The 787 sales last month came in at an average price of $454,287 (up from $441,000 last January) and a median price of $390,000 (down from $398,000 a year ago) and while January’s sales were nowhere near the hectic heyday, they are the first increase in sales for the month of January since 2008.
Compared to December’s figures, January’s sales were 7% higher, the average price increased 3% and the median price was $1,000 higher.
CREB is crediting the increase on a higher number of more affordable inner-city houses, says Sano Stante, CREB president.
“More affordable housing will continue to attract homebuyers to the inner-city, particularly as employment in the city of Calgary continues to improve,” says Stante. “Single-family homes in the city are currently driving this gradual recovery and we are seeing an uptick in the sale of homes below the $350,000 price point.”
Last month, 53% of single-family sales were less $350,000, compared to 31.5% in January last year, which may indicate buyers new to the market, says Stante.
“This may suggest more first-time homebuyers are entering the market, providing the fuel needed for a sustained housing recovery,” he says.
If the price range is the signal, first-timers may also be influencing condo sales. Almost 29% of condo sales last month were less than $200,000, up from the 19% of sales under $200,000 in January 2010.
On a year-over-year basis, total condo sales last moth were below the pace of January 2010, 297 compared to 376, as well as being lower than the 320 sales in December.
The average price of a condominium in January was $287,954, up 2% from December’s average of $282,768 and a 2% increase over last year’s $282,639.
The median price of a condo last month was $255,000, a slight 1% decrease from December ($258,500) and down 4% from last January ($265,000).
In January, 1,958 new single-family listings were added, a whopping 169% increase over December. Month-end inventory stood at 3,067.