More House for Your Money

With confidence in Calgary’s real estate market growing by the week, the city’s luxury market is no exception.

Year-to-date, 242 Calgary homes priced at $1 million or more have been sold, compared to 195 during the same period last year. Those numbers come during a time that saw MLS® sales in the city increase by 123 per cent, rising from 1,068 in January to 2,385 in May.

During the month of May alone, 81 homes priced $1 million or more were sold, setting a new all-time monthly record for the city. The previous high came in July of 2007, when 61 homes priced $1 million changed hands.

“The luxury home market is seeing improved sales relating to improved confidence in the market,” said CREB® economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Most feel that the economy has turned the corner and with easing concerns regarding the risks, consumers are more willing to purchase homes – in particular the luxury homes. This combined with the fact that consumers are getting more house for the same price as they did five years ago, is providing a boost to sales activity in the luxury market.”

The growing confidence in the city’s luxury market was recently reaffirmed by a report from RE/MAX, which singled out the Calgary real estate outlook as “exceptionally positive,” echoing the sentiment that buyers are getting more housing bang for their buck.

“The overall market appears to be healthier than in recent years, finally heading in the right direction, with home buying activity gaining traction across the board,” stated the report. “Locals are primarily behind the push, trading up to larger homes or lot sizes, taking advantage of today’s low interest rates and more affordable housing values.”

The luxury sector recently hit the headlines thanks to a couple of notable sales at a new condo development in the community of Mission. A 5,626 sq. ft. penthouse (with 2,950 square feet in additional outdoor space) at THE RIVER recently sold for the record sum of $8.99 million, exceeding the development’s previous record-breaking $8.3 million sale.

Number of $1,000,000+ Home Sales May 2010-May 2012

In May, the highest single-family MLS® sale occurred in the Elbow Park/Glencoe neighbourhood, where a home sold for $2.88 million, while in April, a Brittania home sold for $6 million after spending just days on the market – the third most expensive MLS® sale ever recorded in the city.

“Canadians recognize and appreciate the stability of real estate,” says Elton Ash, regional executive vice president, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “Given volatility in other areas, housing has emerged as a bluechip asset among the country’s most affluent individuals. The capital gains exempt status ups the appeal, particularly as we see ongoing fluctuations in stocks and uncertainty in Europe. All the variables have come together to support an upper end market firing on all cylinders.”

A recent report from RBC Economics singled out the Alberta economy as the hottest in the country, with the province leading the nation in employment and population growth, finishing off their provincial outlook by saying “Alberta is booming again.”

Top 10 Months for $1,000,000,000+ Home Sales Since 1990

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