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Calgary Housing Market Report

WOWA Trusted and Transparent
Market Report Summary for April 2024
Updated May 2nd, 2024
  • A lack of supply in the Calgary housing market pushes home prices higher, while unaffordability pushes consumers toward lower-price options.
  • Calgary housing market is losing affordability fast.
  • At 2,881, Calgary’s number of home sales saw a 7.3% yearly rise.
  • The benchmark home price rose 9.9% year-over-year and 1% monthly to $603,700.
  • The average home price is $608,415.
  • Detached home average price increased by 9.1% year-over-year to $796k.
  • Semi-detached home average price increased by 15.9% year-over-year to $697k.
  • Townhouse average price increased by 18.1% year-over-year to $472k.
  • Condo apartment average price increased by 20.8% year-over-year to $359k.
  • May 20, 2024 Update: Today’s Lowest mortgage rate in Calgary is 4.74% for 5-Year Fixed.

Calgary Housing Market Overview

Data for April 2024
Avg. Sold Price:$608,415
All Property Types:$608,415
Detached:$796,499
Semi-Detached:$697,204
Townhouse:$472,267
Condo Apartment:$358,609
Transactions (Buy/Sell):2,881
All Property Types:2,881
Detached:1,321
Semi-Detached:255
Townhouse:483
Condo Apartment:822
Best 5-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates in Calgary
Mortgage Term:
Fixed
Variable
Calgary Market Condition
Seller's Market
This Month’s SNLR: 83%
An SNLR above 60% indicates a market that favour sellers.

Average Prices

The average home price in Calgary for April 2024 was $608,415. That is 11% higher than last April’s average sales price, and it is also 2.1% higher than the previous month's. Detached home average prices were $796,499, which shows 9.4% yearly growth and a 0.6% monthly decrease. Semi-detached home average prices were $697,204, exhibiting a 16% annual and 1.2% monthly growth. The average townhouse price was $472,267, 18% higher than April 2023 and 1.7% lower than March 2024. Apartment average prices were $358,609, 21% higher than April 2023 but 5.1% higher than March 2024.

wahi map

Average home prices do not show the true extent of price changes because of the substitution effect. When changes in home prices or mortgage rates reduce consumers' buying power, they shift their purchases to more affordable options. As a result, the average price can under-represent house price inflation. Moreover, luxury homes have an outsize effect on average prices, and fluctuations in the number of luxury home sales cause fluctuations in average prices.

There is a change in the property types that Calgary buyers are interested in. Over the past three years, the composition of home sales in the Calgary real estate market shifted toward condos and townhouses while shifting away from detached houses.

Sales Numbers and Benchmark Prices

The benchmark home price rose 9.9% year-over-year and 3.2% monthly to $603,700 in Calgary. In April 2024, 2,881 homes changed hands; this number has grown 7.3% compared with last April. 3,491 new listings in the city of Calgary increased 11% year over year (YoY).

The sales-to-new listings ratio (SNLR) is 83%, almost the same as last month's 84% but significantly lower than 109% in December 2023. However, this still signals a seller's market during April 2024. Inventory decreased 16% year over year to 2,711 units. Currently, inventory stands at 0.94 months of home sales compared with 0.95, 1.1, 1.3, and 1.6 over the past four months.

Calgary Home Prices

In April 2024,

  • The benchmark price of a detached home in Calgary increased 13% year-over-year to $749,000 and increased 1.3% month-over-month.
  • The sale of 1,321 detached homes shows a 1.4% year-over-year increase. Currently, inventory stands at 0.9 months of detached home sales.
  • Semi-detached benchmark home prices grew 13% year-over-year to $668,400, 1.6% higher than in March.
  • Sales of semi-detached homes increased by 9.4% YoY, reaching 255 units. Currently, inventory stands at 0.8 months of semi-detached home sales.
  • Benchmark townhouse prices grew 20% YoY and increased 2.1% MoM to $458,100 for April 2024.
  • The number of row houses sold increased 16% YoY to 483 units. Currently, inventory stands at 0.7 months of row home sales.
  • Benchmark apartment prices are up 18% year-over-year and 2.5% month-over-month to $346,200.
  • The number of apartments sold increased by 12% YoY to 822 units. Currently, inventory stands at 1.2 months of apartment home sales.

Calgary home prices have fluctuated over the past 19 years, yet they have shown healthy appreciation with a Cumulative Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.1% from March 2005 until March 2024.

Median Prices

As another price indicator, we can also look at the median prices for Calgary houses, increasing by 13% yearly to $565,500. Calgary median home prices are 1.5% higher than in March 2024. Median house prices for detached houses reached $725,000, increasing by 11% compared with last April. Median prices for semi-detached houses reached $627,000, rising by 18% annually. Median prices for row houses and apartments reached $462,500 and $330,000, increasing by 20% and 21% annually.

Context

Homes in Calgary are much more affordable than homes in Toronto and Vancouver. At the same time, Calgary is slightly less affordable than Montreal's larger housing market. Yet, over the past four years, prices have risen, and affordability is declining fast in Calgary. This trend would not just make life for renters and future homeowners more difficult but also reduce economic dynamism and productivity growth in the largest population center in Canada’s prairies. Fortunately, there are plans for relaxing zoning restrictions and allowing Calgary residents to build homes and live where they desire to develop and live. Vested interest is resisting such plans, but their implementation is necessary to keep Calgary a desirable destination for Canadians looking to move and realize greater opportunities.

Supply and Demand

To understand the state of the Calgary real estate market, it is instructive to consider changes in the Calgary population and the number of housing starts.

Calgary Population Chart

Calgary’s population is currently around 1,640,000, growing at a 5-year average annual rate of over 2.3%. The data after 2022 are projections. Data from macrotrends.net.

As of the 2021 census, Calgary had 594,513 private dwellings, of which 563,440 (95%) were occupied by their regular residents. The population in 2021 was 1,581,000. Thus, on average, 2.8 people were living in each private dwelling. The population is expected to grow by around 38,000 people each year. This translates into a requirement of around 13,600 new dwellings per year. New construction of an average of 13,500 houses per year is not even keeping up with the increase in population, and no house is built to replace and allow for the decommissioning of old houses.

Calgary Housing Starts Chart

Over the past five years, Calgary builders have started 13,500 units per year on average.

Macro Economics Trends

Over the past three years, monetary policy has been a main driver of Canadian housing markets. Housing markets were booming during the pandemic as the monetary base expanded faster than ever. During the second half of 2022, the restrictive monetary policy of the Bank of Canada put a break on the housing market activity by increasing interest rates in Canada. During 2022 and 2023, the Bank of Canada raised interest rates to subdue CPI inflation.

On the one hand, higher interest rates reduce the present value of the rent, which can be earned from a home, thus reducing the house's value. On the other hand, higher interest rates mean higher Canadian mortgage rates, which result in higher mortgage payments and reduce home affordability. Therefore, the average Canadian home price peaked in February 2022 and decreased 25% into the January 2023 trough.

In January 2023, BoC paused its rate hikes, and the market started looking forward to rate cuts. The seasonal effect of spring and expectations for decreasing mortgage rates fueled a 2023 resurgence in the housing market. Canada’s average house prices rose 19% from its January low by May 2023. In June and July 2023, BoC raised rates again. As a result, Canada's housing markets softened again. Now, in the first half of 2024, rate cuts are expected over the next few months.

Though monetary policy affects all of Canada, it is essential to remember that housing markets are local phenomena. The Ontario housing market and the British Columbia Housing market mainly influence the average Canadian home price. These two markets became bubble territory when expansionary monetary policy offered almost free money to real estate investors and speculators after the global financial crises, especially during the pandemic.

In contrast, the Alberta real estate market avoided a pandemic bubble and remained relatively affordable. The home price in the Calgary region is 35% higher than ten years ago (compared with a 28% rise in CPI). Over the same period, Toronto and Montreal's home prices rose by 113% and 92%, respectively. This price rise means the cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past ten years has been 3.1% for Calgary. This reasonable growth suggests that the downside risk in the Calgary housing market is limited. However, one might argue that Calgary homes were overpriced in 2014.

Alberta, in general, and Calgary, in particular, enjoy more economic freedom (and arguably more natural resources) than many other parts of Canada. As a result, Alberta offers some of the highest incomes and wages among Canadian provinces, and Calgary offers some of the highest incomes and wages among Canadian cities.

The Alberta housing market, in general, and the Calgary housing market, in particular, have avoided a housing bubble over the past few years. Thus, the Alberta housing market is far more affordable than the Ontario or British Columbia Housing market. Similarly, the Calgary housing market is far more affordable than other large Canadian housing markets, namely the Toronto housing market and the Vancouver housing market.

The strong job market and relatively affordable housing markets resulted in interprovincial migration toward Alberta. This migration is another tailwind for the Calgary housing market. Also, note that Calgary is often called the "Energy Capital of Canada" due to its significant presence in the oil and gas industry. The performance of the energy sector has a considerable impact on the city's economy and housing market. Fluctuations in oil prices can influence housing demand and property values in Calgary.

Home Prices in Calgary

Calgary Housing Market Statistics for All Property Types in April 2024

Average Sold Price and MLS HPI Benchmark Price

Total Transactions and New Listings

Property Type Distribution

Detached
Semi-Detached
Townhouses
Condo Apartments

Market Overview for Detached Homes in April 2024

Average Sold Price

Transactions


Market Overview for Semi-Detached Homes in April 2024

Average Sold Price

Transactions


Market Overview for Townhouses in April 2024

Average Sold Price

Transactions

Market Overview for Condo Apartments in April 2024

Unlike other major metro areas in Canada, such as Toronto real estate or Vancouver real estate, as recently as two years ago condo apartments were a relatively small part of Calgary's real estate market. Two years ago, they made up close to one-seventh of total home sales and a much smaller proportion of sales volume in dollars due to their lower prices. Currently, they constitute close to one-third of homes sold in the Calgary real estate market.

Average Sold Price

Transactions

Best 5-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates in Calgary
Mortgage Term:
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Calgary Region Breakdown by Region for April 2024

Glossary and Definitions

MLS® HPI: The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) is an index by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) that tracks the prices of homes in a neighborhood. It allows Canadians to quickly compare home prices across Canada and between periods of time without having to account for specific features of a property. Unlike market prices, which can fluctuate from month to month based on seasonal dynamics, the HPI provides a stable view tracks trends across a longer period of time. The HPI is reviewed every year in May to adjust for changes in the real estate marketplace.

MLS® HPI Benchmark Price: The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price is the HPI translated into a real-world price number.

Strata Insurance: Strata insurance is insurance used by a strata like a condominium to covers damages to common areas and assets and liability to the strata. It can also include fixtures built or installed as part of the original construction of each unit, even though these may not be common structures. The insurance can cover:

  • Buildings and structures associated with the strata including common areas such as the roof, parking garages, driveways, gyms, pools, etc.
  • Liability for any property damage or bodily injury suffered on strata property
  • Any fixtures that are part of the "standard unit" or original construction of each unit

Strata insurance does not usually include personal items and appliances that are part of a condo unit. It also does not cover the damages made by individual unit owners, such as in the case of water damage caused by a unit owner. These are usually covered by personal condo insurance.

Property types

Detached home: A detached home is your standard single-family home. It is a residential building that stands alone and is separately titled or legally a single unit.

Semi-detached home: A semi-detached home is similar to a detached home, except it shares a wall with another home. This pair of homes must make up an independent building and each should be separately titled or legally two separate units. There can only be two homes in a semi-detached building.

Townhouses: A townhouse is the middle between a detached/semi-detached home and a condo apartment. Like detached and semi-detached homes, they are often single-family units that have their own land and may be attached to other units. However, like condo apartments, they typically have to pay co-ownership fees for maintenance and may share some common features with their neighbors.

Condo apartment: This category includes all apartments and condominiums. These are complexes of residential units with common areas such as hallways, parking lots, stairwells, etc. They can be low-rise, mid-rise, or high-rise buildings. Unlike townhouses, there are no parts of the lot (the land of the building) where access is reserved for only one owner or occupant. There can be privately owned units and spaces inside the building.

Plexes are multi-story buildings with two to four individual units, usually one on each floor. They are a mainstay in Montreal and other cities in Quebec. Each unit is usually individually accessible via an external entrance with higher floors connected by staircases.

Property Classes

Freeholds: A freehold is any property where the owner owns both the house and the land it is built on. Common freehold property types include: detached, semi-detached, some townhouses, and farmland.

Condominiums: A condominium or condo is any property where the owner owns the home (or unit) but shares ownership of the land and other improvements with a condominium corporation. Common condominium property types include condo apartments and some townhouses.

Leasehold: Leasehold describes the situation where different entities own the land and the structure built on the land. Owner of the buildings has leased the land and pay rent to their landlord while owning the building on the land.

Housing Markets Across Canada

Data sourced from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Any analysis or commentary is the opinion of the analysts at WOWA.ca and should not be construed as investment advice. Please consult a licensed real estate professional before making a real estate investment decision. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA.