Calgary housing market on the decline
Calgary’s resale housing market saw the country’s steepest year-over-year sales decline among major cities last month, the newest stats from the Canadian Real Estate Association. According to the Calgary Herald, while Canadian MLS sales jumped by 9.5 per cent from a year earlier, Calgary area sales sank 30 per cent, to 2,215 transactions, it reported Wednesday. Saskatoon had the next biggest annual decline at 9 per cent. Conversely, sales in Greater Vancouver soared by 53 per cent. Across Alberta, sales declined by 20 per cent to 5,131 transactions. April does not appear any more promising, with sales down 36 per cent from a year ago, according to Calgary Real Estate Board data. A similar story hit average selling prices which rose nationally by 9.4 per cent, to $439,144, but declined 1.2 per cent in Calgary to $457,422 and by 10 per cent in Alberta to $398,856.
Grande Prairie market picking up
The local real estate market is starting to pick up after a winter slump, says John Krol, president of the Grande Prairie and Area Association of Realtors. "Typically February is slower but, there seems to have been a few extra listings in February, I think, mostly because sellers are concerned about what the oil prices are doing,” said Krol. “We’re definitely in a spring market, since about Easter.” According to the Grande Prairie Real Estate Board statistics, February 2015 was down on a year-over-year basis. Approximately 143 units were sold in February, down 37.6 per cent from last year. Krol said the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Market (CMHC) lists three months of inventory as the ‘magic number’ for a balanced market. Grande Prairie has 9.7 months supply, up from 5.1 last year.The actual houses and duplexes are only (at) about 4.5 month’s supply,” he said. “Now the stats for condos are a little different because as the interest rates are lower, the condos are not selling as good as houses are... so for the price of condo fees, they (buyers) can qualify for more money to buy a stand alone house.”Provincially, the average price of a home in February dipped 4.8 per cent to $385,804 from a year earlier. In Grande Prairie, the average price increased 6.7 per cent to $307,619.
House prices in Vancouver soar
Home prices continue to soar in Vancouver and the North Shore, where the average two-storey detached home is now selling for more than $1.27 million. According to the Vancouver Sun, the average price for detached bungalows and two-storey houses across Vancouver, North Vancouver and West Vancouver have jumped by 10.6 per cent and 10.3 per cent in the last year, according to Royal LePage’s House Price Survey, released Wednesday. The average bungalow now sells for $1.175 million. "The average price for homes in Vancouver shot up in the first quarter, particularly for detached single-family homes. This is being caused in large part by a scarcity of product and the high demand to live in the area," Royal LePage broker Bill Binnie said in a news release. Realtors on the west side are claiming that prices for single family homes in some high-demand areas have jumped by as much as 40 per cent. Condominiums have gone up in price, too, showing an increase of 4.9 per cent to reach an average of $506,624.