(Source: The Financial Post)
Calgary, once one of Canada’s most overheated housing markets, is now buyer-friendly. First-time buyers like the Berges are moving out of basement suites and into shiny new neighbourhoods. Interest rates are enticing, prices are more reasonable and there are more houses on the market from which to choose. Further, government incentives like tax credits, and bank offers such as the improvement deal the Berges negotiated, are boosting the city’s market by allowing people who were recently priced out back in the game.
In May, the average price of a single-family home was $436,427, up 2% from April, 2009, when the average was $426,311; and up 5.7% from January, when homes traded for an average of $413,049, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board.
While the market is recovering — prices are climbing and the number of sales are rising — activity is not nearly as heated as the past few years. In May, 2008, the average price for a single family home was $479,564.
Homes priced at $400,000 and below — the sweet spot for first-time buyers — accounted for 70% of sales last month.
“I think the majority of the people that we’re talking about are comfortable with their jobs, and we’ve got the lowest interest rates we’ve ever seen,” said George Bamber, the owner and president of Century 21 Bamber Reality Ltd, the firm that worked with the Berges. “I think they are going to start edging up, and people probably sense that.”
Read Carrie Tait’s full article “Calgary is now buyer-friendly” in Canada.com (June 5, 2009).