A relatively tight inventory level means a seller's real estate market will continue in Cochrane in 2024.

The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) has released its 2024 forecast for Calgary and region. It offers a detailed analysis of Calgary's economic and housing market trends and surrounding areas for the upcoming year by CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

Supply remains an issue but gains in new home starts and new listings are expected to support some modest inventory gains here.

Despite a pullback in sales from record highs of the two previous years, the Cochrane housing benchmark increased by 4.16 per cent. Cochrane began 2024 with a benchmark price of $520,942, up from $500,125 at the start of last year.

"While the pullback in sales and new listings did not change the seller market conditions, the sales-to-new listings ratio did decline over the past two years, supporting a modest gain in inventory levels and conditions that were not as tight as what was seen in Airdrie," states the report.

There were 912 houses sold in 2023, nearly 20 per cent lower than the 1,136 in 2022.

The report delves into the impact of rising lending rates on the housing sector, as buyers looked for more affordable housing options, and some potential sellers held back from listing to navigate the challenges posed by higher lending rates.

Chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie underscores this dynamic, stating, "Despite higher rates, 2023 was a year of relatively strong sales thanks to a robust labour market and strong migration. The challenge was limited supply, especially for low-priced homes with the strongest demand. This resulted in significant price growth with the largest gains in our lowest-priced homes.”

Lurie anticipates another strong year for sales. It is expected to be fuelled by a healthy labour market, the continued migration of people from other provinces, and potential buyers re-entering the market as lending rates ease and the selection of listings improve.