Situated at the south-end of the Peace Bridge, The Concord will offer unparalleled views of the Bow River. Courtesy Concord Pacific

Vancouver-based developer encouraged by uptick in luxury home sales

Vancouver-based developer Concord Pacific says it is encouraged by the Calgary market. Sales of its Eau Claire luxury condo tower, The Concord, have hit 67 per cent.

“It’s coming out of the ground. We’re pouring the P1 (parking) level and you have to understand that this parkade has never been done in North America by anybody. Nobody has ever done nine-to-13-foot ceilings on four levels of parkade. This is a unique situation,” said Grant Murray, senior vice-president of sales for Concord Pacific.

Murray says that coupled with the flood mitigation work that took an extra year to design into the base of the building, it was pivotal to do it right. By Easter, he says, they should be at podium level and the completion is expected to be December 2018.

The first phase of the development, at Sixth Street and First Avenue S.W., near the Peace Bridge, is the west tower which includes 105 units in 14 storeys. The second phase will be the 17-storey east tower with 113 units. Murray says the developer is hoping to start registration for the East tower this fall.

“I do think the worst is over from where we’ve been at,” said Murray, in reference to the Calgary economy. “We have had steady sales each and every month for the last two years. I’m pretty excited about this year being much better than 2015 and 2016.”

Murray says the project appeals to a very specific demographic: 218 high-end individuals that want to buy in a very unique building out of 1.2 million population.

“So we are looking for a needle in a haystack type of scenario,” he said. “What we have found is the sales we’ve had to date are almost 95 per cent owner-occupiers. We’ve had a lot of Baby Boom population who are downsizing.”

We have had steady sales each and every month for the last two years. I’m pretty excited about this year being much better than 2015 and 2016.

The luxury home market in Calgary saw an uptick in activity in 2016. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, MLS sales of homes over $1 million totalled 608 last year compared with 512 in 2015.

However, the level of activity is still significantly lower than in 2013, when there were 726 sales in that price category, and 2014, when there were 847.

After the first two months this year, luxury home sales of 64 were the same as for the same period in 2016.

Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with CREB®, says it is too early to tell what the luxury home market will do in 2017.

‘‘Last year was an increase over the previous year and that’s just in part because there has been some discounting happening at the higher end of the market which encouraged sales activities,’’ said Lurie.

‘‘This year is a bit early, but we’re seeing similar activity. There still have been some price adjustments that have occurred. This is continuing to support some of that growth in that segment of the market or at least stability in it.”

Lurie says data showed that some higher-end communities had price adjustments that were steeper than the average detached market. Even though prices across the city only adjusted by four per cent, in some higher-end communities they adjusted by 10 per cent.