Sales of condos, row houses increase as Calgarians seek affordable housing, says CREB

Calgary property sales cooled in September by nearly 12 per cent when compared with last year, but the market for more affordable housing options is making gains, the Calgary Real Estate Board said Monday.

Demand for detached housing slowed for the sixth month in a row, CREB said in a report on September’s sales, and the decline is being attributed to a narrowing segment of the market: homes priced around $500,000.

A “significant” reduction in supply has left few options for potential purchasers, while condos and row houses have seen increased sales activity, CREB said.

“Purchasers are still active in the affordable segments of the market, cushioning much of the impact on sales,” CREB’s chief economist, Ann-Marie Lurie, said in a report released Monday.

“At the same time, we are seeing new listings ease, preventing the market from becoming oversupplied and supporting more balanced conditions.”

A shift to ‘more balanced conditions’

CREB reported that Calgary’s benchmark house price continues to rise year-over-year and is now sitting at $527,400.

It also said that overall, there were 1,901 sales in September — activity that is still far stronger than it was prior to the pandemic.

And despite the recent drop-off, year-to-date sales remain 15 per cent higher than last year.

(Calgary Real Estate Board)

But new listings declined by 10 per cent, which CREB said was “enough to prevent any gain in inventory levels, which declined over last month.”

“The shift to more balanced conditions is causing some adjustments to home prices,” the report said.

“While prices have slid from the highs seen in May, as of September, benchmark prices remain 11 per cent higher than last year and six per cent higher than levels reported at the beginning of the year.”

Condo, row house sales make gains

The report also said that sales for detached homes improved for those priced between $600,000 and $999,9999.

This range group also reported the largest growth in new listings and overall supply levels, CREB said.

Meanwhile, row houses had a “year-to-date record high pace of sales,” while apartment condominiums had year-to-date sales of 5,026 —  a 60 per cent gain over last year.

Calgary realtor Kelly Kernick told CBC News that condos and apartments are likely doing better than they have since 2014, when many were built during the housing boom before the economy’s downturn.

“The lower price ranges where, you know, there’s more affordability — we’re finding more people in those segments of the market. So, townhouses and apartments remain really strong,” Kernick said.

According to the CREB report, inventories have generally been higher for apartment condominiums since 2016, and this is unlike other sectors.

“It is only the strong demand this year that has caused this market to shift from buyers’ market conditions reported throughout most of last year to one that is now relatively balanced,” it said.

Real estate sales also eased in Airdrie, Cochrane and Okotoks during September, the report said.

With files from Colleen Underwood