CALGARY — The housing market outside Calgary is booming these days as the selection of homes for sale is dwindling in the city.
According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, MLS® sales in the market that includes towns outside the city ballooned in August to 453 transactions, an increase of 42.45 per cent from August 2011.
The board said new listings within the city were 2,585 units in August, down 13 per cent from a year ago and down more than four per cent on a year-to-date basis. But new listings in the surrounding towns have improved by nearly 10 per cent after the first eight months of this year even with a 2.63 per cent decline in August.
“Improving choice, affordable prices, combined with lifestyle factors and the lack of choice in the single-family market within city limits, have driven sales growth in towns surrounding the city,” said Bob Jablonski, CREB’s president. “In general, the area has witnessed sales activity that is comparable to peak sales activity.”
In August, the average MLS® sale price in the towns market was $346,103, down 3.96 per cent from a year ago while the benchmark price increased by 3.97 per cent to $327,500.
In comparison, the average sale price in the city was up 3.12 per cent to $416,767 and the benchmark price was up 6.77 per cent to $387,700.
“The economy in Calgary has not only supported resale activity in the city but has also contributed to growth in some of the smaller centres outside of city limits,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
“Some prospective buyers are looking to take advantage of the price difference as the average price in towns outside of Calgary is lower compared to those found in the City of Calgary while others prefer living in a smaller centre. The selection of homes in Calgary’s resale market has also moved lower resulting in some buyers looking to the new home market or in centres that are close to Calgary.”