Calgary real estate

Calgarians hoping to find a bargain on a mid-range house didn't have much luck this spring, say real estate agents. (CBC)

Home buyers looking for a deal during the oil price slump in Calgary aren't having much success because a short supply of mid-range homes is keeping prices high.

About two months ago, Kelsey Bachler and her husband Tyler decided to look for their first house, hoping the downturn in the economy would help them find a reasonably priced house.

"We were really hoping that this would be the time to jump into the market and to buy something. We figured that housing prices would drop as a result of the trend in the economy, but that's just not the case."

Homes in the $400,000 to $500,000 range proved difficult to find in Calgary, and those they did find went off the market within hours. Eventually, the couple bought a house, but only after they made an offer on the spot.

No longer a buyers' market

Real estate agent Melanie James says the surge of listings earlier this year has dropped off and many sellers aren't keen on lowering their asking price.

"At the beginning of this year…we were in a buyers' market," she said. "We've balanced out into a market where it's a level playing field."

Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist at the Calgary Real Estate Board, agrees.

"It's because we really haven't had a lot of inventory," she said. "And we've seen more gains in supply at the higher end of the market than we've seen really in some of that lower range."

The average price for a single family home in Calgary was $554,321 in June, only $10,000 less than the price a year ago, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board.