Starter-level units in high demand
Increased inventory, population growth help fuel trend
Interest has ramped up on apartments with a starter-level price point in the city this year.
Both the resale and new condo market have seen an upswing in interest on apartments priced at $300,000 and less.
“Calgary has seen a very high demand for condos under $300,000,” says Brad Logel, Cardel Lifestyles’ sales and marketing manager. He points to high immigration, a strong economy, low rental vacancy and low interest rates as potential factors.
Cardel Lifestyles is building apartment complexes in northwest and southeast Calgary, including Cranston Ridge and Sage Place. Both projects include a wide range of condo sizes.
“Looking specifically at the two bedroom, two-bathroom 900-square-foot condo with underground parking — if you have this type of plan finished in a strong location, with upgrades and GST included at $299,900, all in, you’ll have a path beaten down to your door,” says Logel.
“However, most builders are not able to keep many until they’re built. Most are sold at pre-construction a year in advance.”
Resale activity for apartments priced at $200,000 to $299,999 climbed by 27 per cent between Jan. 1 and July 31 compared to the same months in 2013, says the Calgary Real Estate Board. After seven months, the city saw 1,435 apartments in this price range change hands, up from 1,133 a year earlier. In July alone, 222 apartments sold for between $200,000 to $299,999, compared to 187 a year earlier.
One reason more buyers are picking up apartments at a lower ticket is a “jump in new listings in the same price range,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist.
“Tight rental markets and persistently low mortgage rates helped support demand growth for affordable product.
“Meanwhile, prices have recovered from previous highs and the price gains have encouraged listings growth for many condominium apartment owners, providing choice for those looking in this segment of the market,” says Lurie.
The $300,000 to $349,999 price bracket saw the next highest resale activity in the first seven months of this year with 422 transactions, up from 349 deals in 2013.
For the townhome market, most of the resale activity between Jan. 1 and the end of July was from the $200,000 to $299,999 range with 722 sales. However, that’s down a bit from 797 a year earlier. Townhomes priced $300,000 to $349,999 saw the most growth, with new owners for 634 units. During the same time in 2013, 367 units changed hands at this price point.
The kitchen and island in the Bow show suite at Cranston Place by Cardel Lifestyles, where the company is selling its new project Cranston Ridge.