Are town sales back at peak levels? Only if you consider Edmonton a town. Let me explain, but first let’s take a look at CREB’s August 2012 report:
CITY GROWTH SLOWS WHILE TOWN SALES CONTINUE TO SOAR
Residential sales in the city and surrounding towns record respective gains of 10 and 42 per cent
“Improving choice, affordable prices, combined with lifestyle factors and the lack of choice in the single family market within city limits, have driven sales growth in towns surrounding the city. In general, the area has witnessed sales activity that is comparable to peak sales activity.”
On the surface it does seem that town sales are back at peak levels – higher even.
August 2012 town sales: 453
August 2007 town sales: 445
Now let’s see what is included in the calculation of Town & Country sales. Click here to view the statistics broken out by towns.
You’ll notice that many of the “surrounding towns” aren’t located anywhere near Calgary. Some are in different major municipalities altogether.
Case in point: 0098 – Edmonton at the bottom of page 1.
You see, it includes what CREB members have sold in other parts of the province. Normally that wouldn’t be an issue. Edmonton was also included in the Town & Country figures years ago during the peak, so it is an apples to apples comparison. ( Download: August 2007 Town and Country Stats)
But – and it’s a big but – because of recent rule changes to the MLS and a certain “commission free” brokerage, Edmonton has seen the amount of CREB listings surge from 7 in August 2007 to 265 in August 2012. It’s understandable then that Edmonton sales increased as well, from 2 to 51. But those aren’t exactly town sales now, are they?
Just to emphasize that it’s a new discount brokerage’s sales that are skewing the stats: 50 out of the 51 CREB’s Edmonton sales in August were from that one brokerage.
So let’s recalculate CREB’s Town and Country figures without Edmonton. (Or you can look at the individual towns for a direct and specific comparison)
A 31% jump in sales (from 307 to 402) is still a significant year-over-year increase but short of the 42% highlighted in CREB’s report and still off nearly -10% from peak levels.
Here’s some areas directly around Calgary along with their y/y sales % change
Airdrie: 0% (79, 79)
Chestermere: +6.25% (16, 17)
Cochrane: -22% (50, 39)
Okotoks: +38% (39, 54)
Strathmore: +68% (19, 32)