Traditionally, July and August have been slower months for real estate in the Bow Valley. However, over the past few years we have started to see a change in this cycle as the summer real estate season reflects our tourism season. Some of the big US mountain towns see their busiest sales months through the summer and we are starting to reflect this trend as well. July sales are down from June’s record setting month however the seasonal dips are not as pronounced.
This past month, there were 49 MLS transactions in Canmore, Harvie Heights, Lac Des Arcs, Dead Man’s Flats and Exshaw. Year over year, sales were up 29% from 38 sales in 2017. Overall inventory remains flat month over month and down year over almost 3%. When looking at inventory levels, we also need to remember that over the past year, there have been a number of new projects completed and finished units brought to market.
With our smaller sample sizes, both average and median prices tend to fluctuate month over month. When looking at our three-month trends, we have seen consistent price growth over the past year. Townhouse average prices on a three-month average have increased to $718,000 from $632,000 last year. Apartment average prices have increased to $471,000 from $440,000. Within detached and semi-detached homes, the three-month median price has climbed to $1,017,000 from $931,000.
August is off to a strong start and we expect the market to remain brisk through the fall season. Inventory should start to rise slightly as we move into the fall market in the next month. Active listings remain very low with just 4.5 months of inventory on the market; 2017 there was 5.8 months, 2016 5.1 months, and 2015 5.9 months.
The market remains quite local with a large majority of the transactions coming from buyers moving within the market, followed by the Calgary – Edmonton corridor as the second largest segment. There has been strong interest from Ontario this summer and BC buyers as well. While there are many US license plates in town, our American buyers remain a fairly small portion of the market overall.
It has been a busy summer here in the Bow Valley and we are probably headed for another record tourism year. The weather has been perfect and there are lots of people out exploring this place we call home. The real estate market here in the Bow Valley is both a primary and secondary market. Often, our secondary home owners first experience a trip to the area, fall in love, come back a few more times and then choose to purchase. The follow on from our busy summer will be felt in the coming months and years into the future.
At the end of the month, we are off to Montreal to connect with our Canadian and International Sotheby’s Realty colleagues. Christopher is speaking on the secondary home and lifestyle market with agents from Kelowna, Muskoka and the Eastern Townships. This is one of our many opportunities to connect with agents from SIR and share how great a place the Bow Valley is to call home.