Calgary is quietly becoming a market to watch

Calgary Herald
Wed May 16 2012

Page: F1 / Front
Section: Calgary Business
Byline: Mario Toneguzzi
Source: Calgary Herald

Calgary is poised to regain its place as Canada’s hottest housing market after new data showed the city last month had the country’s highest year over year MLS sales growth.

The Canadian Real Estate Association, in a report released Tuesday, said the city’s 2,720 MLS sales in April were up 30 per cent from a year ago. Nationally, sales grew 11.5 per cent from April 2011.

“Calgary is quietly becoming a market to watch,” said BMO Capital Markets economist Robert Kavcic, noting sales are above the 10-year average for the first time in about three years.

While sales are soaring, prices have shown more modest gains, however. CREA’s April survey showed the average MLS sale price in Calgary rose 0.7 per cent to $414,932, compared with 0.9 per cent across Canada.

“Prices have yet to gain much momentum, but supply conditions are tightening rapidly across Alberta,” Kavcic said.

“If oil prices remain high enough to continue supporting strong economic growth and migration flows, Calgary could again become Canada’s real estate hot spot in short order.”

Robert Hogue, senior econ-omist with RBC Economics, said April was the third consecutive “outsized” increase in Calgary, a “clear indication that this market is finally taking flight.”

New listings in Calgary increased by 4.4 per cent from last year, to 4,370. Throughout Canada, new listings rose by 4.9 per cent to 89,739.

In Alberta, sales rose by 23.5 per cent to 6,191, new listings increased by 2.4 per cent to 10,718 units and the average sale price was up 1.9 per cent to $365,830.