First, the disclaimer. I am a realtor licensed to sell real estate in Calgary, Alberta (residential, commercial and rural) but I am not a licensed property manager and do not assist with renting property. Ok. That's done.


I do however, keep an eye on all indicators that would assist my clients in making their real estate decisions. One of the numbers I keep an eye on are rental rates.


CMHC publishes vacancy rates, but they are only for as-built properties, you know, those big residential rental buildings and such. They don't track individual owners renting out their homes or someone renting out a secondary property. The only way to keep an eye on these is information posted on various rental sites. One of bits of info posted that I watch is from, Rentfaster.ca, which is the best local site in my opinion for folks looking to rent. It doesn't include all but it is a good trend indicator.


The item I am most looking at is the number of houses for rent. The format has changed over time but worth a comparison.  


This is a screenshot from Oct 24, 2017. - 1107 houses available.



I took a screenshot March 24, 2018 below. - 768 houses available.

This timeframe matched an upturn in our market where activity was increasing and also pricing in most areas. We were thinking we were finally recovering. (click to view larger image)




And another the other day from Sept 17, 2018. - 1222 houses available. As inventory began significantly increasing in early summer until how the increase in resale homes has also shown up in the rental inventory. (click to view larger image)




The increase inventory for rental houses is matching the inventory increase for resale homes. On the flip side, the same trend isn't matched for condos. On the resale market as well condos seem to have hit a plateau of sorts for the time being. The condo inventory (rental, resale, new construction and pre-sale) is a whole other beast.


As a seller the option to just 'rent it out' until things improve isn't as cut and dry as it sounds. 


It would my pleasure to help you achieve your real esate goals.

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Oh to have a crystal ball. Not sure there has been a more unpredictable time in our recent local market. Whenever I think we are on the path to recovery something new pops up to slow things back down a bit. New mortgage regulations, rate changes, pipeline court decisions, political changes and so much more. Predicting based on market alone is just not enough. So I am going to leave the predicting to our economic experts and focus on what I do best and that is helping you meet your goals.


I've had lots of conversations with folks about how to make a cross property move in this market and the best advice I can give is to first determine your priorities. Will you lose more sleep if you are holding two properties (potentially in a down market) or selling first and then finding a home under time pressure? For almost everyone the best advice is to sell first and keep an eye for the right new home while you do so. Knowing your sale price will ensure you do not put yourself into a financial worry and there is enough inventory out there to know if what you are looking for is real. The exception is those folks looking for a unique property. If there is a small number of homes in your target area or if you are searching for your unicorn property then you need to set up financially to buy first and be prepared for adjustments to the market along the way or prepare to rent in between. Either is correct depending on your priorities, but keeping perspective is what will ensure you are happy in the end. The market is adjusting so numbers today will not be numbers in 4 months. They may adjust up or down and the plan has to allow for that. Remember that when you sell for less you also buy for less in the same market so focus on the outcome and not to past numbers.


This uncertainty is also an opportunity. It seems lot hunters and property renovators are out buying property. They see the opportunity. If you have been looking for a time to enter the market this might just be that time. We have some big elections coming up in the new year as well as a political need for our business environment to improve. I'm cautiously optimistic the market will rally behind the momentum.


My role is to help you find your next home or sell your existing one. In terms of buying you will have my loyalty and confidence I am working in your best interest. In selling, we utilize professional marketing, photography and online platforms to ensure your first showing, your online presentation, is exceptional. Views lead to showings which lead to offers. Let's negotiate you the best outcome possible.


Overview from CREB (Calgary Real Estate Board)

HOUSING MARKET FACTS


Detached

Year-to-date detached sales eased across each district. Elevated inventory levels caused months of supply to remain just below five months in August and continued to weigh on housing prices across all districts.
Detached benchmark prices totaled $497,000 in August. This is a 0.74 per cent decline over last month and 2.6 per cent below the previous year.
Prices have trended down in all districts in August, however, on a year-to-date basis prices remain above last year in both the City Centre and West.
Year-to-date average detached benchmark prices have eased by 0.56 per cent over the previous year, reducing some of the price recovery from last year.


Apartment

Year-to-date sales totaled 1,892 units, seven per cent below the previous year. However, sales did not ease across all districts. Sales in both the North East and North West districts remained slightly higher than levels recorded last year.
New listings in the apartment sector eased compared to the previous year, preventing more significant gains in inventory levels. However, oversupply in this sector persists, causing further price declines.
Year-to-date city-wide prices eased by nearly three per cent, with the largest declines occurring in the North East, South and East districts. Overall prices remain nearly 14 per cent below 2014 highs.


Attached

Like the apartment sector, sales have eased in the attached sector. However, year-to-date sales have improved in some districts of the city for semi-detached and row product. Semi-detached sales improved in both the North West and West districts.
Row sales remained relatively stable in both the North East and East districts of the city.
Oversupply in the semi-detached sector has placed some downward pressure on prices this year, but year-to-date average benchmark price remains higher than last year in the City Centre, North
East and East districts of the city. Gains in these areas were enough to offset declines in other areas, keeping semi-detached prices one per cent higher than last year.
Year-to-date row prices eased by 1.5 per cent over last year. However, price movements ranged from relatively stable levels in the City Centre and North West to declines of nearly seven per cent in the North East district.


If you would like to view the stats for your community just contact me and I am happy to help you make your move.


Full CREB August Package: http://www.creb.com/Housing_Statistics/


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Price reduced to $569,900! Open House Saturday Sept 8 from 2-4 pm.

Stop by at the open house for this great family home in Sundance, a beautiful lake community. The home is fully finished with a great backyard including hot tub, pond and a fire pit. The basement is finished and ready to entertain friends and family. It even offers up a small prep space behind the bar to make wine, snacks or offer additional kitchen storage. The open main floor reveals beautiful, refinished hardwood floors; separate dining room/office; and a great sized wrap around kitchen. Upstairs you will find an amazing extra large master with ensuite, 2 great sized bedrooms and full bath. Double attached garage. See you on Saturday.


See all property details for 44 Sunlake Circle SE.



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See you on Sunday Aug 19 2-4 pm at 1108 Varsity Estates Drive NW.


Exceptional new price. First time on MLS. Lovingly cared for and renovated by long time owners, this beautiful bungalow in Varsity Estates is located on a corner lot and surrounded by fruit trees and a large yard. You can see the cul-de-sac playground from the kitchen windows. The custom Bow Valley kitchen is a chef’s dream and central to entertaining family and friends. Stunning new hardwood floors run throughout the main level as do the new baseboards and designer paint. 3 bedrooms are on the main level. The ensuite bath is fully redone with a new shower, tile floors, quartz counters and new fixtures. The theme extends to the renovated main bath. The basement offers 2 bedrooms, full bath, a rec room with bar and is refreshed with new paint, carpet and fixtures. The front detached double garage is large and spacious. Efficiency upgrades include new windows, upgraded wall insulation and new siding. Varsity is well known for exceptional schools and proximity to the City. Book your private showing today.


Full Property Details for 1108 Varsity Estates Drive NW.


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Stop by this Saturday, August 18, from 2-4 pm to view this exceptional Renaissance condo.


Spectacular downtown and city views. Renovated 2 bedroom, 2 bath SE facing home in the sought after Renaissance Towers on the 7th floor with central air conditioning. Brand new master bath with 2 sinks, quartz counters and custom step-in, extra-large, glass-enclosed shower with bench. New high end Beaulieu Zone vinyl plan flooring with Omni Choice acoustic underlay double glued for sound attenuation throughout the entire unit. The open concept kitchen with new leather finish granite counters looks out over the living/dining and the panoramic view of downtown and the city beyond. The unit also offers an office/den, in-suite laundry and 1 titled underground parking spot. Building amenities include: central air conditioning, exercise room, 24 hour security/concierge, guest suites, theatre, billiard room, library, party room, visitor parking and rooftop private park. The Renaissance has interior access to North Hill Mall and is across the street from the Lions Park LRT Station.


Property Details for 709 - 1718 14 Ave NW


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See you on Saturday 2-4 at 44 Sunlake Circle SE.


Beautifully maintained and move-in ready, this spacious Sundance home offers one of the larger kitchens in the area. You will notice the newly refinished hardwood floors. The front dining/flex room is open and filled with light. The living room, breakfast nook and kitchen offer an open concept design perfect for hosting family and friends. The central island is wrapped by the kitchen with amazing counter and storage space adding to the oversized pantry. Newer appliances are a great addition. The master bedroom has room for your entire bedroom set and offers a 4 piece bath with separate shower and tub. The secondary bedrooms are also a great size and joined with a walkthrough bathroom. The fully finished basement offers a rec room with bar and wine room as well the 4th bedroom and additional full bath. Laundry is on the main level. Step out to the private back deck and enjoy the hot tub, pond and fire pit surrounded by mature trees and landscaping. Double front heated attached garage. New gas heater in the garage installed in 2017.


Full Property Details for 44 Sunlake Circle SE Calgary


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For some time now I’ve been cautioning my clients on saying too much when viewing homes. In the past I’ve noticed the little red light on the open laptop or the nanny cam and my clients and I would nod at each other, stop talking and move along. However, these days recordings are becoming so common that it is changing the way we view properties for sale all together.


Ask a few different folks and you will hear different opinions on whether or not a seller can legally record a buyer in their home.


Can a seller record audio and video of showings? I don’t know. I still think technically you can’t, but we have to wait for someone to sue someone to find out for sure.


There is a distinction between audio and video and also a distinction between watching a live stream and a recording. I am not even going to attempt to get into the legalities of these, but sellers should really think consciously about whether or not they will watch or record audio and video of showings and if they will disclose that they are doing so.


In the meantime, know that you and I are most likely being recorded when viewing a home.


If we walk up to a home with a doorbell camera and I ring the bell I expect to be recorded. Yes, I do, but for a short period of time and only in that location. I also expect the home’s security system to capture which doors were opened and when.


I used to not expect a recording device that looks like a phone charger to capture audio and video of us discussing the kitchen design. Yet, I have seen them more and more now that I have learned to recognize them. Also, I know that I have been recorded at times I wasn’t aware that a recording device was in play. How? Well, the seller’s didn’t appreciate my commentary on the installation of their DIY floors it seems. 


From the seller’s perspective the logic makes sense. Recordings allow sellers to manage security of their home. Eavesdropping allows them to find out that folks really, really hate the blue shag carpet.


But what about when a buyer says something that would affect their negotiating power. What about something said in confidence to a spouse at a time they felt they were having a private conversation. What if the recording catches personal information that has nothing to do with the property sold, a phone call with another party, or a private conversation between parent and child?


What if the seller was to publish these videos?


So from this day forward we can’t chat about a house inside the house because we are being watched. It is such a downer. When folks realize they are being watched they shut down, they stop engaging and they withdraw. Those emotions are not good for a showing, for connecting with a property and falling in love with a new home. Yes, in the summer we take those conversations outside and the cameras will catch us chatting on the front driveway for a few minutes. In the winter, we will hop into our cars and head off to another house.


There are exceptions. I have a couple buyers that love the recording antics. They tell stories, make funny remarks and have fun with it. I don’t think it’s helping the sales process, but it sure does lighten the mood.

 

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After a short time off market, this beautiful condo is again available for sale. The Renaissance Towers are an exceptional and unique offering in Calgary with many looking a unit just in this building. For more information about the Renaissance Towers please do give me a call.

 

Spectacular downtown and city views. Renovated 2 bedroom, 2 bath SE facing apartment in the sought after Renaissance Towers on the 7th floor. Brand new master bath with 2 sinks, quartz counters and custom step-in, extra-large, glass-enclosed shower with bench. New high end laminate flooring throughout the entire unit. The open concept kitchen with new granite counters looks out over the living/dining and the panoramic view of downtown and the city beyond. The unit also offers an office/den, in-suite laundry and 1 titled underground parking spot. Building amenities include: central air conditioning, exercise room, 24 hour security/concierge, guest suites, theatre, billiard room, library, party room, visitor parking and rooftop private park. The Renaissance has interior access to North Hill Mall and is across the street from the Lions Park LRT Station. Showings by appointment only.


All property information and photos for 709 1718 14 Ave NW - Renaissance Towers, in Calgary.

 

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OPEN HOUSE Sat June 9: 2-4pm


First time on MLS. Lovingly cared for and renovated by long time owners, this beautiful bungalow in Varsity Estates is located on a corner lot and surrounded by fruit trees and a large yard. You can see the cul-de-sac playground from the kitchen windows. The custom Bow Valley kitchen is a chef’s dream and central to entertaining family and friends. Stunning new hardwood floors run throughout the main level as do the new baseboards and designer paint. 3 bedrooms are on the main level. The ensuite bath is fully redone with a new shower, tile floors, quartz counters and new fixtures. The theme extends to the renovated main bath. The basement offers 2 bedrooms, full bath, a rec room with bar and is refreshed with new paint, carpet and fixtures. The front detached double garage is large and spacious. Efficiency upgrades include new windows, upgraded wall insulation and new siding. Varsity is well known for exceptional schools and proximity to the City. Book your showing today.


Full property details and all photos for 1108 Varsity Estates Drive NW, Calgary.


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Beautifully maintained and move-in ready, this spacious Sundance home offers one of the larger kitchens in the area. You will notice the newly refinished hardwood floors. The front dining/flex room is open and filled with light. The living room, breakfast nook and kitchen offer an open concept design perfect for hosting family and friends. The central island is wrapped by the kitchen with amazing counter and storage space adding to the oversized pantry. Newer appliances are a great addition. The master bedroom has room for your entire bedroom set and offers a 4 piece bath with separate shower and tub. The secondary bedrooms are also a great size and joined with a walkthrough bathroom. The fully finished basement offers a rec room with bar and wine room as well the 4th bedroom and additional full bath. Laundry is on the main level. Step out to the private back deck and enjoy the hot tub, pond and fire pit surrounded by mature trees and landscaping. Double front heated attached garage. New gas heater in the garage installed in 2017.

 

Full property details and photos for 44 Sunlake Circle SE.

 

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Renovating? Do you have household furniture, appliances or building materials that you no longer need? Make a positive impact and donate these items with ease to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

 

Donating to a Habitat ReStore is an environmentally conscious decision that keeps useful household items out of landfills. And, with a free pick-up and tax receipt for items valued over $150, it’s never been easier or more convenient to donate.


Every donation helps Habitat homeowners build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership.


Accepted items:


• Furniture;
• Large appliances (less than 10 years old);
• Kitchen and bathroom cabinets;
• Unopened paint, primer or stain;
• Doors and windows;
• Unopened flooring;
• Home decor items;
• Sinks, faucets, bathtubs and showers;
• Lighting and electrical supplies;
• Hardware and tools; and
• Building materials, such as usable lumber, new drywall, insulation, etc.


Drop off locations:
South Calgary ReStore
7291 11 St SE
403-910-2561
southcalrestore@habitatsouthernab.ca


North Calgary ReStore
3465 Sunridge Way NE
403-291-6764
calgaryrestore@habitatsouthernab.ca


Request a pick-up online:
www.habitatsouthernab.ca/restore

 

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Well located on the upper hill of Montgomery, close to downtown, shopping, schools, the river pathways, the University of Calgary, and Foothills and Children’s hospitals, this beautiful home is filled with natural light allowed by the ample windows throughout. On entering the front door, the main level opens to the dining room, centre kitchen and living room beyond with hardwood floors running throughout. Well designed for flow and entertaining the chef’s kitchen with gas stainless steel stove is at the centre with a large island with granite counters. The upper levels offers three large bedrooms including the master with a 5 piece ensuite and upper level laundry room. The basement is fully finished with a 4th large bedroom, spacious family room and a built in wet bar. The back deck looks SW and enjoys great evening sun for a family BBQ and is fully fenced. Beyond is the detached double garage. Book your private showing today.


View all photos and property details for 2120 49 Street NW in Montgomery, Calgary.

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Spectacular downtown and city views. Renovated 2 bedroom, 2 bath SE facing apartment in the sought after Renaissance Towers on the 7th floor. Brand new master bath with 2 sinks, quartz counters and custom step-in, extra-large, glass-enclosed shower with bench. New high end laminate flooring throughout the entire unit. The open concept kitchen with new granite counters looks out over the living/dining and the panoramic view of downtown and the city beyond. The unit also offers an office/den, in-suite laundry and 1 titled underground parking spot. Building amenities include: central air conditioning, exercise room, 24 hour security/concierge, guest suites, theatre, billiard room, library, party room, visitor parking and rooftop private park. The Renaissance has interior access to North Hill Mall and is across the street from the Lions Park LRT Station. Showings by appointment only.

 

View all information and additional photos for 709 - 1718 14 Ave NW in the Renaissance Towers.

 

 

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For years the land at the end of Tuscany Summit Heath has been up for redevelopment. Proposals came and went and so did responses from the various community organizations to the City of Calgary. Much of the initial rezoning/development information was available in 2012. The initial applicant later sold the land to Rockford which is now the one developing the land. The Tuscany Community Association has been responding on these applications for years providing feedback about access, parking and other resident concerns.

 

Recent news indicates that construction will start this spring on 85 townhouses in the location developed by Rockford Tuscany.


This is the development application at the City of Calgary: Development Permit DP2016-5101


The Tuscany Community Association has been tracking this project for years and has the most public information I could personally find. These include:

Most recent update from the Tuscany Community Association on the Rockford Application

Information Package on Proposed Development - old 2012 plan as below.

 

This is the original Landscape Plan as posted on the TCA website. This was the 2012 plan which included the church. Not the one that is going forward today.

 

 

And this is the lot detail currently on the City planning app. Only the multifamily development is currently moving forward as far as I can see and the design is a little different by the lot configuration.

 

 

If you have more information to pass on please do let me know. Otherwise that is all that is available currently that I could find to share with you.

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Yesterday was a very big day at City of Calgary Council chambers.

 

 

Officially: Council voted 9-6 to take approvals for secondary suites out of council’s hands and make them a discretionary use in in R-1, R-C1 AND R-C1L districts across the city.


There is now a process in the hands of administration rather than Council.  

 

For details on the process, please visit the City of Calgary detailed information.

 

For all information on building requirements, permits, etc there is now detailed information posted on the City of Calgery website under Home building and Renovations.

 

Not all properties have the physical requirements to be suited. On top of the details related to permits and design, units must also provide an additional parking stall and private amenite space outdoors for tenants.

Details of design/permit requirements include:

Drawings required for permitting

Ceiling and Door Height requirements

Entry and exit point requirements

Bedroom egress windows

Acceptable window styles

Energy efficiency requirements

Smoke and fire protection

Exterior stairways

New exterior stairwells and engineering

Adding or increasing window size

Protection of secondary suite exits

Heating and ventilation

Plumbing

Electrical

Code and Safety Requirements for suites built before 2016

 

 

 

 

 

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As the snow starts to melt and the sunshine makes us dream of patio weather, please take a few moments to check your property.

 

Main steps:
1. Check that your sump pump is working if you have one.
2. Check downspouts are running water away from your foundation and shovel any snow blocking exhaust vents or window wells.
3. Do a basement walkthrough and check for any water at windows or venting access points.

 

I've been reviewing the February numbers and checking in on March numbers so far. Sales are down compared to last year in a substantial way. However, our median and average prices are higher than last year. As well, more million dollar plus listings are selling.

 

 

So why the change?


It is very easy to blame a lot of the adjustment on the new mortgage rules that came into effect in January. It is an easy mark as other major markets across the country have seen the same trend.
The other factor may be the weather. It is only committed buyers that make the effort to shop for homes with record snowfall and winter storms. Given other economic indicators are showing positive signs, it is going to be a time when it is important to understand the impact on your specific home and situation.

 

The market is adjusting across the city but not evenly. Apartments continue to be challenged by over supply in most areas. The west side and city centre are posting the strongest numbers for detached homes year to year and overall detached home absorption numbers show 3.74 months of supply. We will see what the balance adjusts to once the snow melts and the spring market begins.

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Hopewell is currently in the planning phase to develop the remaining lands along Arbour Lake Rd into a new residential area. An updated plan was recently submitted to the City of Calgary for consideration. The "Aurica Hawkwood' homestead is named after the long time previous resident of the land.

 

Curious about what is being built?

 

Fully built out the area is expected to provide approximately 890 units and be home to 2200 residents.

 

Information by the Developer - Hopewell's Arbour Lake Development

City of Calgary - Arbour Lake Engage Information

 

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As we move into 2018 and the spring market home owners looks to statistics and numbers to evaluate the value of their home. We look at various numbers such as list to sale ratios, absorption rates and comparable sales on MLS. These numbers are very valuable and provide insight into the activity and demand in a particular areas of the city.

 

However, we must also look to numbers outside of the MLS system.

 

Especially in new communities where resale homes are competing with new construction, we have to look beyond the MLS. New home sales data is generally not available to the public.

 

Last week the OWL, written by the ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team, published an article titled 'More Evidence of a Residential Construction Slowdown'.

 

 

In Relation to Calgary specifically the article stated:

 
That indicator is the number of completed, but unabsorbed houses in our province. In Calgary, 635 new homes sat vacant with no binding agreement made to buy or sell at the end of last year. As of December, vacant housing in Calgary was 19 per cent higher than during the same month a year earlier. In fact, December’s total reached the second highest level of vacant housing of 2017 since December 2011. What’s more is that inventory rose at an average rate of 22 per cent last year.

 

When buying and selling homes in areas that compete with new home construction, consider all competitive options in your review. A visit to the local showhomes never hurts to get a better understanding of the options buyers have in your price category.

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So the other day I was having quite the morning shovelling out my driveway. I came inside to warm up and saw a post from one of our Tuscany residents, Curtis Johnston, who posted the following EPIC photo for our community. Best laugh in days.  Thanks Curtis.

 

Curtis - Shout out to the new neighbours, who brought a vehicle that can make it through 12 mile/crowchild intersection.

 

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One of the most amazing things about Tuscany is the local wildlife. Located on 12 Mile Coulee at the outer edge of the city, Tuscany is home to a myriad of creatures including bobcat, lynx, coyotes, porcupines, deer and even a couple moose. The images here were captured by Tuscany resident, Jane Sarsfield, and shared here with her permission.

 

I have personally never seen the porcupine and I am totally ok with that. 

 

 

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