The City of Airdrie, just north of Calgary, is experiencing a housing market boom these days.
From new home construction to resales, activity has taken an upward swing this year.
“The housing market in Airdrie is hot,” said Curt Woodhall, vice-president of sales and marketing for Vesta Properties, the developer and builder of the new Williamstown project in northwest Airdrie. “Vesta builds in a number of communities in Alberta and British Columbia and the Airdrie market in particular is very robust.”
Year-to-date, there have been 107 housing starts in Williamstown. Sales so far this year have included 60 for about $17 million with the average selling price of about $310,000.
The development on 66 hectares will have a total of 1,013 homes — 600 multi-family and 413 single-family — and over 60 per cent have already been sold.
“Vesta Properties is experiencing tremendous success in Williamstown in Airdrie,” said Woodhall, adding there will be 12 show home openings at the project’s grand opening celebration Saturday. “With low interest rates and good value for your dollar, we are seeing demand on every housing type from starter condominiums to luxury homes.”
According to the 2011 census, Airdrie’s population was 43,155, up 8.37 per cent from the year before. In the past decade, the population has more than doubled. In 2001, it was 20,382.
Kent Rupert, Airdrie’s economic development team leader, said the building permit numbers for Airdrie are good this year.
“I say that every year but it just seems like we keep growing and growing. We had a bit of a blip in 2009 and 2010 but last year we did over 1,000 doors. That’s houses, duplex, multi-family. This year we’re ahead of where we were last year.”
Commercial and industrial development in the north part of Calgary is a factor.
“The good news is yes we’re seeing lots of new development but with it being in Rocky View and Airdrie where are the people going to live … Our residential is growing,” said Rupert.
He said about 40 to 50 per cent of people living in Airdrie work outside the community.
“It really depends on people’s lifestyles but certainly when we were a lot smaller 19,000-20,000 people came out here for that small town and everything else. Now we’re growing up into a young, dynamic city and there’s lots of excitement going on with new restaurants, new retail and big, larger industrial projects. There’s a real excitement throughout the city,” said Rupert.
Year-to-date until the end of March, residential building permits of 342 are up from 268 in 2011, 191 in 2010 and 81 in 2009.
A similar boom is taking place in the resale housing market.
“Sales activity in Airdrie soared in the first quarter of 2012, with a 44-per-cent increase over the previous year, marking the best quarter (one) sales performance since 2007,” said the Calgary Real Estate Board in a report.
“The significant rise in sales, combined with lower listings, pushed the market into balanced conditions.”
CREB said the MLS Home Price Index for single-family homes was up three per cent over the previous year with the benchmark price at $354,933 in the first quarter.
It said the single-family benchmark price in Airdrie was $354,300 in March, a two per cent increase over the previous year and roughly $79,000 less than the single-family price in Calgary.
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