Asians get chance to land some top deals in Calgary

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 June, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 June, 1998, 12:00am

A CANADIAN real estate investment company is homing in on Asians to purchase residential properties in Calgary, Alberta, in anticipation of a future housing boom.

Walton Development (Asia) is offering half-hectare lots for C$32,900 (around $175,587) at its Aberdeen Heights project.

It also offers a pre-approved mortgage scheme. The company said it expected the land, located northwest of the city centre, to increase in value with the development of transport links scheduled to be completed by the middle of next year.

Demand for housing in Calgary has been fuelled by Alberta's expanding economy. Last year, it topped the country in economic growth at 4.6 per cent.

Calgary Mayor Al Duerr, who was in Hong Kong in April, said the city had become western Canada's premier business centre as a result of low costs and Alberta's zero tax tax policy. He said demand for housing would surge in light of anticipated population growth.

Roughly 800,000 now, the population is expected to reach almost 1.4 million in 25 years.

Steven Huggins, Walton Development's business development director, said people and businesses were choosing Calgary because families could live on about half the amount they could in Toronto and Vancouver.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association's Multiple Listing Service, the average price for homes purchased in Calgary in the first quarter of the year was C$154,854, an 11.5 per cent increase from the same period a year ago.

Asset appreciation was comparatively flat elsewhere, Vancouver prices rising 0.2 per cent and Toronto's by 4.5 per cent. Average prices across Canada actually dropped by 0.5 per cent over the period.