New research by Attainable Homes Calgary, the Alberta Real Estate Foundation and the Calgary Real Estate Board says that most moderate-income Calgary residents want to own a home and many may not realize that they could afford one.

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

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It says 81 per cent of this group wants to own a home either now or in the next few years.

The top three reasons cited for wanting to own a home are housing stability – sense of permanence; personal investment – paying themselves instead of a landlord; and cost certainty – knowing exact monthly costs without unexpected rental increases.

Moderate-income Calgarians who are not homeowners said they have not purchased a home because 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.

When comparing renting to owning, most renters primarily value the freedom of renting, except for single-parent rental households, says the report.

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, says the report.

At the time of the report, there were 2,161 resale and 715 new construction homes priced at less than $300,000 available for purchase.

“This hints to a potential disconnect between renters’ price perceptions and actual list prices,” says the report.


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