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Calgary sees highest December home sales since 2007 amid 40% buying surge

The Calgary Real Estate Board says the residential real estate market had its best December since 2007 last month as real estate agents sold nearly 1,200 homes. Global News

The Calgary Real Estate Board says the residential real estate market had its best December since 2007 last month as real estate agents sold nearly 1,200 homes.

The real estate board says low interest rates and a 20 per cent inventory drop helped boost home sales to 1,199 in December — a 40.1 per cent increase from December 2019.

Read more: September Calgary home sales and prices surprise experts; open house activity drops

Sales of homes in Airdrie, Alta., just north of Calgary, were at a record high for December while Cochrane, Alta., northwest of the city, had its best sales year in five years in 2020.

Cities across the country have noted that the homebuying season was pushed back into the second half of 2020 after spring shutdowns related to COVID-19.

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Read more: ‘Dangerous’ oversupply of new, single-family homes in Calgary and Edmonton: Moody’s forecast

CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie says the second wave of COVID-19 restrictions have so far not hampered real estate sales the same way as the spring shutdown.

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Calgary home sales slide 63% in April amid COVID-19 pandemic – May 4, 2020

Despite the surge in December, Calgary has not seen the same level of real estate rush as other cities, and total home sales for 2020 in Calgary were down one per cent compared with 2019.

A recent report by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. noted that through summer and early fall, the pandemic and energy sector were dampening demand for housing in Calgary, particularly in apartment buildings.