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Rushing flood waters converge at the Bow River and Langevin bridge, June 21, 2013 in Calgary. Home sales in Calgary spiked in July, a phenomenon that the local real estate board says is likely a result of the June flooding.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Home sales in Calgary spiked in July, a phenomenon that the local real estate board says is likely a result of the June flooding.

Last month's sales were 17-per-cent higher than a year earlier. That compares to a 6-per-cent year-over-year sales gain in June, and a 7-per-cent gain in May.

At the start of this year economists generally expected Calgary to be one of the few major housing markets that would have momentum this year. But Calgary Real Estate Board chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie said many of last month's sales are ones that would likely have occurred later if not for the flooding that hit in late June.

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"Some of this activity is related to the displaced renters and owners seeking other accommodation," she stated in a press release. "But those consumers already searching for a home may have sped up their purchase decision, in response to concerns regarding the impact tight supply levels would have on prices."

The Calgary Real Estate Board, which represents the city's realtors, had been flagging tight supply levels at the start of July. "In the coming months, flood victims, particularly those who were planning on selling their homes, will have some big decisions to make," CREB president Becky Walters stated in a press release July 2. "Will they take a discounted price? Or will they stay and fully remediate the property? Either way, in the short term, housing supply will likely be relatively tight."

While the number of homes that were newly listed for sale in July was higher than the number that hit the market the previous July, the number of active listings fell.

Home prices, meanwhile, were almost 7-per-cent higher than a year earlier, with the benchmark price standing at $414,100 in July.

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