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Will Calgary’s MDP Push House Prices through the Roof?

Intensification or urbanisation is the latest trend in urban planning. Decaying urban centres in cities like Vancouver and Toronto are being redeveloped and revitalized to combine commercial and new residential spaces to reduce urban sprawl and provide more affordable multifamily housing. Intensification helps to minimize a city’s carbon footprint by using less land and reducing peoples’ reliance on the family car to run errands, go to work, or to school.

In 2009, the City of Calgary adopted a Municipal Development Plan (MDP) that specifies that for the next 60 years, one half of all of Calgary’s development must take place within the confines of the city’s 2005 footprint. Intensification is coming to Calgary in a big way.

When demand exceeds supply, house prices naturally increase as has been demonstrated dramatically in cities like Vancouver. Calgary has one of the fastest growing populations in Canada – 4.3% per year. Calgary, along with Edmonton, also has the youngest population in Canada and also the lowest rental vacancy rate at just 1% in 2013. Younger families and recent immigrants tend to be drawn to detached homes with land in the suburbs. Under Calgary’s MDP, detached houses with a yard away from the city center will become an increasingly hot commodity and prices are likely to be driven upwards. The same thing has happened in Vancouver and Toronto over the past decade.

Given Calgary’s population growth, it’s possible that at some point in the future Calgary City Council will have no choice but to amend the MDP to create a balanced approach to intensification and expansion. Until that happens, it’s likely that land and house prices will continue to increase. How high will they go – it’s anyone’s guess. Detached homes in Vancouver and Toronto now top $1 million. Will the same thing happen in Calgary? Perhaps the better question is “when will it happen?”

If you’re interested in buying or selling real estate in Calgary’s hot housing market, contact Patrick Murray Luxury Homes.