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Blog by Thomas Krause

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The Canmore Real Estate Market: Past, Present, Future

The Canmore Real Estate Market – Past, Present and Future

The decline of the price of crude oil which started internationally in August 2014 had a huge influence on the economy of Alberta and Calgary. While the price was previously at around $100US / barrel crude oil, the price dropped to its lowest at around $30 in February 2016 and has since started to recover to around $54 US in Dec. 2016.

Alberta’s economy which depends heavily on the oil industry has been hit with unemployment which lead to a negative net migration. People previously employed in the oil industry left Alberta and went back to their home provinces. The spending budget of many of those who stayed decreased sharply.

This development was also reflected in the Real Estate Market. With a lot of properties coming on the market but less people to look for properties, the Sales Volume in Calgary declined in Nov. 2016 by 3% year over year and was down by 17% when compared to long-term averages. Sales Prices decreased by 4.1% year over year. Especially the apartment market saw the sales volume decline by 16% and prices drop by 6%.

Given this data, it is even more surprising, that Canmore has seen a completely different development.

Sales numbers in Canmore have increased from 411 to 530 sales / year by almost 30% over 2015 and overall prices increased by ca. 5%. In fact the average price/sqft above grade has been constantly rising since 2012 and is now at around $424 / sqft.

Price increases have been seen over all market segments with the highest rise in the hotel condo / vacation home segment. Here the average price increased by 33% and the sales volume increased by 38% as compared to 2015. This is probably due to the fact that in many complexes owners can now take their units out of the professionally managed rental pool and self-manage and market them through VRBO, AirB&B and other platforms – thus increasing their return. With this option, hotel condos have become a very attractive form of investment. Above that, 2016 was a very good year for the tourism industry in Canmore and 2017 with lots of events coming up around the “150 years of Canada celebrations” is expected to be even better. High occupancy rates are promising higher returns.

Prices for detached homes increased by ca. 6.6% but the volume decreased by 10%. Townhouses saw the highest increase in volume at plus 60%. Prices increased by 4.3%. Apartments for fulltime living increased by 3.5% in price over 2015 and increased by 26% in volume.

High demand is meeting a low supply and the strong sales numbers are leading to an extremely low inventory. The year started with around 200 listings, Summer saw around 250 listings but we are now down to 130 listings which is very low and an indicator for a seller’s market. Spring will be a good time for anybody who has been thinking about selling.

Why is the real estate market in Canmore so different from the rest of Alberta?

The reason is probably that Canmore is a lifestyle. Canmore attracts people from all over Canada and the world who come here not to work but they come to Canmore to enjoy the outdoors, the nature and the mountain living lifestyle. This small and beautiful town attracts people no matter what the overall economic situation is and although general economic indicators do have an influence on Canmore Real Estate, there are other strong factors which cannot be underestimated.

What is the outlook for Canmore for the New Year?!

Given the carefully optimistic outlook for Alberta and the enormous pull factor of the Banff National Park during Canadas “150 Years” celebration in 2017 I believe we will be seeing a continuously strong and active market. Volume however will depend on new inventory and I hope that potential sellers who had been sitting on the fence and were discouraged by the bad economic news in 2016 will make a decision to bring their property onto the market in 2017 so that there is more to sell.

Unlike Calgary, new developments and buildings are very limited to a few areas (mostly in the Three Sisters Area in the East of Canmore). Banff National Park in the West and mountains in the North and South make further development there impossible and land becomes precious. There are plans and activities for further development in the Three Sisters area and eventually Canmore will be extending further towards Dead Man’s Flats but there are many stakeholders and development is not very fast.

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Total Sales Canmore

371

488

463

411

533

Average Price/sqft above grade

355

382

397

404

424

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Sales Detached (D.)

110

129

86

110

100

Av. List price D.

767,000

866,000

952,000

1,015,000

1,057,000

Av. Sale price D.

733,000

824,000

926,000

948,000

1,011,000

Av. DOM D.

110

101

76

84

74

AP / sqft above grade D.

385

413

485

495

507

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Sales Townhouse (T.H.)

114

113

135

102

164

Av. List price T.H.

526,000

545,000

571,000

585,000

609,000

Av. Sale price T.H.

508,000

529,000

561,000

572,000

599,000

Av. DOM T.H.

90

95

64

72

84

AP / sqft above grade T.H.

337

362

408

400

422

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Sales Vacation (Hotelc.)

22

50

56

55

78

Av. List price V.H.

247,000

182,000

215,000

230,000

306,000

Av. Sale price V.H.

230,000

170,000

206,000

223,000

302,000

Av. DOM V.H.

124

162

78

102

90

AP / sqft registered size

230

190

220

245

310

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Sales Apart

88

142

131

107

135

Av. List price Apart

368,000

405,000

410,000

430,000

444,000

Av. Sale price Apart

351,000

393,000

399,000

417,000

432,000

Av. DOM Apart

147

104

79

78

94

AP/sqft above grade

317

331

379

366

404

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Sales
Half Duplex

26

35

45

28

39

Av. List price
Half Duplex

808,000

850,000

862,000

831,000

885,000

Av. Sale price
Half duplex

780,000

820,000

838,000

797,000

885,000

Av. DOM
Half Duplex

68

116

97

90

76

AP / sqft above grade

432

399

440

447

480