March & Q1 2013 Calgary Real Estate Report

Download CREB’s March 2013 Housing Report: (click here

Single Family Homes
Year-over-Year Comparison, March 2012 in brackets

Average prices fell just shy of last months all-time high by $88, however the median set a new record at $450,000.

Sales were down year-over-year for the second straight month in March.

Q1 2013 sales were down -1.49% year-over-year while  the average increased 10.36%.

Even though there were fewer sales, because of the lower inventory the absorption rate dropped to 1.8  into what’s categorized a “Seller’s Market” which results in upward price pressure.

  • Sales fell -6.03% to 1,480 (1,575)
  • Average price was up 9.67% to $518,392 ($472,698)
  • Median price increased 9.22% to $450,000 ($412,000)
  • Active listings were down -19.01% to 2,727 (3,367)
  • New listings were  down -4.56% to 2,239 (2,346)
  • Days on market: 33 (40)
  • Inventory Absorption Rate:  1.8   (2.1)

Condominium – Apartments

After posting a 13% year-over-year sales increase in February, Condo-Apt sales fell -2.53% in March.

Q1 2013 sales were up 6.27% year-over-year with average prices up 7.23%

  • Sales were down -2.53% to 347 (356)
  • Average price increased 10.73% to $300,870 ($271,724)
  • Median price increased 4% to $260,000 ($250,000)
  • Active Listings were down -28.87 to 796 (1,119)
  • New listings were down -13.04% to 560 (644)
  • Days on market: 40 (48)
  • Inventory Absorption Rate:  2.3 (3.1)

Condominiums – Townhomes

Townhome average prices reached an all-time high in March and was the only market segment to show a year-over-year increase in sales.

Q1 2013 sales posted an increase of 15.19% year-over-year.  The average price was up 10.51%

  • Sales were up 20.43% to 283 (235)
  • Average price was up 13.51% to $355,454 ($313,134)
  • Median price increased 7.1% to $299,888 ($280,000)
  • Active Listings were down -20.13% to 484 (606)
  • New listings saw an increase of 10.34% to 395 (358)
  • Days on market: 39 (49)
  • Inventory Absorption Rate: 1.7 (2.6)

For more statistics please visit my website at:


Questions? Ready to buy or sell real estate? I can be contacted at or 403-554-2284

7 responses to “March & Q1 2013 Calgary Real Estate Report

  1. Hi Mike
    What’s your interpretation of the data? Sales are down, listings are down yet average and median prices are up. Is the luxury segment skewing the whole picture? If we were somehow able to strip out sales over $1M; would we see a different story? That upper end segment of the market is not simply optimistic, but exhibiting euphoric behaviour. Do they know something the rest of us don’t. Can you help spill the beans?
    What does your experience and gut tell you?

  2. Thanks for your question, Pat.

    Average prices can be skewed by outliers (ie. Million dollar sales) and while median prices are preferable & more accurate they cannot adjust for sales composition.

    It’s sometimes difficult to determine whether the average & median price fluctuations are really reflecting a buyers’ willingness to pay more or whether there has simply been a change in the sales mix.

    This is why I refer back to the MLS® HPI which removes that uncertainty and gives us a clearer picture.

    The SFH segment has recovered the best and is just slightly below peak levels. Condos still have a way to go before they’re back to 2007 levels.

    Single family homes: Average price set a new high in February, median price set a new high in March, but HPI is still -1% below peak.

    Condo-townhomes: Average prices set a new record high in March, but the HPI is showing that they are still -13.5% below peak.

    Condo-Apartments: HPI is -13% below peak

    For single family homes the inventory absorption rate is 1.7, almost a full month less supply than last March. It’s technically a “seller’s market” but there just isn’t the inventory to sell. I wish I could reliably say just how much of the y/y sales decline is due to low inventory, but I can’t.

    As for the “euphoric” high-end market – that is in a different cycle of it’s own: Is the luxury segment reflective of true market conditions.

    For the rest of the market, I’ve maintained affordability is an issue going forward and could help explain the rise in townhomes sales: the next best thing to an unaffordable single family home and still ~13% below 2007 prices.

  3. Mike,

    Highly appreciate your honest opinion – when others try to misguide people by showing old data such as ratio corporate head quarters and population.

    Thank you!

  4. Last month, TT had a great comment regarding how he views affordability as a function of three things:
    1) house price
    2) interest rate
    3) amortization period

    Single family home prices are just -1% below 2007 prices. How is that possible with 3 rounds of mortgage tightening and 15 years of amortization length clawed back?

    Here’s a quick example:

    Bought in 2007
    $500,000 home
    5% interest rate
    40 year amortization
    $2,394 / month

    Bought today
    $500,000 home
    3% interest rate
    25 year amortization
    $2,366 / month

    If & when interest rates rise back to 5% (which is still low historically) that same mortgage would then balloon to $2908 / month.

    With interest rates expected remain low for quite some time yet, it’s rising prices that are chipping away at affordability currently.

  5. Great article you referenced on the luxury segment. It really has a life of its own. Is HPI influenced by the luxury numbers?

  6. Pat, last month condo luxury sales more than doubled the previous monthly record (15 sold) and yet the HPI was still down -13%.

    Some don’t trust the HPI, but then why would I be referencing that measure when instead I could be pointing to average and median prices which are showing record highs?

  7. Great stats Mike. Love your blog!

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