‘Unprecedented’ Demand Boosting Canmore Property Sales and Prices – fr

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‘Unprecedented’ Demand Boosting Canmore Property Sales and Prices – fr


Just minutes after a new listing for a $ 1.15 million home in Canmore, Alta. Went live, real estate agent Jill Law’s phone began to ring.
Three days and 31 visits later, she had received 11 offers for the property, including one from a family who wrote a personal letter to the seller and included a family photo.

This seems to be the winning “bid” in a booming real estate market that sees more and more offers and properties selling for above asking price.

Real estate professionals, market watchers and longtime residents say there is a combination of factors at play, including the pandemic and low interest rates. But surging sales and rising prices are raising concerns in the community – which still sees itself as a place for families to raise their children rather than an exclusive playground for the privileged.

The average house price in Canmore is approaching $ 1.1 million, according to the Alberta Real Estate Association benchmark price.

“Sales are up, inventory is down,” said Dan Sparks, one of Canmore’s busiest real estate agents, who has been selling homes in the Bow Valley for 20 years.

This house on Grotto Road received 11 offers in three days. The chosen bid is estimated to be several thousand dollars higher than the asking price of $ 1.15 million. The family wrote a personal letter to the seller and included a family photo. (Google Maps)

But there are fewer houses for sale. There are currently around 100 homes on the market. When you factor in the number of sales, that’s a one-month supply, down sharply from the usual five to six month supply at this time of year.

What does it all mean? To put it mildly, it’s a sellers market.

“We have had exceptional sales throughout the Canmore area, but listings and supply have not kept pace,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist for the Alberta Real Estate Association.

“And that’s what’s causing some of the price gains we’re seeing in this market. “

And some of those price gains have been astronomical.

A condominium hotel in Canmore recently sold for $ 50,000 above the asking price of $ 600,000. The seller bought the unit for $ 350,000 in 2016. (ReMax Alpine Realty)

Kelly MacMillan of ReMax Alpine Realty says she just sold a condominium unit in a hotel for $ 50,000 above the asking price.

The two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo – which has the potential to generate hotel income every night – was listed for $ 600,000. The sellers bought the property four years ago for $ 350,000.

“There was an opportunity to take funds out of the market,” MacMillan said.

“They are very happy,” she said of her clients.

The pandemic is pushing demand

Sparks calls it COVID fatigue. Although he takes calls from people in Toronto and Montreal – and even from a family in Germany – a good chunk of the buyers are people from Calgary and Edmonton who have been stuck in their homes for over a year and looking for a change of scenery, he says.

Real estate agent Dan Sparks says buyers in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal have bought or are considering buying homes in Canmore due to the pandemic. He says people have the option to work from home on a permanent basis and choose the resort as their base. (Bryan Labby / CBC)

“They have been working from home for a while, and they can continue to do so. And if they can do it, they will do it where they want, ”he said.

MacMillan agrees.

“Canmore, especially the recreational markets, where people find they don’t have to be where they work. They have this flexibility of working from home.

Housing affordability

As inventory decreases, the opportunities to find a traditional, single-family detached home also diminish. Sparks says last week there were only two homes listed for under $ 1 million – and only five were on the market for under $ 1.5 million.

Sparks served for several years on the board of directors of Canmore Community Housing, a municipal corporation responsible for creating affordable housing options for individuals and families.

A 10-unit townhouse project is under construction and is expected to open in early 2022.

Construction has started on a 10-unit townhouse project on Lawrence Grassi Ridge in Canmore, Alta. It is being built by Canmore Community Housing with the goal of increasing the supply of affordable housing in the mountain town west of Calgary. (Bryan Labby / CBC)

There are already 150 people on the waiting list to buy or rent a property.

“It’s basically just fingers in the dam,” Sparks said.

“The affordability of housing in Canmore will always be an issue. We’re just going to be constantly working on this problem.

The average price of condominiums in Canmore is now $ 500,000.

New development, more affordable housing?

Canmore City Council recently approved a series of changes to the latest Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV) development plan on the east side of the community.

One of the changes is a proposed requirement that the developer include 20% affordable or subsidized housing – double the amount proposed by TSMV. A spokesperson for the developer said the company is still evaluating the impact of the changes and withholding any comment until the plan is returned to the board on May 11.

The proposed structural plan for the Village of Three Sisters Mountain in Canmore will include a requirement that 20 percent of future development meet the city’s affordable housing needs. The plan will be debated again on May 11, 2021. (Bryan Labby / CBC)

The mayor says that while it will take years for these units to become available, council must act now.

John Borrowman says young families have been leaving the community for years because they cannot afford to stay.

“We’ve been bleeding the next generation like this for years,” he said.

“If we don’t do anything to ensure that affordable housing is a big part of our future, the city will become… it will only be a place for the very rich.

New housing options, slow adoption

The city recently said it would consider building or legalizing secondary apartments in existing neighborhoods. There are financial incentives for homeowners to add what they call “secondary suites”.

So far, only three homeowners have applied for the $ 20,000 grants.

A recently completed second suite in a new $ 1.4 million duplex in Canmore. The city allows “secondary suites” in existing neighborhoods and offers up to $ 20,000 in grants to help homeowners add apartments and expand the community’s affordable housing stock. (Bryan Labby / CBC)

Dale Hildebrand is a local real estate agent and builder. He recently sold two listed duplexes for $ 1.2 million and $ 1.4 million. One of them has a separate one-bedroom suite.

Hildebrand’s next project is in its early stages, but he hopes to redevelop several residential lots near the city center into 16 to 18 townhouses. Several will be specially designed for employers to purchase for their employees.

“They can… lease them to their employees at a subsidized rate,” Hildebrand said.

But as demand remains strong and prices rise, the market may be too hot for employers to consider housing their employees.

The density of infill housing in some older neighborhoods in Canmore, Alta., Is increasing. Two single-family homes are being replaced by three duplexes which are expected to sell for between $ 1.2 million and $ 1.4 million each. (Bryan Labby / CBC)

This is a problem for the community, which has struggled to attract employees.

“It’s harder for young people to find affordable housing,” said Michel Dufresne, director of the Job Resource Center in Banff and Canmore.

“It also makes it more difficult for small businesses to provide this housing to their employees. It has become a bigger game when you have to buy a house for a million dollars to house five people, ”he said.

“It’s very expensive. ”


Bryan Labby is a corporate reporter for CBC Calgary. If you have a great idea for an article or tip, you can attach it to [email protected] or on Twitter at @CBCBryan.

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