Calgary’s housing future

Trends shaping the city’s short- and long-term development

Absent a crystal ball, the future of housing in Calgary is very much up in the air. At the same time, there are some notable trends that offer clues to what’s on the horizon for the curious, the concerned and those who just like to plan ahead.

“I think the findings from the 2016 census highlight changes in the Calgary housing market,” said Rylan Graham, a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary.

“We saw significant growth in many of the inner-city neighborhoods developed pre-World War II, and at the periphery of the city through new greenfield development. These areas are where most of the population growth occurred from 2011-2016.”

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In the fast lane

Could a laneway home be up your alley?

For some Calgarians, a laneway house is a realistic way to achieve the elusive dream of home ownership.

Laneway houses are fully independent, small-scale dwellings that face onto an alley, typically found in the backyards of existing homes. Often referred to as “urban cabins,” they are an alternative way to add density to established inner-city neighbourhoods.

While the buzz around laneway homes might be new, the concept is not.

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Read the fine print

Conditions of sale are a fact of life for homebuyers and sellers alike

During any real estate transaction, buyers and sellers need to understand what conditions of sale are all about and how they can impact both parties.

“It’s important to note that conditions of sale are for the buyer’s benefit,” said CREB® president David P. Brown.

“Often a seller will try to influence the conditions by requiring financing in four days instead of 10 or something like that, but a well-educated REALTOR® shouldn’t allow it.”

While there are no standard conditions of sale, two of the most common are “subject to financing approval” and “subject to a satisfactory home inspection.”

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The upside of downsizing

Popularity of condo living among seniors is on the rise

When it comes to choosing a home later in life, age often brings thoughtful consideration of what really matters. More and more in Calgary, that wisdom is leading seniors to choose condominiums as the place to live out their golden years.

“Five years ago, when we tracked inner-city demographics, you saw maybe 1-2 per cent of seniors purchasing condos,” said Oliver Trutina, vice-president of Calgary-based builder Truman.

“Today, that number is around 20 per cent. Since this is often their third or fourth home purchase, they know what they want and are asking for it.”

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Future leaders

Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies is developing tomorrow’s real estate professionals

While interest accruing on a mortgage balance is rarely a welcome sight, the growing interest in the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the University of Calgary is a different story.

Part of the Haskayne School of Business, the Westman Centre was founded in 2012 with $7.6 million in funding from the real estate industry, which included a $5 million endowment from Jay Westman. Its mission is to be a catalyst for the development of real estate professionals and a leading centre of excellence for real estate studies through its teaching, research and community engagement activities.

“Industry saw a need for a program where graduates would have a firm grasp of the real estate sector and the career opportunities it could offer,” said Jessica Abt, the centre’s director.

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