Is time to get attached?

Posted by Justin Havre. on Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 at 3:27pm.

Side-by-side or duplex homes have long been considered to be entry-level or starter homes. The exception to this are the luxury infill attached homes in Calgary’s redeveloped inner-city areas like West Hillhurst and Altadore, just to name two of the many.

Real estate experts are saying that in this current buyer’s market, ripe with opportunities for those looking to get in the market for a discounted price, now is the time to seriously look at this type of “attachment”.

When you look at the stats from the Calgary Real Estate Board, sales of row housing or townhomes and attached properties have slowed just like everything else – 10.5% actually compared to January of 2015.  There were fewer entries into the market as well – almost 5% less than what was available to buyers this time last year.  However, even with few people deciding to sell, there are still 20% more attached homes on the market than there were this time last year.

With so much on the market in Calgary right now, sellers have had no choice but to take a good look at their bottom line, and in consultation with their Realtor put forward their best possible price.

What this has done is take the benchmark price for attached homes down to $345,600 which is 1.65% less that December.  An affordable segment of the Calgary real estate market is now in close reach to many Calgarians.

In terms of those luxury inner-city attached homes on premium lots, some have come down in price by almost $100,000 say some real estate experts.

That translates into a few hundred dollars off your mortgage payment, depending on your down payment.

Not good news if you’re trying to sell a property, but if you’re a first-time home buyer in an industry with some stability, this is a silver lining in a very cloudy real estate climate.

First-time buyers, who are not waiting to get their equity out of an existing home, who have saved their 10 or 20% for a down payment, are the clear winners in Calgary’s current market place.

The current uncertainty may push the benchmark price down even further.  With sales slowing, it is evident that buyers are laying in wait to see what will transpire.  There are a lot of multi-family developments still under construction that haven’t even hit the market yet. Once they are released, there will be even more downward pressure on prices.

In terms of side-by-side and attached homes, which includes four-plex developments, this could be a great time to get into neighbourhoods that first-time buyers may have wanted but have crossed off the list because they were seemingly unaffordable.  It’s also an opportunity for these buyers, who have been looking at condominiums (complete with high monthly fees) to look at the attached market.

Neighbourhoods such as Marda Loop, South Calgary, Killarney, Richmond Hill and in the north, Mount Pleasant have high inventories of luxury side-by-side homes.  New duplex homes in the $350,000 to $400,000 range can be found in Calgary’s new suburban neighbourhoods.

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