We talked about the latest trends in Calgary real estate with two of the city’s top agents – Amie Hautz and Bob Hearn, of RiverLife Real Estate. In the unique context of Calgary’s market, this experienced team covers all the bases, from Millennials’ expectations for their homes, to predictions about average home prices in the next few years.
What do you love most about your job?
Every day is different! We deal with a wide variety of people with unique tastes, goals, situations, personalities and backgrounds. Our job is a combination of relationship building, market research and top-notch customer service. It gives us many different tasks to tackle in any given week. Our clients are generally making a positive move forward in life, so they are pretty excited about buying or selling! That keeps us motivated too.
In a few words, what is the profile of the Calgary home buyer?
Most buyers in today’s market are very informed, discerning and patient, though willing to jump on the right deal when it comes up. We have a young, vibrant city, which translates into lots of demand for a wide variety of housing. This includes single-family and multi-family homes around the inner-city and anywhere with good transit routes downtown.
Here’s what we at Point2 Homes found in our latest study on the Canadian home buyer profile. Click to learn more!
Have you noticed a growing interest for any particular neighbourhood?
Inner-city communities that have a mix of older homes with mature trees and newer modern development continue to be in high demand. Many Calgarians still work in the downtown core and want to avoid long commutes. They also want to live close to great restaurants and shops as well as river pathways, parks and their friends!
Trendy neighbourhoods such as Inglewood, Ramsay, Bridgeland, Sunnyside, Mission and East Village are all hot spots for younger buyers. However, there is also a lot of interest in some newer suburbs, especially those with a community lake.
Currently prices in Calgary are on a descending trend. Where do you think the average home price will be in 2020?
Many market segments in Calgary are actually sitting in a balanced market, though different areas and property types have fared differently through the recession. Apartment-style condos have been hit the hardest, with significant price drops and high levels of inventory. However, detached houses continue to show strength and stability throughout the city.
So much of our real estate trends depend on the job market in Calgary, which is directly affected by oil prices. There is some optimism looking forward into 2017 and we hope to see small, incremental growth in house prices over the next four years.
Have you spotted any trends in Millennials’ attitudes toward home ownership?
Although Millennials are very mobile, with many having studied or worked in other cities in the world, they are smart enough to know that it doesn’t make sense to keep paying rent forever. Home ownership is a goal for many younger people, though it may not be the detached home with white picket fence that their parents bought.
Younger buyers are embracing the low-maintenance lifestyle that condos offer. They may also consider a house with a secondary suite, that they can rent out for additional income. Millennials also want it all! So it can be a bit of a process educating them about what is available and realistic for them.
What’s the most important piece of advice for first-time home buyers?
Have a great team working with and for you. This includes a good real estate agent, mortgage broker, property inspector, condo document reviewer and lawyer. These professionals work behind the scenes to make sure everything goes smoothly. They help you be as informed as possible so you can make your decisions with confidence.
Looking to take the plunge into buying real estate? Here are 6 tips for buying your first home.
Try to get a referral to a great REALTOR from someone you trust. If you don’t feel they are truly acting in your best interests, find another one! There are a lot of us out there, so you need to find someone that is the right fit for you!