An example of the recent fossil find in Okotoks
Today's Okotoks realty blog is a departure from the usual Calgary and Okotoks real estate market reports. In fact, in the future I plan on mixing things up somewhat to include more public interest pieces. After all, you and/or your family may be joining the community for the first time and want to know just a little bit more than the fluctuations in Alberta mortgage rates.
Last week while combing for news on Okotoks realty I came across this CTV News piece reporting of a very interesting find. An Okotoks area man was out walking his dog (sounds like the start of a joke) and came across a sweeping patch of fossilized scales imbedded within a sandstone boulder. The man, curious, reported the find to interested parties and within days folks from Drumheller swept in for a closer look. What the Okotoks man with the dog found was in fact a dinosaur. Specifically, the petrified find was a prehistoric Alligator Gar, a rare hybrid of alligator and fish that still roams around in a much watered down version today in North America. This remains of the hardened beast in Okotoks however is not among the recent deceased, it comes in at around 60 million years old. Happy Birthday Gar.
Aside for the adventurous appeal of this story I bring it up in my Okotoks realty blog because it draws attention to one of the reasons people enjoy buying a home in this neck of South Central Alberta. In one moment from your Okotoks home you can whisk away to the big city of Calgary but in the next, especially when the warm weather arrives, you can take the mere 2 hour trek to the Jurassic Park of Canada - Dinosaur Provincial Park and the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller.
I'm proud to be a representative of Okotoks realty because I know that when I welcome new families into our community fold that they are joining a dynamic region that cannot be compared to anywhere else in the country. Whether you and your family are seeking fantastic educational facilities, community parks, upscale shopping, sports & entertainment complexes, or 60 million year old petrified relics, Okotoks is the home for you.
CALGARY — A dwindling supply of single-family homes for sale in Calgary has contributed to a spike in MLS sales in Okotoks and Cochrane in the first quarter of this year.
The Calgary Real Estate Board, in a report released Tuesday, said tightening market conditions in the city are supporting sales growth in both those communities, where property inventory levels remain relatively healthy.
“Relatively strong demand has reduced the amount of time properties are on the market,” said Becky Walters, CREB’s president. “However, overall inventory levels remain healthy, contributing to balanced conditions for buyers and sellers.”
CREB said many homebuyers have turned to communities surrounding Calgary “as consumers seek affordable options.”
During the first quarter of this year, Okotoks has seen MLS sales increase by 17.92 per cent from a year ago to 125 transactions. The average sale price for a single-family home is up 2.58 per cent to $401,410 while the single-family benchmark price, which represents the typical property sale, is up 6.47 per cent to $374,967.
Cochrane has experienced a 6.45 per cent rise in MLS sales in the first quarter to 99 transactions with the single-family average price rising by 12.58 per cent to $463,068 while the benchmark price rose by 10.85 per cent to $396,400.
However, MLS sales in Airdrie in the first quarter were down 12 per cent to 264 transactions. The average price for a single-family home increased by 0.15 per cent to $367,164 while the benchmark price was up 4.82 per cent to $343,767.
“The activity in Calgary’s economy and housing market has spread to some of the surrounding centres outside of city limits,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. “With listings down in Calgary and average prices higher, some buyers have looked to some of the smaller centres that are a short drive away.”
In the city, single-family MLS sales of 3,565 in the first quarter are down 1.49 per cent from the same period last year. But the average sale price for a single-family home in Calgary has risen by 10.36 per cent to $513,109.
“The improvement in sales activity in Okotoks is due to inventory levels being slightly elevated, unlike some of the other surrounding areas,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist. “This provides consumers with choice even though there has been a 15 per cent decline in new listings.
“If dwindling supplies for single-family homes persist within Calgary city limits, it should support growth in outer lying communities. However, as resale listings fall, consumers may turn to new homes, and such a move could limit sales growth for resale products.”