Both condo apartments and townhomes set new annual records for resale activity in Calgary last year.
The upswing in interest for both segments was largely driven by a need for affordable options that weren’t available elsewhere in the market in 2014, says Calgary Real Estate Board president Bill Kirk.
“The activity that we’ve seen in the condominium sectors is, in part, related to product availability in the lower price ranges,” says Kirk.
“With the bulk of condominium products available for under $400,000, more consumers have been turning to these sectors for their housing needs,” he says, adding listings for single-family homes at less than $400,000 have been on the decline.
“We have gone from roughly 40 per cent of the market being in that segment to 20 (per cent),” says CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “That’s over a couple of years, but it is shrinking.
“It’s natural with inflation. It’s just that the rate of that change has been a lot quicker than I think we’ve seen.”
Another factor driving sales growth in condo apartments and townhomes was the city’s tight rental market, adds Lurie. She says, Calgary’s low vacancy rates drew a number of investors to buy in these segments.
Last year, 4,742 condo apartments changed hands, eclipsing the previous record of 4,721 in 2006.
Condo apartment sales grew 18.5 per cent last year from 2013, when there were 4,005 deals. Prices and listings also went up last year. New listings soared to a 30 per cent increase with 7,297 added to the market in 2014, up from 5,594 deals a year earlier. Meanwhile, the average price of condo apartments stepped up eight per cent to $324,122 from 299,536 in 2013.
On the townhome side, there were 3,727 deals last year, topping the 2013 mark of 3,176 by 18 per cent. Last year’s figures beat the previous annual high of 3,680 sales in 2005. Townhome buyers saw options increase last year, as new listings jumped by 23.5 per cent to 4,939 from 3,999 in 2013.
The cost of buying a townhome in Calgary was six per cent more expensive last year with an average price of $362,571. That’s up from $341,900 a year earlier.