Strong numbers in Calgary boost Oct. MLS sales to record highs in Canada
Calgary Herald - Nov 17, 2009
CALGARY - MLS sales activity in October reached record levels in Canada for the month, buoyed by strong residential real estate markets in Western Canada, particularly Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary.
The numbers last month compared with a year ago are simply staggering. Greater Vancouver led the country with a whopping 170.8 per cent hike in MLS sales, followed by Victoria at 135 per cent, Toronto at 64.2 per cent and Calgary at 55.9 per cent.
"A dramatic rebound in sales activity compared to the recent low rate at the beginning of the year," said Gregory Klump, chief economist for the Canadian Real Estate Association, of the Calgary real estate market.
"Trendwise, we're still continuing to see new listings down from their peak reached in early 2008. So the market's tightened up considerably. In fact, using sales to new listings as a gauge for market balance, Calgary appears to be in a seller's market territory."
In October, Calgary had 2,265 MLS sales for an average sale price of $399,679, which includes single-family homes and condos. The price is up 2.9 per cent from a year ago. Total dollar volume for transactions in the month was just under $905.3 million for a 60.3 per cent hike from a year ago. And new listings were down by 21.9 per cent to 3,343.
In Alberta, sales for October increased by 29.6 per cent from last year to 4,978 units and the average sale price jumped by 2.6 per cent to $351,091.
Total dollar volume of all transactions rose by 33 per cent to over $1.7 billion while new listings decreased by 24.2 per cent to 7,643 units.
At the national level, total unit sales were up 41.5 per cent across the country to 42,288 for an average sale price of $341,079, up 20.7 per cent from a year ago. In Canada, total dollar volume of all transactions increased by 70.8 per cent to just over $14.4 billion. New listings dropped by 15.2 per cent to 63,285.
Klump said he expects in Calgary as "headline price increases persist, as I expect they will over the rest of the year and into 2010, that that will draw a lot of the sellers who moved to the sidelines back to the market as well, and that will take some of the pricing pressure off."
With the steep decline in new listings since the beginning of 2008, "supply is having trouble keeping up with demand," he said.
Bonnie Wegerich, president of the Calgary Real Estate Board, said affordability due to low interest rates and a variety of choice have fuelled the Calgary market recently.
The torrid pace of the Calgary residential real estate market does not appear to be subsiding this month.
According to the website of Mike Fotiou, of First Place Realty, there have been 528 single-family home sales so far in November until Nov. 15 for an average sale price of $473,476, while for the same period there have been 225 condo sales for an average sale price of $298,761.
For the whole month of November in 2008, there were 670 single-family home sales with an average price of $435,471. There were also 284 condo sales for an average price of $285,820.
In October across Canada, low interest rates and upbeat consumer confidence continued to release the pent-up demand that built late last year and earlier this year, said Dale Ripplinger, CREA president.
"The release of that pent-up demand has boosted national sales activity to new heights and is drawing down inventories," he said.
Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets, said the "rapid-fire rebound" in Canadian housing is showing no sign of letting up. "While that may be causing some sweaty palms among bubble-phobes, the quick turn is a vivid illustration that monetary policy still works in this country," he said.
Prices Across The Country
Market Average/Sale Price/Year-Over-Year Change
Toronto $423,507 20.0%
Greater Vancouver $638,948 14.8%
Ottawa $320,561 14.1%
Winnipeg $210,618 10.6%
Montreal $284,024 10.4%
Regina $246,300 5.4%
Halifax-Dartmouth $235,465 4.8%
Calgary $399,679 2.9%
Victoria $481,500 2.6%
Edmonton $318,969 0.4%
Saskatoon $274,759 -3.7%
Calgary October MLS Sales
Category/October 2009/Year-Over-Year Change
Dollar volume $905.272 million 60.3%
Unit sales 2,265 55.9%
Average price $399,679 2.9%
New listings 3,343 -21.9%