Having long provided an ideal entry into the Calgary housing market, making the decision to buy a condo can turn home buying dreams into reality.

Kassy Harbottle moved to Calgary last June, a self-proclaimed “quick decision-maker”, she decided to purchase a home right away — her first — as opposed to renting.

“I wanted to make an investment in a condo as I knew I’d be staying in Calgary for at least five years,” she said. “I thought it made sense to buy right away instead of spending money on rent for a couple years before I decided to buy.”

With a wishlist including price point under $300,000, greater than 800 sq. ft., close proximity to amenities such as shopping and night life and a location within walking distance of the downtown, Harbottle found a home in the Beltline.

“I found and decided on my place within a couple weeks,” she said. “I’ve lived there for a year now and I’m really happy.”

As of May, condo sales in Calgary totaled 1,672, a 10 per cent increase over the same time last year. In that same month, the benchmark price for condominium apartments was $263,600, a year-over-year increase of seven per cent. Condominium townhomes reached a benchmark price of $292,100, a five per cent increase when compared to the same time in 2012.

“Tighter mortgage rules impacted what buyers could afford to purchase in the Calgary market,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB®’s chief economist. “And while the majority of buyers are purchasing singlefamily homes, the attractive price point has improved demand for condominiums.”

As Calgary continues to grow, new condo offerings are consistently breaking ground in order to meet demand. In the rapidly growing community of East Village, FUSE by Embassy Bosa Inc. broke ground Sept. 2012, while FIRST, a condo project by FRAM+Slokker broke ground this February.

“Calgary is a unique market, we have enjoyed a great response to our initial product offering and now with permitting in place, we are starting construction immediately,” said Fred Serrafero, vice president, Development, FRAM Building Group in a release. “It’s a great day for our buyers and for the redevelopment of this master planned urban village.”

Other developments close to or under construction in the city include The Guardian in Victoria Park, Mark on 10th in the Beltline, Champagne at Quarry Park and The River in Mission.

CREB Monthly Statistics Condominiums – May 2013