October 27, 2017
New Mortgage Rules That WILL Impact You. Changes effective Jan 1, 2018.
New mortgage rule changes coming into effect. This is a new one effective Jan 1, 2018.
The official info - Official release from Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) - Government of Canada
I tried reading the detailed guideline but went cross-eyed on the fine print so I thought you might feel the same and want some cole's notes. As I'm not a mortgage broker nor do I pretend to crunch numbers like one, I asked my trusted mortgage broker, Jason Dodd from First Foundation to give me a hand.
1.) What this means across the board is that your purchasing power is decreasing by about 20%. ( Previously this only applied to insured mortgages. Now it applies to everyone as of Jan 1, 2018.)
Your qualification is no longer based on the lending rate provided to you. It is now based on a government prescribed rate. If you want a 3% mortgage, for example, you'll need to qualify at the Bank of Canada benchmark rate, currently 4.89%, or contract rate + 2%, whichever is HIGHER. Right now some of those 2% rates on 5 year are higher than the National Qualifying Rate.
2) Your qualifications may fluctuate across areas of the country and be adjusted in 'soft or softening markets.
OSFI (Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions - Government of Canada) is going to "require" lenders to have more "dynamic" Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratios. Presumably this means that lenders will have to require more money down from buyers in markets that are soft or softening. This could dramatically impact first time buyers who usually can qualify with 5% down. Now the government may determine what's "reasonable" for any given market. In the past lenders were able to make these decisions for themselves.
3) Having multiple mortgages will be calculated differently. This will impact those purchasing a home or refinancing a home with more than one mortgage.
OSFI will ban the practice of combining a first mortgage and second mortgage to a LTV above 80% and marketing the effective blended rate (which is true and accurate as a weighted average, BTW) because they feel that it circumvents the 80% LTV limit. What OSFI doesn't explain here is that nothing will change except the consumer will be more confused than ever. Instead of presenting one rate, the lender(s) will have to present two rates, two payments, and two loan-to-values. This increases complexity and confusion.
These changes are important to both buyers and sellers.
For buyers, these changes will significantly impact your purchasing power as of Jan 1, 2018. I have heard that any purchase contracts FIRM prior to this date will follow current rules, but that isn't in stone and can change. You are best to double check with your mortgage broker. Anything after this date is bound by the new rules. If you are purchasing pre-construction check with your lender.
For sellers, the pool of buyers for your home will be changing and it is important to review the details as you plan your sale.
As always, if you have questions regarding your purchase or sale, give me a call anytime directly at 403 850 2446 to arrange a confidential buyer or seller consultation.
October 3, 2017
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Oct 3, 2017
The September Calgary real estate numbers continue the trend from last month. A bit of an inventory increase has tempered the earlier uptick in pricing increases. General benchmark trends are down a touch and we are entering October with 1000 more listings than the same time last year.
The recent positive sales numbers and steady couple quarters may have provided folks enough stability in pricing to make plans. Sometimes it once we see past the worst that we hope for the best.
Supply and demand is what drives real estates. Perceptions drive decisions.
And numbers. I know they are boring. That's why you hire a realtor. Seriously.
For example, many folks right now are looking for homes with less maintenance, newer homes. They don't want to worry about furnaces, roofs or major updates. So let's look at newer homes across Calgary.
Detached homes built since 2010 under $500,000:
There are 113 active listings across the city. In the last 30 days 51 have sold. That is 2.2 or just over 2 months of inventory. Kind of a seller's advantage depending on the community. Surprised?
Detached homes built since 2010 between $500,000 and $600,000:
There are 184 active listings across the city. In the last 30 days 24 have sold. This is 7.6 months of inventory. This is a definite buyer advantage.
Does it depend where you are? The outskirts are where we find new inventory in this price point.
Let's compare North and South (sorry excluding east for now).
So North/Northwest there are 78 active listings in the $500,000- $600,000 category built since 2010. 7 have sold in the last 30 days. Absorption is 11.1 months of inventory. Hmm...
So South/Southeast there are 79 active listings in the $500,000-$600,000 category built since 1010. 13 have sold in the last 30 days. Absorption is 6 months of inventory.
So if you are a seller in this category in the north vs the south you may have to work a bit harder to get your home sold. Very good information to know. And as a buyer maybe you can ask for the washer/dryer included.
Buyers are very price sensitive right now and it important to understand the distinct variables to know if you are in a buyer's or seller's micro market when buying or selling. Who has the advantage in your market?
Calgary rocks. I mean it. Really. Calgary is a sensational place to live. Calgary is a young and vibrant city full of educated, caring, forward-thinking folks. If you are considering Calgary, stop by for a visit and check things out. I'm happy to help.
September 14, 2017
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Sept 14, 2017
If you have school aged children or are yourself engaged in educational pursuits, then September is a big month. The 'new' of September often gets folks considering their real estate plans as we say goodbye to summer hot days and ponder how many days we have to spruce up the front porch before the snow hits.
Since the weather changes around here every 10 minutes around now would be the time to touch up any exterior paint or repairs if you are considering a fall/winter sale.
Many of the conversations with folks I have these days is about timing the market. Folks considering a purchase or sale are trying to crystal ball things. We have a sense that the market is stabilizing with many indicators from various industry trends and numbers. At the same time, we have an increase in fall listings that are outshining the positive sales bumps.
Our year to date sales total are up across segments (8.06% up year over year detached, 5.12% up year over year apartments and 11.06% year over year attached). This is a very positive sign. Our year over year numbers are indicating positive movement in most regards. However, the monthly numbers are pointing towards an uptick in inventory and a drop in sales of homes per listings than the same month last year. The yearly and monthly comparable (August 2016 to August 2017) are somewhat divergent. An example is that our Year over Year Inventory level shows a decrease of 7.38% but a August 2016 to August 2017 comparable shows an increase of 20.23%.
There is some seasonal here, but also potentially an opportunity to see a bump in an otherwise positive trending path.
At the same time the benchmark pricing continues to drop in the apartment sector and increase in the detached sector with some mixed numbers in the attached sector.
What does all that mean? Typically we are on a positive trend with a bit of up and down along the way.
Curious to find our opportunity? So am I. If you are considering a purchase or sale please give me a call so we can review your specific details.
August 17, 2017
Real Estate Market Update - August 17, 2017
As we mark the mid-point of August 2017 I wish you all had the opportunity to enjoy this absolutely amazing summer. I can't remember another year full of so much sunshine and outdoor days.
It has felt like a summer of taking a deep breath and a bit of relaxation after a difficult two years. The real estate market is showing signs of recovery. With a step forward, back, sideways and forward again, the adjustments ebb and flow depending on the supply and demand in various micro markets around the city. Folks first jumped on detached homes and continue to do so with attached homes and especially apartments still lagging behind.
That being said, the current political climate, unemployment rates, migration levels and impact of the fall's lending policies continue to keep folks from getting too excited.
The Calgary Real Estate Board released the mid year report earlier today and it is a very good summary of our market and the various economic factors that fuel our market. Have a read.
In terms of buying and selling, right now is very much a time of adjusting expectations and ongoing review of market conditions. I'm very curious how the sales numbers unfold once we all return from our summer break and realize we only have a few weeks before the winter begins to show itself.
Remember, that if you are getting ready to list this fall or winter, now is the time to work on those minor repairs, paint the trim and touch up the curb appeal.
As always, please contact me directly if you wish some personal advice. I'm always happy to help.
July 12, 2017
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - July 12, 2017
Are you enjoying Stampede this year? I hope you are enjoying the sunshine, weekend adventures camping or visiting all the amazing sites around Alberta, taking in Stampede and a great start to a Calgary summer.
It seems lots of folks are doing just that and as the usual trends, show, less folks are focused on real estate right now. Nothing too unusual. What is a bit more unusual is a bit of a surge in listings. The listing increase is good for buyers that were getting pushed out of the quick turnaround in detached homes at the lower price points. It isn't great news for sellers in an already challenged market in the apartment segment. What we are seeing is a market in recovery and the ebb and flow that happens along the way.
Not sure what the best move is for you? Give me a call and we can work out your specific situation. I'm helping lots of folks watch various markets to help them determine their next steps. It is really helpful when you see info just related to you instead of overall city statistics. AND I will make sure you know what you need to get your home and paperwork ready to list when the right time comes. Yes, the lighting, furniture placement, art on the wall, clean cupboards and 'pre-packing' really do make a big difference. :)
Have a great July everyone and enjoy everything that is great about Calgary and Alberta with the free park pass!
June 9, 2017
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - June 9, 2017
The regular market update is usually posted the first week of the month, but I let things play out a few days longer this time. I was noticing a bit of a surge in new listings at the end of May and wanted to see if it was a blip or still continuing.
So far this last week there has been a noticeable surge in listings. This is coupled with trying to show property and being told many are already under contract. This results in things being quite interesting and folks pull out their crystal balls and try and play the market.
With school winding down this is the optimal time to list for folks that want to move after school ends but before the new school year. It is also easier for busy sports families as many events are winding down. Maybe folks were waiting for positive market news which is now more consistent or maybe then wanted to show off their landscaping. With the flowers starting to bloom many homes have beautiful curb appeal.
We are in a climate of slow but consistent stabilization and slow pricing growth in our market for detached homes. Benchmark pricing is up from last year in all areas of the city except the northeast. Semi attched homes are catching up. Townhouses and apartments are a bit further behind and pricing is down compared to benchmark pricing last year most everywhere (except townhouses in the inner city). it is all logical really. Month over month pricing is in the positive though so that's a good sign meaning things are slowly moving forward even though they have a bit of ways to catch up from previous sales periods.
If you are considering the sale or purchase of a new home I would be very happy to assist you. Let us find you a great home at a great price. Give me a call direct at 403 850 2446.
April 5, 2017
Development around Canada Olympic Park and the west side of the TransCanada Corridor
As we approach the construction season of 2017, it seemed a good time to get caught up on some of the major development and transportation projects in NW / West Calgary especially so much happening around Canada Olympic Park (COP) and the Trans Canada Corridor. This is a longer post than intended but I have so much to share with you!
You may have also noticed signage regarding some of the new communities soon to be starting construction in the area. The stages of development and detailed information vary for each site. As well, the names for some areas on the City of Calgary website differ from the advertised community or project names.
New Development Projects/Communities:
Trinity Hills / Medicine Hill / Paskapoo Slopes:
The first zone is the area in the SW corner of the Trans Canada and Sarcee Trail interchange between the interchange and COP. This area is called Medicine Hill/East Paskapoo Slopes on the City of Calgary site. The main name from a community perspective seems to be Trinity Hills. This area is currently proposed to include a supermarket, retail and residential properties.
City of Calgary: City Information for East Paskapoo
Developer Information: Trinity Hills
Developement of the area right beside Canada Olympic Park to the east. The application is by Winsport which runs Canada Olympic Park.
City of Calgary: City information for the Ripley Site
Parkside / Greenbriar / Greenwich:
The second zone is the area on the NW corner of the Stoney Trail and Trans Canada interchange between the interchange and Bowfort Road. This area is currently cleared on the west section and looks to be close to start of development. This area is expected to include retail, office and residential properties.
City of Calgary: City Information for Parkside (west section)
Developer information: Melcor's Greenwich Calgary
Shape / Calgary West:
This area is located just south of the Trans Canada on the east side of the community of Crestmont. The developer site notes: "This mixed-use open air regional shopping centre calls for 650,000 square feet of retail, and some 800-1,000 on-site residences."
Ciyt of Calgary: City Information for Shape
Developer information: Shape Properties's Calgary West
Loblaws / BVX Corp:
This area is located immediately southwest of the Trans Canada Stoney Trail interchange. Proposed use is 1325 residentail units, grocery store and supporting commerical, retail and office space. To be developed by Loblaw Properties West and BVX Corporation.
City of Calgary Information: Proposal Summary Only
Crestmont Phase 4:
To be developed by Qualico Communities. Within this space, there will be approximately 516 dwellings ranging from single-detached, semi-detached and townhouses.
City of Calgary: City Information for Crestmont Phase 4
Bearspaw in Haskayne:
The Haskayne Area Structure Plan was approved in 2015. This covers the area south of Tuscany, north of the reservoir and west to Rocky View County.
City of Cagary: City Information or Haskayne
Developer information: Brookfield's Bearspaw
A unique development located surrounding the Alberta Children's Hospital and west of the University of Calgary. Numerous residential projects will be developed in this large project. A unique difference in our market is that University District will offer leases on parcels for a 99-year term. The conclusion of this term will either see an extension of the lease or a purchase back at fair market value.
West Campus Development Trust
Developer Information - University District Discovery Centre
Stadium Shopping Centre:
This area will be redeveloped by the property owners, Western Securities. Redevelopment Plan
Calgary is building. Where are you going to call home? Contact Monika at 403 850 2446 to help you make your best move.
April 4, 2017
April 4 2017 Calgary Real Estate Market Update
The headlines read that the housing market is stabilizing as we enter spring. That does seem to be the case for detached homes in general and attached homes in some areas. However, it also seems to mean that some folks selling are feeling that since the turnaround has begun that prices have followed. They have not. Not yet. Inventory remains low with less homes on the market than last year with sales numbers increasing, but those overpriced homes are not selling. Pricing appropriately for today's market is key to getting your home sold, not just listed.
Unfortunately the apartment sector is not seeing the stabilization. As of today's numbers sales are up significantly and listings are starting to edge up. Until the supply/demand numbers are stabilized we won't see pricing stabilize in this sector especially given the volume of new construction which is not reflected in the MLS listing numbers.
From the CREB stats report:
Unadjusted detached benchmark prices totaled $503,900 in March, 0.4 per cent above last month and similar to levels recorded last year. Meanwhile, Apartment and attached prices continue to remain well below levels recorded last year.
The spring/early summer market is the most active in the city. Having the right strategy is key to take best advantage of this period.
A couple other items to note this month:
- If you are moving between similar priced properties in the city and you do not have much equity in your current home, please PLEASE contact your lender before you list your home. The current mortgage rules may dictate that while you qualified for the $480,000 property you live in a couple years ago, you now may qualify for less. This is very important information before you list your home.
- Developers and lot hunters are back in the market. If you are considering the sale of a lot with redevelopment potential there are strategies to improve your marketability. Contact me for details.
- There are some effects throughout the city due to the start of construction for the remainder of the Calgary Ring Road. Should you be considering neighbourhoods along the corridor be sure to review the short/long term plans so you know what to expect. Some short term disruptions in some areas, but also some amazing long term transportation and commute time improvements.
As always, please contact me with any questions or plans. I'm happy to help. Reach me directly at 403 850 2446 or email@example.com.
March 14, 2017
Saving Money on Your Mortgage
Guest Post by Jason Dodd, Vice President, Verico Maximum Mortgages Inc.
Doing your research and talking to the right people can help you save thousands of dollars on your largest debt obligation, your mortgage. Surprisingly many clients are unaware of options, terms, rates and conditions that are attached to their mortgage financing. This summary will help with ideas on how to go about getting a mortgage and show you how to save money on your mortgage.
1) Consult multiple people/sources before deciding -
Many times it starts with your realtor making a recommendation for a broker or banker. The important part is to at least contact a couple people who deal in mortgage financing. Many people ask me why I would suggest this when I am trying to earn their business? Well I feel it is important for clients to experience the advice and expertise of more than one person before jumping into a large debt obligation. Mortgages are more than just rate, you need to understand the options, terms, rates and conditions which cumulate to give you a full mortgage package. Many clients are surprised at restrictions or high penalties that were not explained initially, that come back to cause high cost and aggravation in the back half of their mortgage term. Initially you should talk to and work with someone who can fully explain the process and the mortgage and is able to provide you with multiple options.
Knowledge is power and peace of mind when getting into a mortgage and home ownership. Many clients who are just comfortable with their bank are surprised to find out the large amount of good offerings that are available elsewhere in the market.
2) Utilize pre-payment options -
There is more to this than most people even consider and each client is very different. Many lenders offer varying degrees of pre-payment options and some are better suited to specific borrowers. This is a great discussion piece and you can literally save a lot of money by having the correct pre-payment options that align with your borrowing and home goals. This is why selection becomes important when deciding on a lender, if you just look at one option how will you know what is out there? By making small adjustments to monthly payments and choosing accelerated biweekly/weekly options you can dramatically reduce interest over the life of your loan. I find April is a great time to decide if you would like to make lump sum payments as spring is coming(home repairs) and also the tax man will either give or take away some money at that time. This might determine how much or little you can put towards your home.
Consider a mortgage of $400,000. 5 year fixed rate of 2.59% and monthly payments.
Your Monthly payment would be $1809.84 and you would pay $47753.89 in interest over the term and $60836.51 principal pay down.
Utilizing some pre payment options that are manageable can make a significant difference under the same scenario.
Changing payments to Bi Weekly accelerated $904.92. Applying a lump sum payment annually of $1200 (or increase payments $100 each month).
Interest is reduced to $46467.79 but you increase your principal pay down up to $77,171.82. A significant difference with making minor changes to your overall monthly budget.
3) Choose the correct term-
I have lost count over my 14 years in the industry of times I have seen clients aligned with incorrect terms. Discussing life changes, job movement, home ownership goals starts to uncover the best options for financing. 5 year fixed terms are popular because of stability and security (good points) but some clients are saddled with large penalties if they have to break early due to life changes or circumstance. Often this can be prevented by picking a shorter term or variable (closed or fixed) or open term that can accommodate more readily some uncertainty for future plans. This alone could save you thousands of dollars down the road if you anticipate some uncertainty of plans in the future. Good brokers will give you options on shorter terms as well as an option so you can consider them as well, certainly a worthy discussion.
Feel free to contact me if you have questions on various lenders and options and rates.
Happy to talk about this important subject
Regards, Jason Dodd, Vice President-Associate, Verico Maximum Mortgages Inc.
F: 403-451-1660, C: 403-815-0565, Jason@maxmort.ca, www.jasondodd.ca
February 2, 2017
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Feb 2, 2017
The sun is shining and soon the snow will be flying and it is winter in Calgary. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. We are managing through some turbulent times, but always remember the opportunities and daily joys we share living in this great city.
So to those that are making Calgary home, the real estate numbers are an important item of consideration. Last months numbers were starting to indicate the curves on the charts were turning and that continues to be true.
Numbers from CREB:
January sales totaled 947 units, 24 per cent above last year, but 21 per cent below 10-year averages for the month. Sales activity improved across all product types, but only when compared to the near record lows that occurred in January 2016.
The detached segment of the market is demonstrating the most improvement. Sales activity totalled 584 units in January, a considerable improvement over the 466 sales recorded last year. Inventories have also declined pushing the months of supply to 3.2 months well below the 5.4 months recorded in January 2016.
The numbers are turning. Slowly but turning and we are still below averages. But isn't it great to be on the other side of this one in some respects? Looking forward to a great year and to those of you with the means I hope you review your options to see what opportunities there may be waiting for you in the local real estate market.
January 17, 2017
Calgary Real Estate Update - Jan 17 2017
The Calgary Real Estate Board, CREB, released the 2017 market outlook and forecast report recently. The themes speak to a transition to a stable local real estate market in 2017. While detached and attached homes are ahead of the curve on this over apartments, the overall market balance is now taking us away from the challenging conditions in the previous two years. The apartment sector continues to lag in part due to new construction supply.
With that, our market is very much dependent on many factors including the stability of the energy sector, the overall labour market and public government policy regarding mortgages and lending.
As I have completed property evaluations for numerous clients over recent weeks the one biggest takeaway remains that the trends are quite different across the city. You can't just look at an overall city benchmark and take that to determine a home price.
With the holiday season now behind us we look forward to 2017 and the upcoming late winter/spring market. With change comes opportunity. Lets chat about yours.
December 6, 2016
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Dec 6 2016
The official numbers are out for November. I've been mulling them over before I sent out my update because things feel different than the numbers suggest.
November sales and pricing numbers were down. November was the first full month following implementation of the new lending rules and many people have been pondering the consequence of that change. The rules change has definitely slowed down the market.
While the effect of the new lending rules is supported by the data that does not tell the whole story. At the same time I am having a hard time finding good new detached home options for some clients. They could be hoping for lower prices still or maybe many sellers are just choosing not to list their homes resulting in lower inventories. There were 2680 detached homes on market November 2015, but only 2322 on the market November this year. As the holidays approach we expect the number of listings to continue to constrict until after the new year.
The trend is quite different for apartments where inventories remain higher on the resale market. Townhomes and semi-detached properties fluctuate in terms of supply / demand differences this year compared to last depending on the area of the city.
There have been more sales in the upper price and luxury price points this year than last. Perhaps some folks are recognizing the savings opportunity here. A 5% reduction on a $1,000,000 home is quite the savings if someone is moving from a $500,000 home. They would have sold their previous home for a bit less but overall enjoyed relative savings on the new purchase in this market.
Now, what's next is what is on the horizon? The approval of two major pipeline projects, Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion and Enbridge's Line 3 replacement, has many ears perking up. Energy East is yet to be determined as is Keystone XL.
So time to look ahead with open eyes and prepare for 2017. It will take a bit of time for new projects to translate into jobs, but it is great to see positive news in our forecasts.
With that I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all, my amazing clients, for your continued support. Be it calls for information, a move, a referral or just to say hello, I feel touched that you turn to me with your real estate questions. I am always happy to help and happy to say hello. I''m always curious about your move, if you like your community, and how the family is doing.
I wish you all the very best in 2017. Keep in touch and feel free to contact me anytime.
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 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 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 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.
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.
February 11, 2016
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Feb 11, 2016
The market update for Feb 2016 is rather unchanged from previous months. Our economy remains on a similar track. I've taken the last few days to really carefully review our local numbers and statistics and also had the opportunity to attend a small market update meeting with the Chief Economist from CREB.
Putting all the numbers together I've decided to tell you to ignore all TOTAL Calgary numbers currently posted in making decisions about your potential purchase or sale. Shocking. Why?
They are aggregate numbers meaning they are numbers that take together property styles, prices and locations across the city. Except for general trends they really say little about what your specific home is worth. What is exceptionally important is reviewing the property type, price point and area of city that you are interested in. The Chief Economist has provided local Realtors with the tools to compare and review detailed market data in various forms and I strongly take advantage of the tools made available and for that I want to thank Ann-Marie Lurie both for her hard work and openness with the data available.
Year over year numbers are not helpful right now. When the percentage flashes on the screen in big numbers on the evening news please ignore it. Last year we were just at the start of a downturn at this time of year and the statistics didn't reflect the adjustment yet and the rental market was tight. New home construction hadn't yet adjusted to the pullback in sales. Today we are looking at much more opportunity in the rental market, new home construction is going to have many options shortly available especially in the multi-family sector and our local economic forecasts have adjusted to reflect an expectation of reduced sales and some downward pressure on pricing.
The numbers that I ask you to carefully review are those that I will bring you when evaluating your home or when pursuing a purchase. Details include the following:
Property type? Are you buying an apartment or a detached home? 2 Story or Bungalow? How are the various types performing in various communities?
Price point? The number of available homes vs sales is dramatically different per price point. You are not in a buyers market in some segments and in a significant buyer advantage in others.
Location? There are 3 main rules in real estate that determine property value. Location. Location. Location. And that doesn't just mean a community, but also on what type of street, what is the lot backing to and how does the property relate to transportation, amenities and school options.
Example (As of Feb 9 10 am)
Say we are looking for an apartment in the inner city under $300,000 with minimum 2 bedrooms.
Active Listings: 78
Sold in the last 30 days: 9
Months of inventory: 8.67 - Very strong buyers market
Say we are looking for a starter home under $500,000 in NW Calgary. A popular area due to the proximity to the LRT line.
Active Listings: 91
Sold in the last 30 days: 38
Months of inventory: 2.4 Balanced leaning towards sellers at the start of this year. Surprised?
Say we are looking for a large home with minimum 2000 sq ft under $1,000,000 in West Calgary.
Active Listings: 135
Sold in the last 30 days: 17
Months of inventory: 8. Strong buyers market especially considering the new construction options in the area.
Do you see the opportunity? If you are looking to move up to a larger home this may be just the right time if you have a smaller detached home in the under $500,000 segment.
The strategy for selling your home is the same as always. Presentation, Marketing and Price. Let's work together so we can put the sold sticker on the sign out front.
When buying a home you will have the information you need to negotiate your best price for your new home.
Should you wish assistance with the purchase or sale of a home in our local Calgary market please do give me a call. I am happy to help.
January 20, 2016
Calgary Foreclosure Listings - What to Expect.
I am beginning to see more listings for foreclosures and judicial sales and also beginning to receive more inquiries regarding these types of listings. In 2015 the residential market saw exceptionally low record foreclosure rates so we aren't as used to seeing them. As such, here is a bit of information about what to expect.
Judicial listings are those where a property is being sold by order of the court. The owners on title are often in financial hardship, part of a dispute or some other court matter. In the case of judicial listings, the property owners still remain on title and most often live at the property.
Foreclosure listings are those where the property title has been transferred to another party such as a bank, lender or lawyer and they are selling the property. These properties are often vacant.
Some things to consider:
1. These properties are often marketed at close to market value. Careful review of pricing is needed as they aren't always a great deal.
2. A real property report (RPR) is often not available to buyers. They purchase at their own risk in most cases.
3. Condo documents are often not available to the buyers. Buyers have to access these documents at their own cost in most cases.
4. The property is often sold as is/where is on the day of possession with little or no property history available. The buyer must accept this condition.
5. Offers on these properties are presented in court and are public documents. Most often offers are required to be without any conditions such as financing or home inspection. It is very important to speak to your own lender when considering such a property as your approvals need further review and to be prepared prior to making an offer.
A couple other items only apply to occupied properties or where owners are still on title:
6. Access can be difficult and owners may or may not be at the residence.
7. Owners on title can pay down their mortgage and keep the property up until the day they are no longer owners.
8. Be respectful. You never know someone else's situation.
If you wish more information just contact me directly.