Canmore’s housing market is experiencing a spike in prices, with one Realtor attributing much of it to a COVID state of mind.
A report from Re/Max looking into recreational property prices across Canada shows the average price of non-waterfront properties in the community west of Calgary have increased by 26 per cent between 2019 and 2021, up to an average of $1,360,594 from $1,082,930. The report predicts a 20 per cent increase on such locations throughout the rest of the calendar year.
Meanwhile, Canmore condos have seen an eight per cent increase over the same three-year period with a predicted 15 per cent jump for the rest of 2021.
Karen Fawcett, a Realtor who works in the community, says a big factor in that jump has been COVID-19. She said people living in larger Canadian cities such as Calgary have decided they no longer want to live in large urban centres as life continues to operate heavily online.
“People are now taking advantage of the fact that they don’t have to go to work five days a week, and going forward, that may be more of the norm,” said Fawcett. “That makes Canmore incredibly attractive.”
While the market is hot in Canmore, it is not a unique situation. The recreational property Re/Max report shows Whistler, B.C., a mountain town outside of Vancouver with a similar population to Canmore, has seen a 29 per cent price increase since 2019 for chalets and a 34 per cent increase in duplexes and townhouses.
Waterfront recreational properties in B.C.’s central Okanagan region have seen a 25 per cent increase with an expected four per cent increase for the remainder of the year.
Back in Canmore, Fawcett said other factors influencing the market are a low number of homes being on the market, currently 88 properties listed, and low interest rates. She said that in the Alberta mountain town, homes are continuing to sell at a rapid pace despite the increased cost.
Fawcett noted the average amount of time a home listed between $1 million and $2.5 million in May 2020 was 53 days. By May 2021, that time frame shrank to 16 days.
“In the last 30 days, in the last month, in Canmore there have been 75 homes sold,” said Fawcett on Saturday. “I mean it’s unbelievable, really, what’s going on in Canmore right now.”
She said there was a home in the town that sold in one day for over $1-million after a bidding war took place. She noted that the fast turnaround time meant it was sold without conditions.
Moving forward, Fawcett said it will be interesting to see how the market reacts as COVID-19 restrictions loosen and people want to attend festivals and sporting events that are only available in larger centres. She also noted there continues to be international interest in the market which could see a further boom as borders reopen.