December is here and we are finally getting some snow in the valley bottom. It has been an exceptional fall for real estate in Canmore and Banff with record sales and extremely low inventory. As we enter the winter real estate market, we expect to see our traditional seasonal trends with lower sales and inventory.
Seasonal trends appear to be returning to the Bow Valley real estate market after an exceptional year for sales. November sales were up 24% from November last year and down from October sales. We expected a decline in sales in November for two reasons: First, the new mortgage rules announced in the fall caused some increased buying in October and secondly, we typically see sales start to slow in November as we enter the winter selling season.
Inventory is following seasonal trends as well with few new listing and a declining inventory. We continue to be at a record low number of real estate listings in the area with 162 active listing and only 116 of these being move in ready residential units. Currently, we are at just under three months of inventory which is very much sellers territory. In conjunction with this, the soft luxury market means demand in the entry level to mid-range market is very strong.
In terms of sales volumes, the last November with this strong sales numbers was November 2005. Year over year, inventory levels are down 36%. November 2006 was the last time we had a fall inventory at this level. This does not account for the fact that we have since added a couple of hundred residential units to the market.
For townhomes, the year over year six month average sale price has jumped from $563,000 to $609,000. The average sale price for the same periods for apartments has actually decreased from $448,000 to $409,000. Single family detached homes have also seen a decrease from $999,000 to $970,000. The variations in these can be attributed to the lack of inventory in certain segments of the market. We have seen upward pressure on values across all segments of the market except the very top end.
Over the next few months, we expect to see inventory levels continue to decline with an eventual increase in February / March as the spring real estate season kicks off. Sales will see their seasonal slowdown with an uptick once we see more inventory come to market in the spring. Over the holidays, we expect to see an increase in buyers in the Bow Valley while they are here on vacation. As a result, we may see a small January blip in sales.
We hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season and looking forward to seeing you at the ski hill or on the skating pond.