Crazy B.C. housing prices help fuel 230% surge in Calgary condo presales: Data firm


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It would appear priced-out British Columbians are flocking to snap up condos in Calgary, turning it into the hottest market in Canada and sparking a record influx of new residents.

There were 1,076 condo presales in Alberta’s most populous city in the second quarter, a whopping 230-per-cent increase over the same period last year, according to real estate data analytics firm Zonda Urban, a level of activity that hasn’t been seen in a decade.

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In data released this week, the surge in sales is largely fuelled by record migration from B.C. and Ontario. It also caused the largest rental rate increase in Canada.

“Calgary’s return as Canada’s most active housing market is largely fuelled by individuals from other provinces, including B.C.,” said Zonda Urban’s Jackson Cornelius in a release.

“Several factors are at play. The city experienced record migration from other provinces, resulting in an imbalance of supply and demand — especially in the rental market — and downtown Calgary remains more affordable than other major centres.”

Arris Residences Calgary
Arris Residences is a 41-storey development in downtown Calgary about to enter condo presales. It is a Bosa Development project marketed by Magnum Projects. Photo by Bosa Development

Marketing and sales firm Magnum Projects, which does work for major developers such as Reliance Properties and Jim Pattison Developments, said a presale in downtown Calgary is roughly half the price of a comparable presale in suburban Vancouver.

The company is about to launch presales of Arris Residences, a 41-storey highrise by Bosa Development in the city’s downtown core. The condos will be move-in ready 90 days after purchase.

“Arris is a high-quality tower with tremendous amenities — including a grocery store downstairs,” said Magnum partner Daryl Simpson, “and starting prices will be roughly $560 per square foot, which is half of what a presale costs in Surrey. And rental income will be comparable or higher.”

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Simpson said realtors are picking up Calgary properties for their clients now while prices are relatively low and with the expectation that a tight supply will offer a strong return on their investment, both in terms of what the units can rent for and in resale value.

“Developers halted condo projects through the economic downturn, and it will take several years for new buildings to come on-stream,” said Cornelius. He predicts those coming to Calgary from B.C. and Ontario will see their investments grow.

The City of Calgary reports it has seen the greatest population growth the city has ever experienced in the past year. And since the middle of 2021, Calgary has consistently experienced the country’s highest influx of new residents — 70 per cent of whom are migrating from B.C. and Ontario.

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