CALGARY – Calgary’s residential real estate market has been described as hot this year.But what Airdrie has experienced is simply sizzling.
After three quarters of the year, the small city north of Calgary has already set an annual record for MLS sales.
“l feel this whole year Airdrie’s housing market is like an exaggerated mirror to Calgary’s booming market due to its obviously better affordability,” said Shayna Nackoney-Skauge, a realtor with RE/MAX Rocky View Real Estate. “Buyers appreciate what their dollar can buy in Airdrie for a very small increase in driving distance if they need to commute to Calgary for work. Average home prices in Airdrie are steadily rising and I would still say our seller’s market is strong but for buyers Airdrie is still more affordable than Calgary.
“The market is August seemed to slow down slightly in activity but when inventory levels naturally increased in September the patiently-waiting buyers gobbled up the added inventory resulting in record sale levels. There is a very strong demand in Airdrie for homes priced under $450,000. Over that price point, homes are still selling but not as quickly and it’s a bit more competitive for sellers in the higher price points in Airdrie to attract the right buyer’s attention.”
According to realtor Mike Fotiou, associate broker with First Place Realty, total MLS sales in September in Airdrie reached 140 transactions, an all-time high for the month, and 26.13 per cent year-over-year hike.
The average MLS sale price in September was $393.209, an increase of 8.67 per cent from last year. In comparison, the average sale price in Calgary for the month was $487,300, which was up 7.3 per cent from a year ago.
Year-to-date until the end of September, said Fotiou, there have been 1,354 MLS sales in Airdrie, which has already surpassed the annual record of 1,327 established in 2007. Last year, there were 1,321 MLS transactions.
Year-to-date, Airdrie’s average MLS sale price is $386,962, up 8.98 per cent from last year, while Calgary’s average price has increased by 5.77 per cent to $482,701.
“Homes in Airdrie are a lot more affordable than Calgary,” said Fotiou. “Looking at an average priced home, many have decided to keep $100,000 in their pocket and just deal with a longer commute – and that’s assuming they work in Calgary. Airdrie continues to grow with more businesses and amenities, which means more jobs and opportunities for newcomers to the city.”
Don Campbell, senior analyst with the Real Estate Investment Network, said four years ago research by the organization discovered that the economic fundamentals were shifting to green-light positives for Airdrie.
“These economic fundamentals have really played out as expected and is now being reflected in housing market,” he said. “Access and affordability have been the initial drivers of these market records. The opening of and increased use of the Calgary Ring Road has opened up Airdrie as a place to live for people working in all sections of the city of Calgary – previously to this major transportation route being opened, Airdrie was really only an option for those working in North Calgary.
“Another driver of these record numbers is the amount of land made available to developers who were able to get ahead of the demand curve. As the major industrial and commercial projects surrounding, and including, the Calgary airport continue to grow and bring an economic focus to the northern part of the city we will witness even more demand on the Airdrie housing market over the coming years. Today’s record is just the start of a strong long-term trend.”