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Housing Market Watch – July 2014

“Record Sales for First Half of 2014!”

Column by Realtor® Gary Lock

Airdrie’s census results are showing another large increased with a 10.76% growth rate, as compared to the 8.42% in 2013. The population increase of 5,331 equates to 15 people new a day for a total population of 54,891. MLS sales continue to be brisk for the first half of 2014, with 899 homes sales – up 35.19% over last year.

According to CREB’s chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie Calgary’s market appears to be levelling off and expectations are it will move into a more balanced territory. However those indications for Airdrie are not the same. Airdrie has been in a sellers market longer than Calgary, in fact with inventory consistently around 1.4-1.5 months, as compared to Calgary around 1.9-2.2 months of inventory; Airdrie is expected to be a sellers market longer.

What is noticeable in the market is that there are fewer choices in the lower priced single-family homes creating consumers to consider both condominium apartment and townhouses, says CREB president Bill Kirk. Sellers who can afford to move from the mid $300k to the $400k are finding more to choose from, and the $400k range is not as competitive as the $300k range.

Airdrie enjoyed a 23% increase in overall sales in July as compared to 2013 with Calgary a 3.18% increase over the previous July. The year-to-date sales have increased by 33% in Airdrie, as compared to 12% for Calgary. The year-to-date new listings have increased 32%, and days on the market (DOM) have decreased 31% to 29 DOM from 42 days. Airdrie is firmly in a sellers’ market, supported by the data of an increase average price of a 10.57% YTD. The average price in 2013 was $351,726 – rising to $388,917 for 2014 YTD.

Condominium townhouse sales are up 20.34% from last year (118 to 142 units), days on the market down from 42 to 27 days. The average sales price for townhouse YTD is $281,842, up 9.74% from last years $256,826. The apartment condominium sales increased 70.18% from last year and days on the market decreased 37% to 34 DOM. Even with the strong increase in sales numbers for apartment condos, the average sale price for an apartment condominium only increased from 8.31% from $190,236 (2013) to $206,700 YTD. The high price for Condos was in 2007 and the prices still have not yet got back to that level… about 5% left to go on average.

Airdrie’s single-family home sales have increased 32% YTD from 2013 (842 units in 2014 from 638 in 2103). The average sales price for a single-family home YTD is up 11.55% to $428,041 from $383,706. Days on the Market decreased 29% from 41 to 29 days. While the majority of single-family home sales in Airdrie have occurred in the $300 range, availability of single-family homes below $300k has declined over last year’s levels.

According to CREB, “In addition to lifestyle preferences, tighter supply conditions within Calgary and consumer’s price sensitivity fuelled demand in many of the surrounding areas. In the first half of 2014, 43% of new listings around the Calgary region were priced below $400k, compared to 23% within Calgary.” Rental supply continues to be tight, however with the addition of nearly 600 units west of the new public high school in Prairie Springs, should provide some relief.

Gary Lock is a local Realtor® with CIR Realty and has lived in Airdrie for the past 30 years.