Housing activity in Calgary’s surrounding communities continues at a brisk pace with record-setting quarterly sales in Airdrie, Okotoks and Cochrane.

Year-to-date, 2,938 units were sold in surrounding towns up to and including June 30, a 31 per cent increase over last year.

“In addition to lifestyle preferences, tighter supply conditions for Calgary single-family homes in more affordable price ranges are fueling demand in many of the areas surrounding Calgary,” said CREB® president Bill Kirk.

In the first half of 2014, 43 per cent of new listings in surrounding areas were priced below $400,000, whereas only 23 per cent of listings in Calgary were available under this price point.

Much of the sales growth in surrounding towns was also due to the rise in new listings. As of the end of June, surrounding areas saw a 13 per cent increase in new listings this year, totalling 4,379 units.

“While we did see more new listings in the surrounding market, sales growth outpaced the new supply causing further year-over-year declines in inventories and generally tighter market conditions,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “While this did result in aggregate price gains in the single-family market, prices in Calgary are not only higher, but are also increasing at a faster rate.”

In Airdrie, sales totalled 563 units in the second quarter, the best quarter on record for the city. This was due in part to the rise in new listings, which jumped to 759 units, well above longer-term trends. The unadjusted benchmark price for a single-family home in Airdrie climbed to $385,677 during the second quarter, a 7.5 per cent increase over the same period last year.

Okotoks had its strongest quarter to date with sales activity totalling 272 units. The pace of sales growth continued to far exceed new listings in the town, driving up single-family benchmark home prices by 5.65 per cent over the previous year to an average of $404,350.

Cochrane posted record high sales and new listings levels during the first half of the year, totalling 407 and 574, respectively. However, compared to Airdrie and Okotoks, market conditions in the town were relatively more balanced. Increased competition from the new home sector and more balanced conditions in the resale sector resulted in relatively moderate price growth. Second-quarter single-family benchmark prices totalled $421,833, a 4.5 per cent increase from the same period in 2013. On a monthly basis, single-family benchmark prices continued to remain just below peak levels recorded in 2007.