Alberta Real Estate Market Update: January 2021
February 22, 2021
Alberta started the year on a hopeful note with the best January sales since 2008.1 Calgary and Edmonton each saw sales increases of more than 40% compared to the same month last year, and unlike many other of the country’s major markets, they also posted small gains in month-over-month sales.
Despite new listings rocketing up 88% and 92% since December in Edmonton and Calgary, respectively, inventory levels in both markets are around 20% lower than they were a year ago. Lower inventory and strong year-over-year increases in sales are good news for sellers: homes in all categories are spending almost 17% less time on market than in January 2020.
With increasingly balanced market conditions, both regions have posted year-over-year average price gains of 4%, driven largely by the detached home category. Should interest rates remain low and inventory continue to decrease, this growth could gain momentum in the coming months.
The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®) reports2 high sales and low inventory levels in January – conditions that are good for sellers!
There were 1,208 residential homes sales in the city, a year-over-year increase of 41% and the highest January sales since 2014. CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie notes, “discount lending rates are exceptionally low, which is likely attracting all types of buyers back into the market.”
New listings came in at 2,249, which is down 5% year over year but up 92% month over month – a shift that could be considered typical for January, according to the report. However, despite the boost to new listings, the inventory of active listings is still down 22% compared to the same month a year ago. Months’ inventory, which measures how long it would take to sell all available listings at the current rate of sales, has dropped from six months last January to just over three months.
Lower inventory levels and growing demand continue to put upward pressure on the average residential selling price: in January, it grew 4% year over year to $471,740, a 5% gain from December. Sales of detached homes increased 42% year over year to 732, with an average price of $559,499 (up 4% year over year). For detached homes priced below $500K, limited inventory is supporting seller’s market conditions. Meanwhile, semi-detached home sales increased 68% year over year to 141, but high inventory levels in this category have allowed the average price to fall 1% over the same period to $477,497. Similarly, rowhouses experienced strong sales – up 33% year over year to 150 – but gains in new listings gave way to the average price falling 3% year over year to $302,360. Condo apartments sales were the best they’ve been in January since 2014 at 185 (up 26% year over year), with the average price rising 10% year over year to $257,446.
The Greater Edmonton Area (GEA) continues to see strong buyer demand pushing sales numbers and home prices higher!
The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton (RAE) reports3 1,171 residential sales in the GEA, an increase of 47% year over year and 6% month over month.4 Despite a considerable boost to new listings – at 2,400, they’re up 8% year over year and up 88% month over month – overall inventory is 17% below last January’s number and up only 5% from December. Reduced inventory means buyers have fewer options than they had a year ago, bringing the average time spent on market from 79 days to 65 (up seven days from last month).
“The Edmonton market in January saw an increase in year-over-year residential unit sales as well as month-to-month sales,” explains RAE Chair Tom Shearer. “We are encouraged to see this kind of activity at the start of the year, which is typically a slower time in the real estate market, and especially in the current economic climate.”
In January, detached homes represented 63% of all residential transactions, selling in an average of 59 days for an average price of $427,677 (up 3% year over year and down less than 1% month over month). Condos took 23% of sales and averaged 73 days on market, with an average price of $216,757 (up 6% year over year and down half a per cent month over month). Duplexes saw 12% of sales and averaged 70 days on market, with an average price of $344,400 (up 2% year over year and 4% month over month). The average selling price for all residential homes was $364,040, up 4% compared to January 2020 and rising just under half a per cent from December.
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