Calgary home sales at record highs in September, yet supply remains a challenge
City of Calgary, October 3, 2023 – Sales reached another record high in September with 2,441 sales. Despite the year-over-year gains reported over the past four months, year-to-date sales are still nearly 12 per cent lower than last year's levels.
New listings also improved this month compared to last year and relative to sales. This caused the sales-to-new listings ratio to fall to 76 per cent, preventing further monthly declines in inventory levels.
Nonetheless, inventory levels in September remained over 24 per cent lower than levels seen last year and, when measured relative to sales activity, has not changed enough to cause any significant shift in supply and demand balances. As of September, the months of supply has remained relatively low at less than two months.
“Supply has been a challenge in our market as strong inter-provincial migration has elevated housing demand despite higher lending rates,” said CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “While new listings are improving, it has not been enough to take us out of sellers’ market conditions.”
In September, the unadjusted residential benchmark price was $570,300, similar to last month and nearly nine per cent higher than last year.
Inventory levels remained at record lows for the month as the sales-to-new listings ratio remained relatively high at 76 per cent. The decline in inventory levels has been driven by homes priced below $700,000, as supply levels show some improvement for homes priced above this level. While detached sales improved over levels reported last year, much of the gains were driven by the higher-priced properties with some supply options. Overall, homes priced below $700,000 continue to struggle with less than one month of supply.
Despite persistently tight market conditions, the unadjusted benchmark price remained relatively stable this month compared to last month, as a monthly price adjustment in the West end of the city offset monthly gains in all other districts. Overall, at a benchmark price of $696,100, prices are still over 11 per cent higher than levels reported last year at this time, with year-over-year gains ranging from a high of 20 per cent in the East district to a low of nine per cent in the City Centre.
September reported a boost in new listings compared to sales activity as the sales-to-new listings ratio dropped below 70 per cent, the first time it has done that since September of last year. The one-month shift supported a monthly increase in inventory levels, but with 295 units available, inventories have not been this low since September 2005.
Following ten consecutive monthly price gains, benchmark prices in September did ease slightly over the last month. However, at a benchmark price of $621,300, prices are still 11 per cent higher than last year’s levels. The monthly pause in price was primarily driven by adjustments in the West and North West districts, which saw the months of supply rise above levels reported last year and last month.
The pullback in monthly sales outpaced the pullback in new listings, causing the sales-to-new listings ratio to fall to 84 per cent. While conditions are still exceptionally tight, it is an improvement over the 90 per cent average reported since April. The shift also prevented any further monthly declines in inventory levels. However, with less than one month of supply, the persistently tight conditions continue to place upward pressure on prices.
The benchmark price in September reached $419,400, a 1.5 per cent monthly gain and 17 per cent higher than levels reported last year. Price gains have occurred across all districts, with the most significant gains occurring in the most affordable districts in the city.
New listings in September were at the highest levels reported for September, contributing to the record-high sales this month. Year-to-date apartment condominium sales reached 6,286 sales, a 25 per cent gain over last year and a record high for the city. Higher lending rates and tight rental market conditions have kept demand for apartment-style products strong. While inventory levels did see a modest gain compared to last month, thanks to a lower sales-to-new-listings ratio, conditions remain exceptionally tight with 1.5 months of supply.
The persistently tight market conditions have continued to drive further price gains. In September, the unadjusted benchmark price reached $312,800, a 1.2 per cent increase over last month and nearly 15 per cent higher than last year.
REGIONAL MARKET FACTS
With 204 new listings and 144 sales, the sales-to-new-listings ratio dropped to 70 per cent, the first time that has happened since 2020. Improved new listings compared to sales helped support a modest monthly gain in inventory levels. However, September inventory levels are still amongst the lowest levels reported since 2005, keeping the months of supply exceptionally low with just over one month.
The persistently tight market conditions have continued to drive further price gains in the city. In September, the unadjusted benchmark price reached $518,000, reflecting a year-over-year increase of over eight per cent. Price gains have occurred across all property types, with the largest year-over-year gains occurring in the apartment condominium sector.
Both sales and new listings eased in September, leaving inventory levels relatively stable this month. While inventories are nearly 40 per cent lower than long-term trends for the month, they are not at the record lows seen. The pullback in sales compared to inventory levels also caused the months of supply to push up above two months, the first time we have seen that since February.
While conditions remain relatively tight, the shift likely prevented further upward pressure on monthly home prices. The unadjusted benchmark price in September was $532,700, slightly lower than last month due to pullbacks in the detached, semi-detached and row sectors. Despite the monthly pause, total residential prices are still over five per cent higher than September 2022 levels.
With 69 new listings and 52 sales, the sales-to-new listings ratio dropped to 75 per cent in September, the lowest ratio seen since August 2022. The gain in new listings relative to sales prevented any further monthly declines in inventory levels. However, with only 70 units available in September, inventory levels are still amongst the lowest reported monthly levels in over 20 years.
The modest adjustment in both inventory and sales did cause the months of supply to rise over last month’s levels. Still, conditions remain relatively tight, especially for semi-detached, row and apartment-style properties. As of September, the unadjusted benchmark price was $580,200, nearly nine per cent higher than last year.