Alberta housing prices are starting to climb, and certain cities in the province have been on a booming upswing for the past several years. While the boost has been great for builders and developers, it’s left some people looking for Calgary mortgages or Edmonton mortgages looking for different options. The problem is, just as in other major cities across Canada, the increase in housing prices has left many unable to afford it. So what they can do? Well, those who were thinking of living in Calgary can move to Airdrie – where housing starts are up, and prices are much lower than in the big city of Calgary.
Airdrie is a city that lies about twenty minutes outside of Calgary and they may have had one of the biggest housing starts percentage at the beginning of the year. Total housing starts in Airdrie were up 96 per cent compared to 2011, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. A total of 460 residential starts broke ground so far in 2012, compared with just 235 last year.
At the beginning of the year, Airdrie also saw construction starts on 145 apartment units, compared with the stat of zero that were started last year during the same time. Another multi-family housing sector, town homes, also saw a large jump with 68 town house starts happening this year, compared to 26 last year. Single-family housing may not have done as well as multi-family, but with 229 starts this year compared to 187 in 2011, it’s clear that every area of Airdrie housing is on the rise.
That’s not to say that neighbouring Calgary isn’t doing just as well, if not better – starts in Calgary were up 207 per cent compared to 2011. But along with the increase of starts also comes the increase in prices, and Calgary’s home prices are still considerably higher than those of Airdrie’s.
CMHC senior analyst, Richard Cho, gives a few reasons why people are start to look at Airdrie as an alternative to Calgary. “Although most of the economic activity in the Calgary CMA is within the City of Calgary, the areas outside of city limits, such as Aidrie, are also benefiting,” he says. “Airdrie has many of the same amenities you would find in larger cities, home prices are generally lower compared to Calgary, and it is still close enough to Calgary to make the commute on a regular basis.”