Written by Alan Kelly, Bōde’s Chief Economist
To understand what’s happening in the real estate market you have to look at supply and demand.
The best proxies for supply and demand are:
- New supply: New Listings (i.e. the number of homes recently listed for sale)
- Total supply: Inventory (i.e. the total number of homes listed for sale)
- Sales (i.e. the number of homes recently sold)
Supply & Demand
- Months of Supply (i.e. the number of months it would take to sell all current inventory at the current rate of sale)
These metrics are the best indicators of the health of the real estate market. Let’s look at what they show us.
Calgary continues to see demand outpace new supply in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak
New listings in September were up 2% while sales were up 50% vs. the average of the previous 3 years. Sales continue the strong trend they’ve been on since July 2020. We expect sales to continue to stay substantially higher than usual for the rest of the year.
The total number of homes for sale is down 22% compared to the average of the previous 3 years. Inventory levels had been returning closer to normal for the time of year but the past three months have seen a significant decline in the number of homes for sale.
The combination of low supply and high demand has kept ‘months of supply’ low at 2.6 months which is down 49% vs the previous 3 years.
Fewer months of supply generally makes conditions more favourable for sellers, while higher months of supply is more favourable for buyers.
Overall, Calgary home prices had been increasing over the past year but have recently started to flatten. Prices are now back to where they were in 2014.
What does this mean for sellers?
Right now supply is still relatively low compared to previous years, and demand is very high which means it is a good time to sell your home. Sellers who price their home well will likely be able to sell quickly.
However, your specific property value will be determined by market forces both within your community and against similar active listings. To find out what supply and demand look like for your specific community, click here.
What does this mean for buyers?
There are currently fewer homes for sale than there have been in previous years. This means active buyers need to move fast to beat other buyers to available listings.
One way you can move faster is by booking viewings directly through Bōde, so you don’t have to wait for a realtor to schedule your viewings.
Market conditions vary substantially by property type, community and price range
Above, we’ve looked at the overall markets for Calgary, but different segments are performing very differently. Let’s look at a few examples.
In September, sales of detached homes were up 43% vs the previous 3 years.
As a result, overall supply of detached homes is down 33% compared to previous years.
This has led months of supply to be down 55% to just 2.0 months, which means it continues to be one of the best times in years to be selling a detached home, and one of the toughest times to be buying as there’s significantly less inventory than normal to choose from.
This has led prices upwards quickly in recent months, putting prices at their previous record levels from 2014. However prices have levelled off in recent months
On the other end of the spectrum, there is currently 4.7 months of supply of apartments in Calgary – making it a buyers market.
The apartment market has been improving in 2021 relative to a very difficult 2020. Sales were stronger than usual for September (up 57%).
Despite 9 good months of sales, most of 2020 saw more new listings than sales, so overall inventory (supply) of apartments is still up 5% vs previous years.
Buyers have a lot of apartment options which makes it more difficult for sellers to achieve the price (and speed of sale) they might have wanted.
Apartment prices were increasing earlier in 2021 after a steady downward trend since early 2015. Apartment prices have slightly declined in recent months.
Attached homes (i.e. semi-detached or row homes) saw 2% more listings in September vs previous years. Sales stayed very strong at +63% compared to the last 3 years.
Total inventory has been heading lower in recent months (-21% vs previous 3 years). Months of supply continues to stay low at 2.6 months.
Prices for attached homes have been improving since July 2020 and are back to the price levels of 2019.
In general, you’re in a much better position if you’re selling a detached or attached home right now compared to an apartment, due to less supply and greater demand.
However, what really matters is what’s happening in your specific local property market. There are some communities and price bands where detached homes are performing better/worse, and the same goes for apartments.
It’s critical to understand the dynamics in your local property market
To understand your local property market you need to look at your local data. Head over to Bōde’s new and improved Market Data dashboard, the only place where you can see all the data yourself, including being able to filter on community, property type, and price range to see exactly what’s happening where you live.
You can also see the sold price of any home that has sold in the last 11 years using Bode’s Sold Data page.