Real estate activity in the city of Calgary is somewhat different than in other Canadian cities. Calgary’s real estate is heavily influenced by the oil market. However, over the past decade, Calgary’s diversification into other sectors has majorly assisted the growth. A couple of these being manufacturing and a move towards “Green” types of industry.
Current Real Estate Market Activity in The City of Calgary
Calgary lies in the foothills of the magnificent Canadian Rockies. Considered by most people, to be the most progressive city in Canada. The 2011 census shows it is the largest metropolis in Alberta and also the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Canada. The Calgary real estate sector is currently not booming, yet it is very constant. Calgary is a thriving metropolis, not only for energy, transportation, logistics, film, and television but much more as covered below. Calgary hosts many of Canada’s 800 largest corporations and houses the second highest number of corporate offices in the country. These businesses fuel Calgary’s flourishing economy. Perhaps, this is the reason why it holds immense encouragement for the real estate industry.
City of Calgary’s Property Assessments
As far as real estate concerns for Calgary, no one can dispute that it is continuously prospering. So, now the City of Calgary Assessment department has to do their annual comprehensive analysis. This is done by way of inspecting as well as defining property and business activity within the city. Upon achieving this, the city levies the appropriate tax. This tax base now provides all of the essential services to its residents. Also, assessing these values annually may be done for the sole purpose of taxation. However, the value of the property is also somewhat determined in the process. The Municipal Government Act bases itself on measuring, analyzing as well as interpreting the current real estate market.
That is why assessments hold such an integral value when it comes to real estate worth. All property values including houses for sale in Calgary are based on this. July, of the previous calendar year, is when the city completes property assessments. Like in any economics, supply & demand activity helps determine market values of properties and businesses. Based on the infinite appraisal criterion, which is an integral part of setting current values, the model is configured. This value is the estimation of the price an owner would achieve selling their property in the current market conditions.
Disputing Your Real Estate Assessment
As previously mentioned, the assessment date is July of the previous year and is communicated to the property owners the following spring. If the owner does not agree with the City of Calgary’s assessment, they have a 60-day window to dispute it. Home and business owners must prove the assessment inaccuracy by way of showing comparable neighbouring properties that reflect different values. Several factors including sales comparisons, the cost of land, replacement build and depreciation of property are a few, as income generated by the property, location, zoning, size, and development also affect market value. Factors like environment, topography, landscape, may also be important items that affect values. In addition, all properties have varying circumstances that affect their values to arrive at a “Mill rate” calculation. Currently, there are 470,000 taxed properties and businesses within the City of Calgary.
Calgary’s Inner City Real Estate Features
The inner city of Calgary primarily consists of the hub of businesses and high-rise residential units. Calgary has many very defining sectors that are unique:
- The Bow River meanders thru the heart of the city;
- Deerfoot Trail is the main four lanes north/south connector;
- Glenmore Trail is the main east/west connector tying into West Sarcee Trail;
- Glenmore Reservoir (Calgary’s drinking water) is south central of city center;
- The “Ring Road” is a very recent connector that takes you around the edge of the city
City of Calgary Chinooks
Calgary is famous for its Chinooks which are warming winds from the Pacific west that come over and then down the Rockies onto the Calgary plains. These Chinook winds can dramatically change temperatures in a very short period. The most climactic change recorded was in Pincher Creek just south of Calgary in 1962 when the temperature went from -19 to +22 C (-2 to + 72 F). (Forty-one degree Celsius in just one hour!) Many locals are adversely affected by Chinooks and get migraine headaches, aching muscles, etc. Incidentally, one of Calgary’s most famous landmarks is The Chinook Shopping Centre, home to 250 stores and services.
City Real Estate Board Map for Calgary
Latest stats activity tells us Calgary stands at 198 neighbourhoods and it is steadily growing outwards in all four directions. In total, 198 communities/neighbourhoods and 41 industrial areas are the compositions forming Calgary.
Like all major cities, Calgary has a City Centre and Inner City. Both of which are home to diverse communities as indicated by the board map. The more favoured residential neighbourhoods are considered to be the ones in the Inner City (beltline), as these communities are the most evolved areas when it comes to residential real estate. A significant amount of people of all stature and family size prefer Calgary’s beltline, if feasible. However, the price is always a dictating factor and the closer to the city center you get, the higher the prices climb. The demographics in the beltline areas are usually between 20 to 44 years of age. Both, apartment style condos and townhouses are the more sought-after commodity in these areas due to both affordability and lifestyle.
City Life in Calgary
Calgary, even at a glance, appears to be a very livable city as you get to know more facts and history about it. People prefer Calgary more than any other city in Alberta. See below for a list of interesting facts about Calgary life:
- It is the most populous city in Alberta – a metropolitan area of 1.4 million people, according to the latest census.
- It is one of the wealthiest cities in Canada, with a very low unemployment rate. (Notwithstanding the current economic issues with oil)
- Calgary is one of the most livable cities, not only in Canada but also in the world.
Why Calgary tops the charts is not be a mystery. Because Calgary offers the highest wages plus the lowest taxes in Canada and our provincial sales tax (GST) is only 5%, makes for a very appealing quality of life. The proximity to the Rockies and the rivers (Including the Bow with the best fly fishing in the world) presents it as even more attractive to people who desire more than just a great city to live in. The urban areas are extensive and sprawl over a general region. Calgary’s infrastructure and the network of expressways/connectors are commendable. Summers are very comfortable, averaging mid 20’s C.
Attractive infrastructure such as the renowned colleges and (U of C) University of Calgary are a huge attraction for our future talent. Free health care, excellent public transit, (including C-Train) are also very attractive. Unlimited opportunities for work as well makes this such a fabulous place to call home. As it also has the highest percentage of home ownership in the nation, Calgary real estate is a golden investment accompanied by one of the excellent places in Canada to reside.
Calgary Downtown – the center of real estate life
The downtown core of Calgary is infamous for its robust business life and atmosphere. Its economy is developing at an ever-increasing pace. As it is largely influenced by the oil and gas industry, it also depends on its driving engine, downtowns’ commercial hub. Still, the Calgary real estate market is quite independent and strong even when the oil and gas industry is down. If you are about to set up a new business or simply want to live in a busy center full of innovative ideas – this region is for you.
Here you don’t only find entertainment for your intellect (business offices, abundant jobs plus available vacancies) but also an extremely qualified realtor, Ron Christensen, to walk you thru the complete process. There are several options to consider here. Some prefer downtown apartments in Calgary and for some, it will be a downtown condo. Don’t panic; Ron Christensen will put all of his efforts forward to find you just the right downtown condo or apartment in Calgary. If you’re still hesitant about something or have questions – contact Ron Christensen. He will always be there to share his expertise with you on real estate matters.
Calgary Real Estate City Commerce
Calgary is one of those cities in the world that are developing by leaps and bounds. Its driving force is primarily the oil and gas sector. However, the economy is rapidly diversifying into many other areas. Not only the extent but also the scope of Calgary’s diversification is perpetually improving. A few of the new ventures include:
- TV and films
- Transportation and logistics
- Tourism activity
- Real estate development
- Creative industry
Finally, DeBeers Diamonds (The world’s largest producer of diamonds) also recently relocated their head office to Calgary in June 2016. That is just one more indicator and shows how vibrant Calgary is. This is why the City of Calgary is on track to soon become the most livable city in the world.