The Calgary real estate market is one of the hottest in Canada, struggling to keep up with the city’s economy. The vacancy rate is less than 2% and rents are raised at every opportunity. Housing prices are high, with the average price for a single-family detached home at $556,402. What follows is a brief overview of what you can buy with how much.
It must be strange for American personal finance bloggers to see what the house prices are in Canada (bloggers that don’t live in expensive American cities, that is) because in the US PF world, home ownership is one of the single best shortcuts to wealth building. Up north, it’s a much bigger pain in the ass, and if not approached with caution and executed correctly, the damage to your net worth might take decades to fix.
The Calgary Real Estate Market
When I searched Calgary on the MLS.ca website, it returned 4,679 listings. At first glance, that might seem like a decent number, but for a city with population of 1.2 million and ever-growing, it’s insufficient — especially when you consider what the first few listings are:
$0 to $250,000
No, seriously. For $10K you can buy a delightful little home & garage.. but you have to remove it from the lot (at your own cost). This is a mobile home you need to pick up & move, because you can’t have the land its on.
The first non-trailer is priced at $119,000 for a one-bedroom apartment in the middle of nowhere. It’s a little bit shady,
FYI: I had to click through to $160,000+ just to get out of the trailers and mobile homes.
Top of the price range $249,900 will get you a 1 bedroom condo near the centre of the city or a 2 bedroom townhouse in suburbia, your choice.
623 sq ft for 1 bedroom, 1 bath NOT on the ground floor in Sunnyside, a nice neighbourhood accessible by train and where you’re unlikely to be murdered. Not too shabby. And you only pay $387/mo in condo fees. Woohoo!
$500,000 – $750,000
$500,000 will buy you this gorgeous 990 sq ft 19th floor condo in Calgary’s downtown…
For $750,000 you can buy a 1.5 storey 1,600 sq ft “character home” in Sunalta
While I love what they’ve done with the kitchen you’ll probably have to replace those front steps!
For a cool million you can get this uber modern house of glass inside the city:
1,824 sq ft four bedroom and 4 bathrooms. Spacious and gorgeous, but a little too pristine for my tastes.
While the Calgary real estate market isn’t as terrifying as that of Toronto or Vancouver, it’s not exactly welcoming. Finding an affordable home that isn’t in total disrepair and still reasonably within city limits is a challenge. However, while we all balk at the high housing prices here, most people earn enough money to make purchasing houses at these high prices a reality.
The median household income in Calgary is the highest in the country at $98,300 — this means essentially half of the city’s households gross six-figures.
This is almost $25,000 higher than the national average and $40,000 higher than the median household income in the USA
Calgarians are rich.
I didn’t find any surprises in my real estate search, except maybe that trailer parks are a real thing. Right now, the Calgary real estate market is too hot for me to handle, but I’m hoping it cools off a bit soon.
REAL ESTATE COMPARISON IN OTHER CITIES
- Save. Spend. Splurge.: Montreal
- Urban Departures: Toronto
- Financial Diffraction: Halifax
- Money after Graduation: Calgary
- Frugal Portland: Portland
- Broke and Beautiful: New York
- Michelle of Shop my Closet: Denver
- Paul of Don’t Quit your Day Job: Silicon Valley / South Bay Area
- Red Debted Stepchild: Bergen County, NJ
- NZ Muse: Auckland, NZ