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Houses under construction in Calgary are seen in this file photo. (Jeff McIntosh/The Globe and Mail)
Houses under construction in Calgary are seen in this file photo. (Jeff McIntosh/The Globe and Mail)

Calgarians snapping up condos in extremely tight housing market Add to ...

The Globe’s Real Estate Beat offers news and analysis on the Canadian housing market from real estate reporter Tara Perkins. Read more on The Globe’s housing page and follow Tara on Twitter @TaraPerkins.

Buyers in Calgary’s housing market are contending with a limited supply of new homes.

“Thinking of moving to Calgary’s red hot, job-spinning economy and settling right into a brand spanking new home?” asks Bank of Montreal economist Sal Guatieri. “Good luck. The available supply of completed new units dropped below 500 for only the third time on record (back to 1992) in April, and only 15 new condos were on the market.”

That’s for brand-new homes. “You might have better success in the resale market, but be prepared to pay through the nose, as benchmark prices were up a sizzling 10.6 per cent year-over-year in May,” he writes in a research note.

That helps explain why sales of condos – which are more affordable than houses – are up significantly.

According to Calgary’s real estate board, there were 2,020 condo apartment sales over the Multiple Listing Service during the first five months of the year. That’s up 21 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

The average selling price of a single family home in the city last month was $554,652, up 6.3 per cent from a year earlier, while the average price of a condo was $315,953, up 1.89 per cent.

But there has also recently been a boost in existing condos listed for sale. The number rose to 1,051 last month, up 13.1 per cent from a year earlier. Condos now represent nearly one-quarter of all homes for sale in the city.

“While supply levels are improving, demand remains strong, preventing any significant run up in inventories,” Calgary Real Estate Board chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie recently stated in a press release. “However, we may see more divergent behaviour in the single family and condominium markets, impacting the relative price growth in each of these sectors.”

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