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Housing Market Watch – May 2014

“Airdrie Housing Market Outpaces Calgary This Quarter AGAIN!”

In the Calgary Metropolitan area, the top three communities – Airdrie, Okotoks and Cochrane all recorded double digit sales growth (27%) in the first quarter of 2014. Home sales outpaced Calgary’s positive growth of 12% from 2013. Airdrie sales were up 27% from 2013, with sales of 336 properties in the first quarter. Cochrane sales were up 75% and Okotoks up 19%. Yes, not a typo for Cochrane – 75% increase from last year, as this was the highest level recorded for the first quarter. CREB has indicated that thanks to the rising inventories at the end of last year, Cochrane market remained better supplied than Airdrie and Calgary.
 
In addition to lifestyle preferences, for Airdrie and surrounding areas, demand has improved due to the relative price advantage over Calgary and less supply constraints in many of the surrounding markets.
 
CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie reports “the economic growth in the Calgary area has resulted in a large inflow of net migrants to the region. The tight rental market conditions coupled with less selection in the resale market has contributed to the rise in housing demand. Surrounding areas provide an alternative for price sensitive consumers and those looking for a specific product type that may be unattainable within city limits.”
 
April inventory in Airdrie was 221, as compared to 252 in 2013 and sales were 169 as compared to last years of 128. April and March 2014 both demonstrated a record monthly sale for Airdrie. The continued shortage of inventory and healthy sales has provided us with a seller’s market for past year. The current YTD sales are 29% higher than last year. Days on the market (DOM) are down to 29 days, a 37% decrease from last year.
 
Single-family homes sales for April were up 17% from last year and up 25% YTD from 2013. The average price for a single-family home in Airdrie was $439,329, up 16% from last April and exceeding our 2007 – 2008 highs.
 
The townhouse condominium market is also healthy, with YTD sales up 22%, DOM 23 days, down 49% from last year. The average sale price YTD is $280,591, up 15% from last year. The apartment condominium sales has had an extraordinary increase of sales enjoying an increase of 92% from last year with 48 sales as compared to the 25 YTD for 2013. New listings for apartment condos are up, and days on the market (DOM) are down 56% to 28 days from last years 64 days. The average price of apartment condos is $200,525, up 7% from 2013. This is one area of the market that apartment condos are not enjoying the same rate of recovery as single-family homes and townhouses in Airdrie.
New and old condo owners will be please the province of Alberta is close to implementing the new proposed Condominium Property Amendment Act – Bill 13. The original act was introduced in 1969, with only a few minor changes over the years. The changes will include clearer and expanded disclosure to buyers of condo fees and information provided by developers, a new condo dispute tribunal and hasher penalties for unfair practices by developers. Currently there are over 8000 condo corporations in Alberta.
 
With Airdrie in a sellers market for over a year now, our housing market continues to be healthy and hopefully will continue for the rest of 2014.
 
Gary Lock is a local Realtor® with CIR Realty and has lived in Airdrie for the past 30 years.