Starter-level units in high de­mand

In­creased in­ven­tory, pop­u­la­tion growth help fuel trend

Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - JOSH SKAPIN

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.

Cal­gary Her­ald/Files

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.

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