There are signs of a recovery in Calgary's higher-end real estate market, with almost 10 per cent more homes worth $1 million to $2 million changing hands so far this year, according to Sotheby's International Realty.

After plummeting about 40 per cent from 2014 to 2015, Calgary's luxury real estate market is warming up even as the energy sector downturn continues, the company's mid-year Top Tier Real Estate Report says.

"Overall, a surplus of supply and rising rental vacancies solidified the city's position as a buyers' market for top-tier real estate in the first half of 2016," the report says.

Sotheby's says Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) figures show that sellers have been dropping their prices, sending the benchmark price down by 3.95 per cent in May.

Even so, a total of 318 properties sold for more than $1 million in the first six months of 2016, compared to 221 in the second half of 2015.

The $1-million to $2-million category accounted for 289 of those sales. In the $2-million to $4-million range, 29 properties were sold. No homes sold for more than $4 million, Sotheby's said.

Homes are also spending less time on the market. In the second half of 2015, properties in the $1-million to $2-million range took an average of 68 days to sell. So far this year, they're selling in an average of 52 days. 

The downturn has hit the condominium market hardest, resulting in negligible sales over $1 million in the first half of 2016.

The average price for detached homes in Upper Mount Royal, Elbow Park, Altadore and Aspen Woods in May 2016 were $1,203,000, $1,531,333, $1,105,412 and $1,149,059 respectively.

"Further price adjustments are anticipated for the real estate market in the fall as increasingly motivated sellers further amend price expectations," the report said.

"This makes the summer a critical period for home sellers in Calgary's luxury real estate market."