Calgary home sold for record $10.3M ~ Mansion built by ex-Flame Mike Vernon

CALGARY - An Elbow Park home, which was owned by former Calgary Flames goaltender Mike Vernon, has sold for $10.3 million --setting the benchmark for the highest MLS residential sale price in Calgary.

It eclipsed the previous record sale in June 2008 of a six-bedroom Crescent Heights home which sold for $7.5 million.

"We're finding the real estate market to be quite strong right now," said Donna Rooney, one of the realtors who listed Vernon's property along the Elbow River. "This was not our one and only offer. We sold the property in a period of six weeks, which is consistent with what's going on in real estate.

"This is a real statement that things are pretty good in this city still. There is a lot of confidence in real estate."

The house was listed in early May at $10.5 million by Calgary realtors Rooney Cronin +Valentine.

Rooney said she can't disclose who the buyer is due to confidentiality reasons and said Vernon preferred not to publicly discuss the sale of his Elbow Park home.

The original listing described the home as a "Gracious Sandstone Estate Home privately nestled on a 10,000-square-foot lot along the banks of the Elbow River in coveted East Elbow Park.

"Custom built, completed just two years ago, this exceptional property offers 12,700 square feet of impeccably developed living space. Large gracious living (plus) entertaining rooms with wooden French doors that walk out to river vistas, private courtyards, formal lawns.

"Imported antique fireplaces, custom inlay hardwood, limestone(plus)marble floors."

"Interestingly enough, we had quite a lot of showings on it," said Gary Cronin. "It was basically one of our hottest listings during that period. And they were qualified showings. They were people who could afford to buy this home."

Cronin said the local real estate market has been "absolutely fabulous" since March.

"Terrible during the winter when the world looked like it was going to implode, but since March the real estate sales market has been fabulous. The prices have certainly come down from their peak. April, May, June and July--the number of homes sold in Calgary has been the strongest for over two years in each of those months. Prices have budged up a little bit from the bottom."

A combination of decreasing prices and lower interest rates has spurred sales, but also "we're finding a tremendous confidence in real estate right now," Cronin said.

The $10.3-million sale is an indication that maybe Calgary and the real estate market in the city is still relatively healthy, said Todd Hirsch, senior economist with ATB Financial in Calgary.

"But it is only one house and one month. You couldn't read too much into it but it's still interesting," he said, adding Albertans and Calgarians have the highest average earnings in the country and Calgary is a "very, very affluent" city.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board's most recent statistics, until the end of July, 165 single-family homes in Calgary have sold for more than $1 million compared with 256 luxury home sales for the same period last year.

In the million-dollar plus bracket, 15 condominiums sold in the first seven months of this year compared with 20 last year.

In 2004, the city approved Vernon's plans to build the giant home in Elbow Park despite complaints from irate neighbours.

"I went through the procedure. I did like anybody else," Vernon told the Herald at that time. "I built within my building envelope. I did everything by the rules.

"I bought the lot for privacy. I already live in the community."

Residents flooded the city with letters objecting to the home.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

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Julie Vesuwalla

Julie Vesuwalla

CENTURY 21 Bamber Realty Ltd.
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