Market ‘ balanced’
Good things come to those who wait. The priciest condo to sell from April to June was in Ramsay, going for $1.1 million — but it took 255 days before the “sold” sign was put up.
Although homes and condos are picking up steam, the market is still a bit hesitant — people are “cautious now” and need to ensure their condos are priced right to sell, says Chris Zaharko, realtor with Royal LePage Foothills.
On average, condos throughout the city sold in 54 days from April to June, says the Calgary Real Estate Board.
Lowell Martens, broker owner of Re/Max Real Estate Mountain View, says the “basically balanced market” is based on price. “The biggest interest from buyers is in the lower-priced condos, which are attracting first-time buyers, especially with the low interest rates,” says Martens.
That is good news for buyers: 25 communities had an average selling price below $200,000 from April to June.
“The catalyst is the first-time buyer,” says Zaharko. “Product in the $200,000 range is the most popular.”
The most affordable average price for condos in Calgary was in the board’s zone A, which includes most of the city’s northwest. Five sales during the period in Highland Park averaged just $127,400, with the median price — the mid-point of all sales — at $125,000.
The good news, too, is the fact that most buyers are those intending to live in their new homes, he says.
At the same time, that sustained interest in the lower end has put “a bit of upward pressure on the lower-priced homes, both condos and the single-family sector,” says Martens.
The busiest zone during the period was C, which covers most of downtown, Beltline and southwest Calgary. It posted 1,075 sales for the three-month period and had the highest average sale price at $294,227.
Connaught in the Beltline area of zone C was the busiest community in the city, with 94 condos changing hands at an average price of $280,008 and a median price of $275,000.
McKenzie Towne, in the southeast’s zone D, was next with 68 sales at an average price of $250,370 and a median price of $247,500.
After the $1-million-plus condo sale in Ramsay, the next priciest condo average was Eau Claire — where 13 sales averaged $698,476 — followed by Pump Hill, where one condo sold for $605,000. Both are in zone C.
Of the condos that sold below $200,000 on average, most were in zone B, with Forest Lawn as the most affordable. The three sales there averaged $150,666 ($155,000 median).
Activity has only heightened in the summer months, says Martens — something that is traditionally unusual. “The jury is not in yet for the fall, though. We are still in a recession, although from the real estate perspective, things are looking much better than most other sectors.”
Lower-priced resale condos are attracting buyers, say realtors.