Home sales in Calgary and across Canada plummeted last month, while the average residential price in the city jumped.

The number of Calgary residential MLS sales plunged 18.7 per cent in May 2010 compared to the year prior, while national sales were only down by 4.3 per cent, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Although the number of sales went down, the average unit price in Calgary rose 9.2 per cent to $417,978.

Diane Scott, president of the Calgary Real Estate Board, said the price hike could be because many consumers are purchasing their second homes, which are more expensive.

“What is happening is that it’s the ‘move-up’ market that’s causing the price to go up a little bit; they’re buying the next level so that’s where the average price has been affected,” she said.

The board’s chief economist, Gregory Klump, said the drop in sales could be attributed to higher sales rates in April. He explained changes to mortgage regulations, as well as the fear of rising interest rates caused people to jump into the market earlier than normal.

“April of 2010 was the second strongest April ever,” he said.

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