2013 a record year for Okotoks real estate
Okotoks: Market expected to tighten in 2014
Friday, Jan 17, 2014 11:18 am
Okotoks’ real estate market turned white hot in 2013 marking a new record for the number of homes sold.
The market is now looking to tighten in 2014, with the potential for higher prices and a squeeze on supply.
The Calgary Real Estate Board reported 547 houses, townhomes and condos were sold in Okotoks in 2013, a record slightly exceeding the last boom nearly seven years ago.
“You’ve actually surpassed sales activity that you saw during that peak period of 2006-2007, not by much but those are the types of sales activities that you saw this year in Okotoks,” said Anne-Marie Laurie, chief economist for the Calgary Real Estate Board.
As sales reached new highs, she said the supply of homes listed for sale dropped over the last six months of 2013, driving prices upward.
The number of single-family homes sold in Okotoks rose 12.8 per cent in 2013, as did the average price, which rose to $438,664, from $415,414 in 2012. The condo market was also up.
Sales of townhomes jumped significantly, with 67 townhomes sold in Okotoks in 2013, up 71.8 per cent over 2012. The average price of a townhome also rose to $365,247 in 2013, up from $282,661. The number of apartment-style condos sold in Okotoks rose by 39.3 per cent, while listings were down by 13.5 per cent.
Okotoks is joining Airdrie, Cochrane and other communities outside Calgary where real estate markets are benefiting from lower housing prices, compared to the city.
“Generally what we see in surrounding towns is the demand will continue to improve,” said Laurie.
Okotoks realtor Sandi Kennedy said she expects the Okotoks real estate market will continue to tighten and people could expect to see multiple offers being made on homes in Okotoks
“All indications are pointing to what happened in 2006-2007 will happen again,” she said.
Kennedy said the only control on prices could be what mortgage companies will be willing to provide and whether people will be able to get approved for higher mortgages.
She said she doesn’t expect the market to ease up in town any time soon, not only due to a low number of homes for sale, but a dwindling supply of land for new development in town.
Kennedy estimated the situation could last for as long as two years until the Town is able to solve its water problems and annex more land from the MD of Foothills for development.
Kennedy advised anyone shopping for a home in Okotoks to be diligent and prepared.
“The should have their mortgage organized and if they have to have any business data organized in order for them to qualify, they should have that done before they go look,” she said.
The potential for rising prices was on the mind of one Okotoks resident when he bought a new home in town last year.
Okotoks resident Zack Chorney said he wanted to buy a home while the prices were still lower.
“I already noticed when I went on my builders’ website that the home that I’m building is $32,000 more now, and that’s from last September,” he said.
Chorney said he still would’ve been able to buy a home if he didn’t buy when he did, but he would’ve had to made to do with less. He sold a condo in Okotoks this year and bought a new home. He said he wanted to stay in Okotoks, and it cost him much less to buy in town than Calgary.