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February 17th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 7
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Crowsnest Pass Real Estate
Rick's Corner
JOHN PUNDYK
Feature Writer
Our real estate market is chugging along while the rest of Alberta is in major decline. How can this be?

One of the most important reasons giving our current market its strength today is the fact that after the 2008 financial crisis, most other Alberta markets soared, while our market only moved gradually.

Also, southern Alberta’s economy is a little different from the rest of the province because of its reliance on agriculture, and this sector was able to weather the assault on the energy sector relatively well.

When the price of oil started collapsing last year, the rug was pulled from under the real estate market in areas of the province which rely chiefly on the energy business. But despite these market retractions, the price of homes up north are still significantly higher than here in the south.

The Crowsnest Pass average house price in 2015 was $227,500 while in Fort McMurray, even after the latest correction, the average price was, at the end of December $563,821. Calgary’s average price was $451,297.
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Canmore, on the other hand, finished 2015 with an average price for a single family home in the astronomical area of $943,644. The median price for these homes was an astounding $840,000. A townhome in Canmore finished the year at an average price of $567,237. These prices are not affordable to most Albertans.

So what does all of this mean for us here in the Crowsnest Pass? In a nutshell, our real estate is very affordable. For many years now, I have argued that we are not Canmore and are unlikely to ever experience a market like that. And this is a good thing.

We are both a bedroom community to the Elk Valley mines, as well as, a beautiful Rocky Mountain town with its own unique character.

We have a vibrant community of outdoor enthusiasts of every kind. Whether someone is looking for a place to run a modified sled up a mountain, or find a peaceful trail for some backcountry snowshoeing there seems to be no shortage of outdoor adventures.

In addition, we have a vibrant arts scene that is starting to attract outside attention and a lively music community, which includes the oldest teaching symphony orchestras in Canada. How many small communities can say this?

In short, our real estate is resilient because it’s affordable and it’s a great place to live.
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February 17th ~ Vol. 85 No. 7
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