Bidding wars for home buyers in midst of hot real estate market

CALGARY – Home buyers in the market for a single, detached apartment in the Calgary area are in the middle of a bidding war for their dream home.

This is what happened to Jackson Cornelius, who is a first-time home buyer.

“The stress comes from the potential that you may not get the house that you really fall in love with,” said Cornelius.

Fortunately for him and his partner, they won their bidding war and got their home in Calgary for a reasonable price just last week. But Remax Realty Professionals’ real estate agent Sohini Ruparell said not everyone is so lucky.

“I have buyers who we’ve been to in five to six wars in the past 10 days,” she said.

“There is no time to wait for real estate agents. We drop everything and run to make sure that our buyer at least has a chance to get their name in the hat. “

Ruparell believes the pandemic has created a unique situation where there is a high demand for single family homes.

“I think buyers who have been renting or people who have been in the housing market are looking for more space,” she said.

“They’re looking for space, they’re looking for a home office, and they’re looking for a backyard so they can follow government-set protocols while still hanging out with friends and family.”

Ruparell said the high demand is coupled with low interest rates and lack of supply, creating a very competitive market for those looking to buy a single family home.

PRE-FINANCIAL CRISIS

Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with the Calgary Real Estate Board, said she hadn’t seen a market like this in more than a decade.

“We haven’t seen that since 2007, before the financial crisis,” she said.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a market like this and it’s really driven by the really heavy demand and insufficient supply to meet it.”

Lurie said competition is not just high in Calgary’s core. She says more people in the suburbs and surrounding communities like Airdrie, Okotoks, and Cochrane are looking to shop.

“As more companies take on work from home, it could lead to a shift,” said Lurie, “in which people are ready to live when that commute time suddenly becomes less important than it used to be.”