A local expert committed to premier real estate service.

COMMITTED TO PREMIER SERVICE

Steve brings a diverse international real estate and marketing background with some of the world’s largest brands as clients. He was originally licensed as a REALTOR® in 2007 and has since then worked with a hundreds of individual and institutional clients to in the purchase and sale of single family homes and condos across Alberta. My goal is to ensure all the homes I represent are showcased with the highest quality marketing in the industry and that all the clients I help are offered an uncompromising level of service. 

Calgary Market Statistics

Market Insights

2024 CALGARY REAL ESTATE OUTLOOK

City of Calgary, January, 2024 – S

Several dominating themes emerged in 2023 that had a significant impact on the Canadian housing market.  We will dive into these core themes - detail how they impacted Alberta and Calgary specifically in 2023 and suggest how their trajectories will steer us in 2024.  For initial context and perspective, the Calgary Real Estate Board predicted a roughly 6.5% increase in prices across all product types in 2024 – with detached homes increasing 4%, condos increasing 9.5% and semi-detached 5.5% and row 9%.

MIGRATION

In 2023, Alberta experienced some of the highest migration levels on record.  This consisted of both international immigration and interprovincial migration.  In total, Alberta’s population grew by 4.3% in the 12 months preceding October 1st (which is the latest statistical data that is available from the province).  In the third quarter alone, Alberta’s population increased by 1.3% adding 56,306 (36,212 From international immigration and 17,094 from interprovincial migration).  The interprovincial migration doesn’t tell the full story as the actual figure of people that moved to Alberta in Q3 was 29,129; however, the way migration is calculated is amount of people that moved to Alberta – minus the people that left the province.  The total moving into the province was 6.9% lower than the third quarter of the previous year but the number of people leaving the province also dropped by a larger number (11%) meaning less people are leaving the province.  Calgary is anticipated to account for over 50% of the growth seen by the province, as it did in 2023. The Calgary Real Estate Board is anticipating that the population increase in Calgary will slow down in 2024, dropping by roughly 1% from 4.7% in 2023 to 3.6% in 2024.  

CHART | CANADIAN IMMIGRATION HISTORY

There are rumors that Q4 numbers will be equally strong with international and net inter-provincial migration.   The federal government has brought in regulations aimed at alleviating housing availability, but these will have little impact in the near term as they don’t anticipate decreasing overall immigration targets much below what we have seen in the past few years beyond 2026.  Current immigration levels have nearly doubled over the last 8 years putting a major strain on housing costs across Canada. 

INTEREST RATES

Q3 2023 saw the first pauses to increasing mortgage rates since early 2022.  10 consecutive rate hikes brought rates to heights not seen for 25 years, taking rates from 0.25% in February of 2022 to 5% which they have held since July of 2023 in one of the fastest rate hike cycles in history.  This large increase in rates has put a strain on households, especially those who are renewing or have been riding the increase with a variable rate mortgage.  Mortgage costs have increased or are anticipated to increase as much as 40% for those who purchased or renewed at the bottom in 2020.  This disparity between rates is keeping many people on the sidelines, both sellers - because it is hard to move up and qualify for a more expensive home with the increase in rates - and buyers, who are waiting for their purchasing power to increase and their monthly payments to fall.  This has certainly wreaked havoc on supply and demand dynamics.  

CHART | CANADIAN INTEREST RATE HISTORY

Initially interest rates were anticipated to fall by April 2024 but the chances of this are decreasing due to sticky inflation figures just released showing inflation at 3.4% - a slight increase from the previous month and bucking the trend that the Bank of Canada would like to see before they decrease.  Alas, we are likely looking to the end of Q2 for any change in rates in the June 5th announcement.  The spring market will factor in the anticipated decrease with purchasers potentially opting for a longer possession so they can capitalize on rate reductions in June.  Although we anticipate a strong spring market this could potentially delay the flurry of activity and extend into the summer months.

INVENTORY

Inventory in Calgary has been declining over the past four quarters and finished the year on average with a roughly 30% decline year-over-year – and this is coming from a year that already had historically low inventory levels.   Both detached, semi-detached and row experienced a decrease in sales by 20,10,11% respectively but the decrease in inventory mitigated any price declines and drove prices up in all quadrants and segments.  Apartments showed a decrease in inventory of 20% while also experiencing an increase in sales of 27% reflecting price increases in the range of over 13% in 2023.  The increase in prices brought the prices close to all time highs experienced in 2014, however, there are still segments of the market (notably inner-city) that are still 5-10% below those levels.  The real estate board is predicting a 9.5% increase in condo prices in 2024 which should bring most condo prices to new heights. 

CHART | CALGARY INVENTORY HISTORY

As we start 2024 we are entering with some of the lowest inventory levels in history.  A search for active properties in Calgary metro area shows only 1622 properties currently active and for sale (as of end of January).  A search for sold properties in the last 30 days to establish how many months of inventory there are shows 1594, now while this doesn’t include properties that are currently conditionally sold (572) it represents a declining inventory level both month-over-month and year-over year.  The market in all segments in Calgary is entrenched in sellers’ territory and current inventory levels will likely push up pricing higher than predicted by the real estate board if they trend in a similar trajectory.

OTHER MARKET OBSERVATIONS

Other micro trends that could impact pricing and purchaser intent, are, regional price disparities, zoning relaxations, and short-term rental regulations.

INNER-CITY STILL UNVERVALUED

The most substantial gains in Calgary were in the more affordable inventory regions in NE and East with 18.2 and 26.2 percent increases respectively.  This speaks to the affordability factor as these quadrants were the most affordable, and potentially also to the demographics of recent migration.  The city centre had the lowest levels of increase at 5.3% leading me to believe that is currently undervalued.  The covid era saw an exodus from inner-city that should start to reverse course. 

CHART | CALGARY PRICING INCREASES 2023 BY QUADRANT

ZONING CHANGES

The City of Calgary, as part of their “Home is Here strategy” directed Administration to take actions to address the housing crisis. One of these actions is to propose citywide rezoning to a base residential district,  to allow for single-detached, semi-detached, rowhouse, and townhouse homes on parcels that currently only allow for single – or semi-detached homes. To accomplish this, The City is looking to rezone properties to R-CG, R-G and H-GO.  It will likely take the year to fully approve through council as they need to run through the usual red tape and consultations, but I anticipate we will follow-suit with Edmonton whose changes came into effect January 1st 2024.  This substantially increases the density that can be built on most residential lots in the city.  They City of Calgary is hoping to garner attention from the federal government and the Housing Accelerator Fund for cash to support increased housing development.  We believe that long-term these zoning changes will increase demand for primarily single family detached dwelling neighbourhoods and drive up the land value of these prime R-C1 lots. Developers will also be looking for nice corner lots in established single family communities where they can most easily build higher density developments.  Stay tuned for higher density 4-plex and 8-plex inventory in your neighbourhood.

SHORT-TERM RENTAL RESTRICTIONS

Short-term rental restrictions could steer buyer demand and investors away from the condo markets.  This is intended to increase the stock of longer-term housing options and decrease the appetite for investors to purchase homes that were once attractive only from a short-term investment perspective.  The regulations that have already been enacted in many other markets restrict homeowners from renting short-term units that are not their primary residence.  Regulators also hope that these investors, once no longer able to make the same return and not looking to rent long-term will bring this inventory back to the resale market and thus increase inventory.  If this trend continues which is expected, it could shift buyer intent.  Be wary of air-bnb properties as an investment and have a back-up plan. 

2024 CALGARY REAL ESTATE MARKET OUTLOOK

Immigration, interest rates and Inventory are the three biggest stories to watch and those that have the largest bearing on the direction of the real estate market in Calgary in 2024.  We anticipate inventory levels to remain at historic lows, with pent up demand to offset any decrease in migration this year. Interest rates should start to decline but maybe later in the year than originally anticipated.  All markets will perform well, and we could see stronger than anticipated price growth should these three factors work together in a perfect storm of low inventory, stronger than anticipated migration and declining interest rates that instigate higher demand. 

JANUARY SEES STRONG SALES FUELED BY BOOST IN NEW LISTINGS

City of Calgary, January, 2024 – 

January sales rose to 1,650 units, a significant gain over last year's levels and long-term trends. The growth was possible thanks to a rise in new listings totalling 2,137 units in January. New listings rose for homes priced above $300,000, but the largest gains occurred for homes priced above $700,000.

The rise in new listings relative to sales did little to change the low inventory situation in the city. With 2,150 units in inventory, levels are near the January record lows set in 2006 and are nearly 49 per cent below the long-term average for the month.

"Supply challenges have been a persistent problem since last year. This month's gain in new listings has helped provide options to potential purchasers, supporting sales growth. However, the growth in sales prevented any significant adjustments in supply, keeping conditions tight and supporting further price growth," stated Ann-Marie Lurie, Chief Economist at CREB®.

The months of supply in January was 1.3 months, falling over last month's and last year's levels. The persistent tightness in the market contributed to further upward pressure on home prices. The unadjusted benchmark price in January reached $572,300, a gain over last month and ten per cent higher than levels reported last January.

DETACHED

A boost in new listings helped support stronger sales this month. However, with a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 77 per cent, there was minimal change in the low inventory situation reported in the detached sector. New listings rose for all homes priced above $500,000, but the largest gains occurred in the over $700,000 market segment. Low inventory levels compared to sales prevented any improvement in the months of supply, which at 1.4 months was lower than levels reported last month and last January.

The exceptionally tight market conditions continued to drive further price growth. In January, the unadjusted detached price reached $702,200, nearly one per cent higher than last month and nearly 13 per cent higher than prices reported last year. Year-over-year price gains ranged from a low of 10 per cent in the City Centre and South East districts to a 27 per cent gain in the East district of the city.

SEMI-DETACHED

With 223 new listings and 131 sales, the sales-to-new listings ratio fell to 59 per cent, the lowest level reported since 2020 and significantly improved over the 82 per cent average reported in 2023. The sudden shift did cause inventories to improve over the last month, but they remain well below long-term trends.

The unadjusted benchmark price in January was $625,000, slightly lower than last month but over 11 per cent higher than last January. The monthly decline was driven mainly by adjustments in the higher-priced districts of the West and City Centre.

ROW

Like other property types, new listings and sales rose in January over levels reported last month and last year. However, with 322 new listings and 297 sales, the sales to new listings ratio remained exceptionally high at 92 per cent. This contributed to further reductions in inventory levels, and the months of supply once again fell below one month.

Limited supply and strong demand contributed to a rise in prices. In January, the unadjusted benchmark price reached $426,400, up over last month and nearly 20 per cent higher than levels reported in January 2023. While year-over-year prices are higher in every district, the West and City Centre districts saw unadjusted benchmark prices ease slightly over December.

APARTMENT CONDOMINIUM

Apartment-style properties continued to see the most significant gain in sales activity, rising to 488 sales in January, a year-over-year increase of 54 per cent. This was possible thanks to the growth in new listings. However, the gain in listings did little to supply levels; with 682 units, inventories were 40 per cent below long-term trends.

Tight market conditions continued to contribute to further price gains. In January, the unadjusted benchmark price reached $324,000, nearly one per cent higher than last month and 19 per cent higher than last January. Prices rose across all districts, with the largest year-over-year gains occurring in the most affordable districts of the North East and East.

 


REGIONAL MARKET FACTS

AIRDRIE

Stronger detached and row sales were enough to offset pullbacks in the semi-detached and apartment sectors, causing total residential sales to increase over levels reported last January. This, in part, was possible thanks to a boost in new listings. However, the boost in new listings and sales prevented any significant shift in inventory levels, which was half of the levels typically seen in the market.

While conditions remained tight, the unadjusted benchmark price remained stable over the last month but was nearly 10 per cent higher than levels reported in January 2023. The most substantial price gains have occurred for apartment-style homes, which are the most affordable property type.

COCHRANE

Eighty-three new listings and 70 sales occurred in January, keeping the sales to new listings relatively high at 84 per cent. This prevented any significant change in inventory levels compared to last month but caused the months of supply to fall below two months once again. The drop in the months of supply is a shift over the last four months, where the months of supply was over two months.

Despite recent tightening, the unadjusted benchmark price did ease slightly over last month’s levels. Overall, the unadjusted benchmark prices across all property types remained over 10 per cent higher than last January.

OKOTOKS

Both sales and new listings rose in January compared to last month's and last year’s levels. This caused the sales to new listings ratio to fall to 75 per cent, which was still relatively high but an improvement over the 86 per cent average reported last year. Nonetheless, the sudden gain in new listings was insufficient to cause material changes to the low inventory levels.

With just over one month of supply, conditions remain tight in Okotoks, driving prices up. In January, the benchmark price reached $589,600, higher than last month's and year’s levels. Year-over-year price growth occurred across all property types, with gains ranging from a high of 15 per cent for row properties to a low of six per cent for apartment-style homes.

STRONG MIGRATION AND LOW SUPPLY DRIVE CALGARY HOUSING PRICES IN 2023

City of Calgary, December, 2023

Sales in 2023 did ease relative to last year's peak, but with 27,416 sales, levels were still far higher than long-term trends and activity reported before the pandemic. While sales stayed relatively strong, there was a notable shift in activity toward more affordable apartment condominiums style homes.

“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. “At the same time, supply levels were low compared to the demand throughout the year, resulting in stronger than expected price growth.”

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

The persistently tight conditions contributed to our city's new record high price. While the average annual benchmark price growth did slow from 12 per cent in 2022 to nearly six per cent growth in 2023, the price growth was still relatively strong especially compared to some markets in the country.

Housing Stats December 2023 

DETACHED

With an annual decline of nearly 20 per cent, the detached market saw the most significant decline in sales activity. While sales did improve for homes priced above $700,000, limited supply choices in the lower price ranges caused consumers to turn to alternative housing styles. Despite some recent gains in higher-priced new listings, inventories have remained near record lows, and the months of supply have remained relatively low throughout 2023.

The persistently tight market conditions have supported further price growth for detached homes, albeit at a slower pace than last year. On average, the benchmark price rose by nearly eight per cent in 2023, with the most significant gains occurring in the city's most affordable districts.

Semi-Detached

Like the detached sector, year-over-year sales growth since May was not enough to offset the pullbacks at the beginning of the year, leaving 2023 sales down by 10 per cent. The decline in sales was driven by pullbacks for homes priced under $500,000, while sales improved for higher-priced properties. The decline in the lower range was primarily due to limited supply choices, preventing stronger sales.

Persistently tight market conditions this year caused prices to trend up throughout most of the year. On an annual basis, the benchmark price rose by seven per cent over last year—a slower gain than the 12 per cent reported in 2022, but still relatively strong. Price growth ranged from a low of six per cent in the city centre to over 16 per cent in the east district.

Row

Limited supply choices in the lower price ranges contributed to the pullback in sales in 2023. Annual sales declined by over 11 per cent despite rising sales for homes priced above $400,000. While new listings did show signs of improving in the second half of the year, all of the gains were reported in the higher price ranges, causing relatively more balanced conditions in the upper price ranges versus the sellers’ market conditions in the lower price ranges.

Conditions favoured the seller throughout the year, supporting an annual benchmark price gain of over 13 per cent. Prices improved across each district, ranging from a low of 11 per cent in the city centre to over 20 per cent price growth in both the North East and East districts.

Apartment Condominium

Apartment-style properties were the only property type to report a gain in sales this year, resulting in a record high of 7,884. The growth in sales was possible thanks to the higher starting point for inventory levels and gains in new listings. However, conditions tightened throughout the year, favouring the seller and driving price growth.

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. On an annual basis, the 2023 benchmark price rose by over 13 per cent, a faster pace than the annual growth levels reported last year.


REGIONAL MARKET FACTS

AIRDRIE

Primarily due to pullbacks for detached homes, sales in Airdrie declined by 24 per cent over last year's record high. Low inventory levels and a pullback in new listings have somewhat limited sales. While new listings have risen over last year's levels for the past four months, they are still 24 per cent lower than last year. The decline in sales and new listings ensured inventories remained low this year, declining over last year’s and falling to the lowest annual average levels seen since 2006.

For the third year in a row, conditions in Airdrie have generally favoured the seller. This has driven further price gains this year, albeit at a slower pace. On an annual basis, the benchmark price rose by nearly five per cent. This year, the price growth for row and apartment-style properties has been more than double that reported in the detached and semi-detached sectors.

COCHRANE

Both sales and new listings in Cochrane fell over last year’s levels. However, recent gains in new listings relative to sales did help support some inventory gains. While inventory levels have improved over the low levels reported last year, they remain over 40 per cent below what we traditionally see in the market.

The recent shifts in new listings relative to sales have helped the months of supply stay above two months since September. However, conditions are still relatively tight, and prices continue to rise. While the growth was stronger in the higher-density sectors of the market, the detached benchmark prices increased by four per cent in 2023 over last year.

Okotoks

Supply has been a challenge in Okotoks, impacting sales and prices. While we have seen some improvements lately regarding the level of new listings compared to sales, inventories have remained near record lows and averaged 63 per cent below long-term trends on an annual basis.

Conditions have remained relatively tight throughout most of the year, especially throughout the busier spring season. Despite some monthly variation, prices generally trended up this year and, on an annual basis, rose by over six per cent.

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MY COMMITTMENT TO YOU

Premier Service

I advise on each transaction based upon a foundation of hundreds of transactions and from being immersed in industry since 2007.  I have purchased and sold 7 of my own properties and have renovated numerous homes.  I own rentals that I manage and practice what I preach.  I appreciate the stress and work involved in a successful move and help mitigate issues before they arise.  The goal is to maximize sale price while mitigating stress and uncertainty. 

Steve brings a diverse international real estate and marketing background with some of the world’s largest brands as clients. He was originally licensed as a REALTOR® in 2007 and has since then worked with hundreds of individual clients and numerous  institutional clients in the purchase and sale of single family homes and condos across Alberta.  As the former founder and creative director of a boutique real estate marketing agency, Steve was responsible for managing a team in developing strategies to market and sell thousands of single-family and multi-family homes across Western Canada.

My business is founded upon service.  You deal with me throughout the whole process, and I am available 24/7 like a friend would be.  I don’t take on an overwhelming amount of business so you can always feel as though you are my only client - not one lost is a sea of “transactions”

Steve McKenna

Founding Partner, REALTOR®, Marketing Director

My goal is to ensure all the homes we represent are showcased with the highest quality marketing in the industry and that all the clients we help are offered an uncompromising level of service. 

Phone number
(403)763-3435

Why Work With Steve

I am committed to excellence at every step of the process. I stand by a no pressure approach and believe that empowering you with the best information, research and market analysis is the key to making informed and educated decisions with your purchase or sale. I would love to connect with you to discuss how we can best navigate today’s real estate market and make sound investment decisions to set you on a path to prosperity.

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