Cochrane sales have been exceptionally strong since the second half of 2020 and this trend has continued in 2021, with first-quarter sales reaching a record high for any quarter.
Growth in sales at the end of last year was limited by the lack of new listings coming into the market, as the sales-to-new-listings ratio averaged above 90 per cent over the previous two quarters. In the first quarter there were nearly 400 new listings, helping support stronger sales. However, this was not enough to offset the exceptionally strong sales and inventories trended down for the third quarter in a row to the lowest first-quarter level since 2014.
Like other centres, supply levels could not keep pace with demand and the months of supply averaged less than two months in the first quarter. For Cochrane, this is the lowest months of supply recorded since before the financial crisis back in 2006.
New-home starts did rise at the end of last year, but given the current pace of demand it will take further supply gains from both the resale and new-home markets to help bring this market out of conditions that favour sellers. While months of supply trended down for all property types, the tightest conditions exist for detached homes.
Tight market conditions have supported rising prices in the market. Quarterly growth stabilized over the fourth quarter of last year due to some weaker pricing in January and February, but benchmark prices remain over four per cent higher than last year’s levels.