Lacklustre luxury

High-end housing market continues sluggish recovery, but slow sales bump up supply 

As a former long-time writer with the Calgary Herald focusing on the real estate beat, I knew how popular coverage of the real estate industry was to readers.

One aspect of the industry people always loved reading about was the city’s luxury home market. So, I was curious how the high-end segment of the housing market has been faring lately.

Year-to-date sales – up to the end of April – of $1-million-plus properties totalled 204 transactions, which is down slightly from 211 during the same period a year ago, says Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with CREB®.

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Middle-ring mindset

A new look at old neighbourhoods

In addition to the Twist and Woodstock, a lot of great neighbourhoods were created in the 1960s. Today, Calgary’s middle-ring suburbs – those developed between 1950 and the early 1970s – face some serious challenges, but, at the same time, some unique opportunities.

“These neighbourhoods are in a good location, fairly close to downtown, and feature large lots with single-family, detached bungalows and split levels,” said Francisco Alaniz Uribe, an assistant professor in the faculty of environmental design at the University of Calgary. Uribe co-authored a study on the city’s middle-ring communities with his colleague Beverly A. Sandalack, professor and associate dean with the faculty of environmental design.

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Aging gracefully

Leaders in middle-ring suburbs grapple with current challenges, while looking to the future

Calgary is a city that is continuing to grow and expand, with new suburbs and surrounding areas showing marked growth this year, yielding new infrastructure and amenities for residents. However, while Calgary’s newer communities expand, older communities are experiencing unique challenges.

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Soft sales continue in April

Prices steady, but struggles in Alberta economy weigh on housing

Changes to the lending industry and a challenging economic recovery are weighing on sales activity in Calgary’s housing market.

Supply levels have not adjusted to the weaker demand environment, and that is preventing price recovery.

“Slower sales do not come as a surprise, given the economy has not yet improved enough to offset the impact of changes in the lending industry,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“While the rising inventories are being monitored, prices have remained relatively flat as gains in some areas of the city have been offset by declines in other areas.”

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Betting on Bridgeland

Bucci Developments continues commitment to the community with Radius

Radius has risen in Bridgeland, with less than a year remaining before homeowner occupancy.

And demonstrating its continued faith in the inner-city neighbourhood, builder Bucci Developments is already at work on another proposed mixed-use project.

The roof has been placed on the seven-storey, 201-unit Radius, and cabinets and floorings are now going in, says company vice-president Mike Bucci.

“We took a risk pulling the trigger on construction” during the downturn, he says, but it will be worth it at the end of the day.

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