In terms of the growing real estate market, people who are hoping to invest now may have mixed feelings. For those who already own property, price appreciation might be great, but for those just now looking to get in on high price areas like Toronto, it gets harder every day.
This is not the story everywhere, however. In Calgary, the growth in prices has many investors flocking with high hopes for the market’s bright future.
Despite seeing similar increases in real estate values like the rest of the country, the relatively more affordable price levels and a diversifying city make Calgary an appealing target for investors looking for big potential.
We talked to Mark Verzyl, a top agent in Calgary with over 25 years of industry experience, about why now may be the time to look at Calgary.
Beyond being an agent, Verzyl is an investor himself and he strives to share his experience with others to help them grow wealth through real estate investing.
“I believe in abundance. Sharing my knowledge and expertise will only attract more like-minded individuals. Knowing that some people are playing with their life savings isn’t lost on me, so I want to help people make the best choices possible based on my years of experience,” said Verzyl. “There are massive companies right now that are buying up property like never seen before: single-family homes, high rise, low-rise multifamily. I would much rather see the average Joes of the world get to invest in those properties and later enjoy the fruits of their investments rather than major corporations.”
“It’s a long-term play, I’m not interested in selling someone something just for the sake of making a commission, I’m interested in creating long-term success for our client,” continued Verzyl. “The second thing, just as important or maybe more important, is surrounding myself with smart, amazing people that have different perspectives and expertise. Together, we aren’t just thinking outside the box, we just invent a new box. We have things coming down the pipe for our investors that, even a year ago, we could have never imagined existed or was possible.”
With things going the way they have in recent years, some may be worried that the ship has sailed on real estate investing while others warn of the looming bubble. In Calgary alone, prices have risen 15% in the last year and they continue to go up. However, Verzyl says “it’s never too late” despite the classic adage that “the best time to buy real estate was five years ago.”
He stresses that real estate is a sound investment for the long run. Though many investments may gain in value immediately, others do not. Fortunately, Verzyl highlights the cyclical nature of the real estate market which means that with a smart investment strategy, your investments will show great returns if you give them time to grow.
Speaking of Calgary in particular, Verzyl has seen a lot of interest from out-of-province investors as of late. A few reasons given for this interest include the high costs of areas like Toronto and Vancouver driving buyers away, the ability for cash flow in Calgary, and some of the lowest closing costs in the country. Verzyl also points out, for rental investors, that Calgary has no rent control provisions.
He also highlights how initiatives to diversify the city and attract business investment spell a big future for Calgary. Calgary’s lax stance on taxes makes it particularly inviting to businesses looking to set up shop.
“In the 1980s, oil and gas made up 50% of the GDP, while three years ago, it was less than 27%,” says Verzyl. “The Alberta Government, only 24 months ago, lowered the corporate tax rate to 8%, set up tech “attraction” offices in the U.S. and started to tell the world that Alberta is open for business. Combined with the SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) opening a new campus downtown primarily to educate tech workers and a high vacancy rate in commercial office space, this has made Calgary lethally attractive for business hubs.”
Verzyl also touches on what he calls “the great migration” of people from out of province who are coming to Calgary for it’s housing and job prospects. He claims this migration could lead to more demand for both buyers and renters and will push the market even further beyond its current highs. /p>
“COVID changed everything. You no longer have to be in a one bedroom apartment downtown Vancouver or Toronto, paying obscene rents, or owning at a price tag of $700k, when you could move here, work from home and own a beautiful house for that price. Not to mention your one and a half hour car ride to Banff in the Rocky Mountains, hiking skiing, you name it, Calgary has it.”
Finally, Verzyl gave some tips for investors looking to get into the market soon.
“Most markets are so hot, it’s difficult to get any properties. It’s going to be more of the same, but the twist is, be ready to jump when the opportunities arise. The best thing that investors can do right now is get pre-approved so they know what they can afford and ensure that they have some liquidity to be able to ‘flash the cash’, basically show the seller or developer that they are a solid buyer with their deposit ready to go. The investors that have their ducks in a row are the ones that are going to get the opportunities as things get more heated and competitive for properties.
Interested in investing in Calgary real estate? Get in touch with Mark Verzyl through his website for more information as well as to see local listings and tips for buyers.