81 per cent of Calgarians with 'moderate' incomes dream of owning a home either now or in the next few years despite some economic challenges

Calgary’s sagging house prices offer some hope for moderate income Calgarians, who say they dream of owning a home.

Research was done in collaboration between Attainable Homes Calgary, the Alberta Real Estate Foundation and the Calgary Real Estate Board, found that 81 per cent of this group want to own a home either now or in the next few years. Moderate income Calgarians were defined as those making between $85,000 and $105,000 a year.

“When asked, ‘Why homeownership?’ moderate-income Calgarians selected their top three reasons: housing stability – sense of permanence; personal investment – paying themselves instead of a landlord; cost certainty – knowing exact monthly costs without unexpected rental increases,” said the group in a news release.

“So, if moderate-income Calgarians (who do not own a home) want to buy one, why aren’t they? Not shockingly, the reasons are financially based: they don’t think they can afford the costs of homeownership; they can’t save a down payment; and they believe prices are too high.”

The research found that more than one-third of respondents who think they could qualify for a mortgage indicated they could afford between $1,250 and $1,500 per month in mortgage and property taxes which translates to home prices between $245,000 and $310,000.

“In terms of housing supply priced below $300,000, moderate-income Calgarians may not know there are 2,161 resale and 715 new construction homes all currently available for purchase. This hints to a potential disconnect between renters’ price perceptions and actual list prices,” said the report.

“Recent media reports and social media communication across the country suggest a shift away from the desire of Canadians to own a home. This newly released research counters this assumption; the dream remains firmly in place for those earning a moderate-income in Calgary.”

Mario Toneguzzi is a business reporter in Calgary.

© Calgary’s Business

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