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Housing prices jump 9% in Okotoks

Housing prices in Okotoks increased nearly nine per cent in the 2021 seller's market as supply levels couldn't keep up.
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Housing prices increased nine per cent hitting a record-high benchmark price of $474,842.

Housing prices in Okotoks increased nearly nine per cent in 2021 while supply levels couldn't keep up. 

"We've seen sales have been extremely strong while supply has been really tight," said Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie, adding the benchmark price hit a new record high at $474,842.

The easing inventory combined with strong sales left supply at record-low levels in December, CREB statistics show. 

December is typically a slower month for sales, Lurie said, but last month saw 47 sales and 32 new listings.

She said homes, specifically detached or semi-detached homes, are going quickly and that demand is driving up prices. 

"We haven't seen inventory this low for some time," she said. 

This trend is not all that surprising, though, she said, noting sales were really strong beginning the latter half of 2020. 

Lurie points to lower interest rates introduced around that time as a main driver. 

"Rates that low brings a lot of people back. Through the pandemic, savings have improved for people who weren't impacted," she said, identifying the potential contributing factor to higher sales. 

The COVID-19 pandemic also seemed to push buyers outside the city limits, Lurie said. This, she said, was likely due to more affordable housing options typically associated with satellite communities. 

"In general, prices for detached homes tend to be more affordable in outlying areas or they offer more," she said. 

Changes in lifestyles introduced by lockdowns and work-from-home orders are also considered a factor. 

"That commute time is less of an issue and that's something we're seeing play out," she said. 

But, Lurie said, the demand should cool a bit as higher rates are expected in 2022.

"Outlying areas remain relatively strong because there's been such a lack of supply and people are still looking to get into that market," she added.