Homebuyers ramp up competition in Calgary

The rise of first-time homebuyers is increasing competition for established investors in Calgary as the continuous influx of inward migration and healthy job growth turns renters in the city into homeowners.

“A lot of the people who have been here for a few years have stepped up and decided to buy their own property,” says Jason N. Bagorio, owner of Bagorio Corporation. “It’s harder to compete with them and, of course, there is a lot of multiple bidding.”

Alberta’s population has risen 22.5 per cent in the past decade, while job growth grew 1.7 per cent in 2013, according to CREW’s 2015 Property Forecast.

Elliot Steele moved from Ottawa to Calgary for a job in the technology sector in 2008, but soon became tired of paying someone else’s mortgage month after month. He opted instead to jump into the thriving real estate market, co-investing in a four-bedroom house in Calgary’s downtown.

He adds: “We bought it because we didn’t want to rent and we wanted to get a good investment going.”

The property, which is just nine blocks from downtown, will pay out at least six figures if Steele and his investment partner decide to sell it.

“It’s a smart move, given that [these investors] don’t know how well their life is going to be here in Alberta. Having that experience of a few years, they might decide to buy their own property,” says Bagorio.

“With the money they’re making, it’s still affordable, and with the interest rates we’ve been getting the past two years, prices are fairly low.”

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