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Priced out of Ontario, homebuyers turn their eyes to Calgary real estate market – CBC.ca

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As Ontario’s sizzling real estate market puts home ownership out of reach for many Canadians, a growing number of prospective buyers are looking west in hopes of achieving their white-picket-fence dreams.

Like newlyweds Vineet Mrug and Kushbu Mistry, who relocated to Calgary from their hometown of Toronto last year, some residents of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and other hot Ontario markets are moving to Alberta for what they believe is their last opportunity to own an affordable piece of real estate in a large Canadian city.

“We entertained the idea [of staying in Toronto], but it was very short-lived just because of the sheer price of homes,” said Mrug, adding he and his wife made the move with the intention of starting a family soon.

“In Ontario, especially Toronto, within our budget we were restricted to a two-bedroom condo. And that really would not have cut it for us, with the kind of plans that we had.”

Mrug and Mistry ultimately purchased a 250 square metre home with a walkout basement and a large backyard in Calgary’s northwest neighbourhood of Valley Ridge.

“We got three times the amount of house for the same amount of money,” Mrug said. “We’re very happy with our decision.”

Mrug and Mistry’s experience is not unique. A quick perusal of housing-related forums on online mediums like Reddit turns up dozens of recent inquiries from GTA residents asking about weather, commute times and popular neighbourhoods in Alberta cities, especially Calgary.

Home prices rise across the country

Realtors in the western province are also buzzing with anecdotes about what they say is an unusually high number of inquiries from Ontario.

Those stories appear to be backed up by Statistics Canada data, which says Alberta led the country in interprovincial migration in the fourth quarter of 2021, for the first time since 2015. On a net basis, the majority of Alberta’s new interprovincial migrants in the fourth quarter came from Ontario.

“We’re starting to see that migration based on affordability,” said Don Kottick, president and chief executive of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. “I think we’re seeing some of this driven by the old FOMO, the fear of missing out. People are going to look where you can still afford a house.”

Calgary home prices have been on the rise, but their numbers are not as high as other Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver. (Ose Irete/CBC)

The benchmark price for detached homes in Calgary rose to $620,500 in March, which is over $73,000 higher than December levels and 20 per cent higher than levels recorded last year. Many homes are receiving multiple offers and selling over the asking price.

On the higher end of the market, the uptick in activity is even more dramatic. Detached and attached home sales in the $1 million-plus price category in Calgary rose 71 per cent and 258 per cent year-over-year respectively, according to Sotheby’s. 

But even as Calgary home prices rise, they pale in comparison to what prospective homebuyers are facing in other parts of the country. In Toronto, the average selling price in March of 2022 was $1.3 million, according to The Canadian Real Estate Association, while the composite benchmark price in Metro Vancouver for the same month was $1.4 million.

While the federal government committed in its most recent budget to taking steps to cool Canada’s overheated housing market, for many first-time homebuyers, it’s too little, too late. Data analyst Ryan Sekulic — who had been working in the U.K. — accepted a job at Calgary tech company Helcim last year, after looking at opportunities in both Toronto and Vancouver.

“None of the jobs I was looking at in Toronto or Vancouver paid enough to justify living in either of those cities,” said Sekulic.

“I did eventually want to be a homeowner, and I’ve bought one now, which would have been impossible there.”

Alberta’s economic recovery

Canada’s housing affordability crisis has coincided with Alberta’s recovery from years of recession due to depressed oil prices, which may be another reason Eastern Canadians are once again looking west.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, Alberta is projected to lead the country in economic growth in both 2022 and 2023 due to surging commodity prices. The province is also working to diversify its economy, with some success — both Calgary and Edmonton have seen rapid growth in their local tech scenes.

Out-of-province hombuyers seem to be attracted to Calgary’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains. (Mike Symington/CBC)

Outside buyers also appear to be attracted to Calgary’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains. Recreation properties in Alberta are now the most expensive in all of Canada, outstripping even B.C., according to a recent report from Royal LePage Realty. In Canmore, a desirable mountain town located 80 kilometres west of Calgary, single family home prices have soared 33 per cent year-over-year, to $1.36 million.

While much of that demand is still driven by Western Canadians, local Royal LePage realtor Brad Hawker said a growing number of Canmore properties are being snapped up by Ontario retirees.

“They’re cashing out of a [high-priced] market, leaving segments of Ontario, and coming here for a combination of more affordable real estate and a different quality of life,” Hawker said, adding he doesn’t expect the threat of rising interest rates to slow that specific trend.

“I honestly don’t see it changing. A lot of those buyers are cash buyers,” Hawker said. “They aren’t putting a mortgage on the property anyway, so interest rates aren’t relevant to them.”

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Calgary recruits commercial real estate expertise to revive new arena – Sportsnet.ca

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CALGARY — The city of Calgary has recruited citizens from the commercial real-estate sector to help get a new event centre and home for the Calgary Flames back on track.

When an agreement between the city and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, which owns the Flames, collapsed late last year, city council voted in January to get a third party involved.

John Fisher, Guy Huntingford and Phil Swift are tasked with determining whether the Flames still want to build an arena with the city, or if the city will have to look for other potential partners to build an event centre.

Fisher is executive vice-president of CBRE, Huntingford is director of strategic initiatives with NAIOP Calgary, and Swift is executive chairman of the Ayrshire Group investment firm.

“This team brings considerable expertise from the commercial real-estate industry including experience in larger development,” the city’s planning and development manager Stuart Dalgleish said Wednesday in an event centre committee meeting.

“The third party has spent considerable time understanding the items and interests behind the terminated agreement and the current landscape. These items have become clarified.

“Based on a meeting with both the city and CSEC, the next step is for the third party to make recommendations on a possible path forward.”

Dalgleish said there is no definitive commitment or timeline for a new agreement.

The city and the Flames agreed on an arena deal over two years ago with the initial estimate of $550 million split between the two.

Shovels were scheduled to hit the ground in 2022 for a 19,000-seat arena and concert venue replacing the Saddledome, which has been the home of the Flames for 39 years.

The cost estimate for the project rose to $634 million, however.

Since the two sides agreed to an amended deal last July, the city added an additional $19 million in roadwork and climate mitigation to the project, and wanted the Flames to pay for $10 million of that.

CSEC president John Bean said in December that the Flames were withdrawing from the agreement because of an accumulation of issues and increased financial risk.

“While CSEC was prepared to move forward in the face of escalating construction costs, and assume the unknown future construction cost risk, CSEC was not prepared to fund the infrastructure and climate costs that were introduced by the city following our July agreement … and are not included in the current cost estimate of $634 million,” Bean said then.

So the Flames remain in the Saddledome, which is the second-oldest NHL arena behind New York’s Madison Square Garden.

CSEC also owns the Western Hockey League’s Hitmen, Canadian Football League’s Stampeders and National Lacrosse League’s Roughnecks.

The Flames recently announced they will move their American Hockey League affiliate from Stockton, Calif., to Calgary for the 2022-23 season.

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No trend detected in latest real estate data – Whitehorse Star

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For the first time in approximately a year, the average price of a house in Whitehorse has declined.

By Tim Giilck on May 25, 2022

For the first time in approximately a year, the average price of a house in Whitehorse has declined.

The real estate market has been on fire in recent months, with steadily-increasing prices.

In the last report from the Yukon Board of Statistics covering the last three months of 2021, the average house price in the city was $647,000. That represented an increase of $48,600, or 8.1 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2020.

The bureau released its latest report on Tuesday. It shows the average sale price of a single-detached house in Whitehorse was $637,300, lower than the end of 2021 but a rise of $46,700, or 7.9 per cent, from the first quarter of 2021.

In the first quarter of 2022, the total value of real estate transactions in Yukon was $81.4 million, with $70.8 million in Whitehorse and $10.6 million for the rest of Yukon.

It’s a decline of nearly $10,000 from the end-of-year report the bureau issued in March.

The average condo sale price in Whitehorse was $419,900, a decrease of $60,100, or 12.5 per cent, from the first quarter of 2021.

However, Marc Perrault, the president of the Yukon Real Estate Association, cautions people not to read too much into those numbers if they’re thinking the bubble has burst on the property market in the territory.

The first quarter of any year is usually the slowest for real estate sales, he told the Star today.

Coupled with concerns about inflation, Perrault said, he thought that was likely the reason for the dip in market values.

Perrault said he would have to see the trend continue for a year before he would become concerned about it.

The only thing that would change his mind would be other major signals of an economic slowdown, and that’s unlikely in the Yukon.

The market and economy here are very stable, he suggested, because it’s a government-based system which prevents most wild swings and
adjustments.

People are still immigrating into the territory to take advantage of its robust economy and growing public service, as well as other opportunities, Perrault said.

He doesn’t see that changing anytime soon.

“Demand is still greater than supply,” he noted.

The only category to show record-breaking growth was the mobile-home market. It hit a record high of $467,300.

A total of 54 single-detached houses were sold during the first quarter, an increase of 19 compared to the first quarter of 2021.

There were 49 condo sales, an increase of 27 compared to the first quarter of 2021.

The average condo price was $419,900, a decrease of $60,100, or 12.5 per cent, compared to the first quarter of 2021 ($479,900).

Four mobile homes were sold at an average price of $467,300.

Seven duplexes changed hands at an average price of $471,600.

Seven commercial properties were sold at a value totalling $6.9 million

In Whitehorse, a total of 130 real estate transactions was recorded in the first quarter of 2022, a rise of 46 compared to the first quarter of 2021. Over the previous five years, the first quarter average number of sales was 100.

Thirty homes sold in Whistle Bend during the period, with a total value of $18.5 million. It was the busiest neighbourhood in the city.

Copper Ridge saw eight properties sell at a total value of $5.3 million.

Porter Creek was the next-highest, with seven properties selling for $4.4 million.

The report showed that, excluding country residential properties, which typically sell for much higher prices than other single-detached houses, the average price in Whitehorse was $626,200 in the first quarter of 2022.

That compared to $632,100 in the fourth quarter of 2021 and $580,500 in the first quarter of 2021.

In Whitehorse, the median price of single-detached houses in the first quarter of 2022 was $620,500. That means the prices of half the houses sold were above this figure and the remaining half, below.

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B.C. Real Estate: Five homes for sale under $200000 – Vancouver Sun

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Trail, Port Hardy, Richmond and Tumbler Ridge among communities with homes in this price range

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According to a report released by a U.S.-based property management software company, around 10 per cent of all active home listings in Canada right now are priced at less than $200,000.

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There are no listings for less than $200,000 in the Lower Mainland (except in Richmond).

Here are five residential properties in B.C. that are for sale at less than $200,000.


Richmond 106/7240 Lindsay Road

The living room of a Richmond apartment priced at $199,000.
The living room of a Richmond apartment priced at $199,000. Photo by zealty.ca

This 630 square foot apartment is almost 50 years old and has a monthly maintenance fee of $460.

It is on the ground level and a key reason that it is priced at $199,000 is because it is built on leased land. The lease is prepaid until 2087.


Sonora Island Lot 30 Owen Bay

Sonora Island
Sonora Island Photo by Zealty.ca

This 1.26 acre lot comes with a small older cabin that is livable and is priced at $129,000. It has solar and wind power. There is a dock a ten-minute walk away.

Sonara Island is one of the Discovery Islands where Johnstone Strait joins the Georgia Strait.

The closest large community is Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Sonora Island is not serviced by B.C. Ferries.

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Port Hardy 7/7077 Highland Drive

An apartment in Port Hardy that is listed at $169,000.
An apartment in Port Hardy that is listed at $169,000. Photo by Zealty.ca

There are four apartments in different locations within Port Hardy on the top end of Vancouver that are priced at less than $200,000.

This one has two bedrooms and has been updated with new laminate floors and is south facing. It is priced at $169,000.

As a base for ferries to Prince Rupert, Port Hardy sees a lot of tourists in the summer.


Trail 2075 Topping Street

The view from a home in Trail, B.C., that is priced at $199,000.
The view from a home in Trail, B.C., that is priced at $199,000. Photo by Zealty.ca

Trail, the site of Teck Resources zinc and lead smelting and refining complex, was a decade ago a place you could buy a home for $50,000.

It’s now a place where you can get a detached home for less than $200,000. Despite the smelter that looms over the city, Trail is close to excellent skiing and recreation.

This 1,300 square-foot home has views of the Columbia River with a serviceable kitchen and even has a new washer-dryer. It is priced at $199,000.

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Tumbler Ridge 103 Ash Crescent

This home in Tumbler Ridge is for sale at $183,000 and has been on the market for two years.
This home in Tumbler Ridge is for sale at $183,000 and has been on the market for two years. Photo by Zealty.ca

Tumbler Ridge in the Peace River region was built from scratch in the early 1980s to create a community for coal mining companies in the area.

As a result, it’s a lovely town that’s well laid out and has great amenities. It is, however, beholden to coal demand, that has led to a slump in real estate prices.

With an asking price of $183,000, this 2,100 square foot home is on a large corner lot. It has three bedrooms and comes with a new furnace. It has been on the market for over two years.


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