Calgary Housing Market Showing Year-over-Year Gains



    First-time home buyers breathe new life into housing market

    CALGARY, June 1 /CNW/ - The number of single family homes and condos sold
in May in Calgary metro are both up from a year ago.
    MLS(R) sales activity of single family Calgary metro homes was 1,584 in
the month of May 2009, showing an increase of 23 per cent from 1,290 sales in
April 2009, according to figures released by the Calgary Real Estate Board
(CREB(R)). This was an increase of 16 per cent from May 2008, when single
family home sales were 1,368. The number of condominium sales for the month of
May 2009 was 653, an increase of 13 per cent from the 579 condominium
transactions recorded in April 2009, and an increase of 13 per cent from May
2008, when 577 condominiums changed hands.
    "The spring market has received an added boost from a growing number of
first-time buyers entering the market," says Bonnie Wegerich, President of the
Calgary Real Estate Board.
    In the month of May, homes in Calgary metro priced at $400,000 or less
accounted for nearly 70 per cent of all home re-sales.
    "We are seeing the first year-over-year gain in single family home sales
since last September," says Wegerich. "A pent up demand has been building -
with many first-time home buyers now taking advantage of affordable prices,
record low interest rates and federal government housing incentives," added
Wegerich.
    The average price of a single family Calgary metro home in May 2009 was
$436,427, showing an increase of 2 per cent from April 2009, when the average
price was $426,311, and showing a decrease of 9 per cent from May 2008, when
the average price was $479,564. The average price of a Calgary metro
condominium was $275,212, showing a 1 per cent decrease from April 2009, when
the average price was $277,953, and a decrease of 12 per cent over last year,
when the average price was $311,816. 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.
    "The gap between supply and demand at the end of last year was pushing
prices down," says Wegerich. "But since December we have seen five consecutive
months of increases in home sales, while our inventory continues to trend
lower. The gap has narrowed and prices are stabilizing."
    Single family Calgary metro new listings added for the month of May
totaled 2,235, up 11 per cent from the 2,010 new listings added in April 2009,
and showing a decrease of 35 per cent from May 2008, when 3,432 new listings
came to the market. Calgary metro condominium new listings added in May 2009
were 998, up 3 per cent from April 2009, when the MLS(R) saw 967 condo
listings coming to the market. This is a decrease of 35 per cent from May
2008, when condominium listings were 1,538.
    The median price of a single family Calgary metro home in May 2009 was
$390,000, showing an increase of 3 per cent from April 2009, when the median
price was 380,000, and down 7 per cent from May 2008, when the median price
was $419,000. The median price of a condominium in May 2009 was $255,000, up 2
per cent from April 2009, when the median was $251,000, and down 11 per cent
from May 2008, when the median price was $285,000. All Calgary metro MLS(R)
statistics include properties listed and sold only within Calgary's city
limits. The median price is the price that is midway between the least
expensive and most expensive home sold in an area during a given period of
time. During that time, half the buyers bought homes that cost more than the
median price and half bought homes for less than the median price.
    "We need to be cautious about declaring a firm bottom is at hand, but the
improvement in recent months is an encouraging shift," says Wegerich.
    "All signs indicate we are moving to a balanced and stable market.
Consumer confidence is improving, prices are holding steady and inventory is
trending downward."
    "I think some buyers are trying to predict the bottom of the market. The
reality is if you spend too much time trying to anticipate the bottom, you
miss out on choice and selection," added Wegerich.

    CREB(R) is a professional body of 5,126 licensed brokers and registered
associates, representing 256 member offices. The Board does not generate
statistics or analysis of any individual member or company's market share. All
MLS(R) active listings for Calgary and area may be found on the Board's
website at www.creb.com.
    Click here for the full statistics package
http://www.creb.com/public/media-resources/housing-statistics.php.





For further information:

For further information: Jason Martin, Manager Communications at (403)
781-1345

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CALGARY REAL ESTATE BOARD

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