Interprovincial migration helps boost Calgary’s tight housing market

Relatively more affordable housing types, such as townhomes and apartment-style homes, saw the most significant year-over-year price increases.

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The Calgary Real Estate Board says home sales in March were up 10 per cent from last year, as interprovincial migration to Alberta contributed to tough market conditions.

The board says 2,664 units changed hands last month, while the benchmark price for all housing types was $597,600 in March, up 10.9 percent from a year ago and up two percent from February.

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Relatively more affordable housing types, such as townhouses and apartment-style homes, saw the most significant year-over-year price increases.

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New listings fell 4.3 percent to 3,172 and there were 2,532 units in inventory, down 22 percent from last year and half the levels traditionally seen in March. The board says inventory levels decreased the most in properties priced under $500,000.

CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie said conditions for March had not been this difficult since 2006, which also marked the last time Calgary experienced high levels of interprovincial migration.

Alberta welcomed more than 9,000 new arrivals from other parts of Canada in the fourth quarter of 2023, bringing annual interprovincial migration to more than 55,000, the largest increase in interprovincial migration nationally in more than five decades, StatCan reported. last week.

“Given that supply adjustments take time, it is not a surprise that we continue to see upward pressure on home prices,” Lurie said.

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Single-family home sales rose slightly in March, but were likely held back by inventory pressures, with listings down 24 percent since March 2023.

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The unadjusted standalone reference price rose to $739,700, up nearly three percent from February and up 14 percent from a year ago. The average price was $801,348.

Overall, 71 percent of available inventory in March was priced above $700,000, the board reported.

Apartment and condo sales surpassed 800 units in March, raising first-quarter sales to a record 1,940 units, up 30 percent from last year.

“Demand for lower-priced housing has supported growth in apartment-style properties, but difficult conditions have also contributed to further price increases,” the board reported.

The March price tag in the apartment condo category was $337,700, more than two percent higher than February and 17 percent higher than a year ago.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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