This past Wednesday the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB)  hosted their annual forecast breakfast.  Expert presentations were offered. A big takeaway was the 2012 outlook.  If you are interested in reviewing the statistics behind the press releases and headlines, then have a read.
The last week has been very busy in the marketplace so this is a great indication for the momentum building for the year.
Another statistic you will soon see in the media is the MLS House Pricing Index (HPI). Coming to Calgary in February, this index is intended to clear up the misinterpretation that often accompanies 'average price'. As average prices can be skewed by the composition of sales, it does not reflect price trends based on the type and features that a home provides. For example, one luxury home sale in a community can raise the 'average price', however that doesn't mean other homes have increased in value.
The MLS® HPI is calculated using a sophisticated statistical model that estimates home prices based on their quantitative and qualitative feature. More information will be available as this new metric is made available and I am curious to see how it is understood and adopted.
At the end of the day, if you want to understand the market and the value of your home, give me a call.   You don't need to understand statistical models or the economic forecast, that's where I help out. If you want to understand the numbers that are behind the 30 second tv spot then enjoy the read.


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Even on a day like today, with -30 windchills, I am showing properties to prospective buyers. You have to think they are serious buyers. I mean, who else is out in this weather?

As a seller, please take the time to treat us well and welcome us into your home. Leave the front lights on so I can find the lockbox on your front door. If your lockbox is buried and frozen in snow or require me to find it in the snowdrift at the side of your house, I have to tell you that you are not my favourite house today.  Please leave out a mat at the front door. We are trying to keep your entrance clean, but we need some help. There are 4 pairs of boots in our group. The mess depends on whether or not the driveway and sidewalk have been cleared.


This is also the time of year that many Calgarians take the opportunity to fly to somewhere warm for a week or 2 or 10. If you have your home on the market, then you have to stay accessible. If you don't want an offer to ruin your holiday than take your home off the market. If you do keep your home on the market than make sure someone is taking care of your home and welcoming us inside.  


If I show your home tonight to my buyers and you leave the lights on for me, I appreciate it. Hopefully I bring you an offer.






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I hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday, a very Merry Christmas and are looking forward to a great year in 2012.
The year has started out quickly with the recent upturn in activity resulting in various predictions about the future of the market. The number of listings has reduced significantly over the holidays but is stabilizing in a general sense as well.  The number of sales has increased last year especially towards the latter half of the year. Prices remain relatively consistent with last year but it also depends where you are in the city. I personally feel that sales and prices will slowly start to increase this year as long as international economic forces don't once again put a lid on our enthusiasm.
One item of note in the shift of buyers expectations over the last while.  As new home builders have added more features and upgrades to their packages to new buyers, some buyers have begun to expect more from resale homes such as hardwood floors, granite counters, updated fixtures, cabinet styles, etc. If you are in an area competing with new construction, it is these upgrades as well as price that are pushing the market. As a result, some neighbourhoods may see the price shift quite differently.  Other items such as finished garages or installed audio systems may sway buyers. It is not about price per square foot as buyers are looking to compare builders, quality of construction, features, finishes and upgrades.
If you are considering a sale or looking for a new home, give me a call to get started as this year is going to look different than what we have been used to.
Some numbers of note from the CREB press release:
Calgary residential sales in 2011 increased eight per cent over last year, with 18,568 sales for 2011 compared to 17,267 in 2010. Recovering from tepid sales activity in the first half of 2011, early improvements in employment and migration resulted in a pickup in housing demand in the second half of the year. By the end of June 2011, year-to-date sales activity had only increased by two per cent compared to the second half of the year, where residential sales improved by 15 per cent.
Meanwhile, the condominium market recorded declining sales for nearly half of the year, but favorable pricing and improved economic conditions pushed sales up by double digit rates for the second half of the year.  2011 condo sales totaled 5,382, a 4 per cent increase over the previous year.  The rise in sales was complemented by an annual 12 per cent decline in listings. This helped to tighten the condominium market, causing inventories to decline to 1,287 and months of supply to remain just above four months.
“The demand recovery in the condominium market lagged the single family market, as price adjustments in both the single family and condominium markets resulted in more selection for consumers,” Stante says. “For the first time in several years, consumers had additional selection of single family homes at a lower price range, which directly competed with the condominium market.”
Single family average price in 2011 reached $466,402, a one per cent increase over last year.  While there have been some strong monthly increases, primarily due to sales in the upper end skewing the prices, overall prices have remained fairly stable.  Meanwhile, the year-end median price of 405,000 remains at levels similar to 2010.

Condominium prices have remained persistently low in 2011, while some of the monthly figures have been boosted by high end penthouse sales. By the end of 2011, the average price of $287,172 remained one per cent lower than the previous year.

View the full statistics package released from CREB.
As always, feel free to give me a call and I am happy to assist with the purchase or sale of a home.
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When it comes to purchasing or selling a home, some fundamental rules have just changed.
1. If you have purchased a home recently, the Inspection Schedule you previously saw has been revised. The schedule now removes any connection of dollar amounts to an inspection conditions. In simple terms it means that if the buyer is not satisfied with the condition, they do not waive and the sale does not complete. Any deposit will be returned to the buyer in this case. If other arrangements were negotiated in the purchase, they have to be clearly stated in the contract.
2. Sellers now have the choice to not post that a sale is pending on MLS so conditional/pending sales can remain marketed as active listings. Buyers may then be looking at homes that are conditionally sold without knowing it until they write an offer. Sellers may also receive additional inquiries and offers once a home is conditionally sold.  This change is new to the Calgary market and it is not yet clear how it will be adopted.

There have been a number of changes to the rules and standard practices over the last couple of years. I'd be happy to answer your questions so that you are best prepared to make your move.


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