Sales start to pick up on resale homes above $800,000 in Calgary

Josh Skapin, Calgary Herald
Published on: December 3, 2016 | Last Updated: December 3, 2016 2:04 PM MST

More people have purchased single-family homes on the upper-end of Calgary’s resale market than the same time last year.

There were 932 sales for single-family homes priced $800,000 and higher in the city between Jan. 1 and the end of October, says the Calgary Real Estate Board. This is a 16 per cent upswing on the 800 deals from the same period in 2015.

A greater opportunity to find value has been the key difference, says CREB’s chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“It really comes down to there being some price adjustments that have occurred at the higher end of the market,” Lurie says. “Really, this market was impacted first. We saw it first impacted in 2015, as well.

“It was impacted first, you had price adjustments and that’s encouraged sales activity occurring in that segment of the market.”

The most substantial increase came sales in the $1.5 million to $1,749,999 bracket, which saw activity jump 49 per cent to 70 sales from 47 year over year, says CREB.

Sales also ramped up in the $1.25 million to $1,499,999 price range. The were 119 deals in this bracket year to date, up 36 per cent from 87 during the same days in 2015.

Calgary’s resale market has also seen a shorter supply of single-family homes priced $800,000 and higher this year.

There were 2,193 new listings in this segment year to date after 2,638 of these additions were made during the same days in 2015, says CREB.

For inventory, there were 564 single-family homes priced from $800,000 at the end of this past October. The same month a year ago had 700.

While resale activity does not necessarily reflect how the new home market is performing, builders selling high-end single-family homes have also seen a step-up in interest.

“I would definitely say that there is an increase,” says Jill Truscott, manager of sales and marketing for Wolf Custom Homes.

“Our quality and product have not changed, and we are continuing to exceed the expectations of our luxury buyers, which reinforces their confidence in building a new custom home.”

Wolf builds in a number of Calgary and area estate communities, including Watermark at Bearspaw west of city limits.

“We have definitely seen a change in the air for custom luxury homes,” Truscott says. “Our clients are coming in having given their decision to build a lot of consideration and thought, and by the time they come to us, they’re totally confident that this is a sound investment for them.”

Morrison Homes sales staff have seen demand climb for its upscale homes, as well.

“At Morrison, we’ve definitely seen an increase in the percentage of our business that comes from homes over $800,000,” says Morrison’s sales manager Mike Wagner.

The company builds this segment in the communities of Mahogany, Auburn Bay, Legacy and The Ridge at Sage Meadows.

“Homebuyers who are buying a home at this price point are usually moving up from their current home and with 2016 prices being slightly lower than previous years, it’s a great year to do just that,” Wagner says.