The condo market is heating up in the City of Calgary and buyers are learning quickly they need to act fast to buy what they want.

Brenna Hebert has been looking for a condo for a long time and has just conditionally bought one in a downtown complex.

Hebert hopes the deal closes because she missed out on several others.

“When I started, I was taking my time and looking around,” she says. “Then those properties would go quickly so I ended up having to change my strategy in this market right now.”

The Calgary Real Estate Board says that buyers looking to break into the market by purchasing starter homes for less than $400,000 are having a hard time.

“So we started to see last year really that demand was far greater than the new supply we were seeing come online,” says Ann-Marie Lure, economist with CREB. “It really depleted the inventory on the resale market.”

Pedro Villamar, Herbert’s real estate agent, says the market in Calgary is very hot, and every neighbourhood and price bracket is feeling the crunch.

“Right now, we’re seeing about a 20 percent decrease in the average days a home is on the market, we’re seeing about a 12 percent increase in sales, and an 18.5 percent decrease in active listings.”

He says the market has been building steam for more than a year and while it hasn’t reached the boom levels of 2005 or 2007, it could hit that point sometime.

“We’re seeing things we haven’t seen since the last boom,” Villamar says. “Multiple offers, homes going in one day, homes going over price by thousands of dollars.”

He adds that inner city properties are the most sought after, with vacant lots being at the top the list.

The hottest neighbourhood is Altadore, with a vacant spot listed for almost $1.4M when, two years ago, it would have gone for $1.2M.