INNER CITY HOUSING MARKET LEADS IN SALES

Buyers find value in inner city communities

CALGARY, June 1, 2011 /CNW/ - According to figures released today by CREB(R) (Calgary Real Estate Board), year-to-date residential sales in the inner city grew nearly 4 per cent, outperforming the city wide average. City of Calgary residential sales totaled 1,816 in May 2011, a 2 per cent increase in volume over May 2010.  However, slower early spring sales resulted in the overall year-to-date sales being 3 per cent 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(R).

"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 per cent increase over last year, while 2,552 listings came to market, a 14 per cent decline over the same period last year.

The decline in listings has caused inventory levels to come down to 4,616 units, an 18 per cent 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 per cent from levels recorded in May 2010.

Condominium sales were 503 for May 2011, 3 per cent lower than last year's figures.  Year-to-date condominium sales are 11 per cent lower than last year's levels, however, listings have declined by 19 per cent 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."

Click here for the statistics Package.

About CREB(R)
CREB(R) is a professional body of more than 5200 licensed brokers and registered associates, representing 243 member offices. CREB(R) is dedicated to enhancing the value, integrity and expertise of its REALTOR(R) members. Our REALTORS(R) are committed to a high standard of professional conduct, ongoing education, and a strict Code of Ethics and standards of business practice.

For Calgary Metro, CREB(R) statistics include only Zone A, B, C, and D for properties located in Calgary.

Any use or reference to CREB(R) data and statistics must acknowledge CREB(R) as the source. The board does not generate statistics or analysis of any individual member or company's market share.

Average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods, or account for price differentials between geographical areas. All MLS(R) active listings for Calgary and area may be found on the board's website at  www.creb.com.

CREB(R) is a registered trademark of the Calgary Real Estate Board Cooperative. The trademarks MLS(R) and Multiple Listing Service(R) are owned by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR(R) and REALTORS(R) are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA, and subsequently the Alberta Real Estate Association and CREB(R) , used under license.

SOURCE Calgary Real Estate Board

For further information:

Serena Shane
Communications Coordinator
Communications
Phone: 403.781.1317 | Fax: 403.218.3688 | serena.shane@creb.ca
300 Manning Road, N.E., Calgary, Alberta, T2K 8K4 |  www.creb.com

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