Jenny Hoa and Patrick Yeung, who are selling their individual condos in order to buy a move-up home and combine their households in Simons Gate. Photo by Adrian Shellard/For CREB®Now

Buying decisions encouraged by favourable conditions

Timing, they say, is everything.

Just ask Patrick Yeung and Jenny Hoa, who are selling their individual condos and moving into a newly constructed home in the northwest community of Symons Gate later this year.

“It was a coincidence – perfect timing,” said Yeung of buyer-friendly market conditions currently in Calgary’s residential resale housing market.

“We’d already decided we wanted to get a home together, but the timing just fell together.”

Although Yeung and Hoa work across the city from the deep-northwest community (he near Marlborough Mall, she near Chinook Centre), both of their condos are in the Panorama-Kincora area, and both wanted to stay in the region to be close to friends and family.

The couple settled on a 2,163-square-foot design with developed basement and four bedrooms.

“We were looking for a starter home and we were shopping around and came across the show home and we loved the layout,” said Yeung of the Brookfield Residential-built home. “It was a multilevel split and it was something different and we liked how open it was.”

Yeung and Hoa are not alone, said Nolan Matthias, co-founder of Calgary-based Mortgage360. Added choice, combined with historically low interest rates, are encouraging buyers to get into homes that were previously out of their price range.

While the Bank of Canada decided earlier this month to keep the overnight lending rate unchanged, it still remains at an all-time low of 0.5 per cent.

“The real question for people who own a home, with the interest rates at the lowest in history and likely in our lifetime, is: are you in the home you want to be in?” he asked.

“Are we seeing people purchase and upgrade properties? Yes. With interest rates low, if you expect housing prices to remain stable, it makes sense to purchase as big of a house as you are comfortable with.”

Matthias notes it pays to get multiple opinions before pulling the trigger and moving up, regardless of the economy.

“More than anything, it needs to be part of your entire financial picture,” he said, adding people “shouldn’t panic” about the potential of rising interest rates and rush into a decision.

“There are people who remember the rates going up 20 per cent in two years, that’s not exactly what happened. In my opinion, I think there’s anywhere from five to 10 years of low interest rates to come.”