Blog by Daren Gull, Realtor

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Calgary Record Setting Luxury Homes Market

Sales of luxury homes in Calgary’s resale housing market has already set a record this year, surpassing the boom of 2007.

The city experienced a record-breaking month in October with 51 MLS sales of properties over $1 million in Calgary, which was the most ever for an October, and that pushed year-to-date sales in the luxury market to 459, one more than previous record set in 2007 for the entire year.

“Calgary luxury home sales remain strong as consumer confidence soars,” said Rachelle Starnes, a realtor with Royal LePage Foothills. “Calgary remains one of the best places to live in the world from the quality of services offered to shopping to schools, arts and entertainment.

“Buyer’s in the ‘Carriage Trade’ luxury home market are very confident about the economy in this province and in this city. The high-end ‘Carriage Trade’ buyers do not speculate, they buy because they are expressing a great deal of confidence in the future ... We are feeling the momentum building again as we had seen in 2007.”

Last year, there were 35 luxury home sales in October and year-to-date in 2011 there were 395 sales in the luxury market up to the end of October.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, the following are the highest sales for luxury homes outside of this year: 2007 — 458; 2011 — 446; 2008 — 369; and 2010 — 365.

“Our city has seen a strong economy and we continue to post job growth and migration growth into the city,” said Corinne Poffenroth, a realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. “Sotheby’s global clients are seeing these opportunities in Calgary’s luxury real estate market. This leads to growing consumer confidence and myself as an agent at Sotheby’s can attest to this business remaining strong with continued national and global interest in our higher-end properties located in beautiful settings next to the Rocky Mountains. My high-end inventory has had record number of inquiries and interest in the last quarter.

“With mortgage rates forecasted to remain low, the economy stable and this growing consumer confidence, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada anticipates this healthy real estate market to remain.”

Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., said demand for higher-priced homes has increased this year in both the new and existing home markets.

“Prospective buyers have been getting good paying jobs that have come about from Calgary’s growing economy, and there is a good selection of luxury homes on the market, which has appealed to many buyers,” he said.

The booming upper-end market these days is also giving a boost to the overall resale housing market in the city. In October, total MLS sales in Calgary of 1,665 were 23.24 per cent higher than a higher ago and the average sale price rose by 6.95 per cent to $437,109.

“At the end of last year, the Calgary economy was growing and continued to post job growth,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with the Calgary Real Estate Board. “However, global economic uncertainty was increasing, impacting overall consumer confidence and contributing to a significant amount of caution in the resale market.

“While many of these global economic risks remain this year, consumers’ concern regarding the impact on our economy has lessened. Calgary has continued to record relatively strong economic, employment and migration growth. This combined with improving affordability has encouraged consumers to purchasing real estate in Calgary.”