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Calgary Inner City Housing Market Leading MLS® Sales – May 2011

Market Graph photoBuyers find value in inner city communities according to figures released by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®) on June 1, 2011.

Year-to-date residential sales in the inner city grew nearly 4%, outperforming the city wide average. City of Calgary residential sales totaled 1,816 in May 2011, a 2% increase from May 2010. However, slower early spring sales resulted in the overall year-to-date sales being 3% lower than the 2010 spring market.

As the city grows, improvements in the inner city communities are consistent with changing preferences in lifestyle options. “Consumers are looking for shorter commute times to work and easy access to a wider range of services provided by these inner city communities,” says Sano Stante, president of CREB®. “Many of these communities are surrounded by abundant amenities such as parks, mature trees, diverse shopping and transit which appeals to a wide range of consumers; furthermore, inner city homes can be considered a stable real estate investment, as there is significant value in land located
near the city’s core.”

The average price for single family homes in May 2011 was $489,482 and the median price $423,000, comparable to levels recorded last year. Single family home sales were 1,313 in May 2011, a 5% increase over last year, while 2,552 listings came to market, a 14% decline over the same period last year.

The decline in listings has caused inventory levels to come down to 4,616 units, an 18% decline from last year. Moderate sales and a reduction in inventory have resulted in a decline in months of supply compared to May 2010.

To date, the single family market has fared better than the condominium market, as prices have come down from peak levels recorded in 2007 providing individuals more options with regard to home ownership, noted Stante. After the first five months of the year, single family home sales were 5,835 units, consistent with sales levels during the same time frame last year.

“With just under four months supply, we expect single family home prices to remain stable in the coming months,” says Stante. “Provided that interest rates remain moderated, we are positive about the near term stability and recovery in the Calgary real estate market.”

“While condominiums continue to experience some decline in sales and prices, the rate of decline seems to be easing, indicating signs of improvement in this market” adds Stante. The inventory of condominiums continues to remain higher than average, but has declined by 21% from levels recorded in May 2010. Condominium sales were 503 for May 2011, 3% lower than last year’s figures. Year-to-date condominium sales are 11% lower than last year’s levels, however, listings have declined by 19% as well over the same time frame, placing downward pressure on
inventories.

“Full time employment growth has been sluggish in Calgary, with only notable improvements occurring in April,” says Stante. “All indications point to the trend that as full-time employment growth takes hold in the later portion of the year, so too will improvements in migration, ultimately translating into improvements in the housing market.”

 Selling Calgary Group     Elke Babiuk
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