Apartment sales outpacing homes in Calgary: realtors

Click to play video: 'Demand returning for downtown apartments in Calgary'
Demand returning for downtown apartments in Calgary
Watch: Condo sales are on the rise in Calgary as interest rates rise, pandemic health concerns ease and workers return to offices. Sarah Offin explores what it means for the downtown’s revitalization – Sep 15, 2022

Calgary’s apartment real estate market appears to be having a renaissance, after more than two years of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and nearly seven years of depressed economic conditions following the 2015 oil supply glut.

“It’s been really interesting to watch the data over the last two years,” Robert Price, founder and CEO of Bode, told Global News.

Data from Bode shows apartment sales over the past three months are up 85 per cent, towering over the five per cent for detached properties, when compared to the most recent four-year average.

Price said the early pandemic trends showed a flight to less compact, more spaced-out properties.

“And what we’ve seen in the last four months is actually a dramatic change the other way: re-urbanization.”

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Recent Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) data bears out the increased demand trends for apartments.

CREB’s Q2 2022 report showed apartment sales were up 46.7 per cent year-over-year, while detached houses were down 14.2 per cent year-over-year. But the benchmark price for detached homes citywide was up 16.6 per cent over the previous year’s same quarter, outpacing the 9.4 per cent benchmark price increase for apartments.

“I think that we have more people coming into town now – we have more people looking for a more reasonable price point for their accommodations,” said Bev Clark of KNAG Real Estate and Property Management. “And obviously condos are more reasonably priced than single-family homes.”

Click to play video: 'People moving further outside Calgary city limits for a slice of homebuyers’ paradise'
People moving further outside Calgary city limits for a slice of homebuyers’ paradise

Clark said the run on single-family homes in 2020 helped lead to an increased supply of condo apartments.

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“And now the amount of condominium listings is decreasing, which means that we’re going to go from low prices to maybe slightly more than low prices, but we’re not going to spike anytime soon in the condo market because there’s so much new product coming on,” she said.

Price said increased interest rates are driving people to lower-priced apartment buildings. And the return to offices is causing buyers to reconsider how far away they live from work.

“If you were working at home for two years and never had to come in, and now you’ve got a 40-minute drive and you expect to be in the office three or four or five times a week, that’s a dramatic difference to your lifestyle,” he said.

On Friday, the Canadian Real Estate Association released its latest quarterly forecast, showing home sales continuing to cool as interest rates rise. It expects sales in Alberta to plateau in 2023 after an 8.9 per cent increase this year.

Clark noted that recent performance of the stock market might have investors look to real estate for value and stability.

“But we’re also seeing many landlords who are seeing an opportunity to recoup at least part of their losses. So we’re seeing that too,” the realtor said.

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“It’s a great time to buy. It’s a great time to sell, if it’s the right time for you.”

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