Is there a COVID Migration Happening?

Posted by Jared Chamberlain

Is_there_a_COVID_Migration_Happening_sThe great COVID migration

Lately, we've seen increased real estate sales outside of the city compared to inside the city.

There's a significant spike in the number of sales outside the city, especially in Edmonton. The highest peak that we had is 33% over July last year and 36% for August.

Outside of Calgary, numbers include everything from the city center to 100 kilometres out, not including sales in the city.

Inside of Calgary is 50 kilometres out, including some areas outside of the city.

Those numbers have a similar peak and fall. But there's a considerable rise and increase outside versus inside of Calgary.

At Chamberlain Group, we’ve had a handful of clients who did move from the city. They have chosen more rural areas like Cochrane and Airdrie.

From Renters to Buyers

We have a client who was renting in Bowness. He reached out to us last year. Initially, his family was looking at places within Calgary.

As COVID happened, priorities shifted. They started to think about wanting more space.

They want to take advantage of the interest rates. They want to take advantage of a lower price.

We expanded their search all the way out to Didsbury.

We ended up finding a three-acre property with a house. They got lots of space for their kids. They do homeschool, so that’s precious for them.

While stuck at home, they have this massive piece of land where they can run freely during the quarantine.

It's suitable for their family, and it’s good for their kids. They're super happy with the move.

They were able to get a three-acre plot with a five-bedroom home for the same price point as a small unit within the city.

He also shifted towards working from home. He got clearance from his employer to handle his responsibilities and workload from a remote location, such as his home outside the city.

This gave them the confidence to move forward.


Didsbury has a hospital.

They're close to Airdrie for their Costco runs.

It’s only 40 minutes away from the city limits. You can go to the town for shopping and necessities anytime.

Getting Out of Congested Areas

Another client moved to the South of Carstairs. They bought three and a half-acre piece of land. He works in Airdrie, so he's only 25 minutes into town.

The ample space allowed them to have a chicken coop because they really wanted chickens.

Indeed, Some of these changes are tied to jobs, and some of them are just tied to more space.

People are getting out of congested areas.

What Matters Most

Because of COVID, more people are working from home. They are spending more time indoors.

This shift continues to happen because of technology. Many are now allowed to work two days at home and three days in the office, or vice versa.

People are now identifying what's important - family and community. Everyone wants to be in the center of what’s important for them.

We don't like moving often. We want to find a forever home for our family. A home that provides enough space with the amenities and the things that we need.

This change also affects buying behaviours. Ultimately, it is going to change lifestyles.

How About Inner City?

There's a lack of inventory in the inner city right now. But there could be better opportunities to move there too. It all comes down to lifestyle.

For urban individuals, the idea of living outside of the city is appealing. They can get more space and a bigger house at a smaller price point.

But to be out of the scene and far from restaurants, entertainment, and city life is adamant.

Everybody wants a particular style of home with a price point that they can afford.

Fear of the Unknown

It's crazy how six months ago, people wonder if real estate will survive in the midst of the pandemic. What's going to happen? How's this going to work?"

Six months later, there's a massive increase in real estate. Everyone suddenly thought of making the change that they have always wanted to do. There's upsizing, downsizing, and shifts.

Some people are even getting into the market for the first time. They are taking advantage of properties with lower interest rates and lower prices.

Undeniably, there are peaks and valleys that the industry and our economy are facing.

However, more than anything, COVID had people sit back and think about what is essential.

If they're going to spend more time at home, they need to love their homes. If they didn't love their home or were thinking about making a move, they jumped in.

Realtors sat on their hands for three months, thinking about what is going to happen. Then, the government lifted some of the restrictions and allowed us to return to a new normal at the end of May. Since then, things have just been on fire.

We’re Here to Help

If you have questions or thoughts about this whole great COVID migration happening around Calgary, we'd love to hear from you. Also, if you're considering making a move, making a move up, making a change in this market, let us know how we can help.

We're here to help you figure that out. Send us an e-mail at

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