While for some things it may feel like nothing has changed 1+ years into the pandemic, but in Calgary’s real estate market that couldn’t be farther from the truth!
In this report I will discuss the key items you need to know about the market data just released for April 2021.
The Sales Summary
I continue to be amazed by the momentum that Calgary & Area Real Estate is having in 2021. Ever since we started to get our legs back under us in May and June of last year, the momentum has continued to build and build.
And that momentum continues to build.April 2021 was the best- selling April on record –ever – in the history of the Calgary Real Estate Board! We sold3,209 homes last month!!
Yes, that means we have even surpassed the figures from our boom years in 2005, 2006 and 2007. And we cruised past our most recent peak in 2013/2014.
While we continue to face constantly changing economic situations and lockdowns, restrictions coming off and on, our real estate market has completely recovered and shot far beyond our pre-Covid performance.
Here is a graph showing how sales did for the month and how it compares to the last 15 years.
And here are a couple more graphs that paints a picture of the change that has occurred since this same time last year, when we were in the depths of the “pause” caused by the early days of the pandemic.
The first graph speaks to the difference in the Sales per Week figures. We are in the 750 sales per week range right now – last year we were selling around 125 per week.
This second graph shows the percentage change in sales happening in 2021 versus 2020. Yes, you are seeing that right... an upwards of 650% increase in sales during some weeks when compared to the same periods last year.
And all of this is happening despite this…
It continues to be a bit of a head scratcher. It is, of course, due in part to the lower interest rates that we still have. There is increased confidence due to the roll out of the vaccines, and we have seen a decrease in our unemployment rate from a peak at 11.3% down to 9.1%.
But to achieve the best-selling April on record…? To me, and many others, there are a lot of questions about the “why”. But regardless... it's happening.
Last month I mentioned that there was only one other time in our history when Calgary achieved two months in a row above 2,800 sales... well, with this month now in the books, that makes two times that it has happened.
After April back in those big years of 2006/2007, we did see the sales per month numbers adjust down under 3,000. I expect this to happen for us this year, as well.
Here is a Sales Per Day chart from my analysis showing that it looks like we’ve already hit the peak sales pace that we are likely to see.
In mid April we hit a peak of 116 sales per day over a rolling weekly average. And since that peak, we’ve consistently seen that number drop to where we sat on April 30th with 104 sales.
Month-over-month our numbers increased by 14.5% over the March results.
Many of our clients are asking if this is happening across all price ranges? Well, here is a chart that shows the year-over-year sales gain per price range band.
GREEN means over 1,000% growth.Everything else is showing at least 200% growth.
So, all price ranges are performing well, but the biggest increases are happening in the high end or luxury price points when compared to last year.
The Inventory Story
We started the month of April with a total of 5,418 homes on the market. This was about 7.5% less total inventory than we had a year prior.
We finish off April 2021 with 6,071. That was an increase of about 400 homes – 7.5% more than 2020.
Here is a graph that shows that year-over-year change in housing inventory.
Here is another graph that shows how we’ve gotten to this point, looking back to the start of last August when the market really started rocking. As you can see, we stayed in a relatively low inventory situation throughout most of 2020, which helped us to move from a buyers’ market into our current sellers’ market condition.
Here is where we sit when looking back at the last 15 years for Total Active Inventory at the end of the month of April.
Earlier I talked about how we have hit our Sales-per-Week peak. Well, we have done that for Listings-per-Week, as well.
We hit the highest listings-per-week total in the beginning to middle of April, with an average of 168 homes hitting the market per day. At the beginning of May we are at around 134.
It doesn’t mean we won’t see another run up but, given that we are now firmly in the middle of our spring market, I don’t think we will see those numbers again this year.
Now, each market segment is acting differently. I mentioned earlier how we now have 7.5% more overall inventory compared to April of 2020, here are the differences in the 4 major property types...
Detached – 1.5% more
Row Homes – 10% more
Semi Detached – 12% more
Apartments – 33% more
In summary, we are not in a low-inventory situation like so many seem to be saying. We remain in a sellers’ market due to the purchase demand, not because inventory is low.
Throughout the month we gained inventory, we didn’t see it erode. This is a critical point to understand.
The Pricing Picture
As mentioned last month, with this much demand what comes next is an increase in price. At the end of April, we had increased our benchmark sales price in Calgary to $451,400.
That’s a year-over-year increase of 9%!
That’s also a month-over-month increase of 2%, or $9,500.
With this we have rolled the clock back all the way to April 2015 home values, which is just shy of our peak numbers in 2014.
This is a very good news story for the Greater Calgary market! It should be welcome news for everybody, not just homeowners.
Home buyers, despite having difficulty with the pace of the buying process, should be happy that they are buying into a healthy market, unlike the situation over the last 6 years where the market was declining and their home values were slipping away.
Here is an illustration of how home values have changed across the various districts in the city.
The hot spots in benchmark price growth right are basically everywhere, but the suburbs seem to be leading the way.
Here are the breakdowns by property type:
Detached – up 11%
Row Homes – up 6%
Semi-Detached – up 8%
Apartments – up 4%
But before putting the pricing picture to rest, I wanted to provide some context about how the different price ranges performed in April.
First of all, April as a whole had a Sales-to-List-Price Ratio of 98.5%.That, as a whole, across 3,200+ home sales speaks volumes. Wow!
Here is a graph that shows the Average Sale-Price-to-List-Price Ratio last month.
When looking at this graph, what do you notice?
The hottest part of our market is in the $400K - $800K price ranges. In those ranges you see that they are, on average, getting basically the full list price.
And then, as you push up and down the market, things soften up a little bit.
So, whether you are a buyer, a seller or a realtor advising your clients, be sure you are aware of these changes within our market.
All of this continues to paint Calgary & Area with the most positive real estate news story we’ve had in 7+ years. This could not have come at a better time, as most Albertans are still very frustrated with the continued constraints on our lives resulting from the pandemic.
But wait ,we aren’t done yet! Hang with me for a bit longer so that I can pull this altogether and wrap it in a bow for you.
It’s one thing to talk about sales, inventory and prices independently, but let me explain how they all end up working together.
To me that requires us to talk about 2 major things:
The Sales-to-New-Listing Ratio
2. The Months of Supply
Those two things tell us if the market is tightening up and pushing further into sellers’ market territory, or if things are loosening up and moving more towards a “balanced” market.
Let’s first show the Sales-to-New-Listing Ratio graph for April.
What do you see? We started the month on a high, up near 80%. Then we saw a lull as we marched into the combination of the public, private and Catholic school breaks, along with the Easter long weekend. Then things picked back up through the end of the month.
As we finished April, we had a Sales-to-New-Listing Ratio of 74%.
This means that 3 out of every 4 new listings are getting sold. This remains a very healthy sellers’ market.
However, despite record sales numbers, it’s not an overheated sellers’ market – just a healthy one.
Across the various property types we are seeing the following Sales-to-New-Listing Ratios:
Row Houses - 58%
Semi Detached - 70%
Apartments - 50%
The second item is Months of Supply...
Despite the ramp up in new listings this month – as well as the ramp up of recorded sales – we end the month at nearly the same place we started it, with a Months-of-Supply of 1.9 months.
The property type breakdown for Months-of-Supply is:
Detached - 1.29
Row Homes - 2.39
Semi Detached - 2.02
Apartments - 4.8
What does all this mean?
Well, as a whole, the market has not gotten tighter. It has just continued to maintain a strong, healthy pace.
To me this provides continued peace of mind that there are no signs of a real estate bubble or of any overheated elements here in the Greater Calgary market.
I know that it feels like things are flying, but that's because we are comparing things to a very dismal last 7 years.
So, as a final summary for you...
Calgary’s real estate market is one of the shining stars in our economy. If you need to make a life move, I can say with confidence that now is a great time.
It's been a while since Realtors, like myself, have had the confidence in the market that we do right now. So, if you are thinking about making a move, or want to learn more about your local market, property type and price range, please contact us so we can set you up with an area expert for a free no-obligation consultation.
Thank you for taking the time to wade with me through all of these facts and figures, and I hope it gives you a clearer picture of Calgary’s current real estate market.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.