The Latest RE/MAX 2021 RECREATIONAL PROPERTY REPORT published at the end of last month is very upbeat about the Canmore housing market. I would not elaborate on what is causing this sharp price spike, but while the trend started before the COVID-19, it recently accelerated and will continue at least till the rest of this calendar year.
Here is the full quote from the REPORT (I have highlighted what I believe is most interesting in yellow):
"A majority of Western Canada’s recreational markets are sellers’ markets, including Whistler, Shuswap, Canmore, Tofino, Ucluelet, Central Okanagan and Interlake Region of Manitoba. Most regions are seeing multiple offer scenarios, driving prices up for most property types. With work-from-home conditions, demand has spiked and prices of non-waterfront properties in Canmore have increased by 26 percent since 2019."
"Canmore, AB is currently a sellers’ market, the increased demand and low inventory are putting upward pressure on property prices in the region. Strong price growth is anticipated for the remainder of the year. Albertans and out-of-province buyers (mostly from Ontario) are driving market activity, these buyers are looking for a recreational lifestyle to balance out their current work lifestyle. Work from home allowances, retirement plans, and a secondary residence for recreational use are the top three reasons that buyers are looking to purchase in Canmore. Buyers are attracted to the region due to its location in the Rocky Mountains, for its proximity to both provincial and national parks, and the closest major city and international airport are just one hour away. The average sale price for non-waterfront properties is projected to increase by 20 percent, and a 15 percent increase in the sale price is projected for condos."
I believe that the following event accelerated the price increase:
At the end of May, The Town of Canmore council (vote 6-1) listened to the majority of people to shut down the development by TSMV of Stewart Creek and Smith Creek. While I understand why most of the people were backing the cancelation of those projects, but I also believe that most of the people did not understand and anticipated the side effect: Price escalation with the gap between rich and poor growing, young families seeking affordable housing being priced faster and faster. I respect the vote, but I agree with our Mayor John Borrowman who said :
“I saw this as an opportunity to bring some balance to our community. Now that balance will continue to be uncertain, until some future time."
Only the future will tell if this decision, made in a highly polarized environment will bring more good than bad. I honestly do not have any opinion regarding this development but I bet that the impact on prices is being felt already now.
Photo by Three Sisters Mountain Village