Airdrie set a new record for December home sales in 2020, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).
CREB’s most recent figures, published Jan. 4, indicated Airdrie’s realtors sold 89 homes in December 2020. The sales – a record number for December – capped off a strong finish for home purchases in 2020, following a slow first half of the year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Improving sales throughout the second half of the year contributed to the annual sales of 1,407 [homes] – a year-over-year gain of 18 per cent,” CREB’s report stated. “New listings also rose in December and [are] likely contributing to some of the monthly gains in sales.”
The high number of late-year sales was not limited to Airdrie, but extended to Calgary and other municipalities in the region, including Cochrane and Okotoks. According to CREB’s chief economist, Ann-Marie Lurie, housing demand in the second half of 2020 in Calgary and area was “far stronger than anticipated” and nearly offset the negative impact of economic shutdowns in the spring. Total home sales in Calgary were about one per cent lower than in 2019.
“Even with the further restrictions imposed in December , it did not have the same negative impact on housing activity like we saw in the earlier part of the year,’ she stated in a CERB press release.
Airdrie realtor Gary Lock, with CIR Realty, said there were multiple factors that drove the strong finish to the year, including low interest rates, the amount of available housing inventory in some parts of the city and improved employment stability for many families, following a more turbulent economy during the first wave of the pandemic.
“I don’t think one month paints a picture of the whole year, but the best you could say is it ended healthily,” he said. “We were struggling all the way through September to make the same amount of sales we made the year before, which wasn’t a spectacular year, but in the end, the last two or three months were above normal.”
CREB’s report indicated Airdrie’s home supply has remained between two and three months since June 2020 – indicating a balanced market – and prices have trended upwards. By December, the benchmark price for a home in Airdrie had risen by nearly five per cent compared to 2019, according to the report, ending the year at $346,100.
“On an annual basis, the gains in price were enough to offset the earlier pullbacks and is creating stability in prices,” it stated.
However, the report acknowledged this was not the case for all types of real estate product in Airdrie; detached home prices rose nearly two per cent compared to 2019, while row and apartment-style home prices fell by seven per cent and one per cent, respectively. According to CREB, new overall listings in Airdrie remained well below 2019 figures.
Lock said the bulk of Airdrie’s home sales continue to be in new or relatively new communities – he mentioned Lanark Landing, Bayside and Coopers Crossing as areas that are seeing strong sales figures.
“Airdrie has always had a good new-home market – we’ve never been short,” he said. “Calgary has struggled sometimes with their new-home market, but we’ve always done well. Some people don’t like that growth.
“Coopers still has good inventory, you have the Mattamy Homes stuff. Midtown is just about full but there’s still some inventory there. Bayside is filling in well. They’ve done a good job there.”