With the busy Spring real estate market just around the corner, the dream of home ownership on acreages in Calgary and area is becoming increasingly more popular for homebuyers.
It is a trend that many areas of the country have been experiencing in recent years but the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the desire for privacy and for country living with close proximity to the big city.
“COVID-19 has influenced not just the way we live but where we live,” said Ruth Alexander, a realtor with the RARE Group with Coldwell Banker Mountain Central in Calgary. “The way we live has changed in the sense that social distancing has made it now perfectly, normal, natural to work from home for many.
“And for many Canadian cities, their centres are suffering for real estate because people are so much happier not to be doing those commutes, even though we might miss elements of it for sure . . . Now with technology and people becoming comfortable with it, and it’s been normalized, it’s a huge relief and a big time saver. I think it’s going to change the way people work permanently even if COVID goes away.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the dream of home ownership on an acreage an even bigger desire and want today.
“I think each and every one of us has this idea of this ultimate home where you have space. Land has always been cherished as a great investment. But because COVID has pushed those discomfort levels of being close to people, I think people are now thinking ‘you know what, I’ve always wanted to have a bigger house or a bigger piece of property and since I can’t socialize as much anymore and I don’t want to be near people’ and realizing also that life is short and things can change in an instant, people’s inhibitions of taking risks are lessened,” said Alexander.
“We want to break out and part of breaking out sometimes is going for that dream. Building that dream home. Not adhering to that cookie cutter closeness. They want to be away from people is the fuel but also the tranquility and a big thing is a feeling of safety. You have a feeling of safety when you’re a little less in a congested area.”
The beauty of the Calgary area is that it has many different places where beautiful acreages can be found. From Springbank to Bearspaw to Dewinton. Unlike Toronto and Vancouver, acreages in Calgary are valued because of their close proximity to the city and to the heart of the city.
“I have a lot of inquiries about the Dewinton area in particular because it’s so close to the city. It has the Stoney Trail and now with the new Ring Road, areas a little outside the city from Elbow Valley all the way to Bragg Creek are a lot more attainable without all that congestion of traffic getting in and out of the city,” said Alexander.
For example, the successful and popular realtor, who currently has a number of listings in this segment of the market, points to a featured listing in Dewinton that really is the best of both worlds. It’s the ultimate COVID retreat/acreage property – country living and a country location with privacy that people are craving today. The listing can be found here.
An aerial video of the property can be found here.
The To Have It All video of the property can be found here.
“The perception of moving to the country for many urbanites is that they have to become country bumpkins, like the traditional country lifestyle. Whereas this home is a modern fortress,” said Alexander. “If you want to be in a secure, gated acreage. It’s gorgeous. It has a gym. It has a home office. It has an additional suite, apartment. It has everything but also the safety and security and the room to roam.
“So it’s the perfect COVID house.”
The trend in society has been for more people looking at homes in suburbs and rural areas. Alexander has come across a number of statistics recently pointing in that direction.
A Statistics Canada report revealed that 50,300 people left Toronto between July 2019 and July 2020. Also Montreal lost 25,000 people to rural areas.
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average price of Canadian homes has risen by 17 per cent over the last year – an all-time record – and one that is largely driven by sales of detached homes in suburbs.
An American survey by Harris found that nearly 40 per cent of adults living in U.S. urban areas say they would consider moving out of populated areas and toward rural areas.
“I do see the trend here,” added Alexander. “I’m getting tons of phone calls about lots in Dewinton. The idea of people building their own home. That’s the one segment I’m seeing. They want to find the perfect lot near a major highway so they can easily get to downtown. They don’t want to necessarily be way out in the woods but they want to have space – wide open space – that’s what’s driving it.”
More information about Alexander and her property listings can be found here.