Have you ever heard of a small town called Canmore in the province of Alberta? If not, you should perhaps add it to your list of places you are interested in relocating to, or even just visiting on your time off, as you wave goodbye to the major urban centres across Canada.

One of the most noteworthy real estate trends during the coronavirus pandemic has been households fleeing the big cities and planting roots in rural regions country-wide. Whether it is because many people now have remote flexibility to work anywhere they wish, or families are no longer interested in residing in hyper-dense locations at the height of a viral pandemic, the metropolis does not possess the same attractiveness it had just a year ago. This has the Canadian real estate market going through a substantial change, resulting in the elevation of home values in suburban locations- in particular, small towns nestled within the Rocky Mountains!

Canmore, Alberta is one of these places that is seeing an influx of interest from homebuyers across the country. Today, the small but vibrant mountain-side community has evolved from serving predominantly as a tourist town, into a highly desirable destination for many homebuyers from Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal.

Canmore Real Estate Trends: A Western Market on the Rise

“It’s still unreal actually,” said Cathy Edwards, who was permitted by her employer to work from home with a mountain view, in an interview with Global News.

This is just one of many stories of people laying down roots in this small working-town, saturating themselves in fresh mountain air. Since the spring, Canmore has experienced a population boom, creating a red-hot housing market that rivaled some of the bigger urban markets in the province, and elsewhere in the country.

The cable news network reported that the median closing price for a house in Canmore was $1.27 million in September 2020, up 16 per cent from the same time a year ago. The median price for a condominium was a little more than $583,000 in September, also up 16 percent year-over-year. Moreover, there were 72 transactions in September, up from 47 last year.

For the most part, people are searching for full-time residence in Canmore either because their work has granted them a work-from-home privilege, or older Canadians are opting to retire a few years early. But there are others who are searching for recreational properties since traveling abroad has been difficult in the middle of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

And, of course, developments in the broader housing market are contributing to Canmore’s real estate boom, too.  The pent-up demand from the spring when the market dried up amid the public health crisis has driven prices higher. Despite heading into a new year, the national housing sector is still playing a game of catch-up.

Cheaper borrowing costs are also giving Canadian homebuyers more options. The Bank of Canada (BoC) slashed interest rates to 0.25 per cent earlier this year, and brought the benchmark five-year mortgage to below five per cent. The latest policy meeting signaled that the central bank would not be pulling the trigger on a rate hike anytime soon, leaving an accommodative monetary policy in place to support the economic recovery.

The real estate industry has helped Canada weather the economic storm clouds amid the coronavirus pandemic. The hard work and diligence of real estate agents has been critical in allowing the buying and selling of properties to safely continue during the height of the pandemic, and in the aftermath of the outbreak. Suffice it to say, the housing sector will continue to play a role in the national recovery over the next two years.

Is Canmore Your New Home?

“Pretty as a picture with an authentic mountain soul and a pulse that resembles a much larger city, with the arms of the majestic Rockies wrapped around us and the Bow River running right through our downtown. But being in Canmore is larger than life.”

This promise is the prose of Canmore officials, showcasing the best of the town to newcomers on www.explorecanmore.ca. And if that is not enough to spark interest in a cross-country move, then what would? Imagine the serene tranquility of working in your home office, with a snowcapped mountain just beyond your sightline. This is life in Canmore.

Canmore is just one example of the slow transformation of rural tourist areas into homebuyer hot spots, as the appeal of living off the beaten track grows stronger in the current pandemic climate. The post-coronavirus economy has triggered a great province-wide reset in a myriad of communities across British Columbia, and the swapping of the asphalt jungle for snow-capped mountain peaks is primed to continue well into 2021.