Calgary, Alberta Real Estate & Houses for Sale
Calgary, AB Real Estate Market & Guide
Although Calgary is not Alberta’s capital, it is the province’s most populous city, with 1.2 million people in the metropolitan area. It is one of the wealthiest cities in Canada, and its unique geographical location places it over a kilometre above sea level. It is far enough north to enjoy long summer days, however, you’ll also see long winter nights. Thanks to its wealth, Calgary enjoys a competitive real estate market with buyers vying for the most desirable homes close to the amenities found in the city centre.
Calgary made its mark when it hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1988. Since that time, it has risen in profile as a leader in economic growth, while also becoming one of the prettiest cities in Canada. Its skyline offers a scenic view with a nice mix of city buildings including the architecturally appealing building, the Bow.
Calgary has more footbridges than any other city in the world, which adds to its charm. There is over 16 kilometres of interconnected bridges linking the city’s buildings, providing an interesting way for locals and tourists to get around.
The city tends to rank high for quality of living and was also ranked the cleanest city in the world. One of its best attractions is the Bow River that offers extensive paths and bike trails keeping city dwellers close to nature when they need to de-stress. Although not quite as arts intense as cities like Vancouver and Toronto, it is growing in its own rights when it comes to performing arts, shopping and dining.
The Calgary Lifestyle
Living in Calgary tends to be more laid back considering its size and population. There is always something to do in the city with plenty of choices for foodies to indulge in excellent dining options as well as bars and pubs to meet with friends.
Multiple performing arts centers and museums are available while shopping is becoming a favourite past time in this wealthy city. Of course, the city is best known for its annual Calgary Stampede. The 10-day festival gives visitors a taste for the old West lifestyle right down to rodeo competitions and real cowgirls and cowboys wandering the grounds and events.
The parkland along the Bow River and a short drive to the Rockies both offer easy access to outdoor activities. Calgary is also home to the NHL Flames and CFL Stampeders to meet the needs of avid sports fans.
The Calgary Economy
Calgary’s economy is growing fast thanks to a yearly increase in job openings across a number of industries including finance, gas and oil. The city has also attracted an impressive number of entrepreneurs and small businesses, which is helping keep unemployment at record lows. Adding to the city’s reputation for wealth Calgary enjoys a high average household income, as well as an exceptionally high GDP per capita.
Oil and gas has long been a mainstay for Calgary, but in the past decade, it has contributed less and less to the city’s GDP. Instead, retail sales, business, health, and transportation are all contributing to Calgary’s stable economy. As long as employment remains strong, consumer confidence stands a good chance of keeping the economy healthy.
Calgary is divided into quadrants each containing its own little neighbourhoods. Northwest Calgary is known for its 1950s homes but also has a high concentration of condominiums and apartments. However, there is also an extravagant selection of mansions that come with seven-figure price tags. Neighbourhoods include Greenview, Hawkwood, Varsity, and Sherwood. Varsity might be the most desirable neighbourhood as it offers everything people of all ages desire including an easy drive and being right on the C-train route.
In the Northeast, there are many family-friendly amenities such as a zoo, bowling and skating rinks with popular neighbourhoods that include Taradale, Coventry Hills, and Whitehorn. This is also an area with higher-end detached homes with a more modern design.
Southwest and Southeast Calgary are located downtown and offer many perks, especially for young up and comers who want to work and live in the city. Signal Hill is steeped in history and is ideal for those looking for a little more of the arts while the "downtown" is pulsing with life, shopping and the best bars and restaurants.
The hip crowd tends to reside in Beltline where intellectuals shop at cool bookstores and also find the trendiest clubs. Crescent Heights is known for its city and Bow River views, while Brentwood has a strong sense of community making it very popular for those seeking family homes.
The province’s highest-ranked elementary schools K-8 are found in Calgary based on advanced education opportunities, standardized testing, and quality of education. The schools are rated by students and parents, which makes them more relevant. Post-secondary institutions include the University of Calgary known for its outstanding IT department.
Getting Around Calgary
Calgary’s C Train is a light railway system that runs from select suburbs into downtown Calgary. It is powered by electricity generated by windfarms making it not only very eco-friendly but also a very unique way to get around town. It is actually free for stops in downtown Calgary. However, driving still seems to be the most popular choice for Calgarians.
Calgary Real Estate Market
The Calgary housing market has been quite sluggish, especially when compared to other cities like Toronto and Vancouver. There was a 2.2 percent decline in the average price of new homes and resale housing prices are also falling. The city is seeing the slowest year in 23 years.
Construction of new homes has also seen a 15.8 percent decline from year over year housing starts for detached single-family homes. Experts feel the decline in new homes is due to a high inventory of new homes still sitting on the market.
Calgary is one of those cities that maintains a small-town feel despite its growing sophistication. If you would like more information on living in Calgary, speak to one of our experts today.