Calgary’s country residential real estate market set to take off.
CALGARY — A longer winter season in the Calgary area has had an impact on sales in the country residential market but with the weather warming up it’s expected that sector will see an uptick in activity similar to what’s happening in the city and in surrounding towns.
“As the snow has melted and access to rural properties becomes an easier venture, buyers are becoming more motivated to purchase within the rural markets,” said Mark Evernden, with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in Calgary. “As well as warm weather, a strong and growing economy accompanied by low interest rates also make home buyers eager and able to obtain homes.”
According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, year-to-date until the end of April, there have been 263 MLS sales in the ‘country residential’ market which includes acreages. That’s down 2.95 per cent compared with the same period a year ago. However, the average sale price has increased by 2.64 per cent to $823,253. New listings are off by 1.20 per cent to 991.
Evernden said the country residential market is now in full swing of activity.
“It is seasonal. The longer winter does impact the sales and volume as we are seeing. From a marketing position, the green pastures and rolling hills with colour give it that extra appeal to the consumer with digital and print marketing that goes out. No different than terrible rain seasons and gloomy days in the tropics,” he said, adding that there will now be an increase in viewings driven by the better weather, strong economy and migration of high net worth clients to the area.
“These rural listings as indicated in the latest Top Tier Trend Report for 2013 (produced by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada) include some of Calgary and surrounding areas large luxury properties, starting at the two million dollar mark and driven by younger buyers in their mid to late ’30s with school aged children and an average income of over $500,000 annually. The majority of these buyers are Canadian. However we are seeing about 15 per cent of the buyers coming from the international market through investment and relocation. The spacious homes, averaging 3,500 square feet, with spectacular views and only a short drive to Calgary’s centre are an appealing place to raise families and spend their personal time.”
Last year, the country residential and rural condos market saw MLS sales jump to 878 compared with 689 in 2011. But the average sale price dipped to $790,480 compared with $807,765 the year before, according to CREB.
The record for sales in that marketwas in 2006 with 972 transactions while the record average sale price was in 2007 at $856,220.
“So far, country residential sales this year are slightly down from 2012 levels,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. “Part of the year-over-year decline is due to sales in the opening months of 2012 being fairly strong, above historical averages. Although sales are currently down from the previous year, it would not be a surprise to see sales in this market pick up in the coming months.”