For Calgary's Best Real Estate Value, Look West
While drilling down into some of the new statistics that the Calgary Real Estate Board recently released, we discovered something very interesting. The district of Calgary West which is loosely defined as everything west of Crowchild Trail, north of Glenmore Trail/Highway 8 and south of the river or Trans-Canada Highway, is one of the city’s most stable market areas. That’s in all housing types, from single-family to attached, town homes and condos. Calgary West showed the strongest annual growth in 2017 with only City Centre to look up to.
The Proof is in the Numbers
As the following chart will show, the communities in Calgary West survived the recent downturn as the best for single-family homes and was the runner-up for apartment condos. As we all have heard, apartments were hardest hit in terms of falling prices and inventory.
The benchmark price for detached homes in the West sector was the highest in 2017 at $726,267. That’s an increase of 4.32% over 2016 and the largest increase in the city, with downtown coming in second. The area was third in terms of sales growth with stiff competition from the downtown area and Calgary South. In comparison to the city, Calgary West had less than 2,200 new listings in 2017 with Calgary East the only area with less, one of the hallmarks of a more stable market area.
Under the “Change from Maximum Annual Price” column, you’ll see a couple of big fat zeros whereas all other sectors registered a loss. This was proof to us that single-family homes in Calgary hold their value. In other areas that might be flooded with new listings, sellers desperate to get out often take lower prices than they should. This seriously undervalues their properties, jeopardizing the market place for other sellers in the same community. So, we like to see this stability.
The apartment condo sector fared well in Calgary West in 2017, coming in a decent third in total sales after Downtown (which wins first by shear volume) and Calgary South. New listings growth was just .6%, the lowest in Calgary. The benchmark price was $252,000 which was down by 2.44% over 2016 but the smallest drop in the city. The only community with a higher benchmark price for condos was Downtown at $289,650. Of course, this is where most of Calgary’s super luxury condo units can be found.
There are several factors into the stable nature of the housing market in Calgary West. This district has an incredible diverse population. On the eastern edge you have established communities such as Westgate, Wildwood, Glendale, Glamorgan and the like. Mid-century communities that skews somewhat older. Seniors still in their homes with fixed and supplemented income – meaning, they’re comfortable and secure in their homes.
The communities around Broadcast Hill, building in the late 70s and early 80s and 90s, also somewhat established. We believe that many residents have experienced job security through the recession or where able to weather the storm because of good financial planning or have become intrepid entrepreneurs.
The newer areas of Calgary West, in the Wentworth and Aspen Woods neighbourhoods, are high net worth individuals who are often well-equipped to survive a downtown. We believe this has also contributed to the stability in this area.
Others have chosen this side of the city in which to live because of the prestigious private schools in the area. Webber Academy, Rundle College, the Calgary International French School are just three schools catering to families in Calgary West.
There are very exciting projects happening in Calgary West, contributing to the perceived value of the area. Just north of Mount Royal University is the vibrant new redevelopment of Currie Barracks, now just referred to as Currie. This is a 20-year project which will redefine Calgary’s urban experience. Single-family homes, inspired multi-family communities, business park and entertainment district at the former Canada Forces Base that is attracting buyers in the new home market. While some of communities in Calgary’s outer suburban limits experienced some real estate fatigue in 2017 due to the large number of new units hitting the market, the new developments in Calgary West have only contributed to the stability of real estate.
In terms of condos, Calgary West came in second to City Centre which includes the Beltline area, the most dense area of the city. There are some unique views from apartments in the Coach Hill area and many architecturally interesting buildings. Some of the newer condo developments in the West Springs area, specifically along 85 St SW, offer great value and are attracting buyers who want the condo lifestyle yet don’t want to live downtown. Calgary West offers a more suburban experience yet is just 15 to 20 minutes away from the downtown core.