Canmore, the Bow Valley and resort markets across North America are currently experiencing unprecedented demand for real estate. As noted in our last market updated, we skipped the traditional winter slow down and jumped right into a spring market. For the first time that we are aware of, active listings on the market declined from February to March as home sales continue at a blistering pace. Over the previous three years, there has been an average 15% increase in active listings between February and March.
There were 103 MLS transactions in February a 102% increase in sales volumes year over year and a 27% increase month over month. The only thing holding that number back currently, is the lack of active properties for sale. On the listing side, active listings are down 6% month over month and 38% year over year. Currently there is 1.46 months of active inventory overall on the market. The residential market only has 1.4 moths of inventory. We would consider a balanced market between five to eight months of inventory. To arrive at this number, we divide active listings by sales.
As a buyer in this market, time is of the essence. You need to expect to be in multiple offers, potentially over the asking price, and see the home go under contract within the first few days of being on market. Ensure your financing is pre-approved and there are no missing documents, have the deposit funds ready to go, chat with lawyers and inspectors about their fees and timelines all to ensure you are in a good buying position. This is a new situation for us here in the Valley and similar to what big urban markets have experienced.
As a seller, positioning yourself within the market to take advantage of the strong demand and lack of inventory without pricing yourself outside of the market is key. A pricing strategy of being right on with the recent comparable sales and then aiming to drive multiple offers is an ideal tactic right now.
With the continued strong demand and record low levels of product available we do not foresee a change in the market within the next few months. Until a significant number of new properties become available, or interest rates rise significantly we expect demand to remain strong.