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Calgary home sales outpace long-term trends in 2023 as migration fuels demand



Calgary, a city known for its vibrant energy and stunning landscapes, experienced a surge in home sales in 2023, defying long-term trends. The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) recently reported a substantial increase in home transactions, with 1,366 homes changing hands in December alone. This marks a notable 13.8% rise compared to the same period the previous year.


Throughout the entirety of 2023, the number of homes sold surpassed the usual trends, reflecting a bustling real estate market. This surge in activity stands out when compared to the period before the pandemic, indicating a robust rebound in Calgary's housing sector.


In December, 1,248 new units were listed, representing a significant 21% increase compared to December 2022. Despite this boost in housing supply, demand remained robust due to the city's sustained high levels of migration. The net result was a 2.5% decrease in inventory, further intensifying the competition among homebuyers.


Ann-Marie Lurie, the Chief Economist at CREB, emphasized that supply levels consistently lagged behind demand throughout 2023. This discrepancy contributed to unexpectedly robust price growth in the housing market. At the close of the year, the unadjusted home benchmark price settled at $570,100. While this reflected a minor decrease of approximately $2,600 from the preceding month, it marked a substantial 10.4% increase compared to December 2022.


Digging into specific market segments, the detached housing market experienced a notable decline in sales activity, dropping by nearly 20% over the course of 2023. This shift suggests evolving preferences or challenges in this particular housing category. On the other hand, apartment-style properties reported an annual sales gain, reaching a record high of 7,884. This positive trend indicates a growing interest in more compact and potentially affordable housing options.


The real driving force behind Calgary's remarkable real estate performance in 2023 appears to be the city's attractiveness to newcomers. With migration levels remaining strong, the demand for housing consistently outpaced supply. This dynamic created an environment where prices soared, exceeding initial expectations.


As Calgary heads into 2024, real estate experts and industry observers will be closely monitoring whether these trends continue. The delicate balance between supply and demand, influenced by factors like migration patterns, will play a crucial role in shaping the city's housing landscape. For now, Calgary residents and potential homebuyers can reflect on a year that defied expectations, solidifying the city's reputation as an exciting and dynamic real estate market.


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