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Worry-Free Calgary Condo

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By : Carlos Montes    99 or more times read
With Calgary metro condo sales accounting for almost 91% of total residential home sales, you'd think there would be no need for incentives. However, the 940 new condo listings from August 2009 were 21 per cent lower than the prior year when listings totaled 1,186.

Everyone has felt the pinch, including well known Calgary condominium developers, Anthem Properties. They were commended for their aggressive undertaking to develop waterfront property along the Bow River. Not only the largest condo project in history, this prime downtown real estate suffered from contamination and required over $10 million dollars dedicated for clean up, before they could even break ground.

This multi-year project includes three highrise towers and five podiums of 1,000 units in total plus retail space. Waterfront is located in an incredible downtown Calgary location convenient to shops, restaurants, jobs and local parks. The quality condos are equipped with high quality Sub Zero appliances, Caesarstone counter tops and hardwood floors.

In the summer of 2009, over 100 condo units at Two Waterfront were drastically reduced in price. One bedrooms dropped from $300,000 to $249,000 and large two bedroom condos came down $187,000 in price. After selling 60 condos in 60 days, you would think that the developers would be content with that response. They still felt that although there was strong interest in the property, consumers were still reluctant to commit to purchasing.

Recently, Anthem Properties announced a new worry-free program to encourage fence sitters to take the plunge. If a prospective buyer hasn't sold their existing home by the time they take possession and move into their Waterfront condo, then Anthem Properties will purchase their home at a pre-arranged price.

Calgary builders aren't the only one's tantalizing buyers with incentives. In Toronto, the condo capital of North America, only 917 units were sold in the first three months of 2009 - the lowest since the same time in 1996, and down from the average 4,000 units sold in subsequent quarters. Added to the lack of consumer interest, is the impending harmonized sales tax in 2010 that will add another 8% to the price of a new home.

To stimulate sales and combat what could possibly cause a dangerous glut in new home sales, developers are offer discounts of up to 20%, as reported in Urbanation Inc. Over 60% of major builders are also offering perks that include free parking and reduction in mortgage rates. Experts feel that these incentives are not enough and lower price per square foot may be what it takes to boost sales to the levels they require.

With regard to the harmonized tax, new homes priced under $400,000 will be exempt from the tax, but that only affects 70% of the market. Compounded with the harmonized tax, Toronto has created their own version of a land transfer tax, in addition to the existing provincial required tax (we're at 3 taxes in Toronto now), you could easily see another $8,000 tacked on to the price of that $400,000 home.
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