Calgary home sales jump from record lows

By Steve Randall
Home sales in the Calgary market have jumped from their record lows of a year ago but remain well below the longer-term average.

Calgary Real Estate Board says that sales for January totalled 924 units, up 24 per cent from a year earlier but 21 per cent below the 10-year averages for the month.

"Conditions have improved over last year, but people need to remember that last year's market was one of the weakest on record,” said CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Despite the appearance of a major shift in activity, the transition in the housing market is going to be a slow process."

The improvement from a year earlier was driven by detached home sales which increased from 466 in January 2015 to 584 last month.

Inventory tightened to 4,112 units, 18 per cent lower than a year earlier and was equal to just 3.2 months of supply. This has helped price decreases ease and although the city-wide benchmark was down 2.82 per cent year-over-year to $437,400, the month-over-month decline was 0.16 per cent.

"While housing conditions continue to favour buyers, a slow transition toward more balanced conditions is helping to ease downward pressure on home prices," Lurie added.

CREB president David P. Brown says that the recent history shows that the market never stands still.

"The market isn't expected to be as unpredictable in 2017, but it's early in the year and there are still lots of unknowns that will shape decision-making for consumers," Brown said.

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