According to figures released this week by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB), house sales in Cochrane continue to climb.

Cochrane sales have more than doubled compared to last February, representing its strongest February on record.

New listings also rose for the month, but it was not enough to cause any substantial change in inventory levels. There was less than two months supply, the lowest seen for February since a record low in 2006.

Tight conditions have favoured sellers. The benchmark price has risen to $413,700, a four per cent increase from last year’s levels.

Airdrie also saw record sales in February. There's been significant improvement in the Okotoks housing market, with February sales reaching levels not seen for the month since a record high in 2007.

Calgary's February sales were the best seen since February 2014.

In its latest report on consumer credit conditions, Equifax Canada says increased mortgage activity and rising house prices in the fourth quarter of 2020 pushed the overall consumer debt level to $2.07 trillion, up 1.5 per cent from last quarter and up 4.1 per cent from Q4 2019.

Despite the increase in total debt, excluding mortgages, the average consumer debt actually dropped again this quarter to $23,043. That is a year-over-year decrease of 3.0 per cent and a decline of 0.8 per cent compared to the previous quarter.

Equifax Canada says the drop in consumer debt is primarily due to a continual decline in credit card balances. Since last March, consumers have been spending less and paying down more.