September 1, 2016
Important Real Estate Numbers in the Calgary Real Estate Market - Sept 2, 2016
Should you happen to hear a general real estate market number such as sales or price adjustments in the coming days please ignore it or view it as a very generic indicator. The market is currently segmented enough that an overall number tells us little about the value of individual properties.
Detached homes are in a more balanced environment due to reduced inventory numbers while attached and apartment listings continue to increase the imbalance between supply and demand leading to a strong buyer's market in some areas. Apartments are seeing a stronger impact on pricing and sales than other attached properties.
We live in a large city. At previous times when the market favoured the seller, higher pricing may have moved folks outside of their preferred neighbourhoods. Today, in a more balanced market, a buyer can find what they are looking for in preferred areas, housing types or those properties that have specific details. This is the market where that well kept home with a popular layout on a quiet street with beautiful manicured yard will sell well. However, those in less desirable locations or with less desirable finishes may take more time and see a lower price. As our market shifts any sellers entering the market must be willing to review market shifts regularly. To not adjust and expect results based on a market evaluation completed 2-3 months ago isn't a pathway to a successful sale.
So what does this mean to you?
As a seller, you must be provided with and understand the specific market information that relates to your home. If you are truly wishing to sell and not just test the market, then presentation and pricing are imperative. You must be flexible with showing times and keep your property clean and in good repair. It also takes patience. Average days on market for a sale of a detached home is currently 42 days. For apartments this number is 56 days. If you expect a sale in 10 days at list price then you need to review expectations of pricing to encourage more buyers. The number of folks looking for a new home at any given time remains the same. You can create incentive for more of those folks to look at your home with pricing or you can wait for more buyers to enter the market.
For a buyer, this is actually a good time to buy depending on what you are looking for. With more options you will find the right house that checks all the boxes at a good price. You can make decisions at your pace rather than the immediacy required during a hot sellers market. Where you may have only been able to purchase an apartment or townhouse in the past, a detached home may now be an option.
Calgary's real estate market has been and will continue to be a shifting market. Thousands of homes have sold this year in the city and some folks have done a great job of taking advantage of the opportunities.
For example, there are currently 78 detached homes active on market in NW Calgary under $500,000. 68 of such homes have sold in the last 30 days. That's a great opportunity for a seller to sell their home at expected market prices. Should that same family be in need of a large home in the $600,000-$800,000 zone they have 78 homes to choose from. They are however competing with less buyers as 29 of such homes have sold in the last 30 days.
For year to date numbers of detached homes, average price has actually increased from last year by 1.23%. Benchmark price has decreased by 3.27% and median price has decreased by 3.32%.
As always, contact me anytime for information specific to your needs. I am happy to help.
July 30, 2016
Contribution to MoneySense Magazine - New Homeowner Unsure of "It's Cute" Comment
My most recent contribution to MoneySense Magazine Ask an Expert Series.
This one was sweet. I wish the homeowners all the best in their new home.
MoneySense Magazine - New Homeowner Unsure of "It's Cute" Comment
Thank you again Romana for including me in your series.
July 18, 2016
Open House Sunday July 24 2-4 pm - 153 Evercreek Bluffs Rd
You have been wanting to view this beautiful home but haven't booked your showing?
Visit me this Sunday, July 24 from 2-4 pm at 153 Evercreek Bluffs Rd SW
July 13, 2016
Staging your home for sale - Consider your privacy
Over the last few years I've noticed a trend in staging advice that honestly we just didn't think about before. With photo quality and volume increasing it is important to consider that the photos remain in the MLS system long after your home is sold. Consider your family privacy when staging.
We now often question if open houses are necessary. And we also take care in photographing homes for sale. To keep photos beautiful while securing your family privacy please do the following.
1. Remove your children's names from their bedroom walls or elsewhere in the home.
2. Remove large family photos and replace with neutral prints.
3. Tuck away your family event calendar.
4. Clear your office and tidy away any financial or personal papers.
5. Explain to young and teenage children that their room will be photographed and ask them to remove anything they do not wish to be public.
6. Remove any valuables from view such as watches or watch boxes, jewelry and storage, electronics, etc.
A staging consultation is available to all of my clients as part of the listing process. We will work together on the details to present your home at its best while respecting your home privacy and security.
July 13, 2016
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - July 2016
The school year has come to an end, folks are gearing up for attending or avoiding Stampede, the trailers and boats are out, the thunderstorms are rolling in and there are so many other distractions right now. All that aside, our local real estate market isn't riding any roller coasters this month but rather remaining somewhat flat and mellow compared to last month. The detached home market is stabilizing and apartments and attached properties (townhouse style) continue to see more of a challenge with sales.
The pressing purchases in the next month will be those folks that want to be moved prior to the start of the next school year. There's often the summer shuffle. With a number of new schools opening this year and next I am curious how this will impact some previously underserved areas. Time will tell.
An important topic that is starting to come up more often is security and privacy. Should you be purchasing or selling please be conscious of what you are posting and what folks could take advantage of. As well, personal privacy and security need to be considered.
As always, please contact me with any question or if you wish a detailed evaluation or market information specific to your area. Enjoy the pancakes!
CREB Statistics Package
June 26, 2016
Just Listed 153 Evercreek Bluffs Rd SW
Built by Calbridge Fine Homes, the attention to detail and design are evident in this executive home in Evercreek Bluffs steps from Fish Creek Park. The large foyer opens to an office on the right and looks to the back of the home with open concept dining room, stunning 2-storey tall, bright great room, chef’s kitchen with an expansive island and separate breakfast nook surrounded by bay windows. Beautiful cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and granite counter tops sparkle in this well designed kitchen. Walk through the corner kitchen pantry to additional storage, the laundry room, and garage access. A fantastic layout! Upstairs a large master suite offers separate tub/shower and very large walk in closet. Two additional bedrooms and a main bath are also found upstairs along with a large and bright bonus room. The basement is fully finished with an additional bedroom, bathroom, and large open media room/recreation room (wired). South facing backyard with a great deck and patio. Attached double garage.
Full property information for 153 Evercreek Bluffs Rd SW
June 16, 2016
West Campus in Calgary - Building Partners Announced
The West Campus Trust has been working on the development of 200 acres of undeveloped land around the Alberta Children's Hospital and west of the University of Calgary for some time. It is a project that I've been watching as it has the opportunity to be an exceptional new community in Calgary so close to the University of Calgary, Foothills Hospital and easy access to the city centre or west to the mountains. Perched on the hill the opportunity for amazing views has me rather curious about final alignments.
On June 14th the West Campus Development trust announced the building partners for the first phase. Brookfield Residential will build 131 townhouses on a five-acre section, while Truman Homes will build approximately 150 units of both townhouses and condominium-style apartments.
Over the next 15-20 years the community is expected to be built out with a cross section of property types in the plans and home to approximately 15,000 residents.
Looking at the design plan I'm quite excited to see how the area unfolds. An innovative cross section of higher density design in such a popular location is sure to attract a large number of residents that will enjoy the vibrancy of the community and our city.
For more information:
West Campus Development Trust
City of Calgary Land Use Application for West Campus
June 16, 2016
Buying Your First Home
Over the years I have had the opportunity to assist many first time buyers with the purchase of a new home here in Calgary.
With listing information freely available and so much advice it can be hard to know where to start.
My role is to simply, educate and be your advisor. I will...
- help you understand the purchase process and details regarding condo documents and home inspections
- represent you and your interests throughout the process
- ensure you are aware of all your new home options
- connect you with experts where needed such as inspectors, lawyers, condo document review companies and others
- be at your side to answer any questions from the first meeting to property showings to possession day and beyond
- negotiate on your behalf
- work with you to avoid any challenges along the way and help you find appropriate solutions when they do.
Together we will find your first home, the right home at the right price.
I look forward to hearing from you.
June 14, 2016
New Testimonial - Thank you Carley
I was thrilled when we found the perfect first home for Carley. And I was even more thrilled to see the smile on her face when I was able to finally give her the keys.
A testimonial from Carley is below shared with her permission.
I could not have asked for a better Realtor!! Monika's market knowledge is invaluable and the entire experience was extremely positive. I have already recommended her ot multiple friends and will continue to do so. You're the best Monika!
- Thx, Carley
Thank you Carley and I wish you all the absolute best in your new home!
View previous testimonials.
June 2, 2016
Calgary Real Estate Market Update June 2, 2016
With sales numbers showing decline vs this time last year and inventory numbers rising, the buyers market we have seen in recent months continues in the Calgary real estate market.
There are exceptions to this trend specifically for detached homes in the under $500,000 price point. An example is the NW sector of the city where there are currently 85 detached active homes for sale under $500,000. 78 such homes have sold in the last 30 days. With approximately 1 month of inventory this sector is not a buyer's market and is indicative of a strong market for that price point and area. On the other hand in the NE there are 299 such active homes on market with 108 sales in the last 30 days which is 2.76 months of inventory a more balanced or buyer's market area.
The NW market for detached homes in general remains strong with strong Listing to New Sales ratios. As such the benchmark pricing in the area has reduced year over year by 1.4% with no change month over month. The City Centre detached market category has decreased 4.55% year over year with a 0.7% adjustment month over month.
The apartment sector is showing a very different market even in the NW with 144 active listings and 27 sales in the last 30 days. With 4.8 months of inventory available buyers have many choices and are in the driver's seat. If it's not 'the right one', then it won't sell.
Although we see the overall statistics on the evening news and they are reflective of the overall market, even a look at just detached homes doesn't give you the full picture regarding your position.
The above numbers are to illustrate my monthly comments that prices and trends vary by property type and area. An apartment in the City Centre currently requires a different marketing strategy to sell or purchase than a $550,000 detached home in Silver Springs or New Brighton to an estate home on the west side. Ensuring you have the right information regarding your potential purchase or sale is critical to ensure you achieve the best results for the best possible price.
If numbers aren't your thing but you want to make sure you have the best opportunity in our market then give me a call. I'll deal with the numbers and paperwork so you have everything you need to feel confident you found the right home at the right price.
May 3, 2016
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - May 3, 2016
The Calgary Real Estate official numbers are out for April 2016 sales. The trends continue as last month with adjustments reflecting the current economic climate.
The official numbers from CREB:
Since the start of the price declines, monthly unadjusted benchmark apartment prices have declined by 7.6 per cent, while semi, row and detached have declined by a respective 5.9, 4.6 and 4.1 per cent.
Across the board it is a buyer's advantage except for a few pockets. That being said, sellers are usually priced within their expectation zone. For example, detached homes are selling at around a sales to list price ratio of 97%. Statistically it is 97.05 for the month of April but that varies community to community. When reviewing properties it is quite clear which sellers are on market to sell if they achieve a certain price (testing the market) vs sellers that wish to sell their home. Some buyers are surprised to see homes selling quickly and close to asking price, but well presented, marketed and priced homes continue to do just that.
In April 2016 1134 detached homes sold in the month. In April 2015 that number was 1150. A reduction in sale of 1.39%.
In April 2016 272 apartments sold in the month. In April 2015 352 sold. A reduction of 22.73%.
In April 2016 358 attached homes sold in the month. In April 2015 461 sold. A reduction of 22.34%.
The sales numbers are clearly more adjusted in the apartment and attached sectors than detached homes.
The sales activity has actually been rather brisk the last few weeks. Many first time home buyers are seeing an opportunity. Folks are taking the time to find the right home. A couple of years ago folks trying to buy their first home were in bidding wars, making decisions within hours of viewing and maybe overwhelmed by the sheer speed of things. Now, folks have the time to view properties, review and take careful consideration. Moving between properties has also made sense for many with larger price adjustments in the higher price points and smaller adjustments at moderate price points.
Investors are beginning to seek more information, perhaps trying to time the market. The elusive perfect timing. We all know it has occurred once it has passed.
If you are considering the purchase or sale of a home in Calgary please do give me a call. I will ensure you have the detailed information to make your best decisions.
May 3, 2016
Secondary Suites or Secondary Income Properties in Calgary
Utilizing a rentable suite in your home to offset mortgage costs is a popular concept. It is becoming more popular due to economic reasons but I also have to point some nods to HGTV and the many renovation shows that center around the concept.
Calgary is structured around a single family home concept so while it is more common for there to be multi family units in a single home in other cities, it isn't as common or permitted here. The long standing debate at City of Calgary Council continued yesterday with a review of amendments that would change how suites are developed. These changes refer to legal basement or secondary suites.
The City of Calgary provides detailed information to homeowners who wish to develop a legal secondary suite.
There are two different steps in determining whether you can have a legal suite in any specific property.
1. The property zoning has to permit a secondary suite. Or you can apply to the City for an exception. Zoning is public knowledge so we know quickly if it is already zoned and only the City can speak to whether it can be zoned.
2. The home has to be built or modified to comply with building and safety requirements as well as parking needs and other details such as minimum ceiling height, exit access, window requirements, independent heating and ventilation systems and fire and smoke separation between units and the heating systems.
When we are viewing homes sometimes folks ask me if a particular home can be a secondary suite and how much it would cost. It's the same for me when folks walk into a house and ask me if a wall can be removed. In terms of the zoning, only a trip to City Hall can give you a better idea of the expectations and opportunities for a potential zoning application change. In terms of the physical modifications, the answer is usually, "It depends and most things are possible depending on how much money you want to spend".
I have a secret to share. When the Property Brothers or Income Property or any of those shows give homeowners a quote on costs they usually did some homework before hand and talked to some engineers and trades and probably the City or community development office prior to walking on set and providing expert advice in 2 minutes. You just never know how much something is going to cost until you receive quotes from a few experts (ventilation, engineering, city development) and maybe open up a wall or two. Just ask Hillary or Scott or Jonathan..... :)
April 28, 2016
Just Listed - 3 908 Memorial Drive NW Calgary
Have you ever thought about living in a beautiful historic Calgary apartment within walking distance to Kensington, across from the Peace Bridge, Prince's Island Park? 2 bedrooms? Claw foot bathtub? Private back porch with your own access? Front bay windows that look out to the front garden and city views? Last time a unit was listed in this building was in 2011. Is this your chance?
Property Information, Pricing and photos for 3 908 Memorial Drive NW Calgary
Rare property for sale in Glenwood Manor, one of Calgary’s remaining historic brick buildings overlooking the Bow River and Downtown. Located just steps from the Peace Bridge, this beautiful 2 bedroom unit is walking distance to Kensington, Downtown, Prince’s Island Park and numerous bike/walking paths. You can enter through the front of the building or the private, secure, rear porch which can double as a sunroom or bike storage. The kitchen has been updated and is bright, fresh, and welcoming with white cabinets, quartz counters, stainless steel appliances and an integrated dishwasher. There are two bedrooms as well as a bath with a claw foot bathtub. The living room looks out the bay windows to the front garden and city and is separated from the spacious dining room with stained glass cabinets. Additional bike storage and lockers in the basement. The rear building garages are currently being torn down and will be replaced with privacy fencing for the back terraces, stall parking and a courtyard.
April 26, 2016
Contribution to MoneySense Magazine - Should You Sell Your Home Before You Buy Another?
I've had the opportunity to contribute to the Real Estate section of Money Sense Magazine a couple of times now. Previously in 2013 when I was included in a series on 'Where to Buy Now' and most recently this month as part of an Ask the Expert series.
This is a very popular question and one that I help folks with all the time. It really is a matter of market, timing and financial numbers.
Should be trying to determine your next steps please give me a call so we can discuss you individual sitatuion and best plan forward.
April 7, 2016
New Testimonial - Thank you Paul and Agnes
I've had the opportunity to assist a lot of great families purchasing and selling homes here in Calgary and I always think of them and hope them the very best in their new home or on their new journey.
Last year I assisted Paul and Agnes with the sale of their home. Yesterday I picked up a letter from them at my office. Their testimonial is below and I would like to thank them for the permission to share it.
We’d like to share with you our wonderful experience of having Monika Furtado as our realtor for our home sale. Monika was extremely professional from the beginning to the end of our home sale process. She clearly did her homework to price our condo perfectly which resulted in a sale price that exceeded our expectations. Monika worked very diligently to market our home by getting the word out quickly and she created custom-made brochures of our home for prospective buyers to take away. She kept us current with regular updates and feedback from the many weekly viewings. This gave us confidence that it was just a matter of time before our home sold. When the right opportunity presented itself, Monika’s expert negotiation skills enabled us to get thousands more from our home than we would have settled for it we had acted alone. Thank you Monika and Royal LePage!
- Paul and Agnes
View previous testimonials.
Thank you Paul and Agnes!
April 4, 2016
The Propsosed Green Line and Calgary Real Estate
There are some fundamentals in real estate values and many of them focus around 'location'.
Location can be specific such as location on a specific block or it can also mean which area of the city or general trends such as proximity to amenities, work, school and transportation.
There have been numerous studies completed that point to the value of real estate in relation to rapid transit such as our LRT system. The REIN Real Estate Investment Network completed one specifically for Calgary in recent years. A powerful voice in the real estate industry, Don Campbell, shares many details in this study that align with those in other cities and the general trends we see everyday. Essentially the value of comparable real estate will be higher closer to the LRT within a walking distance zone to a station than further away from it. Makes sense. If we can get around our city easier we tend to prefer that. Getting around easier, faster and at reduced cost is even better.
Current proposed alignment in detail on the City of Calgary site. -http://www.calgary.ca/Transportation/TI/Pages/Transit-projects/Green-line/map.aspx
Current LRT/Bus system Map for Calgary -
With the current market now in the buyer's advantage and the announcement of the alignment for the green line there is some opportunity to see how these two trends may align. Nothing is written in stone here so until the trains are running we are working on speculation in terms of final alignment, stops and timing. That being said, if you are considering a few different properties and one has a significant future transportation link advantage, you may want to consider that.
Need some help planning your next purchase? Give me a call. I'm happy to help.
April 4, 2016
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - April 4, 2016
The March Calgary real estate official numbers have been released. The statistical numbers reflect the day to day adjustments we are seeing across the city. While the overall numbers now also show a decline, that decline is higher in some areas and property types.
This continued decline in sales numbers and prices of individual homes is not unexpected given the current economic climate.
Sellers are often seeing high listing prices in their area and using the active listings on MLS to determine their home value. Without seeing true sold prices and inventory a homebuyer doesn't have the necessary information to project their sales numbers. If you are pursing a sale in the coming timeframe please request a home evaluation and I am happy to provide you the numbers you need to plan your next move.
Real estate is quite unlike the stock market as well need a home so adjustments occur slowly and with a time lag. When looking at listings it is quite clear most of the time who intends to sell a property and who is testing the market.
From the CREB Summary:
Calgary’s benchmark price totaled $442,800 in March, a 0.49 per cent decline over February and 3.51 per cent lower than levels recorded last year.
March home sales in Calgary totaled 1,588 units, 11 per cent below the same time last year and 28 per cent lower than long-term averages for the month.
Calgary also saw housing supply gains in most price ranges. Inventory levels rose by seven per cent to 6,084 units in March. Overall, months of supply has averaged five months in the first quarter of 2016.
The apartment sector has been the hardest hit by the recent downturn. After the first quarter of the year, apartment sales totaled 554 units, a 17 per cent decline over the same period last year.
Apartment benchmark prices have been trending down since late 2014. In March, benchmark apartment prices totaled $281,300, seven per cent lower than levels recorded prior to the slide and 4.93 per cent lower than levels recorded last year.
The detached and attached sector has also felt the brunt of Calgary’s weakening economy. Detached and attached home prices have dropped by four per cent from the recent peak.
March 22, 2016
Do Open Houses sell homes?
I've recently had some interesting conversations about sellers and open houses. Although for years many were told that Open Houses are the way to sell a home, the times are changing.
At every listing presentation we chat about hosting an open house. I'm always happy to host one as it means more exposure for your home potentially and for me. I honestly meet lots of great folks looking for a home that I end up assisting after meeting them at an open house. However, it is often not the home I am hosting.
Why? Because folks often view open houses out of curiosity. It may not be the right price point, style or they may not yet be ready to buy a home. Many visitors are neighbours just curious to see your home. When I greet those visiting my open house at the door I always ask if the visitors saw the listing online or the signs. I keep a tally and it lets me know how many were looking at the home in particular or just out to see what was available to view that day.
Folks often start their purchase process by checking out open houses to find out what their money can buy and what property costs in various areas. Online listings take people so far and then it is time to see homes in person. I've also met quite a few visitors that see open houses as a fun Saturday afternoon activity.
Can open houses allow people to see a home they may have not otherwise chosen to view and end up in a sale? Absolutely. It's just not the main path to sales success. Qualified buyers that are seriously looking to purchase are most often working with a Realtor and will book individual showings.
Pros of Hosting an Open House:
- additional visitors and exposure for your home
- many folks viewing at once to drum up excitement
- opportunity to chat with buyers about the home
Cons of Hosting an Open House
- security regarding theft or potential theft
- security regarding privacy
- nosy neighbours
Will I happily host an open house for you? Absolutely. But I always ask that you please lock your valuables and private items away. Understand that there is a balance between pros and cons and make a decision based on your personal risk tolerance. At the end of the day, I have the same goal as my sellers. Obtain maximum exposure for a given property while respecting their safety, security and privacy.
March 3, 2016
Great condo, but what about my pets?
As Calgary has grown and changed over the years, the type of property being built has also changed. We now see many more apartment and multi-family options than ever before. Whether high rise apartments, low rise apartments, townhouses, villas or detached homes, the concept of condo ownership is a very large part of the market.
Condo corporations typically have by-laws that determine some rules and guidelines for ownership to manage the goings on at any particular building or complex. Common rules are typically to maintain the safety and enjoyment of all owners such as rules about what can be stored in a parkade, what can be on a balcony and restrictions of use.
One big rule that is becoming an issue in my mind is pet restrictions.
More and more properties are either restricting all pets outright or else limiting pets by size of animal or type of animal. A typical example is no dogs over 20 pounds. This makes sense in some instances, but in others its tough. Many older Calgarians are moving from detached homes to condos in order to reduce costs and many have beloved pets which are family to them. In order to move to affordable homes, they have to give up their dogs. These dogs in many cases provide companionship, a reason to get up for a daily walk and the social interaction and joy that can come from a trip to the park.
Yes, 2 large barking dogs in a small apartment can be a bad idea. But that's where pet rules and board approval of animals may be a better option than outright bans cause honestly a little small dog can cause a nuisance where a big great dane can go completely unnoticed taking a nap in a warm sunny corner.
Understanding pet policies and learning which condo corporations are open to welcoming new owners with pets is key when searching for your new home with your beloved dog.
If Calgary, as a city, wants to develop more dense multi family living options, then please take into consideration the consequence of these pet policies on our overall population.