the area now has fewer than three months’ worth of homes on the market.

Conditions are particularly tight in the detached sector, especially for homes priced below $600,000, said CREB.

That portion of the market alone has less than two months of housing supply, but is also experiencing the most significant price gains.

Prices edged up for detached homes

Detached home sales in February amounted to 1,123, up from 678 the year prior, while prices edged up to $572,670 from $526,084 previously.

New listings for the category were up about 17 per cent, but inventory was down by almost 30 per cent.

At the other end of the housing spectrum, apartments and condos have a relatively high level of inventory compared to sales.

CREB said 272 apartments sold in February, up from 209 the February before.

Inventory in the category reached 1,433, a slight dip from 1,470 the year prior.

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