Calgary's residential real estate market continues to show positive growth.

 

City of Calgary sales activity marked a 23-per-cent increase over levels recorded in October 2011. The continued improvement in sales has pushed year-to-date sales activity to nearly 16-per-cent above levels recorded in 2011.

The detailed CREB statistics reports outlines the details, but the coles notes version is that while there is uncertainty in Vancouver and Toronto, Calgary real estate continues to remain at balanced levels and forecasts predict slow and steady growth. The positive economic outlook in our province, along with very low interest rates and a tight rental market may be encouraging people to look to home ownership. (Yes, a buyer can currently lock in at a 2.99% 5 year mortgage rate.)

 

Speaking of 2.99%, there was a great article in the Globe and Mail that came out a few days ago that is worth a read: Pay your mortgage like it's 2007. You'll save a pile of money.

 

Something that the statistics don't show is the coming trends due to demographic changes which will impact the demand for different property types. A preference for bungalows vs split levels or villas vs multi level townhomes won't reflect in average statistics but the slow change is one to note. When renovating your home, especially for resale, these trends are worth considering. I recently saw a gorgeous bungalow. It was perfect for my clients until we reached the master ensuite. There was a raised tub and shower area which required 2 tiled steps to access the tub and separate shower. I think it was meant to provide easier access to the tub, but it was a deal breaker.

 

Notable numbers from CREB:

 

The strong demand for homes relative to the supply levels has caused some significant increases in the price of single family homes this year compared to 2011. As of October 2012, the benchmark price for a single family home was $433,300, an 8-per-cent increase over the previous year. While there has been significant recovery in Calgary home prices, typical unadjusted home prices have leveled off remaining relatively unchanged over the past 4 months, and remain below the highs recorded in 2007.

 

Condominium apartments recorded a benchmark price of $247,000 in October 2012, losing some ground over the previous month, but still higher than the previous year by 3 per cent. While on average condominium apartment prices have fallen more than risen since 2007, condominium prices this year have recovered to levels comparable to 2010.

After the first 10 months of the year condominium townhouse sales totaled 2,279, 16-per-cent higher than last year. The benchmark price for a townhouse in October was $279,000, a 3-per-cent improvement over October 2011.

 

CREB Statistics Summary in Full

 

Questions about the market or your future sale or purchase. As always, feel free to contact me.

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Social media awareness for buyers and sellers is also becoming increasingly revealing.

 
More and more people are checking out prospective sellers and buyers online as part of their research into a home purchase or sale. Whether on twitter, linkedin, facebook, pinterest or flikr, people these days reveal a great deal about themselves.
 
For example, a linkedin profile will reveal where you work, your position and therefore your potential income. We can also see if you recently were promoted, if you are relocating and your potential age based on your employment history. Great information for those on the opposite side of negotiations.  It can affect the price of negotiations, but it may also serve to show you are a financially strong candidate for the mortgage required for the purchase.
 
On facebook, pinterest and flikr, people reveal much more personal information and often don't consider their privacy settings.  Have you just told the world you have sold your home and have nowhere to live in 60 days? The seller that just received your offer will be very interested to know that information. Did you just find the most amazing house that you are going to put an offer on tomorrow? Can someone else find that gem in that perfect neighbourhood based on your post and scoop if out from under you?  Does your history reveal a nasty neighbour situation, an issue with your home or that you absolutely cannot stand shovelling that long driveway one more winter?  
 
As with other aspects of privacy online, just be conscious that people may just read everything you post. 
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