June 14 2022

How will Calgary’s tech boom affect the real estate market?

This article was originally posted by Bōde Canada.

Calgary has what it takes to be a North American tech hub benefitting Calgarians with a thriving tech ecosystem, work opportunities, international investment and an active real estate market.

Our deep ties to the oil and gas and agricultural sectors remain important, but it is exciting to see tech companies and head offices locating here, paving the way towards a fully sustainable, modern economy.

During the first quarter of this year, Alberta-based tech companies raised $205.6 million, which represents a 212 percent increase in investment from the fourth quarter of 2021, and a 26 percent increase year-over-year. (Source: Betakit) We also have the fastest-growing tech resource base of all cities in North America.

Interprovincial migration

So, what does all of this mean for the housing market? So far this year, 50,000 people have moved to our province. At Bōde, our real estate platform recorded a 40% increase in Ontario buyer traffic. We also had many inquiries from Vancouver-based buyers looking to relocate.

As a born and raised Calgarian that has lived and travelled extensively abroad, I truly appreciate our city and am not surprised about how much we have grown in the past 30 years. We are close to the mountains, have a strong business community, several professional sports teams, the Calgary Stampede, an amazing local culinary scene and, given these attributes, a very affordable housing market.

Considering the average apartment in Vancouver and Toronto is $150,000 more than the average detached home in Calgary, our city is an attractive place to purchase a home that can grow meaningfully in value over time.

Urban versus rural

We learned a lot through Covid, and one of them is that we want to love our homes. Some of us figured out that we need a dedicated home office space, others discovered they no longer need to be downtown at a corporate office when Zoom and reliable internet will do.

Historically, the value of location consisted of two primary elements, proximity to work and access to amenities. Now that our work and home life have melded together, for many, location drops down on the priority list. For years, we’ve seen a segment of the population choose rural life in Springbank, Airdrie and Cochrane - that 20-30 minute commute to downtown was worth the views and more relaxed pace of life. But, as companies switch to work-from-home arrangements either long-term or permanently, for some, that commute may become a thing of the past. Post-pandemic home buyers seem to care much less about the distance from the downtown core.

Consider the stark difference between Apartments and Detached Homes in Calgary illustrating buyer behavioural change:

Hot or cold? How to get an accurate temperature of the market

We see and hear headlines in the media about a seller’s market versus a buyer’s market or a hot versus cold market. Remember, the media speaks in generalities and there’s so much more to know about your specific house and neighbourhood. For example, while things can be slow in the downtown core the market may be booming in other communities in or surrounding Calgary:

Cochrane pricing over the past 5 years:

Downtown pricing over the past 5 years:

At Bōde, we are passionate about democratizing the most advanced community, sold and comparable data for all Canadians, for free. This will help you get an accurate ‘temperature ’on your market and gain full confidence not only in tracking the value of your home but in your pricing and negotiating strategy.

Check out our market and sold data dashboards here.

Robert Price
CEO of Bōde Canada