Over the past few years, Canada’s cost of living has significantly increased. With the price of housing steadily on the rise and interest rates at all-time highs, affordability is a hot commodity. In Canmore, the average home price has gone up. So much so, that it is now rivaling major Canadian cities like Vancouver and Toronto. Because of this, the city is now looking for ways to tackle housing affordability and availability. In 2023, the Town of Canmore began to outline a housing action plan that would begin to find solutions to the housing crisis. More recently, recommendations were made to the town’s council on January 9th, 2024 about how to move forward. In this article, we will be going over some of the details about what’s to come for Canmore real estate for sale and housing affordability. Follow along below to learn more!
The Present Reality of Canmore Real Estate For Sale
Since the beginning of 2023, residents of Canmore have been grappling with a lack of housing availability and affordability. Locals note that many homes are often vacant during the weekdays. 2021 census data indicated that 26% of homeowners in Canmore did not live there full-time. However, it is difficult to pinpoint just how many part-time residents have homes in the town.
While Canmore has long had the reputation of being a pricey place to settle, many individuals still choose to make it their home. Since 2006, the cost of owning a home in Canmore has gone up 65%. This is about 37% higher than the provincial average. This combined with the fact that more units are termed “tourist homes” than rental apartments, makes the situation even more challenging for permanent residents. In Alberta, the average full-time occupancy rate for housing is 92%. However, in Canmore this figure is substantially lower, sitting at 74%.
According to CBC, “to keep up with population demands by 2030, a consultant calculated Canmore would need 2,156 units for full-time residents and 500 units to accommodate those with second homes in the town”. Evidently, there is much work to be done to meet the demand for housing and create more affordable opportunities for residents.
Given this information, Canmore’s livability task force discussed several ways to help reach these goals.
Potential Solutions to Improve Affordability and Availability of Housing in Canmore
- Removing Tourist Home Designations
Tourism, while important to the town’s economy, has caused an imbalance in the housing market. This phenomenon is not unique to Canmore, as many other provinces have been dealing with similar issues. For example, in British Columbia, new rules surrounding short-term rentals (STRs) have been introduced to create more housing options for locals. In Canmore, removing the tourist home designation would prevent new tourist homes from being approved after a set date. However, existing tourist homes would remain with this designation. Anyone who continues to operate STRs in Canmore after the date would face a commercial tax rate, regardless of whether the home is being used personally.
- Tax Tools to Support Locals
Another potential solution suggested by the tax force included introducing new tax tools to motivate people to live in their homes full-time. This would come in the form of a rebate program and those who do not qualify would face higher taxes. Officials note that higher tax rates would be introduced gradually so that the town can monitor how the real estate market responds.
- Purpose-Built Rental Incentives
Finally, it was suggested that purpose-built rentals receive some kind of incentive to encourage the development of new projects. Purpose-built rentals are properties that are developed with the sole intention of offering each unit as a rental home. This sort of housing has become increasingly popular in recent years as more young people look to find flexible housing options. One of the proposed incentives was a grant or tax relief program that would exempt new purpose-built rentals from 75% of municipal residential property taxes for 10 years. However, this will come with some conditions.
Get in Touch Today!
If you are planning on buying or selling Canmore real estate for sale, get in touch today! We are happy to help you achieve this year’s real estate goals.
Canmore is an incredible area to own a property. Reach out to Alpine Realty today! Learn more about all of the amazing opportunities that come with living in real estate in Canmore. For more information, feel free to message us with any questions or concerns about living in this amazing town. Be sure to check back next month for more real estate-related content!
We look forward to working with you soon!