Calgary, April 2, 2013 –The inventory of active homes for sale in Calgary are the lowest March levels in more than five years. The decline in new listings hampered resale sales growth, which declined by more than two per cent in March compared to March 2012. New listings in March are five per cent lower than levels recorded in 2012, and five per cent lower after the first quarter. The overall active listings stand at just 4,006 units, up from February’s levels but well below the number available one year ago.
“Less resale product available to consumers is ultimately limiting sales growth,” said CREB® President Becky Walters. “In addition, resale homes are selling in less time and with continued upward pressure on prices.” Walters said buyers have grown accustomed to a market when they have more time to make decisions because there was ample supply. But, as market conditions have tightened, if they are serious about purchasing a resale home, they can no longer significantly delay that decision, she said. “While market conditions are a far cry from activity witnessed throughout the frenzy in 2006 and 2007, there has been a noticeable change over what became the norm over the past few years.” Walters said.
Single-family, year-over-year sales growth declined by six per cent in March, a reflection of declining supply. Active inventory totaled 2,713 units, 22 per cent lower than levels recorded in 2012, and the lowest March inventory level recorded since 2007. The market balance continues to trend into seller’s territory in this segment causing a year- over-year price increase of nearly nine per cent, for a total of $446,500 in March 2013.
“Tighter rental conditions and continued employment growth has supported housing demand growth,” said Ann-Marie Laurie, CREB®’s chief economist. “However, for those looking for more affordable single family home products, their choices continue to narrow.” She said new single-family listings under $500,000 are declining at double-digit rates, driving consumers at that price point to either surrounding towns, condominiums or the new home market.