Smaller municipalities outpace Calgary in home sales growth
Home sales growth in the towns and cities surrounding Calgary far outpaced the growth in the city of Calgary last year, ending the year up 21 per cent.
Airdrie, Okotoks and Cochrane all recorded double-digit sales growth in the fourth quarter, according to a statement released by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®).
Kent Rupert, of Airdrie’s economic development department, said Airdrie is a popular destination in the area for those looking to buy a home.
“They are looking for more for their dollar and they can certainly find it here,” he said.
“We have the services they have in Calgary and world class recreational facilities. (Airdrie) is the whole package.”
Rupert said the high level of business development occurring in the region, especially in north Calgary, Rocky View and Airdrie is also attracting residents to the city.
Rupert added about 1,520 new dwellings were added to the city last year.
“To have a real strong new sales and a really strong resale market… shows the strength of the economy,” said Rupert, adding residential rates are also sitting around zero per cent.
According to the CREB® press release, Cochrane and Okotoks recorded sales increases compared to the same period in 2011. In Airdrie, sales slowed by three per cent in the fourth quarter.
The drop in sales was mainly because the number of new listings dropped by more than 30 per cent, limiting the potential for sales growth, according to the release.
The benchmark price for the typical single-family home in Airdrie of $337,067 remains the least expensive of the top three communities and nearly 21 per cent less than the typical home in Calgary. Meanwhile, Cochrane recorded the highest benchmark price of the three towns at $440,436.
“The surrounding towns, in general, have done well, and that’s because people are looking for affordable alternatives,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB®’s chief economist. “In the surrounding towns, you can get more home than what you would get in the city.
“The homes are larger and usually less expensive, and, with a tighter supply of single-family homes in Calgary, the surrounding towns are just more attractive to homebuyers.”