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Calgary real estate market has busiest July on record as benchmark price jumps again

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0531 biz mp pelletier

Calgary’s real estate market had its busiest July ever and benchmark prices increased for a seventh consecutive month, according to the latest data from the Calgary Real Estate Board.

CREB’s data, released Aug. 2, showed year-over-year sales surged by 18 per cent to reach 2,647 total transactions.

The unadjusted total residential benchmark price jumped to $567,700 from $564,700 in June and is now more than four per cent above the previous peak recorded in May 2022.

As expected for the season, both sales and new listings trended down compared to the previous month. Nevertheless, the report found there was minimal impact on inventory levels, which remained close to the record low set in July 2006.

Year-to-date sales remained 19 per cent below last year’s pace, indicating some challenges in the market despite the recent uptick in activity.

“Continued migration to the province, along with our relative affordability, has supported the stronger demand for housing despite higher lending rates,” CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie said in the release. “At the same time, we continue to struggle with supply in the resale, new home and rental markets resulting in further upward pressure on home prices.”

According to the release, with a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 82 per cent and current inventories at just 1.3 months, conditions are strongly favouring sellers.

The 1.3-month’ supply figure covers everything from a $200,000 condo to $5 million homes, Calgary realtor Karen Fawcett said, leading to mismatches and bidding wars at all levels.

“I had a property I was representing a buyer on,” Fawcett said, offering an example. “It was listed somewhere in the neighbourhood of $780,000. I think there were 10 offers on it. We were the successful bidder and it was about $50,000 over the ask unconditional and a five-month possession.”

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According to Fawcett’s assessment, the scarcity of inventory is exerting significant pressure on prices.

“Prices are increasing and they’re increasing in large part because of the bidding-war scenarios. You’ve got homes that are going for $20,000 to $80,000 over the asking price. That’s a huge increase from where they should be or where they typically were. So that is directly impacting affordability.”

Fawcett also said that migration is shaping Calgary’s residential real estate story in 2023.

A City of Calgary report released in the spring estimated that the population stood at 1,389,200 million people, reflecting an influx of 40,600 new residents or a three per cent population increase since April 2022. The driving force behind much of this growth has been international immigration. This surge in population marks the most significant growth Calgary has ever witnessed, and it is projected to continue, with city estimates predicting the addition of 110,000 more people by 2027.

“I can’t keep inventory,” Fawcett said, citing the impact of interprovincial migration as well as immigration. “Everything I list sells right away. It’s great –– (I’m) trying to get people to list so there’s something to sell.”

• Email: shcampbell@postmedia.com