My thoughts and prayers go out to all in town who suffered from the floods last week. Here's hoping that no one was harmed and all your most personal possessions are in a safe place.
The Calgary Conference Board expects that the resale housing market in Calgary to experience a price growth of 5 to 6.9 percent when comparing the figures from 2013 to 2012. The most recently released report showed a price increase of 4.6 percent in April of 2013 over the same month last year with homes averaging just over $423,000 per unit.
It seems that we in Calgary are also bucking the real estate trend across Canada, not only in increased sales and pricing, but because we are in a balanced market. In fact the price growth and the increased sales through MLS have put the city in the number one spot in the Canadian Real Estate Association’s MLS Home Price Index. Calgary’s numbers are way beyond the national average price increase of 2.3 percent.
The same association also released the MLS figures for May. In Calgary 3,247 homes changed hands, with is an increase of 8.9 percent over May of 2012. Nationwide the real estate market saw a 2.6 percent decrease in sales for the same period, with only 51,754 homes changing hands this past May.
Calgary RE/MAX realtor Cody Battershill outlined the three deciding factors for Calgary’s trend. Migration into the city is the primary factor. People are drawn to the hot job market, driven largely by the energy industry. Large firms operating in Alberta’s oil sands, as well as supporting industries, have head offices in the city.
Calgary is also a young city, demographically. The population average is in the mid to late 30s, a perfect age to get into that starter home, if not before. Those who are already homeowners are encouraged by the higher prices to sell their properties and move into larger or more deluxe properties, making inventory available for first-timers. It is a fluidic property situation.
The third scenario goes back to the trend mentioned in point one about Calgary being a business hub. Not only is the city a hub for successful businesses within Alberta, we have international firms in all fields setting up head offices in the city. Currently Alberta is considered the 17th most competitive business centre worldwide.
Calgary’s youthful population and reputation as a major metropolitan centre is also increasing interest in urban living. Condos, as they say, are catching on. The youthful population wants to be near trendy restaurants, pubs, boutique shops and sports venues. They also prefer to be within steps of public transportation for both convenience and to give a nod to environmental concerns. Not having to hop in a car and commute to work is a growing trend. Having that public transit commute shortened, even more so.
Apartment style condo sales increased by 6.99 percent this past May compared to the same month in 2012. On the MLS system 413 units changed hands, while the average price increased to just over $313,000, an 11.93 percent increase. In the townhouse condo category, 365 units changed hands, a sales increase of 26.74 percent. Prices increased by 3.17 percent coming in at a little over $340,000 per unit, when comparing May of 2013 to the same month last year.
The trends of downtown expansion and resulting real estate sales are expected to continue. Plans are underway to build more condo units in the downtown core including one 319 unit tower at 10th St. SW and 5th Ave. and another tower structure, the Drake, in the Beltline area. The latter construction project is expected to be finished by October of this year.