It’s been a booming year for the Calgary condo market with sales for apartment and townhome condos rising 19.5 per cent above last year due in part to economic stability and population growth in the city.
“Thirty per cent of our market is condos for the large part due to immigration and job creation so there are more people moving into the city and looking to purchase especially given our almost non-existent rental vacancy,” says Bill Kirk, president of the Calgary Real Estate Board. “Condos have also developed to the point that they offer the variety, lifestyle and affordability that people want, and they continue to contribute to the volume of sales in the city.”
Kirk also attributes much of the growth in the Calgary condo market to rising prices for single-family homes – in November, the average reached $560,117 – and a lack of listings in the under-$400,000 single-family market.
“People look at condos as a way to get into home ownership because it provides an affordable solution,” says Brad Logel, sales manager for Cardel Lifestyles, a major suburban condo developer. “Buying a condo also allows you to move into ownership without having to deal with everything that goes along with owning a bigger house (shovelling, lawn care, exterior maintenance and the like).
“Growth in the condo market has been very strong this year due in part to single-family homes are becoming more difficult for many people to afford,” Logel notes. “But it’s also due to an increased demand in convenient living that condos provide – especially those condo developments that are located in amenity rich locations. Because of this, we’re seeing a wide range of people from first-time buyers, single professional females, downsizers, those who are divorced or widowed and empty nesters buying condos.”
Parham Mahboubi, vice-president, planning and marketing for inner-city highrise developer Qualex-Landmark, says he’s seen a growing demand for a variety of living options in downtown Calgary, in particular to serve the needs of a growing population under age 45, and the company has responded to this demographic with projects such as the recently sold-out Mark on 10th and the upcoming Park Point, Qualex-Landmark’s sixth condo tower in the Beltline.
“We’re seeing a good range of condo buyers, from young urban professionals that are just launching their careers, to well-established executives. Also, as a result of higher condo rental rates and escalating property values in Calgary, we are seeing many investors entering the marketplace seeking a positive long term return on their investment.”
In fact, the Real Estate Investment Network recently named Calgary among the top three best cities in Alberta to invest in, along with Airdrie and Edmonton topping the list.
“Calgary has a very robust economy making it low risk for investors relative to other cities in Alberta,” Mahboubi says. “It’s also a business leader with a healthy employment sector and population growth.”
Logel adds, “If it’s in the right location, well designed and well-built, then it’s very likely a great investment. The last two years have seen quite a few investors buying condos.”