Calgary real estate market creates ‘accidental landlords’ forced to rent instead of sell

CALGARY – The real estate market in Calgary has left some people without a lot of choice, with many forced to pull their property off the sellers’ market and try to recoup their costs by renting.

It’s an option that has seen exponential growth, particularly in higher-end homes.

One Calgary couple is trying to sell a property in the northwest community of St. Andrews Heights, hoping to use the profits from the sale for retirement.

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Lindsay Bradshaw took a risk and bulldozed the bungalow she’d been living in for nearly two decades to build a premiere property.

She hoped to sell for $2.2 million, but without any offers even after dropping the price, she and her husband needed to look at alternatives. They’ve since decided to try renting it out.

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“Maybe if it was on the market six months earlier, we wouldn’t be standing here, we’d be on the beach in Victoria somewhere,” Bradshaw laughed.

Hope Street Real Estate agent Shamon Kureshi said he calls such people “accidental landlords” who didn’t plan to rent out their home.

“But as we know, oil is down and the real estate market is shaky so…sellers are being forced to drop prices by 10, 20 or 30 per cent,” he said. “Sometimes these are several million dollars and the house price tanks. So renting out a house for a couple of years until the market recovers becomes a very good, and wise, and prudent option.”

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Such accidental landlord scenarios are so popular, the company serving as the rental agent has seen record jumps in their business, estimating nearly one new client per day.

The Calgary Real Estate Board also released their latest results Thursday, reporting the Calgary resale market has seen the worst September in five years as oil proceeds continue to fall.

The median price of a detached home in Calgary was up less than half a per cent in August from the same time last year.

An average home will now cost about $422,500.

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With files from Erika Tucker

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