On January 20 I attended the CREB Annual Forecast Breakfast and Tradeshow. Along with the main forecast event I also attended discussions of the Economic Panel, Expert Panel on Condo Connoisseurs, Legal Panel as well as a session on the Green Homes Market.
 
To sum it up, 2010 is forecast to see a balanced market. To buyers and sellers, this means you will have to review trends in your specific markets, price right and stay informed.
 
What numbers will make a big difference in the coming year:
 

1.     Lending rates. Every lender I know has been sending me regular emails saying their indicators show rates should be increasing now. The Bank of Canada has publically stated they will hold current rates thru June. The rates will go up this year. When and how much? It depends who you ask. We will have to wait and see in the coming months.

As rates increase, it will have some impact. The important thing to remember is that prime lending rates are currently at emergency levels, and to see them increase is in many ways a good sign. It means the economy has recovered enough to go back to historically low rates rather than emergency rates.  (If you are a buyer you might not see it that way though.)
 
2.       Supply numbers. 2008 and 2009 were made more challenging by an oversupply of new homes on the market as well as resale homes. The surge in the last two quarters of 2009 absorbed the oversupply so managing supply in 2010 (especially of new home) will help shape 2010.
 
3.       Demand.  Labour market numbers and net migration numbers to Calgary will determine who can afford to buy and who is moving to Calgary in need of housing.
 
4.       Overall predictions by CREB indicate a 6.3% average price increase for single family homes in 2010 as well as a 4.3% average price increase for condos.  This forecast would indicate a short term lag in the comparison of condos and single family homes. Low levels of start ups in the condo market will again drive prices up in the longer term particularly for the lower price market that cannot be supplied by single family homes.
 
These numbers are all great, but you need to speak to your Realtor about how they impact you and your market.  If you want to know what they mean to you and your future plans, give me a call (403-850-2446) or drop me an email (monika@monikafurtado.com) and I will be happy to help you.
 
As a side-note to all the numbers talk, I noticed an interesting trend both in the condo forum as well as the legal forum. During the boom, many folks were caught up in the buying rush and maybe didn’t read condo documents or property documents as carefully as they should have or have their homes inspected. Some properties that sold then would maybe not sell today. No matter the market, do your due diligence and make sure you protect yourself as a buyer. It isn’t a big deal if a condo has a shortfall if you are aware of it and have accounted for that in your purchase. It is a big deal if you find out two months later.
 

What are your thoughts on the market for 2010?

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The Tuscany Community Association (TCA) held an open house last night at the Tuscany Club. The main purpose was a call out for new volunteers to join the board and various committees to continue the expansion of the TCA. Was nice to see quite a few folks out as well as Alderman Dale Hodges.
There was an update on the LRT exansion to Tuscany and Rocky Ridge/Royal Oak as well as updates on the various initiatives underway in our community and surrounding areas such as the work surrounding the proposed recreation centre for the Northwest. There was too much detail to post in one post so I will send updates over the coming weeks regarding various projects.
It is very encouraging to see so much involvement from the community in continuing to expand the programs available. Adding to ongoing initiatives, future work will focus more on youthprograms as well as traffic safety.
I was surprised to learn the TCA soccer program alone coordinates over 60 teams with just under 800 children participating.
Note: The Tuscany Residents Association and Tuscany Community Association are two separate groups.
 
 
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I was very excited to see the news last night that the ice rinks under construction at COP (Canada Olympic Park) are going to open AHEAD of schedule and are expected December 2010. The fourth rink, the 3,000 seat Olympic sized rink is expected in phase 2 to be completed in 2011.
 
The three rinks to be completed this December are going to be utlized for minor hockey and recreation. That is amazing news for the very very many hockey, ringette and skating moms and dads that are currently driving all over town.  According to the article this morning in the Calgary Herald, 75 per cent of the ice in two of the rinks will be dedicated to public access -- including minor hockey.
 
What a great facility in our community to keep our children active and engaged (and out of trouble!). :)
 
 
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You are invited to an open house at 218 Royal Oak Bay this Saturday, January 16th between 1:00pm and 3:00pm.
 
This 4 bedroom, 2 storey Jayman built home is move-in ready and beautifully landscaped.
 
 
Should you have any questions regarding the property prior to Saturday please do not hesitate to contact me. See you on Saturday!
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Housing Recovery Continues with Active December Market
Year-over-year sales increase for seventh consecutive month
 
Calgary, January 5, 2010 – The Calgary housing market continues to show signs of a sustained recovery according to figures released today by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®).
 
The number of single family homes sold in December 2009 in the city of Calgary was up 78 per cent from the same time a year ago, while condominiums sales saw an increase of 66 per cent from the same time a year ago.
 
“What a difference a year makes. Undoubtedly the recovery in Calgary’s housing market came sooner than expected this past year,” says Bonnie Wegerich, president of CREB®. “Pent up demand by first time buyers, record low mortgage rates and improved affordability have helped bolster the Calgary market in 2009.”
 
December 2009 saw 799 single family homes sold in the city of Calgary. This is a decrease of 27 per cent from 1,095 sales in November 2009. In December 2008, single family home sales totaled 449. The number of condominium sales for the month of December 2009 was 341.  This was a decrease of 32 per cent from the 504 condominium transactions recorded in November 2009. In December 2008, condominium sales were 205.
 
“The same time last year the cards were stacked in favour of the buyer.  But this month sales once again show Calgary has returned to a balanced market,” says Wegerich. “While our sales did taper off slightly in December, as expected for this time of year, home buying activity in Calgary indicates we are in a sustained recovery.”
 
The average price of a single family home in the city of Calgary in December 2009 was $451,349, showing a decrease of 3 per cent from November 2009, when the average price was $464,444, and showing an increase of 8 per cent from December 2008, when the average price was $417,398. The average price of a condominium in the city of Calgary was $288,640, showing a 2 per cent decrease from November 2009, when the average price was $294,264 and a 5 per cent increase over last year, when the average price was $274,919. Average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods, or account for price differentials between geographical areas.
 
The median price of a single family home in the city of Calgary for December 2009 was $401,000, showing a decrease of 2 per cent from November 2009, when the median price was $408,000, and up 6 per cent from December 2008, when the median price was $380,000. The median price of a condominium in December 2009 was $265,000, showing virtually no change from November 2009, when the median was $264,900, and up 4 per cent from December 2008, when the median price was $254,000.
 
All city of Calgary MLS® statistics include properties listed and sold only within Calgary’s city limits. The median price is the price that is midway between the least expensive and most expensive home sold in an area during a given period of time. During that time, half the buyers bought homes that cost more than the median price and half bought homes for less than the median price.
 
Single family listings in the city of Calgary added for the month of December totaled 806, a decrease of 41 per cent from November 2009 when 1,365 new listings were added, and showing a decrease of 4 per cent from December 2008, when 836 new listings came to the market. Condominium new listings in the city of Calgary added for December 2009 were 444, down 37 per cent from November 2009, when the MLS® saw 705 condo listings coming to the market. This is an increase of 3 per cent from December 2008, when new condominium listings added were 431.
 
“Our inventory, while lower than last year, still offers a good selection for all ranges of buyers. Typically we see lower inventory at the end of the year with the listing count rising in the spring months. Our absorption rate remains under three months for single family homes, and just under four months for condos. Both are in a balanced market range,” Wegerich says.
 
“As we look to the year ahead, interest rates along with employment will continue to be key factors for a sustained recovery in the housing market.  We expect a modest rise in interest rates by the middle of year—and this may spur some buyers to take advantage of low rates before the end of 2010,” adds Wegerich.
 
CREB® is a professional body of 5,393 licensed brokers and registered associates, representing 252 member offices. The board does not generate statistics or analysis of any individual member or company’s market share. All MLS® active listings for Calgary and area may be found on the board’s website at www.creb.com.
 
 
News Release
For more information, please contact:
Olivia Pavel, Communications Supervisor at 403-781-1319
300 Manning Road N.E., Calgary, AB.  T2E 8K4
Phone: (403) 263-0530, Fax: (403) 218-3688
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As the holidays come to a close, folks begin to look ahead and review whether or not this is the year to buy their first home or make a move.
One of the most important numbers to look at is what you can or want to afford. There is no sense in looking at homes outside of your price range, so determining this number is a great first step in the process.
 
There are two parts to this question. What will the banks and institutions be willing to lend and what are you willing to pay on a monthly basis towards your mortgage. It all depends on your needs, values and lifestyle.
Two great calculators to get you started are:
To get a general sense of what you can afford you can check out the Mortgage Affordability Calculator on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Site (CMHC).
To play with variations of rates and downpayment see the TD Canada Trust Mortgage Calculator.
 
One word of caution that I emphasis with all of my clients. Rates are currently at historic lows so plan ahead. The rates will most likely be higher in 5 years so don't max yourself out on current rates. Check out the calculators based on rates 1 or 2 points higher to make sure you are not putting yourself in a difficult position when it comes time to renew your mortgage.
 
If you are looking to buy a home in the coming months give me a call and I will help explain the current market, connect you with a mortgage broker if you do not have one, and review homes in your area to help you find the perfect one for you. 
It can sometimes feel overwhelming to buy, especially your first home, but I will walk you through the process and ensure you have the right information to help you make the best decisions for you.
 
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