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2012 Regional Market Housing Statistics for Calgary

2012 Regional Market Housing Statistics for Calgary

Calgary is one of the most economically sound cities in Canada and, as such, it has consistently
produced steady growth in the housing Calgary real estate market. Of course, there are always going to be ups and
downs in any housing market, but, if recent trends are any indicator, Calgary shows good signs
of remaining one of the most solid real estate markets in the nation. Indeed, 2012 saw some of
the best statistics in relation to real estate that Calgary has experienced in quite some time. Many
of those in the market either trying to buy or sell a home will want to know exactly what this
means for them.

The 2012 calendar year saw an increase in housing sales of 15% compared to the previous year
for Calgary. This was certainly a cause for cautious optimism when it comes to the 2013 housing
market. This increase in sales buoyed the housing sector in Calgary and increased benchmark
prices by 5%. The market hasn’t seen these kinds of numbers since the peak in 2007. Of course,
the 2012 statistics don’t quite measure up to the 2007 levels, but it is certainly a move in the right
direction. When more houses are being purchased it means that economic growth is increasing in
the city—a fact that is good for all concerned parties.

But, the uptick in sales didn’t necessarily bode well for everyone in the housing market. Single-
family Calgary homes sold in substantially higher numbers than expected. In fact, single-family home
sales occurred more frequently than new single-family home listings. Thus, the supply quickly
started to diminish especially toward the end of the year. Demand stayed roughly the same
despite the decrease in supply, and this, of course, forced prices to rise in some areas. Indeed,
the benchmark price for single-family homes in Calgary was just short of $435,000 (up about
7% from the previous year). Even so, this shouldn’t be read as a discouraging sign for potential
buyers. There are still many communities within Calgary that are maintaining average prices
rather than experiencing increases.

Because of the decrease in the supply of single-family homes, the demand for condominiums
rose toward the end of the year. Both condominium apartments and condominium townhouses
saw sales increases of 12% and 16% respectively over the previous year. The benchmark prices
topped out at just under $250,000 for condos in Calgary in December. This was an increase of
5.4% over the previous year. Annual sales only saw a net increase of around 2% in benchmark
prices. Despite the greater sales, this number was slightly disappointing, especially for owners
trying to sell their units.

Regardless, the difference in benchmark prices and average prices for condos might be a little
bit skewed. Indeed, some of the numbers were inflated by a few multi-million dollar condos
being sold in 2012. While it might look like the average prices are due for a large drop, they
are actually expected to ease over time in 2013. This is because there will likely be fewer
multi-million dollar condo purchases in this calendar year. Overall, this is a marked difference
between many other regional markets throughout the nation. Price growth is expected to slide
substantially in other markets, giving Calgary a definitive edge for sellers.

All of these statistics beg the question of whether or not Calgary is a buyer’s or a seller’s market.
There are some indicators that seem to lean toward a buyer’s market and some that seem to lean
toward a seller’s market. In reality, Calgary offers the best of both worlds: a balanced market.
This effectively means that both buyers and sellers will be able to find something positive with

the housing market in Calgary. Interest rates are relatively low as per the mandate set by the
United States Federal Reserve, but prices seem to be on the rise, if only slightly. In effect, sellers
are getting slightly more money for their houses while buyers are having to pay slightly less on
their mortgages.

2012 also saw a shifting trend in that more people were willing to pay higher prices for housing
than in previous years. In fact, Calgary saw an increase in housing sales of $500,000 or more
compared to any of the previous three years. There were also slightly fewer sales in 2012 for
any housing priced at or below $500,000. This, of course, reflects the decreased supply of and
increased demand for single-family homes and the subsequent price increase caused by that.
But it also shows that people are more willing to pay extra now than they would have been in
previous years.

The ability to pay these prices is likely just as important as the prices themselves. If the 2012
housing market in Calgary is any indication, the overall stability and prospect of growth in the
economy is certainly promising. Perhaps the only distressing factor for some prospective buyers
is the diminishing inventory of virtually all units (including single-family homes and condos).
With migration and economic growth seeing resurgences, the demand for high-quality housing is
rising exponentially, particularly within the City of Calgary itself.

In large part, however, you’re going to see more supply of every type of housing unit in the
surrounding towns. If the housing market in 2012 has taught us anything, it’s that Calgary itself
is being saturated with new people, but not a lot of places for them to live. Thus, you may start
seeing certain residents branch out to periphery towns. This is as much about availability as it is
price. Most of the homes purchased in surrounding towns in the metro area were in the $200,000
to $300,000 range. For many individuals, this price decrease might be seen as beneficial, even if
it means losing proximity to the Downtown area of Calgary.

All in all, 2012 brought with it a lot of optimism in light of the global economic downturn in
recent years. The increases in housing sales, price growth, and other indicators have certainly
helped ease the minds of many residents of Calgary. Indeed, 2012 marked the end of 4 years of
market futility and weak growth. Calgary finally started to recover from the slump of years past
and it showed up big in the numbers. A lot of the sales growth can be attributed, to some degree,
to the expanding energy sector. The increase in crude oil production and sales has translated to
a much more fluid housing market overall. Of course, any discussion of the energy sector must
also note that the production and sale of natural gas has seen a decline in recent years. Even so, it
hasn’t been enough to hurt the surging oil business in Alberta.

Armed with this information, you can certainly see that buying or selling a home in Calgary
might be the right decision for you in 2013. Although the market favors neither buyers nor
sellers, it does offer a balance that can be beneficial for both parties. For buyers, the market
appears to be capable of slipping one way or the other. That is, demand can remain the same and
supply could continue to diminish. That’s why buying now might make sense for you to avoid
any increases in price. By contrast, it might be the right time for sellers as the demand might
decrease, which would level off the prices. In any event, it’s important to talk with your realtor to
get the best idea of how the 2012 statistics inform any 2013 forecasts.

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