Luxury home sales in Calgary set record in May
More sales than during the 2007 boom
CALGARY — Luxury home sales in Calgary during the month of May have set an all-time record, the Herald has learned.
According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, as of Tuesday, there have been 74 sales this month for more than $1 million comprising four condos and 70 single-family homes.
The previous record for luxury home sales during a month was 61 in March 2007 and July 2007.
“We are seeing a spike in activity for the luxury homes in Calgary due to prices finally dropping to more reasonable levels, pent-up demand of buyers that were waiting for the prices to drop over the past two years, buyers moving closer to the private schools and recreation facilities, and the change in lifestyle of empty nesters,” said Rachelle Starnes, a realtor with Royal LePage Foothills, who specializes in the luxury real estate market.
“We are also seeing succession planning of the large corporations being a huge concern in Calgary at the moment with aging executives and the luring of young executives to our fabulous city is a part of this planning.”
Starnes said the strength of the Calgary economy and the overall optimism in it are reflected by recent luxury real estate sales in the new home market, including a nearly $9-million condo sold in The River project off of the Elbow River as well as two record sales in the Elbow Valley neighbourhood of over $3 million.
In the MLS market, the highest single-family home sale this month has been for $2.88 million in the Elbow Park/Glencoe neighbourhood and for the condo market $1.36 million in the Cliff Bungalow neighbourhood.
The top sale ever in the city for a single-family home was $10.3 million in Elbow Park/Glencoe in August 2009. The highest condo sale was $4.1 million in Eau Claire in January 2011.
Anne-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist, said consumers in Calgary have very good salaries.
“They have long-term prospects that are very good,” she said. “They’re looking at what’s going to happen in Calgary and they’re pretty comfortable with the long-term prospects for Calgary despite what’s happening right now — some risks that are out of the (financial) market — so they’re willing to buy.
“The next thing is you’ve got very favourable mortgage rates. So these are two factors that are playing into a part that help to support demand in that market.”
She said the majority of the luxury homes are being sold in the $1 million to $1.25 million range.
“Another thing to consider is that people are still getting more for that price than what they used to,” added Lurie. “So a lot of people who are these move-up buyers are thinking now is a good opportunity with low mortgage rates and stable employment. Yes there are some risks out there but long-term prospects look very good for Calgary. So they’re not hesitating to get into the market while they can take advantage of some of the opportunities there.”
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