Alberta Real Estate Market Update: February 2021
March 17, 2021
Alberta’s markets are picking up steam as we head toward spring! With the best February sales since 2007 and lower inventory levels than last year, sellers are enjoying more balanced conditions than the province has seen in years. As a result, sales are happening faster and prices are on their way up!
Both the City of Calgary and the Greater Edmonton Area saw sales vaulting over last year’s numbers by more than 50%, while the province as a whole posted the best February sales since 2007.1 According to the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA), strong sales were likely driven by low lending rates and increasing consumer confidence in light of better-than-expected projections for energy prices and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Though both Calgary and Edmonton saw numbers of new listings increase both year over year and month over month, sales grew even faster, leaving inventory levels 18%-20% lower than last February. AREA reports that province-wide inventory is the lowest it’s been since 2014.
With this year’s comparatively low supply levels (especially in the lower ranges of the detached sector) and larger cohorts of buyers, many are being forced to look for options in higher price ranges. As a result, average prices are headed upward – a hopeful sign as we await a busy spring market.
The Calgary market is revving up as spring approaches: with energetic sales shrinking low-rise inventories, selling times are getting shorter and prices are headed upward!
For February, the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®) reports 1,836 residential homes sales in the city,2 representing an increase of 54% year over year and 52% month over month,3 making it the best February for sales since 2014.
As sales pick up speed, overall inventory is getting lower. Though new listings came in 13% ahead of last February and 27% ahead of January at 2,848, the sales-to-new-listings ratio is up from 54% last month to 64%, meaning that for every 100 homes listed on the market in February, 64 homes sold. In fact, inventory in February fell to 2.5 months – cut nearly in half from last year’s 4.8 months and down considerably from January’s 3.4 months. Months of inventory measure how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales.
Lower inventory levels and growing demand continue to put upward pressure on overall prices: in February, the average selling price for all property types rose 9% year over year and 3% month over month to $485,870. As in previous months, overall price increases were led by the detached home sector, where CREB® notes “strong seller’s market conditions” on account of its inventory being below two months. With a shortage of options below the $600,000 mark in that category, the average selling price increased 9% year over year and 2% month over month to $572,670. Meanwhile, the average selling price in the semi-detached category increased 12% year over year and 9% month over month to $521,119, while for rowhouses, it rose 2% and 9% over the same periods to $330,424. On the other end of the spectrum, the condo apartment sector saw increased inventory despite growing sales, which resulted in the average price falling 7% year over year and 2% month over month to $252,638.
The Edmonton market is picking up steam as we head toward spring! With stronger sales and less inventory than we saw last year, sales are getting faster and prices are on the rise.
The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton (RAE) reports 1,600 residential sales in the Greater Edmonton Area (GEA),4 an increase of 52% year over year and 37% month over month.5 “There have … been more sales of single-family homes, condos and duplexes compared to February of last year as well as last month,” notes Tom Shearer, Chair of REA. “The high level of activity we have seen in February is uncharacteristic for this time of year. We are witnessing a very strong market.”
As testament to the strong selling conditions, new listings came in at 2,649 – up 8% year over year and 11% month over month – but robust sales brought the sales-to-new-listings ratio up from 49% last month to 60% (meaning that for every 100 new listings, 60 homes were sold). As a result, there were 18% fewer active listings at the close of February than at the same time last yearand only 8% more than in January. Boosted sales and fewer options for buyers has accelerated sales, bringing the average days on market to 52 – down considerably from 73 days last February and 65 days last month.
Accordingly, prices went up in February. Representing 65% of all residential sales, detached homes saw the average selling price rise 3% from last February and 2% from last month to $437,977, while condos took 21% of sales and saw the average price rise 8% and 7% over the same periods to $230,929. Meanwhile, duplexes represented 12% of sales, and though the average price rose 7% year over year, it fell by less than half a percent month over month to $343,028. For all residential homes, the average selling price saw an increase of 8% year over year and 4% month over month to $377,931.
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