What should be understood about parking when buying a condominium?

Unlike many places in the world, Alberta has land and a lot of it. I would suggest that by default, over the past century, it has been the practice of builders and developers to build out instead of up.

Known as “urban sprawl,” this outward development has created a culture of car-dependent living. Although that seems to have changed slightly in recent years, we are far from ditching our vehicles altogether. For single-family home dwellers, it is an assumption that there will be somewhere to park that car if only on the street, but for condominium owners, it is a bit more complicated.

Let’s take some time to consider the things you should know about parking and condos.

Various Options

In the world of apartment style or similar condominiums, you have several options available for your parking situation, and understanding them will be beneficial to buyers in their decision process. The three main types of parking options in condominium complexes in Alberta are owned, leased, and assigned. It should also be noted that ‘no parking’ is also possible in some condominium complexes, and it should never be assumed that parking arrangements will be possible. When in doubt, check it out!

Owned Parking

This parking option is the most stable because, as the stall owner (s), they cannot be moved or re-assigned. When parking stalls are owned, the seller will have a separate title for the stall and a separate tax bill, and the condominium survey plan registered at land titles will show the stalls on the parking plan outlined in solid lines. As an owned parking stall, it will have a plan and unit number, just like the living space in the condominium complex. Still, that number does not necessarily correspond to the parking stall number indicated on the physical space. The best practice for owned parking stalls is to follow these four steps:

  1. Pull the land title for the stall itself using the tax information provided by the seller
  2. Verify the owner’s name matches the title for that stall
  3. Pull the condominium survey plan from land titles using the parking plan number from the title
  4. Go with the client to the physical parking space and confirm the stall location by using the survey plan as a map to the unit number of the parking stall from the title

It is not impossible to find out that the stall the seller has been using is not the stall they own, and taking the extra step to confirm the right stall is being sold is important. It is also possible in some condominium corporations for the seller to sell their living space unit and not the parking stall, so careful attention must be paid to the purchase contract to ensure the parking is included in the contract as an additional legal description if the buyer expects to buy the stall as well.

Assigned Parking

Assigned parking means the condominium corporation owns the entire parking space in one big indivisible chunk. On the survey plan, this will appear as a large white space with no lines at all, even though the physical parking lot or garage will have lines and stall numbers. In such situations, the condominium corporation will create its own stall map and assign stalls for individual unit owners. How they manage this is outlined in the corporation’s bylaws or additional rules/regulations they establish as a condominium board. Close to the door, or far away, above ground, covered, or underground are all options that could be important to a buyer but with assigned parking, the buyer will not generally get to choose, but the board will assign a stall to them.

Assigned stalls may be reassigned to different owners based on seniority on each sale of a condo unit, so the stall the owner currently is assigned may differ from the one the buyer gets when they move in. If this is a deal breaker for the buyer, it can be made a condition of the contract that the buyer will seek and obtain written confirmation from the board that they will be assigned a particular stall. Then if they can’t secure the stall, they can decide not to waive the condition. Without such confirmation, the buyer should understand that the stall assignments are at the discretion of the board, the bylaws, and their rules.

Leased Parking

As a middle ground between assigned and owned parking, leased parking stalls will normally be delineated on the survey plan as dashed lines instead of solid ones, but only sometimes. Leased parking is where the board enters into a lease agreement with the living unit owner to secure a certain stall for a fixed time. The lease’s cost, length, and ability to renew, cancel, or sell the lease may all be important to the buyer. Although rare, leased parking can sneak up on a buyer when assumptions about the parking situation are made and not confirmed.

Best Practices

When working with buyers or sellers in the condominium space, the best practice is to actively confirm the information about the unit and the parking without relying on assumptions. This can be done quite easily by ordering a land title, survey plan, Additional plan sheet, and bylaws from the land titles system for each interaction you have with a condominium property. These documents and a quick physical confirmation of the stall used against the survey plan can save many complications.

Although reviewing restrictions in the bylaws is important, a REALTOR® is not qualified to review condominium documents for any client, so clients should be directed to a Condominium Document review company.

The condominium is not a property style but a form of property ownership, and the many complexities of transacting in condominiums, like parking variations, should be navigated with the help of a REALTOR® who is familiar with condominiums. Professionals like document reviewers, lawyers, and inspectors can take the fear out of the process and ensure that what the buyer thought they were buying is indeed what they ended up with.


Calgary city council passes blanket rezoning after marathon meeting

More than three weeks after a public hearing on blanket rezoning first started at Calgary's city hall, councillors narrowly voted in favour of moving forward with the change to allow for more density in residential areas.

In a 9-6 vote, council approved the contentious item late Tuesday afternoon.

The land-use amendment means the city will transition properties currently zoned as R-C1 districts, which only allow single-detached homes on them, to R-CG to also allow for townhomes and duplexes.

Blanket rezoning still permits single-detached homes to be built but skips the process that required each land-use application to be debated individually.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek, speaking to media Tuesday, noted, "I think it's really important to recognize that the housing situation that we're in is dire."

"I think when you have the opportunity to use one of the tools at your service to make things better, it is important that you do so," Gondek said.

"We have 98 different actions that we have been given in a housing strategy(opens in a new tab). This is but one of them.

"This will allow for more people to live in communities because it's going to offer more diversity of housing, it's going to offer the ability to build row houses or townhouses that come in at a lower price point than a single-detached or a semi-attached home."

Over 100 hours, 736 people spoke to council during the public hearing on the issue.

Nearly 70 per cent of the people who spoke were against blanket rezoning, city officials said.

"I'm disappointed but more importantly, I think three-quarters of Calgarians are disappointed," Coun. Dan McLean said.

Maclean noted, "You've had the majority of council voting against the majority of Calgarians."

Asked if he believes it will be an election issue, he said, "Oh, you bet."

Coun. Andre Chabot has also been opposed to the change.

"I was kind of hoping as it kind of came close in a couple of instances, that a little sober second thought from members of council might have them reconsider their position," he said.

"This is, in my opinion, the worst decision that this council, any council I've ever sat on, has ever made."

Gondek said by passing the change, "We are not forcing anyone to build anything specifically."

"We are simply opening the door for people who would like to build this type of product to do so," she said.

"And we have strengthened what happens at development permit by allowing neighbours and community members to have a say when it comes to height, when it comes to lot coverage, when it comes to where the windows are going to be."

Gondek said the people have been given "say where they actually wanted it."

Tuesday's decision came after two days of debate and proposed amendments to the strategy, including motions to abandon rezoning altogether.

Motions also included efforts to put the issue to a plebiscite or implement blanket rezoning as a pilot project.

All of those were defeated.

Small changes were eventually made to the rezoning item, including a direction to administration to consider privacy impacts on neighbours living directly adjacent to new builds.

Blanket rezoning is one of 98 recommendations within The City of Calgary’s Housing Strategy, approved in 2023 to try and address the housing crisis.


Price growth persists in Calgary as seller's market prevails

Sales in April rose by seven per cent compared to last year, to 2,881 units. While the pace of growth did ease compared to earlier in the year, sales remain 37 per cent higher than long-term trends for the month. Much of the growth in sales has occurred for relatively more affordable, higher-density products.

At the same time, there were 3,491 new listings in April, an 11 per cent gain over last year but only three per cent higher than long-term trends. The rise in new listings compared to sales prevented any further deterioration of the inventory situation. However, with 2,711 units in inventory, levels are 16 per cent below last year and half of what is traditionally seen in April.

“While supply levels are still declining, much of the decline has been driven by lower-priced homes," said Ann-Marie Lurie, Chief Economist at CREB®. “Homes priced below $500,000 have reported a 29 per cent decline. Meanwhile, we are seeing supply growth in homes priced above $700,000. Persistently high-interest rates are driving demand toward more affordable products in the market and, at the same time, driving listing growth for higher-priced properties.”

With a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 83 per cent and a months of supply of less than one month, conditions continue to favour the seller, driving further price gains in the market. In April, the unadjusted total residential benchmark price reached $603,700, a one per cent gain over last month and nearly 10 per cent higher than last year's levels. Price gains occurred across all property types and districts of the city. The strongest price growth occurred in the more affordable districts of the city.  


Detached home sales rose by one per cent in April compared to last year. Sales gains in the higher price ranges offset the steep decline for homes priced below $600,000, which is related to the lack of listings in the lower price ranges. While detached new listings did report a year-over-year gain of 10 per cent, detached homes priced below $600,000 saw new listings decline by 34 per cent. 

Adjustments in sales and inventory levels caused the months of supply to fall further this month. The less than one-month supply reflects a market favouring the seller, driving further price growth. In April, the unadjusted benchmark price reached $749,000, over one per cent higher than last month and 13 per cent higher than April 2023 levels. Year-over-year gains were the highest in the city's most affordable districts.


Sales activity continued to rise in April, contributing to the nearly 18 per cent year-to-date growth in sales. The growth in sales was partly due to gains in new listings. However, the growth in new listings did little to change the low inventory situation, as the months of supply remained below one month for the second month in a row. 

The persistently tight market conditions have caused further price gains. In April, the unadjusted benchmark price reached $668,400, nearly two per cent higher than last month and 13 per cent higher than levels reported last year. Year-over-year price gains ranged from a high of 23 per cent in the East district to a low of 10 per cent in the City Centre. 


Row home sales continued to improve in April, contributing to the 19 per cent year-to-date gain. At the same time, new listings have improved by 16 per cent so far this year. The gains in new listings did little to change the low inventory situation due to sales activity. This has kept the sales-to-new-listings ratio high at 93 per cent and the months of inventory below one month for the fourth consecutive month.

The persistently tight conditions, especially in the lower price ranges, are driving further price growth for row homes. In April, the unadjusted benchmark price reached $458,100, two per cent higher than last month and 20 per cent higher than levels reported last year. Both monthly and year-over-year gains were the highest in the most affordable districts of the North East and East, where resale row homes are still priced below $400,000. 

Apartment Condominium

Sales in April reached 822 units, contributing to year-to-date sales of 2,761 units, a 24 per cent gain. Apartment condominium sales have risen more than any other property type and now represent nearly 30 per cent of all resale activity. This, in part, has been possible due to the rise in new listings. April reported 1,050 new listings, helping support a monthly gain in inventory levels in line with seasonal expectations. However, inventory levels remain nearly 13 per cent lower than last year’s and are 35 per cent below long-term trends. 

Like other property types, year-over-year supply declines are driven by the lower-priced segments of the market, which for apartment condominiums is units priced below $300,000. Overall, persistent sellers’ market conditions in the lower price ranges are driving further price growth. In April, the unadjusted benchmark price reached $346,200 a month, a gain of over two per cent and nearly 18 per cent higher than last April. Year-over-year price growth ranged from over 30 per cent in the North East and East districts to a low of 13 per cent in the City Centre.



Supply continues to be a challenge in the Airdrie market. April reported 219 new listings and 202 sales, keeping the sales-to-new listings ratio elevated at 92 per cent. This prevented any significant change in the lower inventory environment, and the months of supply remained below one month. 

Persistently tight market conditions have driven further price gains. In April, the unadjusted total residential benchmark price rose by nearly two per cent compared to last month and over 10 per cent compared to last year, reaching $549,100. Detached homes account for the majority of sales, and prices reached $649,900 in April, nearly 12 per cent higher than last year.


Sales in April eased compared to last year. However, this was not enough to offset the gains that occurred earlier in the year, as year-to-date sales improved by seven per cent. Some of the monthly pullback in April can be related to a drop in the number of new home sales occurring in the resale market. 

Meanwhile, new listings improved relative to sales, supporting a modest gain in inventory levels. This also helped push the months of supply up to nearly two months. Despite the shift, conditions remain relatively tight, causing further price gains. Prices rose across all property types. In April, the unadjusted total residential benchmark price reached $561,000, one per cent higher than last month and nearly 11 per cent higher than April 2023. 


Both sales and new listings improved in April compared to last year, but with 89 new listings and 65 sales, inventory levels rose compared to last month and last year. However, inventory levels in the town remain 60 per cent below what is typically on the market at this time of year.

With one month of supply, the market continues to favour the seller and is driving further price growth. In April, the unadjusted total residential benchmark price reached $617,200, one per cent higher than last month and nearly eight per cent higher than last year. Prices improved across all property types, with the highest gains occurring for semi-detached and row homes. 

Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.