The Calgary Real Estate Board expects house prices in Okotoks to once again climb in 2024 as low inventory continues to exert upward pressure.
The board recently released its Calgary & Region Yearly Outlook Report, which not only offered a look ahead, but also included some telling statistics from 2023.
The report stated that Okotoks has struggled with exceptionally low inventory levels, a situation that further worsened last year when those levels hit the lowest annual average ever recorded.
“Low inventory levels and declining new listings have likely prevented stronger sales in 2023,” the report stated.
There were 746 new listings in Okotoks in 2023, a more than 25 per cent decline from 999 in 2022.
The 641 sales in 2023 were almost 24 per cent fewer than a year earlier when the local market recorded 843 sales.
The report stated that exceptionally tight market conditions have contributed to significant price increases over the past three years. At the end of 2023, the annual benchmark price reached a record high of $571,742, a six per cent jump year over year.
The previous year saw prices increase by more than 15 per cent.
“While new listings are expected to improve in 2024, the supply adjustments required to bring this market back to balance will take some time, likely resulting in further upward pressure on prices,” the report stated.
The board’s regional monthly statistics package reported that both sales and new listings rose in Okotoks in January, pushing the benchmark price, considered to be the price of a typical home in an area, to $589,600, just below the all-time high of $590,200 set last November.
“The sudden gain in new listings was insufficient to cause material changes to the low inventory levels,” the report stated. “With just over one month of supply, conditions remain tight in Okotoks, driving prices up.”
As far as the larger Calgary market goes, the board found that interprovincial migration from higher-priced markets in B.C. and Ontario helped support sales growth in the higher price ranges, even in the face of higher lending rates.
“Moving into 2024, we anticipate that potential buyers who were previously on the sidelines due to limited supply choices may re-enter the market as lending rates ease and listings improve,” the report stated.
Although conditions are not expected to be as tight as in 2023, the board said a seller’s market is projected to persist throughout the spring, resulting in further price growth.