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Housing Market Heats Up: February’s Frenzy of Sales and Price Gains

Housing Market Heats Up: February’s Frenzy of Sales and Price Gains

In the dynamic world of real estate, February brought a whirlwind of activity that saw buyers and sellers navigating a market of low inventory and high demand. With 2,711 new listings making their debut, there was a hopeful increase that was quickly absorbed by a hungry market, leading to a 23% spike in sales compared to last year, totaling 2,135 units. This bustling activity kept the sales-to-new listings ratio at an impressive 79%, ensuring that inventory levels remained at a near historic low.

Ann-Marie Lurie, the Chief Economist at CREB®, shed light on the situation, noting that buyers are quick to snatch up new listings, which keeps inventory from growing. This high demand paired with low supply is what’s propelling price gains across Calgary, particularly for homes under $500,000, which saw a 31% dip in inventory. On the flip side, the market for pricier homes is beginning to balance out as their supply levels rise.

February’s stats revealed that the unadjusted detached benchmark price hit $585,000, marking over a 10% increase from last year. The most affordable East district is riding a wave of 25% year-over-year price growth, while the City Centre trails with the slowest growth at under 5%.

Drilling down into specifics, detached homes saw 1,195 new listings, with 75% priced above $600,000. This resulted in a near 80% sales-to-new listings ratio and record-low inventory for February. The unadjusted detached benchmark price for these homes reached an eye-watering $721,300, up over 13% from the previous year, with the North East and East districts leading the charge in price gains.

Semi-detached properties and row houses weren’t left out of the frenzy either, with both categories experiencing tight market conditions that led to significant price increases. The semi-detached benchmark price in February was $639,100, up 13% from last year, while row properties climbed to $436,500, nearly 19% higher than last February.

Apartments also saw a surge in sales, with February’s 638 units contributing to a 39% increase in year-to-date sales. The strong demand for apartment-style homes, driven by their relative affordability, has led to a continuous rise in prices, reaching $329,600 in February, a 17% gain over the previous year.

The regional markets of Airdrie, Cochrane, and Okotoks echoed the trends seen in Calgary, with each town grappling with its own supply challenges but still witnessing price growth. Airdrie’s benchmark price reached $529,700, Cochrane’s hit $548,300, and Okotoks saw a jump to $605,500.

As the housing market moves forward, the balance between supply and demand will remain a critical factor. February’s figures underscore the robust demand and the challenges of low inventory, driving prices upward across various segments of the market. Buyers and sellers alike are keenly watching these developments, hoping for a market that can meet everyone’s needs.

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