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LOOKING TO MAKE A MOVE THIS FALL IN THE CANMORE AND AREA MARKET?

The fall months are typically a time of year in the Bow Valley where there is a flurry of activity in the real estate market. The summer months are usually filled with leisure activities and vacation time and it is also a time when investors will see the most returns from nightly rentals. As a result, many property owners in Canmore hold off on listing their home or investment until the fall. Similarly, buyers who have taken a break from their home search for the summer months re-enter the picture and look to capitalize on increased inventory levels, making for a good time to buy or sell your Canmore property. There is a window of time where buyers and sellers are also motivated to secure a purchase or sale in time to close on the property before the Christmas holiday season. If a buyer is keeping the home for personal use, they may want to spend the season enjoying their new mountain abode and if its an investment, the holiday season can be a great time of year to capitalize on the nightly rental market. The 5-year average sales for the months: September, October and November show that sales stay as strong or stronger than the average August. Out of the Fall months, October typically has the most closings meaning that offers on those properties were most likely written in late August or September.

Ben Maize Canmore Realtor


HOW DOES THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IN CANMORE COMPARE TO OTHER YEARS?

2023 was very much a return to more normalcy after increased levels of sales in 2021 and 2022. The average amount of sales per year, up to September 6th for the years 2016-2020, was 295 and at the time of writing this we are sitting at 310 sales to date for 2023, so the numbers are looking right in line with pre-pandemic levels of sales. The previous 2 years were firmly in sellers market territory with highly competitive buying situations and sale prices that were often over asking price. An analysis of MLS sales data shows that in 2022 the average sale price for all properties was 99.53% of the list price. For 2021 that number was 99.3% For 2023 the number has dropped to 98.49% in an indication of easing buying conditions and properties that are selling for less than the asking price. Canmore property owners enjoy confidence in the real estate market so we don't often see homes being given away, but the number is promising for buyers. Shifting to more balanced conditions is generally indicative of a healthier housing market. 


HOW IS THE MARKET LOOKING CURRENTLY?

As of right now there are 129 properties currently available or pending status on MLS in Canmore which, is still considered to be low inventory. With the long weekend just behind us however, many sellers may still be settling back in to their normal lives and haven't pulled the trigger on listing their properties for sale yet. Of those 129, the majority of the listings are condos which is the norm given their popularity. 32 of the active Canmore condo listings are residential condos meaning that they can be lived in full-time, 19 are hotel condos with either vacation use or tourist zoning and the remaining 8 are fractional hotel condos. 

In the "Attached" category which, includes townhomes and 1/2-duplexes, there are currently 42 active listings making up 1/3 of the total listings advertised online. The price ranges in this category are currently sitting at $572,000 for a 2-bedroom townhome in South Canmore up to roughly $2.2 million for a new construction semi-detached in Hospital Hill. Over 1/2 of the available townhomes and 1/2-duplexes are priced over $1.0 million.

The remainder of listings currently on Canmore are 28 detached homes. Homes for sale in Canmore make up the smallest market segment at roughly 22% and interestingly, 19 of those are priced above $2 million meaning there are only 8 homes currently listed for sale in Canmore under $2.0 million, with just 2 homes priced below $1 million. 


WHERE ARE THE CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE MARKET?

Buyers looking in the $2 million-plus price range have plenty of options right now and can take advantage of higher inventory levels and more selection. Of the homes priced above $2 million the average days on market is up to 108 meaning that some of these homes have been sitting for a while. That is not to say that these sellers may consider taking a deep discount off the list price, but property owners who are considering selling their $2M+ home may be able to capitalize by pricing their listing lower than the competition. It also means that property owners of detached homes priced below $2 million have little competition right now and while buyers are less likely to make overpriced bids, they can still count on a quick sale if they list their home reasonably priced. 

Buyers who are looking for a fractional ownership condo also have some variety to chose from right now which, can make for less competitive buying situations as well.

There is limited inventory currently for 2-bedroom hotel condos so owners of these types of units should reach out to us immediately if you have been thinking of selling, particularly Blackstone, Stoneridge, Flacon Crest, Mystic Springs, Skyline Peaks, Silver Creek Lodge and others. There are currently 4 active listings for 2-bedroom units in Solara so if you are thinking of selling yours, you may be able to get a quick sale if you price below the competition, otherwise it may be best to wait it out and see what happens with the currently active listings. If you are in the market for a 2-bedroom hotel condo this fall don't worry: let's meet up for a coffee and discuss ways to get you ready for when the right one comes along. If you are not in the area we can connect via phone call or Zoom to come up with a strategy for you as well.

Attached homes like townhouses or 1/2-duplexes priced above $1 million are abundant right now! Take your pick from communities that are close to downtown like South Canmore, keep the convenience but get off the beaten path in communities like Benchlands or Hospital Hill, or find a beautiful newer built mountain haven out in Three Sisters. The options are plentiful and being in a position to shop around like this in Canmore can be rare, so take advantage! If you have a similar home you'd like to sell right now this can be a great time to utilize a good listing strategy, price the home properly and get a quick sale.

The last noteworthy market segment I would point out is residential condos priced below $700,000. Currently there is a decent selection available so if that is an area you are focused on as a buyer then now is a great time to get active and start looking at properties.


No matter the property you are looking to buy or sell, we can come up with a specific strategy that works for you and well best suit your needs. 


NOT READY TO SELL QUITE YET BUT FORESEE IT IN THE NEAR FUTURE?

If you have been thinking of selling your Bow Valley property but aren't quite ready to get it listed online, a good strategy going into the winter months is to have the photos taken now while the lighting is good and the outdoors are still lush and green. It has been shown that real estate listings with photos taken during the summer months as opposed to the winter get more clicks online. Professional photos taken when there is no snow also help buyers see features about the building or land that may otherwise be difficult to determine, such as grass versus low-maintenance landscaping, or the condition of the roof. If you are considering listing this winter please reach out so we can discuss a successful strategy for your home and at the very least, get you a market evaluation completed so you know where you stand.


LOOKING TO FINANCE YOUR CANMORE HOTEL CONDO PURCHASE?

For those of you who have already started your hotel condo journey, you probably know that financing options are limited and getting approved can be challenging. We now have a lender with an actual Resort Program who is familiar with these types of properties locally and has established a set of criteria and lending requirements specifically for hotel condos, starting with 20% down up to $600,000 and using the same interest rate as a residential property. 

 
OTHER TIPS TO BUYING OR SELLING IN CANMORE THIS FALL

Some other things you will want to keep in mind this season is that availability to view nightly rental type properties will improve drastically during the weekdays. One challenge to overcome in the hotel-condo buying process is to coordinating your schedule with the availability of the property for sale and/or viewing the unit briefly during check in/check out, potentially while the room is unclean. During the fall months accessing the condos will be easier and we'll be able to spend more time in the property, but if you can plan to attend during the week, it will be much more easy to do so. Weekend guest occupancy may be sporadic so there will be more opportunities on weekends as well than the summer months.

It is always suggested that you have a firm pre-approval from your lender before getting out and viewing properties in person. That way you'll know exactly what you'll qualify for and can save time by eliminating those that don't fit your needs. If it has been more than 3-months since you spoke with your mortgage professional I would highly advise that you reconnect with them to make sure the approval still stands and on what terms. If you haven't started the process yet we can connect you with a professional in Canmore or help find you someone in your area who can help.

Another buying tip that may seem obvious but will make the process of viewing homes much more enjoyable is to bring outerwear that is suitable for the wet and snowy weather. I can't tell you how many times I've set out from Calgary on a nice sunny day only to find that the weather is drastically different in the mountains and I was unprepared. Waterproof footwear that is easy to slip on and off will be helpful too when entering and leaving the properties.

I would love to connect and hear all about your Canmore journey!

contact the team at Canmore.net online or call (587) 579-9500

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So you're ready to start the hunt for the perfect mountain getaway? Great! Canmore is a truly unique and special place. What used to be a somewhat unknown small town off to the side of the Trans-Canada is now a hugely popular travel destination. There is so much to do in Canmore and the surrounding areas. From sight-seeing and shopping to spas, galleries, restaurants, hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, fishing and so much more. Purchasing a property in this picturesque town is high on the wish-list of many buyers from all corners of the country and beyond.

IS BUYING A CONDO IN CANMORE ANY DIFFERENT THAN BUYING A CONDO ELSEWHERE IN CANADA?

The short answer is: Yes. There are several differences to familiarize yourself with that will help you understand the condo listings you see online and help steer you in the right direction.

The first type of property to familiarize yourself are Fractional Condos which, are a unique opportunity to own a portion of a condo and access the unit on specified dates of the year. Options range anywhere from 1/12th ownership that gives owners 4 weeks' use per year, up to 1/4 ownership giving owners 1 week to use the property per month. Owners can also own multiple fractions in any number of combinations. In most complexes owners commit to a set schedule to use the property while one in particular, Sunset Resorts, offers owners the flexibility to pick and choose some of the weeks when they can stay. Fractional condos differ from timeshares in that you are purchasing an actual fraction of the condo unit, often with its own accompanying title, as opposed to buying time at a resort. These properties fluctuate in value just like a full-ownership condo and are seen as a great way to secure a piece of Canmore real estate without the big commitment. As an added bonus, if you chose not to utilize your time in the condo you have the option to earn income by renting it out on a nightly basis to help offset the costs of ownership. The first sign that should tip you off you are looking at a fractional condo is the list price. Most of these condos are going to be priced $200,000 and lower and there are no full-ownership opportunities for that price at the time this was written.

Another type of condo listing you may come across in your search are Employee Zoned condos. These properties are reserved for persons who work a minimum of 20 hours per week in the Bow Valley. These properties are intended to be an affordable housing option for people who need to live in Canmore because of their employment. There are these types of condo complexes located on Kananaskis Way and there may be others in different areas of town as well.

If you intend to use your Canmore Condo for nightly rentals using sites like AirBnb and VRBO you may be surprised to learn that you can not simply use any property in town for such purposes. Or maybe not, since it is becoming more common for cities and towns to regulate which properties can and can not be rented nightly. The Town of Canmore uses zoning classifications to determine which properties are eligible for nightly rentals. Properties zoned as Vacation or Tourist Use are permit nightly rentals while condos and other property types that have residential zoning do not. Many of the Tourist Use of Vacation Zoned properties are located in a hotel-style complex, but not all. The zoning type is not always easily discernable in the listing although it may be indicated in the listing writeup. Some hotel-condo complexes will have an on-site rental pool program that owners can chose to participate in. The benefit being the convenience and peace of mind knowing that you have someone on hand at the front desk to look after your guests as well as maintenance and cleaning, etc. Other owners may choose to manage the nightly rentals themselves or enlist the services of a third party property management company to take care of it. We can provide you with the necessary referrals to get you started operating your own business, or help find the right property manager for you.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Canmore is a popular destination and many other buyers are also on the hunt for that perfect place. In my experience, some prospective buyers watch the market for a long time while they wait for their life circumstances to align. The point is that there is a chance you may be competing with another buyer for the same property so having your financing, if required, in place is a good place to start.   A Realtor who has expertise in the Canmore market can help you navigate all of these factors and may be your best asset in your search. Please feel free to contact me when you are ready to get started on your journey! contact the team at Canmore.net online or call (587) 579-9500

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WHAT IS GOING ON IN EXSHAW REAL ESTATE THESE DAYS?

Exshaw, Alberta is one of those small towns that comes up as an unexpected surprise when driving along a scenic back road. Personally, I had never heard of it until one summer day when I was trying to avoid weekend traffic on the TransCanada Highway heading west out of Calgary. The alternate route 1A offered a bit of reprieve from the seemingly endless line of cars headed to the mountains for some summer fun and the spectacular scenery winding along through the foothills and past the Bow River wasn't bad either. Exshaw emerges along the route as a mix of industrial and residential buildings nestled up against the base of Exshaw Mountain and a 2021 population of 449 people according to StatCan. 

Those who venture off the highway will find a charming mix of single-family, detached homes constructed in every decade going back at least until the 1940's. Some of the original properties have no doubt been removed to make way for new, mountain modern structures but many of the older homes still exist. A townhome development at the west edge of the residential area was constructed in 2005 and is the only multi-family housing in the hamlet. 

That may all about to be changed though as an exciting new development has been making its way through the approval process. According to MLS sales data, a parcel of approximately 85 acres of land was listed for sale in 2018 by a private owner with around 11 acres within Exshaw and the remainder in the M.D. of Bighorn, at the base of the mountain. A sale was finalized on the land by the end of 2018. According to news articles online, the plans for the parcel include a mix of single family building lots, duplexes and 2 multi-family complexes. The plan has the potential to add 130 residents to the area which, would be a near 30% increase. The developer: Exshaw Mountain Gateway likens it to the River's Bend development in Dead Man's Flats where new construction homes have transformed the area into a thriving, family oriented mountain haven. 

When I reached out to the developer I was advised that buyers could be able to start building their mountain home in late 2024 if final approvals are achieved this summer. With real estate prices in Canmore becoming more out of reach for the average family, I really think this development could be an incredible addition to the Bow Valley. Homes for sale in Exshaw will suddenly appeal to buyers who are either priced out of other mountain markets, or for those who wish to avoid the busy tourist activity. The new development could potentially lead to other opportunities as well in terms of amenities useful to Exshaw residents. The image below is a rough illustration indicating where the new development area:

Exshaw New Development Homes For Sale

contact the team at Canmore.net online or call (587) 579-9500

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SPRING MARKET PREVIEW?

Ben Maize Canmore Realtor

There is a lot of hype about real estate in Canada these days and many people are wondering where the market is going to go this year. With the previous 2 years of heightened sales activity and sellers making big gains, this year could be a turning point...Or it could be totally unremarkable. Rising interest rates have put the squeeze on buyers and low inventory has left homeowners wondering where they would go if they did sell. 

So far in Canmore, sales for the month of March are on pace with pre-pandemic numbers and inventory is consistently low. There have been 19 closings so far at the time of writing and currently 104 active listings on MLS. Of those active listings, the average days spent on market is 71 and sellers who are getting ready to list their home should make sure to get the asking price right from the start. Of the 104 active listings, 61 of those have been on the market for over 30 days so we are seeing a bit of accumulation. At the time of writing there are 17 conditional sales and of those, 12 of them were on the market for less than 30 days. This could be an indication that homes priced right are selling quicker. We have seen some pullback in sale prices from the peak in May 2022  and understanding the market is critical to a successful strategy right now. 

Buyers who are looking at the Canmore market might be able to capitalize on fewer competitive buying scenarios depending on the property subtype. Condos under $600,000 are scarce so if that is your focus it would be wise to have financing in order and be ready to move when the right property comes along. If you are looking for a 2-bedroom condo between $600,000-$800,000 you have some decent options for residential units but limited in terms of hotel-condos. Condos above $800,000 is where there is a bit of build-up and buyers have options.

Detached homes are also seeing some accumulation and potentially some downward pressure on price. List prices range widely from $875,000 on the low end all the way up to $8,717,800 at the top end.

If you are a condo owner looking to upsize to a townhome this could also be a good time for you, especially for those sellers who are in the more affordable category. With very low inventory available below $600,000 and multiple options available for townhomes, you may be able to capitalize on optimal seller conditions and a decent scenario on the buy-side.

If you have any questions or or would like to talk about real estate in general please don't hesitate to reach out contact the team at Canmore.net online or call (587) 579-9500

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2022 RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE STATISTICS

Lack of inventory was the main theme to start off 2022 which continued to push sale prices higher into the spring and early summer. Bank of Canada interest rate hikes, designed to cool off rising inflation would ultimately have a cooling effect on the overheated real estate market as well. Sale prices in Canmore had been testing the upper limits of what buyers were willing to pay for some time and by April/May we saw the peak of the market and then a bit of a pullback in prices as uncertainty crept in around the direction of interest rates. Stories from across the country began to emerge of big price declines but Canmore did not experience such a drastic shift and low inventory persisted for the remainder of the year. Job growth and migration from other Canadian cities like Vancouver and Toronto, has maintained demand for Alberta real estate. As usual, the condo segment saw the most units change hands and condos spent over 20% less time on the market on average than they did in 2021. 

2022 Canmore Real Estate Stats*Source: CIR Realty Local Market Statistics

Total sales for all residential property types in Canmore in 2022 equaled 531 which, was down over 30% from 2021's total of 770 units. The apartment sector saw the lowest positive price growth in 2022 at 9.34%, an indication that this sector in Canmore is the more affected by higher lending costs. Buyers of properties at higher price points in Canmore may be less dependent on financing so interest rates don't affect these market segments as much. Nearly 30% price growth year-over-year in the townhome sector is a huge increase and possibly skewed by a higher number of sales in the over-$1,000,000 range indicating more sales of higher priced units, rather than pure price growth. Although down from the year prior, 531 total sales for the year 2022 is still above the average 3-year pre-pandemic average of 459 sales per year. 

Detached home sales rocketed the average sale price for a home in Canmore well over the $1.5 million mark to $1,700,583 and the average time spent on the market was down almost 40% compared to 2021. 

If you have any questions about real estate in Canmore please feel free to reach out at any time! contact the team at Canmore.net online or call (587) 579-9500

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2021 CANMORE REAL ESTATE OVERVIEW

A lot of properties changed hands in Canmore in 2021. In fact the average number of sales for the 3 years prior was 459 and 2021 saw a near 70% increase to 770 units sold. The pandemic changed the way we live, work, recreate and travel - to name a few - and as related restrictions were eased and the economy started to open again Canadians were left with limited options when it came to vacation and travel. Not surprisingly, recreational real estate markets across the country began to sizzle with the average sale price predicted to rise by as much as 30% in some markets. Many Canadian families were able to save more than usual in 2020 and a study conducted on behalf of Re/Max found that 59% of buyers who intended to purchase a vacation property in 2021 were considering this property type for the first time. Huge potential equity gains combined with hungry buyers created the perfect conditions to push the number of trades through the roof, as well as push the limits of sale prices in town.

2021 Canmore Real Estate Stats

*Source: CIR Realty Local Market Statistics

A breakdown of the total Canmore real estate sales for 2021 reveals that condos accounted for just over half of transactions (51.2%) which, was a boost from 37% the year before. Looking at a further breakdown in condo sales via the Calgary real estate board shows that only 13 of those trades were for properties priced above $1,000,000. The bulk of sales were in the $400,000-$600,000 price range. The average price for a condo in Canmore in 2020 was $508,781 and red hot demand pushed that average all the way up to $580,534 in 2021.  In another representation of the pure seller's market conditions, the average total time that a condo spent on the market in 2020 was 74 days and 2021 saw that dip way down to 49 days. Interestingly, in 2020 the average sale price to list price ratio was 102.38, meaning that on average Canmore condos sold for 102.38% of their list price. In 2021, despite the hotter conditions, the average list price to sale price ratio was down to 100.36%. This could be due to higher list prices and an indicator that market values were nearing their peak, as buyers became hesitant to pay more than they already were. 

The benchmark statistic that buyers and sellers want to hear about is detached homes. Its the widely talked about measurement used to compare housing prices across the country and around the world. The average sale price for Canmore homes grew by about 23% over 2020 with the average sale price sitting at $1,442,944. Of the 141 houses to sell, nearly 20% of those were for homes above $2,000,000 in a signal that luxury home sales in the Bow Valley are alive and well. One such home, 17 Canyon Road registered the highest sale price in Canmore at $4,200,000. A one-of-a-kind property, featured over 6300 square feet of quintessential mountain luxury nestled on a private lot. Average days on market was higher than the condo segment at 74 which, was pretty much on par with 2020's average of 71. Buyers were still able to lock down value-priced homes in 2021 with one-third of the sales below the $1,000,000 mark. 

2021 was not a typical year for real estate sales in the Canmore area and looking at the number of sales per month provides more insight. March was the busiest month for closings with 96 when often the spring/summer months are more busy:

Canmore Real Estate Sales by Month 2021

*Source: Calgary Real Estate Board

If you have any questions or would like to discuss real estate in the Bow Valley in further detail, please don't hesitate to reach out!

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2019 Sales by the Numbers: 

 

2018

2019

% CHANGE

Hotel Condo

89

79

-10%

Condo

133

113

-20%

Townhouse

107

107

0

Half-Duplex

35

44

+10%

Single Family

87

89

+2%

Building Lots

13

10

-3%

TOTAL

467

446

-4.5%

 

BREAKDOWN BY PROPERTY TYPE:

Hotel Condos

10% fewer Canmore hotel condos changed hands in 2019 than the year prior but this segment still accounted for 17.7% of total home sales.  Demand for these units remains strong but a lack of "good" listings coming to market has hampered buyers.  The general consensus among owners seemed to be that they felt this "wasn't the year" to sell while revenue from nightly rentals remained strong, so there was no real urgency.  Stoneridge Mountain Resort saw the most condos change hands with 13 units trading on the market although, the majority of those trades belonged to one seller who is unloading a portfolio of condos.  Solara Resort and Spa took the second spot and Blackstone Mountain Resort was the third most popular condo complex.  

The average sale price of a full ownership, 2-bedroom condo rose slightly in 2019 from $477,466 to $479,277.  With the lack of available inventory, it is not surprising that the average days on market dropped significantly from 56 days in 2018 to 27 days in 2019, meaning that there are still plenty of buyers waiting for the right one to come along despite the rising prices.

Condos

As is normally the case, residentially zoned condos made up the largest portion of Canmore home sales in 2019 accounting for just over 25% of all real estate trades.  This market segment also happened to account for the largest decrease in year-to-year sales with 20% fewer transactions than in 2018.  Typically, the types of buyers getting into the condo market are either first-timers or those who are looking for a second home or vacation property.  Given the political/economic climate in the province it makes sense that those buyers may take a step back from purchasing a condo in Canmore this past year.  

The average sale price for a condo in 2019 was $494,899 which, is up roughly 1/2 a percentage point from $492,612 in 2018.  

Another indicator worth pointing out is the List Price to Sale Price ratio.  In 2018 condos sold for, on average, 98.58% of their list price whereas in 2019 that number was down to 97.79 which, signals a slight decrease in competitiveness in the market making it a good time to buy!

Townhomes

Despite the softening in the market of lower priced properties, townhomes saw no change in the total number sold and in fact, increased their market share to 24% of all Canmore real estate sales.  One possible explanation for this trend is the mortgage regulations that were introduced by the federal government last year.  As a result of stricter borrowing rules, many buyers had to hold off on their purchase in 2018 to save up a larger deposit and it is likely that those buyers were able to go ahead and get into the market in 2019.

The average price of a townhouse rose from $687,680 in 2018 to $705,951in 2019 or, around 2.7%

Half-Duplex

Also known as "Semi-Detached" homes, half-duplexes saw a relatively big increase in popularity and market share in 2019.  Up 10% in the total number sold, many of these are luxury, new construction properties bought as a second home.  While numbers were up, the average sale price was actually down approximately 2.8% which, in my experience, is exactly what investors were holding out for.  After seeing prices rise significantly in the past 3-5 years, and given the current economic conditions, most observers expected the prices of luxury properties to soften somewhat.  In general, the confidence of home builders producing these homes remains high. 

Single Family Homes

As with other higher priced market segments, single family homes saw a slight increase in the total number of units sold in 2019.  89 Canmore homes changed hands on MLS compared to 87 in 2018... a somewhat insignificant increase however with fewer properties selling in total this means that freehold properties accounted for 20% of the total Canmore real estate market.  Average sale price was up 1.9% from $1,138,044 in 2018 to $1,159,475 in 2019.  The average amount of time a home took to sell in 2019 was also up from 77 days on the market in 2018 to 84.  

The Canmore luxury homes market continued to emerge after a strong showing in 2018.  Keeping pace with last year's numbers, 7 properties sold over the $2,000,000 mark and 127 Cairns Landing took top honours with a final sale price of $3,900,000.  The 6200 square foot behemoth shown below was originally listed at $4,500,000 in August of 2018 and spent 171 days on the market.

2020 Canmore Real Estate Forecast:

After seeing the market soften somewhat in 2018 and 2019, some buyers and sellers took a bit of a step back to see how things would play out which, resulted in fewer new listings coming to market as well as less competitive negotiations.  The economic and political landscape in Alberta is starting to show signs of stabilization and in general, many Albertans are cautiously optimistic that the worst is over.  In the neighbouring Calgary real estate market, there is evidence of recovery and although the two markets are not connected, many Calgarians either own real estate in the Bow Valley or they are looking to move here.  The prospect of selling their home in the city has been a daunting task over the past few years but is now becoming a little more optimistic.  

The Canmore real estate market has undergone significant growth in the 5 years prior before starting to level off in 2018, followed by a similar trend in 2019.  Despite the reduction in sales volume, property values still rose, on average, approximately 2% across all property types and is expected to continue doing so.  The days of property values increasing 10% in one year are likely not to return anytime soon but property owners remain very confident and there is a seemingly never-ending demand from buyers for Canmore homes.  Investors and other property owners are going to realize that market growth in Canmore has stabilized to more realistic gains and that 2020 will be just as good a year as any to sell.  Similarly, buyers who were hoping to capitalize on the big year-to-year gains in their property values may be less inclined to buy into the Canmore market.  As a result, we will continue to see the trend from a seller's market to a more balanced, healthy market.  

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2018 Sales by the Numbers: 

BREAKDOWN BY PROPERTY TYPE:

 

2017

2018

Hotel Condo

89

80

Condo

135

128

Townhouse

139

94

Half-Duplex

33

34

Single Family

98

85

Building Lots

11

13

TOTAL

506

435

Hotel Condos

A total of 80 Hotel Condos changed hands on MLS in 2018 accounting for 18.4% of the total resale real estate market which, is an amazing feat given that traditional financing does not apply on these types of properties.  With that in mind, buyers have few options other than using entirely their own funds or a combination of cash plus a line-of-credit.  Very few of these condos are kept as primary residences and are instead used as income properties in what is a clear indication that despite poor economic conditions in the province, confidence remains high in Canmore.  

The lack of new inventory was a common theme throughout the entire year and multiple offer scenarios were to be expected when a hot condo hit the market.  A 2-bedroom unit at the ever-popular Mystic Springs complex came on the market in October and had 4 offers within only a matter of hours.  This article CBC published in June predicted that recreational property values in Canmore would increase 8.9% in 2018 although the number was closer to 15% on units at Blackstone Mountain Lodge.  In 2017 the average sale price of a 2-bedroom condo at the resort was around $404,000 whereas in 2018 the average was more like $471,000.

Condos

Residential, condominium-style properties made up the largest segment of the real estate market in 2018 with 128 condos changing owners - totalling 29.4% of all sales.  When the federal government introduced new mortgage rules last January it quickly became clear that property owners in Canmore would not be immune to the effects.  The increased scrutiny surrounding mortgage financing resulted in a cooling effect at higher price points and increased demand at lower price points. The new rules also meant that many condo owners who would have upgraded to a townhome this year opted to hold off which, resulted in a shortage of condo supply. 

Townhomes

 In 2017, townhomes dominated sales in town whereas 2018 did not yield nearly the same result.  Only 94 townhomes were sold in 2018 compared to 139 in 2017 which, represents a drastic 32% decrease in this segment of the market.  The answer may be a combination of 2 things: the first being the increased attention on the condo market and the second factor being new construction.  In 2017 Distinctive Homes was making a big push on townhome development with their Ledges and Venezie projects.  In 2018 the large developers seemed to focus their attention more on new condo construction and away from the larger multi-family.    

Half-Duplex

Nothing really notable to mention with the "attached" home products.  2018 numbers were right on track with 2017 at 34 and 33 respectively.  

Single Family Homes

Sales of single family homes in Canmore were down 13% in total but the high-end, luxury home market saw a "spike" in activity.  For the first time ever, we had the sale of 2 properties in excess of $4,000,000 with the previous record holder being a mere $3,825,000.  In total, there were 7 luxury homes to sell in 2018 priced above $2,000,000.  Only 6 homes have ever sold for more than $3,000,000 in Canmore's emerging luxury market.  

Building Lots

A couple of very unique land opportunities came on the market in 2018 resulting in some serious dollars changing hands.  The site of the old church located at 7th Avenue and 7th Street in downtown came up for grabs with a price tag of $4.5M.  The MLS listing may have been a mere formality however as the property was then sold for $4.3M later the same day to Distinctive Homes, a local builder with plans for a 140-unit condo development.

The second opportunity was a parcel of 23 acres located close to downtown in South Canmore.  The huge chunk of rare land comes with a catch however: an "urban reserve" designation that prevents the owner from constructing more than one dwelling until the future.  This long-term "hold" property was listed at $3.5M and sold for $3.35M to an unknown buyer.  

YEAR BY YEAR COMPARISON:

2019 CANMORE REAL ESTATE FORECAST:

There are some potentially positive indicators suggesting that Alberta may be entering a period of stronger economic growth.  Our prediction for the 2019 year in Canmore real estate will be continued hot sales of hotel condo and residential condominium properties as well as increased sales of higher priced properties.  By now, buyers who held off in 2018 because of the new mortgage rules may have saved up the additional down payment they required.  Condo owners may now be more likely to sell their properties and move up to a townhome and entry-level buyers may be in a better position to get in to the market.  

As Alberta's economic slowdown endures we may also see the emerging trend of Calgarians selling off their vacation properties and second homes.  Oil industry executives may be starting to feel the squeeze or perhaps the frustration of their Calgary property values and be looking to liquidate some assets.  A correction like this in the market could be helpful in establishing a better equilibrium between buyers and sellers expectations in Canmore.

All in all, positivity, growth and investment will stay at the forefront of real estate in town and a potential boost in new listings could help ease some of the supply issues.  Hotel condos will continue to grow in value because the return on investment from rental revenues still makes them a lucrative opportunity.  For some real estate investors in the city, the idea of simply breaking even on a monthly basis is a novel idea so with hotel-condo properties currently offering returns as high as 10% per year, there is no question there is still room for growth in the value of these condos.  Downward pressure on the price of single family homes will create a bit more equilibrium which, means that this year will be a great time to get a deal in the $750K-$1.3M range.

As always, we are here to help anytime so please do not hesitate to reach out!  All the best in 2019!

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2017 Canmore Real Estate Year in Review

2017 Real Estate News

The Canmore real estate market continued to confidently move forward in 2017 despite less than stellar recovery in other Alberta markets.  Growth across all sectors of the market was steady with the condo market in particular experiencing phenomenal gains in certain areas.  Future development of the community remained one of the hottest topics around town as this onetime coal mining hub grapples with the reality that it is quickly becoming an international recreational tourist destination.  The owners of Silvertip Resort made waves early in the year when they announced a $1Billion proposal for a massive conference centre, casino, hotel and gondola.  The 200,000-300,000 square foot complex would be the largest of its kind in Canada and include a 1300 room hotel and an additional 850 units of employee housing.  While the conference centre portion already has approval, the casino and gondola have not yet been given the green light and an environmental assessment has yet to be completed. 

Also making headlines this year was QuantumPlace Developments and their application to develop the Smith Creek area which, is the land east of Three Sister's Mountain Village and south of Dead Man's Flats.  The proposed development includes a mix of residential housing, retail and commercial and could add up to 4000 new residents to town upon completion of the project.  The development hinges on the creation of protected wildlife corridors through the area which, are subject to approval by Alberta Environment and Parks.  At years' end AEP was still evaluating the wildlife corridor proposal on the basis that they require more information.  For updates on the progress of the wildlife corridor approval click HERE

REAL ESTATE MARKET SUMMARY

Compared to other years, real estate sales in 2017 showed a return to 2013-2014 (pre-recession) numbers at 465 sales across all residential property types - not including new construction.  The graph below gives a historical look at the number of real estate trades per year dating back to 2000.

465 properties changed owners on the Canmore real estate market in 2017 down roughly 9% from 511 in 2016.  A closer look at the recent years' sales figures characterizes 2017 as a bit of a return to normalcy following the 2015-2016 recession during which, the Canmore market saw a bit of a decline, but nothing as significant as other markets like Calgary.  2016 on the other hand, saw the provincial recession endure yet another year, but the amount of real estate sales in Canmore jumped significantly.  This can be attributed to strong demand for real estate in Canmore combined with low interest rates and a weak Canadian dollar.  Savvy investors and international clients were the driving force as buyers looked to capitalize on the opportunity to get in on a booming market.  Most likely, anyone who was able to get into the Canmore market in 2016 has already experienced significant growth in their property's value as prices continued to rise throughout all of 2017. 

Market Trends Per Property Type:

Back in 2008 the composition of property types sold was relatively equal, with 77 condos, 79 townhomes and 65 single family dwellings changing owners.  Hotel-condos were a fairly new concept at the time and not many were trading on the open market... Fast forward to 2012 and you can see that condos and townhomes begin to make up a greater percentage of properties sold.  Densification and rising costs contribute to this trend of "communal living."

Notable Stats:

  1. Average Days on Market: 49.5

  2. Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 97.8% (on average, properties in Canmore sold for 97.8% of their list price in 2017)

  3. Average Home Price (Single Family): $1,182,134

  4. Hottest 'Hoods:

  1. Bow Valley Trail - 109 Properties Sold

  2. Three Sister's Mountain Village - 105 Properties Sold

  3. South Canmore - 43 Properties Sold

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Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.