While sales in the Calgary housing market remain more than 20 per cent off last year’s torrid pace, activity has been exceptionally robust in the first half of the year in Calgary. Inventory shortages across all housing types and price ranges have created a competitive marketplace, with one in every three homes now sold in a multiple offer situation. Lack of supply has impacted sales figures, with inventory down almost 30 per cent compared to last year. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, more than 14,300 homes have sold year-to-date, down from 18,687 during the same period in 2022. Year-to-date average price now hovers at $539,668, close to two per cent ahead of the $529,826 reported one year ago, making Calgary one of the only markets in the country where average price now exceeds 2022 levels.
Strong economic fundamentals and affordability are behind the push for the Calgary housing market. Values are amongst the lowest in major Canadian centres. During the pandemic, the province saw a significant upswing in in-migration as affordable housing and job opportunities attracted buyers from other provinces, including British Columbia and Ontario. That trend has continued in 2023 as buyers from other provinces seek to realize home ownership.
Move-up Activity Strong in Calgary Housing Market
Move-up buyers have been active in the Calgary housing market, with the greatest demand occurring between $500,000 and $700,000. Listings remain scarce as existing homeowners are reluctant to sell for fear of not being able to find a new home and/or get back into the market. Buyers have subsequently expanded their search perimeters to ensure that any two-storey home with a double-attached garage is considered, whether it’s in the north or south, east or west end of the city. Frustration is building with every lost bid.
The latest of the Bank of Canada rate hikes, intended to quell activity, only served to drive more buyers into the market, many concerned that housing values will rise beyond their reach. Supply constraints are expected to be the greatest challenge facing buyers heading into the second half of the year when available listings typically decline. At the current rate, unit sales in Calgary are forecast to match or exceed year-ago levels, while average price pulls ahead.