Alberta Real Estate Market Update: March 2021
April 19, 2021
The markets are looking up in Alberta this spring as provincial sales broke the record for March.1
Both the City of Calgary and the Greater Edmonton Area saw sales more than double from March 2020, and while the year-over-year comparisons are a bit skewed owing the disastrous effects of the first pandemic lockdowns on the spring markets, comparisons to February 2021 reveal that demand has grown by more than 50% in a month’s time.
According to the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA’s) provincial report, “While COVID-19 has created significant economic challenges, drastic interest rate cuts, changing preferences and improved savings for some have supported the surge in housing demand.”
That surge has amounted to lowered inventory levels compared to a year ago, despite substantially more homes coming onto market both on a year-over-year and month-over-month basis. In fact, AREA notes that months of supply, which measures how long it would take to sell all available inventory at the current rate of sales, fell below three months for the province, which was “the lowest level recorded for March since 2007.”
Increasing demand has supported rising prices, especially (and continually) for low-rise detached homes; the average selling price for this category rose 21% year over year to $496,859, while the average for all home types rose 20% to $441,189 in the same period. If consumer confidence continues to increase in spite of the third wave, we could see these markets gaining momentum as the weather improves.
The sun shone on Calgary sellers this March! A burst of new listings led to flourishing sales, and with inventory the lowest it’s been since 2014, prices were given a lift.
The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®) reports 2,903 residential sales in the city,2 representing an increase of 147% year over year and 58% month over month.3 While these stunning figures mean sales more than doubled from the same month last year, it should be noted that sales plummeted in the second half of March 2020 due to COVID lockdowns. Nevertheless, these were the highest sales for March since 2007.
After a February in which sales were being limited by low supply,4 buyers welcomed 4,437 homes to the market for an increase of 83% year over year and 56% month over month. However, the sales-to-new-listings ratio crept up from 64% in February to 65% (meaning that for every 100 homes listed in March, 65 homes sold), indicating that the markets are still heating up. In fact, despite available homes numbering 5,416 at the close of March – 20% more than the month prior – strong sales bumped months of inventory down from 2.5 months in February to 1.9 months. This is well below the 5 months of inventory seen a year ago and is the lowest level for March since 2014. As Calgary enters seller’s market territory, the average days on market fell from a whopping 52 last March and 45 in February to just 35.
Increasing demand has given way to notable price gains, but according to CREB’s® March report, prices are still more than 5% lower than the 2014’s highs. However, CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie deduces that “improving prices will likely support further gains in new listings, as sellers try to capitalize on the recent shift toward rising prices.”
Indeed, sellers across all categories welcomed improvements. Detached/single-family homes continued to draw the lion’s share of residential sales (63%), with the average selling price rising 11% year over year and 4% month over month to $594,807. For condos, the average selling price went up 1% year over year and 3% month over month to $260,965 – welcome news after almost five years of falling prices. For semi-detached homes, the average price grew 5% year over year and fell 6% month over month to $488,629. For rowhouses, the average was up 7% and down 1% over the same periods to $327,688. For all home types, the average selling price climbed 13% year over year and 4% month over month to $505,452.
Flowers aren’t the only things growing this March – the Edmonton market saw strong sales numbers and rising home prices!
The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton (RAE) reports 2,441 residential sales in the Greater Edmonton Area (GEA),5 an increase of 110% year over year and 53% month over month.6 Sales at more than double last year’s number are a good indicator of increasing buyer demand, but it should be noted that sales plummeted in the second half of March 2020 due to COVID lockdowns. Nevertheless, as RAE Chair Tom Shearer notes, “we are still witnessing a very strong start to the spring market.”
While new listings came in ahead of March 2020 at 4,057 – up 52% year over year and 56% month over month – energized sales aren’t letting inventory accumulate. At month’s end, there were 6,302 available home on the market – 13% fewer than last year and 12% more than at the end of February. So too, average days on market have fallen from 60 last year and from 52 last month to 42, meaning the markets are picking up steam.
With increasing buyer demand, prices are on the rise. At 65% of all residential sales, single-family detached homes saw the average selling price go up 13% year over year and 5% month over month to $457,936. Condos took 21% of sales, the average price rising 5% year over year falling by half a percent month over month to $229,690. Duplexes and rowhouses represented 12% of sales, with prices up 11% year over year and 2% month over month to $348,280. For all residential homes, the average selling price saw an increase of 14% year over year and 4% month over month to $391,219.
If you need to sell or buy a home, a local Purplebricks REALTOR® can help you navigate the market safely and with professional insight. Purplebricks supports Canadians by providing full-service real estate experiences with incredible rewards: sellers save thousands in commission and buyers receive $2,000 cash back* when they purchase a home with one of our REALTORS®. Call 1-877-888-3131 to learn more.
Randall Weese is the Director of Compliance and Brokerage Services at Purplebricks, where he is also the licensed Broker of Record for Ontario, Broker for Alberta, and Associate Broker for Manitoba. A REALTOR® with 14 years’ experience in Ontario, Randall has worked in a variety of business models within the real estate industry. He has been a REALTOR® at one of the largest brokerages in Canada, managed a boutique brokerage, and founded and operated his own brokerage in the Greater Toronto Area. Throughout his career, he has acted as a listing agent on thousands of homes across the country.