Alberta’s resale housing market maintains momentum
Sales improved for the fifth straight month in July
By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 29 August 2023 1 min read
Home buying activity in Alberta remained on a stronger footing than many other regions in the country in the early summer months.
After dropping to a 2-year low in February, residential unit sales* in Alberta improved for the fifth straight month in July. In contrast, national sales have leveled off in the last two months, coinciding with the two latest interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada.
With the recent improvement, residential sales rose 13.1% above July 2022 levels in Alberta. Sales are now running at historically high levels, but they are still well below their record peaks from earlier in 2022.
The recent uptick was reflected across home prices too. Driven mostly by steady increases in Calgary, the composite benchmark price** in Alberta reached a new high in July while the national price remained 9.8% below peak levels nationally.
Even with the latest increases, the benchmark price in Calgary ($542K) remains below other major centers, including Toronto ($1.17M), Vancouver ($1.21M), Ottawa ($646K), though placing above Montreal ($518K) and Edmonton ($366K).
Second only to Ontario, Alberta had the lowest months of inventory among all provinces at 2.6 months in July. Similarly, at 73.9, the sales-to-new-listings ratio in Alberta was well above the national ratio of 59.2.
While higher borrowing costs continue to weigh on the housing market, surging population growth has contributed to the resiliency of demand in Alberta.
**The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) model is used to calculate benchmark prices in key Canadian markets. A “benchmark home” is one whose attributes are typical of homes traded in the area where it is located and includes single family homes, townhouse/row units and apartment units.
Answer to the previous trivia question: Walter Chell invented the Caesar cocktail in Calgary in 1969.
Today’s trivia question: In what year did Labour Day become a statutory holiday in Canada?