Housing professionals say upscale communities such as Heritage Pointe showing staying power
The lure of the luxury lifestyle is still drawing homebuyers to exclusive communities in and around Calgary despite some challenges in the local economy, say industry professionals.
Albi Homes community manager Amy Koehn notes Artesia in Heritage Point south of the city, for example, “is one of our busiest communities. It’s very consistent and there’s a lot of traction with the product here.”
Koehn cites the community’s lower density and larger lot sizes as motivators to buy in upscale communities such as Heritage Pointe.
“Our lots are from 50 to 90 feet in width,” said Koehn, whose company is building in Artesia, along with Homes by Avi and Augusta Fine Homes. “There’s space between houses, houses backing onto greenspace, water or the Bow River … People at that (luxury) price point are going to shop based off what gives the best long-term value, and people buy based on lifestyle.”
New statistics from CREB® seem to support Heritage Pointe’s value proposition. While some segments within the region’s housing market have struggled in light of the economic downturn, others, such as luxury, have reported growth. Sales of homes valued at more than $1 million jumped by 20 per cent over the first quarter of 2016 (118 vs. 98 in early 2015, with 54 registered in March 2016, alone), bucking other CREB® statistics that showed overall home sales dipping by nearly 10 per cent.
“What’s reassuring through builder patterns and new homebuyers is Artesia has almost been labelled as a beacon throughout this downturn.”
Bill MacDonald, project manager of land development with Heritage Pointe Properties, said that trend is also reflected in new home construction in the area.
“What’s reassuring through builder patterns and new homebuyers is Artesia has almost been labelled as a beacon throughout this downturn,” he said. “The fact the land was bought and paid for in the 1980s means we can build with less density. From what I’ve seen, the market rewards good value.”
In fact, while initially created as an escape from Calgary’s urban jungle, Heritage Pointe has started to come into its own and become a well-known commodity in the local housing market, said Louise Ascah, president and chairwoman for the Lake at Heritage Pointe Homeowners’ Association, one of three communities in the hamlet. Artesia was just recently launched, while the original community was first constructed in the 1990s around the Heritage Pointe Golf Course.
“I remember when it was the middle of nowhere and a trip out of the city,” said Ascah, noting now it’s nearby a number of amenities, including the nearby South Health Campus.
In addition to recreational amenities such as the golf course, Heritage Pointe also offers homebuyers space to spread their wings, added Ascah.
“Down here, you have bigger lots – and, I think for a lot of people, that’s the draw,” she said, adding the encroaching city has actually been a benefit, with Calgary neighbourhoods such has Walden becoming supporters of community events at Heritage Pointe.