Condominiums in Calgary's Beltline
During the past decade, many cities in Canada experienced the doubling or tripling of housing values. Affordable housing is now the hot button topic as home ownership becomes only a remote dream for many. It has been a different story for Calgary.

It has been almost 10 years since the collapse of the world energy markets, deeply impacting the Alberta economy. Calgary's housing and downtown office markets were devastated. In the interim we have endured the high and lows from the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by subsequent sharp increases to inflation and interest rates.

The apartment condominium market in the Beltline has been slow to recover from the highs of 2014, when property prices peaked and supply was limited. Ten years later, listing supply has contracted sharply with just over a month of inventory. However, prices are just starting to climb back to the peak of a decade ago.

In April 2023, the benchmark price for an apartment condo in the city centre was $329,700.The takeaway is apartment condominiums in Calgary's vibrant Beltline Community offer extremely good value with potential upside. Even better, Alberta has no land transfer fees, vacancy taxes or rent controls. As a Certified Condominium Specialist® and inner city resident for 20 years, I would be pleased to discuss your next steps to buying or selling a condo.

Not a Typical Spring

The message "Alberta is Calling" has been heard loud and clear.  A net increase of 41,124 people coming to the province in the last quarter of 2022 is putting pressure on the inventory of housing available.  The spring season is when the highest number of listings typically come to the market.  However, as May begins, there is just over a one month supply of listings .  In April, the benchmark price for a detached house in Calgary hit a new high of $661, 900. 

In the spring 2023 Housing Market Outlook, CMHC notes "continued strength in the energy sector will support demand for housing in Calgary". However, it is expected that the city's housing sales volumes will moderate from 2022, but "the demand for housing in 2024 and 2025 will be sustained from "interprovincial and international migration".  Finally "affordability in the rental market will decline as vacancies continue to decrease and rents continue to rise."  If you are considering a property sale or purchase, contact me for a conversation about your next move.  


High Demand, Low Supply

As we enter the traditionally busy spring real estate market, conditions are back to favouring sellers.  The severe lack of listings has many Calgary home buyers being faced with competing offers, especially for detached properties.  The lowest level since 2006,  the 3233 listings available for sale in March leaves less than a two month supply.    

As high demand collides with low supply, there is upward pressure on prices as the busy spring season unfolds.   Based on 2432 sales, the benchmark price edged up 1% to $541,800 in March.  However, stronger prices do not seem to be attracting the attention expected from potential sellers as "existing homeowners may be reluctant to list as they struggle to find an acceptable housing alternative in this market.  At the same time, higher lending rates can also reduce the incentives for existing homeowners to list their home."  

March MLS Statistics


Taxing Times with New Vacancy Tax

As we transition into spring, it is also the time of year when tax season shifts into high gear. If higher mortgage rates and inflation were not enough for Canadians to wrestle with, there is a new federal tax applicable to residential property.

Effective January 1st, 2023, the ‘Underused Housing Tax’ (UHT) requires property owners with vacant or property which is considered to be ‘underused’ to pay 1% on the value of residential property owned on December 31 each year. A return, even if you qualify for an exemption, must be filed by April 30*. Failing to file a return may result in a minimum penalty of $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for a corporation, for each property.

Thus, checking with your accountant if the UHT applies to you and filing a return should be a priority on your spring real estate ‘to do’ list.   

Read More

Link to CRA with UHT details

*Filing date extended to October 31, 2023


Just Sold in Quarry Park

JUST SOLD for 98.5% of list price is 460 Quarry Way!  As we head into the spring market there is an all time low of listing inventory, especially for properties like this upscale townhome. Listings in the $400,000 to $700,000 range are highly sought after as we continue to see out of province migration to Calgary.   See listing details here


Real Estate is Local

There are daily headlines regarding the "Canadian Real Estate Market".  However, a basic tenet of residential real estate is that markets are local.  While housing trends across Canada may be influenced by  broad factors such as rising interest rates, there are numerous "local" variables which are positively impacting Calgary's real estate market.  Low employment, positive migration, low listing supply, affordable cost of living, and quality of life are helping to shape continued stability in the local Calgary real estate market.  

In January 2023, the benchmark residential price in Calgary was $520,000, increasing 5% year-over-year.  The largest volume of sold properties in Calgary is in the price segment of $400,000 to $600,000, yet listings priced under $500,000 have declined roughly 30% year-over-year.  Overall in January, new listings fell to the lowest level seen since the late 1990's.   While inventory remains tight, unlike Toronto or Vancouver, Calgary offers an appealing selection of properties for purchase in the $500K price range.

There is wide consensus that the future outlook for housing sales in Calgary for 2023 is optimistic and Alberta is expected to outperform the rest of the country.  Moreover, the Bank of Canada recently signaled that the rapid increase of interest rates is behind us.  Calgary has forward momentum going into Spring2023. 


New Listing in Quarry Park

I have listed a new property at 460 Quarry WAY SE in Calgary. See details here

This clean, open, and bright 3 storey bare land condo in "Bristol Townhomes of Quarry Park" is well suited to first time home buyers or those wanting to downsize from a house. With almost 1500 square feet of living area, this practical layout offers three bedrooms, den or flex space, 2.5 bathrooms, and a double attached garage. A few special features include quartz countertops, stainless appliances, upgraded light fixtures and hardware throughout. Quarry Way and the neighbourhood are well located, providing quick access to Bow River pathways, shopping, amenities, transit, business park, and major roadways. The professionally managed condo corporation with 35 units, includes landscaping and snow removal in the $315 monthly fee. Annual Quarry Park HOA fee of $246. Professional management by CMS Real Estate Ltd. This stylish, well-kept townhome is available for March possession.


A record breaking year for Calgary Home Sales

When 2022 began, home buyers could obtain a 5 year fixed mortgage in the range of 2.0% to 3.0%.  As the year comes to a close, mortgage rates have more than doubled.  With the Bank of Canada continuing to sharply increase the benchmark rate with another 50 basis points on December 7, property owners will face higher mortgage payments for the foreseeable future.  Not surprisingly, huge the volume of housing sales in the first quarter of 2022, has diminished as the fourth quarter closes out.  Nonetheless, the number of properties sold in Calgary for 2022 has set new records. 

In November, there was a 22% drop in sales, but this is 12% above long term averages and 10% above the record high mark set in 2021.  The benchmark price for a detached home is $619,700, falling just under 5% from the peak in May.  The benchmark price of apartment condos is up 10% to $277,000 over last year, remaining off the high point set in 2014.   A decline in sales for November was also met with a drop in listing supply.  At 3109 listings, this is the lowest inventory  since November 2005.   

Unlike Toronto and Vancouver, the future for housing sales in Calgary for 2023 is more optimistic.  Low listing inventory, strong migration, low unemployment and strong economic development,  Calgary has forward momentum going into January. 



Promising 2023 Outlook for Calgary

"The creation of well-paid jobs coupled with our relatively affordable housing market compared to cities like Toronto and Vancouver is helping attract talent to our city.  While our city is not immune to the challenges caused by inflation and higher lending rates, the positive momentum experienced over the past year is expected to support conditions that are far better then they were prior to the pandemic."

It has been a series of extreme highs and lows for Calgarians since 2016.  However, the consensus emerging is that the city will fair relatively well compared to other major Canadian cities as inflation and interest rates surge upwards.  One of our significant advantages is affordable housing.  

Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.