The resale housing market in towns just outside the City of Calgary has seen a boom in sales this year.
According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, year-to-date MLS sales in the surrounding communities market has ballooned to 4,878 up to the end of November, a hike of 39.05 per cent compared with the same period in 2011.
In comparison, year-to-date sales of 20,128 in the City of Calgary are up 15.21 per cent compared with last year.
“I think what’s happening is the buyers can’t find necessarily what they want in the city,” said Bob Jablonski, CREB’s president. “There’s less product to look at here in Calgary. And they’re finding they can find what they’re looking for in surrounding towns for the price points and getting a bigger bang for their bucks. So they don’t mind the commute.”
In the towns market, so far this year the average MLS sale price has dipped by 0.18 per cent to $354,897 while in the city it has risen by 3.16 per cent to $428,208.
According to CREB, in the country residential (acreage) market, sales so far this year are 842 with an average sale price of $793,707.
Last year there were 689 sales with an average sale price of $807,764 for the same time period.
Don Campbell, president of the Real Estate Investment Network in Canada, said places like Airdrie and Okotoks experience what’s called the Doppler effect in the real estate industry.
“It’s where a centre booms and then the smaller centres around it follow either a year or a year and a half later,” said Campbell.
“But the thing that’s really affected Okotoks, and now especially Airdrie, is the transportation change. The Ring Road (Stoney Trail). For Okotoks, of course, it was the expansion of Highway 2 a few years ago that really started to drive and bring to everyone’s attention Okotoks. Because nobody really went south of Calgary. Everybody went between Edmonton and Calgary and always knew that Airdrie was there. Okotoks is now on the radar.”
With any real estate market, it’s about affordability, said Campbell, and markets like Airdrie and Okotoks, for example, were driven by potential homebuyers who felt that they couldn’t afford to live in Calgary.
Stoney Trail has had huge impact on the Airdrie market, said Campbell. Also, many new jobs have been created in the northeast part of Calgary.
“So rather than live in the northeast, people are living in Airdrie which is almost the exact length of time to get to work,” he said.
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