April 2017 Market Update
Now that the first quarter is officially behind us, we have firmly entered the busy Spring market! Our team experienced a significant increase in activity starting mid-February and it hasn’t slowed down since. March proved to be an extremely busy month, with a surprising number of multiple offer situations - in fact our team experienced multiple offers at least once a week throughout March and it looks like similar conditions may persist through April as well.
Demand is highest throughout inner city and NW communities for single family detached and semi-detached properties, most specifically in the entry-mid level price ranges, where inventory levels are dropping month over month. This is great news for sellers who have been considering listing their property but were worried about how long it may take to sell. Benchmark prices have started to rise in both of these single family sectors over the past few months, and will continue to trend up as long as months of inventory remains low.
Although the apartment sector continues to struggle with high inventory levels, we are seeing an improvement in this market segment as well, with sales under $550,000 notably stronger this year than last. Appropriate pricing is especially important in the condo market, as buyers are very much value driven given the heavy supply.
One thing is clear in 2017 - the market is still quite price sensitive. At the moment, the majority of demand for single family homes is under $800,000, or under $550,000 for condos. Well-priced, well-located properties are moving very quickly, while overpriced inventory continues to sit for a more extended period of time.
Examining the first 3 months of 2017, the real estate market in Calgary has substantially improved compared to the past few years, but much of this is due to lack of supply in the detached and semi-detached markets. The rate of new listings to hit the market over the next 6 months will really influence how 2017 turns out - Q2 and Q3 typically represent about 60% of our annual sales so we still have many months of activity to look forward to!
Detached Home Sector
The perpetual rock star of real estate sectors the last few years, the detached market has improved to the point where the market is now balanced in some sectors, and a full-blown sellers market in others. Sales are up 17% from last year, and with fewer new listings on the market, months of inventory now averages at just under 2 months, down 36% from last year at this time - technically a sellers market. The market most favours the seller in entry-level price points in each community - this ranges from $450,000 in suburban areas to $800,000 in some inner city areas.
Semi-Detached Home Sector
March semi-detached sales totalled 202, a whopping 40% improvement compared to last year. With increased sales activity and fewer new listings, months of supply dropped substantially to an average of 2.29 months throughout the city. As a result of increased demand and lower supply, we are now in a balanced market through most of this sector, with some areas posting sellers market conditions.
Despite a relatively flat performance in February, March saw slight improvements in the townhome sector, with 226 tallied sales, up 22.83% from this time last year. With new listings down 5.25%, the townhouse market saw vast improvement in overall months of supply which dropped 30.81% from 4.89 to 3.38 months compared to last year, hinting that this sector may start finding some balance in the coming months. Despite the sluggish start for sales in this sector, with the first quarter behind us we are optimistic about activity for the remainder of 2017.
Although sales are up 17.51% compared to this time last year, additional new listings and supply coming from the new home sector is not easily reversed and this added competition is continuing to weigh on the apartment sector. Condos priced at entry-mid level price points in sought-after communities are still seeing sales activity, while overpriced inventory continues to sit, proving that the market remains extremely price sensitive. With that being said, months of inventory finally saw some minor relief in March, dropping 12.45% to 5.22 (a modest improvement from 5.96 last year at this time) and we remain hopeful that market conditions will find some balance throughout the next 6 months.
New Infill Market
March was a very strong month for the single family new infill market, with twice as many sales in March compared to February. Year over year, single family new infill sales are up 35% compared to the same time last year, placing significant downwards pressure on inventory levels. March inventory levels fell 17% compared to February, and now sit at a new low of just 121 units. With under 3 months of new infill inventory, absorption levels in this sector are mirroring Calgary single family MLS sales which are now trending towards a seller’s market. Despite many new projects now underway, strong demand is likely to result in quick absorption, so buyers hoping to capitalize on new inventory will need to act quickly.