Residential sales in Calgary saw a decrease in 2023, but still remained relatively strong due to the high amount of migration Calgary, and Alberta at large, is seeing.

According to statistics published by the Calgary Real Estate Board this week, Calgary recorded a grand total of 27,416 home sales in 2023, which represented an 8% decrease from the 29,659 recorded in 2022.

There was a stark difference in sales when looking at different property types, however.

While single-detached homes still accounted for the highest proportion of all residential sales, 46.4%, it also saw the largest year-over-year drop-off, of 19%.

On the opposite end of the spectrum were condominiums, which accounted for the second-most sales, at 28.8%, but saw a significant year-over-year increase of 27% — the only property type to see an increase in 2023.

The story was the same when looking at listings: single-detached homes accounted for the highest proportion of all new listings, but also recorded the largest year-over-year decrease, while condos accounted for the second-most new listings and was the only property type to see a year-over-year increase.

December 2023 and year-to-date statistics.December 2023 and year-to-date statistics.(Calgary Real Estate Board)

"Higher lending rates dampened housing demand this year, but thanks to strong migration levels, housing demand remained relatively strong, especially for affordable options in our market," said CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie, hinting that what CREB called a "notable shift" to condos is perhaps more due to the prices and less so because of a mass infatuation with the condo lifestyle. "At the same time, supply levels were low compared to the demand throughout the year, resulting in stronger than expected price growth."

Price Trends

Benchmark prices ended 2023 at $675,783 for single-detached homes, $604,933 for semi-detached homes, $399,008 for rowhomes, and $302,042 for condos. All four property types saw year-over-year price increases, with rowhomes seeing the highest increase (14%) and condos seeing the second-highest increase (13%). Despite the high increase, condos are far and away still the most affordable housing option in Calgary, which likely plays a significant role in their increased popularity.

"Apartment condominium prices finally recovered from their 2014 high earlier this year and have pushed above those levels, reaching a new record high of $321,400 by December," CREB said. "On an annual basis, the 2023 benchmark price rose by over 13%, a faster pace than the annual growth levels reported last year."

Of the 27,416 home sales recorded in 2023, the price range that accounted for the most sales was between $200,000 and $299,999, which accounted for 4,510 (16.5%). Closely behind was the $500,000 to $599,999 range, which accounted for 4,331 sales and the $300,000 to $399,999 range, which accounted for 4,284 sales. The much wider range of $700,000 to $999,999 accounted for 4,291 sales.

Total home sales in Calgary, by price range.Total home sales in Calgary, by price range.(Calgary Real Estate Board)

In 2024, Calgary will likely continue to see high levels of population growth and, thus, the need to increase housing supply, which is trending in the wrong direction.

"Inventory levels were persistently below long-term trends for the city throughout most of the year, averaging a 44% decline over the 10-year average," CREB says. "We also saw the months of supply remain well below two months throughout most of the year across homes priced below $1,000,000."

Much attention will be paid to whether supply can keep up with the demand — particularly after the City of Calgary approved its sweeping housing strategy in September — and whether the affordability Calgary has become known for will be taking a turn for the worse.