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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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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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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The fall 2017 CMHC Rental Market Report for Calgary CMA was released this morning. Of all the reports and media noise out there, this is one detailed report to review every time it is released. 

 

The highlights:

After increasing for three consecutive years, the apartment vacancy rate in the Calgary CMA declined in 2017.

The rise in the number of units added to the purpose-built rental market universe was the largest increase since 1994.

Rents on a same-sample basis declined slightly from the previous year.

 

Those are some positive patterns. Even with the increase in inventory the local vacancy rate went down. Couple that with new mortgage rules that may require folks to rent rather than buy in the coming year and some opportunities begin to take shape.

 

Take care to review the detailed charts. The variation in turnover rates, average rents, rent averages based on construction year and other details are amazing detailed information available to potential investors.

 

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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.​

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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.​

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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.
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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. 
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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.

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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.
 
News today is that the Bank of Canada has increased the 'overnight' rate by .25% to .75%. Each institution will now determine their adjustments and announcements are soon to follow. 
 
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!
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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.
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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!

 

Transportation:

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

 

  

Ripley Site:

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

  

University District:
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. 

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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 monika@monikafurtado.com.

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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

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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.

 

Cheers,

Monika

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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. 
 
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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.

 

Cheers,
Monika

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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.

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Data supplied by CREB®’s MLS® System. CREB® is the owner of the copyright in its MLS® System. The Listing data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by CREB®.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.