Housing

House Prices are a Fraction of the Price of Calgary Region Housing


You’ve found a job or you are independently employed and want to move to the Region. You’re in luck….affordable housing prices are a key competitive advantage for the Region. Prices are a very low compared to the Calgary Region. This being said, it’s important to note that selection can be scarce in a Region where there is low turnover, a low number of annual re-sales, and low construction rates. Housing choice can be limited, with the majority of urban communities in the Region consisting of single family dwellings with very modest multi-family, rental, or senior’s housing options. Contact a realtor early in your relocation process to benefit from the longest possible lead time.

All forms of housing are within reach of average family income in the Alberta SouthWest region.

Based on house resale prices in 2010, housing prices in urban communities in Alberta SouthWest are:
  • 68% lower than City of Calgary average
  • 64% lower than total Calgary Region average
  • 59% lower than Calgary Region satellite community average
Based on house resale prices in 2010, housing prices in rural districts in Alberta SouthWest are:
  • 72% lower than Calgary region country residential

Year City of Calgary Calgary Region Communities Total Calgary Region Alberta Southwest
2008  $460,327 $375,024 $417,003  
2009  $442,327 $352,704 $396,657  
2010 $461,144 $359,327 $410,470 $146,673
2012  $445,033 $372,908    
2013 $462,045 $392,969    



*City of Calgary values are for a single family house. All other values include all forms of detached single family, condo, and multi-family housing.
** Alberta SouthWest are an average price of sales recorded in 8 urban communities within the SouthWest Region in 2010.

Residential Resales 2010

Community # Sales Average Sale Price
Claresholm  47  $188,340
Crowsnest  60  $206,569
Pincher Creek  1  $237,000
Stavely  7  $146,785
Granum  2  $74,750
Glenwood  2  $136,940
Hill Spring  1  $63,000
Cardston  1  $120,000
Cardston County  27  $193,844
M.D. Pincher Creek  40  $232,185
M.D. Willow Creek  24  $210,786
Source: Lethbridge and District Association of Realtors (Cardston County, M.D. Pincher Creek, M.D. Willow Creek, Municipality of Crowsnest Pass) to end of October, 2010
Note: CREP reports no sales for the Town of Fort Macleod for each of 2009 and 2010

House Prices are Very Affordable Compared to Canada

The price to income ratio is the basic affordability measure for housing in a given area. It is generally the ratio of median house prices to median familial disposable incomes, expressed as a percentage or as years of income. This ratio is a basic component of mortgage lending decisions.

Housing in Alberta SouthWest is very affordable compared to Canada’s cities, and international cities.

   
 Average house price in Region (2010)  $146,673
 Average median income in Region (2005 - last year available)  $55,658
 Price x Income  2.6

It is fair to assume the Region has made modest gains income since 2005, making the price to income ratio even more favourable for Alberta SouthWest communities.

Based on 2006 data (latest comparative available – Census Canada), home ownership costs (mortgage, utilities, taxes, etc) in Alberta SouthWest communities are 48% lower than Calgary CMA, and 39% lower than Alberta averages.

Median Monthly Payments for Owner Occupied Dwellings (2006)  
 Cardston  $535
 Fort Macleod  $551
 Pincher Creek  $536
 Crowsnest Pass  $529
 Claresholm  $600
   
 Calgary CMA  $1191
 Alberta  $1016

Some Details to Consider in Financing your Home
  • Housing affordability has improved in Alberta since 2007, and now falls within Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation requirements for a Debt Service Ratio among lenders ranging between 32% and 40% depending on what expenses are used in their formulae.
  • If you have to get a mortgage of greater than 80% of the sale price, then you pay considerably more for insurance premiums and risk fees. Your lender may require 25% down instead of only 20% to qualify for a "conventional mortgage". Check your local market area.
  • Lenders will also want to include Strata Fees, Utilities and additional Debt Payments to your total monthly payment calculation. Check your local market area.
  • Lenders typically calculate your gross (pre-tax) monthly household income required before a they will approve your mortgage using a Total Debt Service Ratio (TDSR) of 36%. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) states that the Debt Service Ratio among lenders, ranges between 32% and 40% depending on what expenses are used in their formulae.

Some Helpful Links

  • A mortgage calculator provides additional detail about bank lending requirements and limits, and monthly gross income needed to mortgage a sliding scale of housing prices.
  • MLS listing of properties currently listed for sale in the Alberta SouthWest Region
  • Real estate office search (type community name)
  • CMHC mortgage information
  • If you are new to the country, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Newcomer’s Guide to Canadian Housing is an excellent resource.

New Communities

The larger urban communities (Claresholm, Cardston, Pincher Creek, Crowsnest Pass, Granum, Fort Macleod) may have new housing construction. Contact the municipality directly to inquire.

Renting a Home

There is limited rental housing in the Region. What is available will be located in the largest communities in the Region: Cardston, Pincher Creek, Claresholm, Fort Macleod, and Crowsnest Pass.

Based on 2006 data (latest comparative available – Census Canada), rental costs (rent + utilities) in Alberta SouthWest communities are 39% lower than Calgary CMA, and 33% lower than Alberta averages.

Median Monthly Payments for Rented Dwellings (2006)  
 Cardston  $303
 Fort Macleod  $601
 Pincher Creek  $635
 Crowsnest Pass  $608
 Claresholm  $529
   
 Calgary CMA  $826
 Alberta  $754

Rental Listings