Calgary realtors gear up for busy spring market season

Spring has sprung and you know what that means.

Yes, the National Hockey League playoffs are just around the corner.

And of course all sorts of outdoor plants and flowers will soon be sprouting out of the ground, signifying new life.

But there’s also new life in the residential real estate market as it heads into the busiest time of its season.

Spring is always a great time of the year for realtor Ray Todd, who has been with RE/MAX Real Estate (Central) for about 20 years.

He’s an avid gardener, babying perennials each year at his inner-city home.

“It’s a great backyard that kind of terraces downhill and full of perennials,” he says as he gears up for the plants to start sprouting up soon.

“Hopefully. Hopefully,” says Todd.

Ray Todd, RE/MAX Real Estate (Central)

And it’s that same hopeful sentiment – of something springing to new life – that Todd is also anticipating for the spring real estate market in Calgary.

Like most realtors in the city, the months of April, May and June, are the busiest of the year.

“We have more and more people that want to list during that time period as well. We tend to be busy all year round but the spring is definitely the busiest,” says Todd.

The real estate industry is looking forward to this time of the year, especially this year as the market has gotten off to a slow start in 2018.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, as of March 20, year-to-date MLS sales in Calgary of 2,888 were down 16.41 per cent compared with the same period a year ago.

New listings rose by 2.72 per cent to 7,092 and active listings as of March 20 of 6,076 climbed by 22.25 per cent compared with the same period in 2017.

Just how busy does the spring get?

Take a look at last year’s monthly numbers. CREB data shows that June, May and April were the top three sales months for the resale housing market in 2017.

June led the charge with 2,136 MLS sales followed by May at 2,115 and April at 1,900.

“Everyone feels more comfortable selling their house once the snow’s gone and their yard is looking presentable,” says Todd.

Of course, gearing up for the busy housing market season is very important if you’re selling a house and it’s also a very competitive time with many listings on the market.

“The first impression from the street is important. People only have a certain amount of time. Work on that first impression. If somebody’s driving up to the house, how does it look from the front?,” adds Todd.

“Even just cleaning the walkway. Also sweeping down the front of the house because sometimes after the winter it’s full of dust and dirt. Cleaning the windows. If it’s warm enough have plants out. If it looks presentable and well-cared for then that’s their first impression before they open the door.”

And potential buyers are more likely to take that step towards the house and see what’s inside.

The RE/MAX 2018 Housing Market Outlook forecasts the average residential sale price for Calgary to remain stable this year. It describes Calgary as being in a buyer’s market.

“Calgary’s ongoing evolution into a major tech and distribution hub . . . is expected to increase confidence in the real estate market moving forward,” it says.

“An evolving regional economy helped to drive real estate market activity and price increases in Calgary in 2017, but both buyers and sellers remain relatively tentative as the city continues to recover from the ongoing downturn in the oil sector.”

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