New condo construction in Calgary on February 9, 2015.

New condo construction in Calgary on February 9, 2015.

Colleen De Neve / Calgary Herald


 

The recent oil price decline has put the brakes on the hot housing market in the Calgary region, but during the last five major oil price declines, new home prices only fell in just two of those instances, says a new report by Fortress Real Developments.

 

The semi-annual Market Manuscript, released on Monday, said completed and unsold housing units fell to their lowest level in more than 25 years in the Calgary census metropolitan area in 2014, with just one unsold condominium.

 

“In October, Calgary was ranked as the top real estate market to watch for 2015. That optimism has faded, with many housing experts now calling for balanced market conditions in the metropolitan area,” it said. “Demand clearly exceeded supply in the late stages of 2014 in the Calgary CMA. The cooling effect on homebuyer demand that is expected in 2015 will contribute to a re-balancing of the demand-supply equation for the CMA in the first half of the year. It is expected that Calgary will move from a seller’s market to a more balanced market.

 

“In three of the last five major oil price declines, new house prices in Calgary didn’t decline, let alone crash.”

Analyst Ben Myers, the author of the report, said he was surprised by the data, adding that Calgary’s housing market is historically fairly resilient when it comes to economic downturns.

 

“Certainly from everything that I read, the analysts tend to think that Calgary is a lot more diversified than it ever has been before,” said Myers. “It’s a much bigger census metropolitan area and there’s other things going on than just the oil industry.

 

“Right now, everyone’s in that ‘we’re not sure what’s going on period so we’re just going to hold off. We’re not going to make this huge decision in our lives until we kind of figure out what’s happening’. It looks like oil prices have stabilized a bit. They’re not really going up but they’re not really going down anymore. The slide has kind of stopped.”

 

The report said the World Bank has identified five other major episodes where oil prices dropped by 30 per cent or more over a six-month period besides the current one.

 

“These declines coincided with other global events: an increase in supply of oil and change in OPEC policy (1985-86); U.S. recessions (1990-91 and 2001); the Asian crisis (1997-98); and the global financial crisis (2007-09). New house prices (in Calgary) only declined in the 1991 and 2009 situations,” said the report.

It said new house prices in the City of Calgary increased 12.5 per cent in 2014, with condominium apartment prices jumping 28.9 per cent, adding that absorption rates should remain strong in 2015, as a significant portion of the new home product is pre-sold.

 

“Household formation figures indicate there is minimal risk of oversupply in the Calgary CMA over the next year,” said the report.

 

It said absorptions were just short of a record high in the Calgary CMA in 2014 at 12,740, while completed and unabsorbed supply fell to just 451 units at the end of December, marking a 25-year low. There was only one completed and unabsorbed apartment at the end of 2014, down from 600 units in 2010.

 

Between February 1986 and December 1986, oil prices were down 49 per cent year-over-year on average. During that same period, new house prices in the Calgary CMA increased eight per cent annually on average, said the report.

 

Between August 1991 to January 1992, oil prices were down 29 per cent on average, new house prices were down two per cent on average.

 

Between September 1997 to February 1999, oil prices declined 27 per cent on average, new house prices increased seven per cent on average.

 

Between June 2001 to March 2002, oil prices declined 24 per cent on average, new house prices increased three per cent on average.

 

Between November 2008 to September 2009, oil prices declined 50 per cent on average and new house prices declined seven per cent on average.

 

“The biggest new house price decline occurred during the last ‘episode’ in 2008/2009, when Calgary and the world were in the midst of the global economic meltdown,” said the report. “During this crisis period, credit was totally cut off, the U.S. was in terrible financial shape, and Calgary was already on a downward spiral following bubble-like conditions in their housing market in 2007.”

 

Original article from the Calgary Herald at http://calgaryherald.com/business/real-estate/calgary-new-home-prices-survived-three-of-five-previous-oil-price-collapses

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The following is an excellent article by By Michael Estrin. While it is written to an America audience, the information is valuable to anyone selling their home.

 
The greatest hindrance to the sale of a home can be a seller who is seized by emotion.

"It is very important for sellers to (keep) in mind that a real estate transaction is most likely the single largest financial transaction they will ever undertake," says Fiona Dogan, a realtor in the Rye, N.Y., office of Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty. "It should be viewed and handled primarily as a business transaction, with cold, hard decisions being made on a financial and investment basis."

Home sellers who allow emotions and sentimental attachments to overtake them during the sales process run the risk of making hasty, sometimes poor decisions, Dogan says.

Here are some tips to help any home seller avoid making emotional mistakes that could cost money.

Getting top dollar is the dream of every home seller. But getting a buyer to pay a premium for features that are valuable only to you? That's closer to fantasy, according to Tracie Hamersley, senior vice president and associate broker at Citi Habitats in New York City.

"Overpricing often occurs because of emotional reasons," Hamersley says. "So many sellers make the mistake of thinking that their home is special and that a special buyer will pay more because they also fell in love with the property."

The truth is prices have nothing to do with the seller's emotional affinity for the property, and according to Hamersley, it's important sellers understand that as early as possible.

Sellers who bought at the top of the market likely won't see that same price from today's buyers.

"It's a different market," Hamersley explains. "If a seller bought their home during the market's peak, they may have to face the unappealing prospect of losing money on the sale in today's market. This is a difficult position for a seller to be in, but it's one that reflects today's reality."

There are a lot of legitimate reasons why a seller might want to be present for the home's showing. But having a seller there tends to sour the experience for most buyers, according to Renee Weinberg of Petrey Real Estate in Long Beach, N.Y.

"Getting the seller out of the house is key," Weinberg says. "Whenever we take a listing, this is explained in advance."

According to Karyn Anjali Glubis, a real estate broker and owner of The Real Estate Expert in Tampa, Fla., sellers are sensitive when buyers nitpick flaws. "Sellers think that every little thing is a complaint against how they may have maintained a property," Glubis says. The reality is that observations from buyers -- though sometimes harsh -- have nothing to do with the person selling the home.

Having a seller present for an open house or the first (or even second) showing tends to stifle potential buyers from expressing opinions. After hearing negative feedback, some sellers reject offers for emotional reasons, Weinberg says. Sellers should use their agents to insulate them from the process, filter relevant information and only meet the buyers when there's a serious offer on the table.


Sellers be warned: The longer a property sits on the market, the worse the offers are likely to get, says Nick Jabbour, a New York City real estate agent and vice president of Nest Seekers International.
 

"Once a property is marketed, it will receive the most attention during the first two weeks," Jabbour says. "(The home is) new to the market, and any buyers that have been in the market for a home will see it come up. If it is priced right, an educated buyer, (who has) been in the market for a while (and) sees the home as a fit, will put a serious foot forward."

Sometimes early bids run the risk of spooking sellers who worry they underpriced their properties. But Jabbour says you can tell the property was priced correctly when an early offer is near the asking price, as long as the asking price is in line with the market.

"Waiting for a better offer is counterproductive and can result in a property languishing," Jabbour says.


When you're selling your home, it's easy to take everything personally. But doing so is a big mistake, according to Fiona Dogan, a realtor in the Rye, N.Y., office of Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty.
 

"Sellers need to become emotionally detached very quickly from their homes," Dogan says. "By its very nature, a real estate transaction is aggressive and confrontational since the seller wants the highest price and the buyer wants the lowest."

That negotiation almost always means a buyer will point out every flaw with the property. But while hearing that information may sting a little, it's really a good sign, according to Dogan, because it means the buyer is serious.

"A seller needs to be ready to hear criticism of their lovely home and be able to deal with it as a negotiating tool and not take it as a personal affront and walk away from a potential sale for emotional reasons," Dogan says.



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New price tool shows year-over-year growth
 
Calgary, February 6, 2012 – The year-over-year value of homes in Calgary increased in January 2012 by 2.7 per cent, according to a new price measurement tool vetted by academia and financial industry experts, including the Bank of Canada.
 
The new MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was introduced today by the Canadian Real Estate Association in partnership with Canada’s five largest real estate boards – Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
 
The new tool measures how typical properties are valued in the market rather than relying on average and median prices. In January, for example, the average price declined year-over-year, but only because more homes were sold in the lower-price ranges compared to the previous year, when more luxury home sales occurred. 
   
“By combining information from the MLS® HPI with their own knowledge, experience and skills, REALTORS® can help their clients approach one of life’s most important decisions – that of buying or selling a home – with greater confidence,” says Bob Jablonski, president of CREB®.
 
The MLS® HPI is calculated using a sophisticated statistical model that estimates home prices based on their quantitative and qualitative features that are typical to that neighborhood, such as square footage, number of rooms above the basement level, number of bathrooms and half-bathrooms, whether the property has a fireplace and/or finished basement, lot size or the age of the property, to name a few. 
 
“The MLS® HPI is the best tool to determine true price trends in the market,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® chief economist. “The commonly used average and median prices can be misleading as they are easily affected by the composition of what is sold.”
 
For buyers and sellers, the MLS® HPI determines what a typical home is valued at in their neighborhood, as well as how this compares to other neighborhoods. In addition, it provides a true price trend for their community.
 

“We are excited to be able to offer the purest, most accurate housing data that is currently available,” Jablonski says. “The MLS® HPI  can be used to not only determine pricing trends, but also to gain insight into the typical home in a specific market segment, adding value to the existing tools REALTORS® can use to value homes for both buyers and sellers.”

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Calgary, January 3, 2012
 

According to figures released today by CREB® (Calgary Real Estate Board), Calgary residential sales in 2011 increased eight per cent over last year, with 18,568 sales for 2011 compared to

17,267 in 2010.

 

Recovering from tepid sales activity in the first half of 2011, early improvements in employment and migration resulted in a pickup in housing demand in the second half of the year. By the end of June 2011, year-to-date sales activity had only increased by two per cent compared to the second half of the year, where residential sales improved by 15 per cent.
 
“While sales activity in 2011 remained below the long run average by 17 per cent, monthly figures point towards the trend of this gap narrowing,” says Sano Stante, president of CREB®.
 

2011 single family sales totaled 13,186, a nine per cent increase over last year. While sales increased, listings remained low, with an annual total of 24,245, six per cent lower than 2010 levels. The decline in listings relative to sales pushed down inventory levels to 2,761, resulting in four months of supply.

Meanwhile, the condominium market recorded declining sales for nearly half of the year, but favorable pricing and improved economic conditions pushed sales up by double digit rates for the second half of

the year. 2011 condo sales totaled 5,382, a 4 per cent increase over the previous year. The rise in sales was complemented by an annual 12 per cent decline in listings. This helped to tighten the condominium market, causing inventories to decline to 1,287 and months of supply to remain just above four months.
 
“The demand recovery in the condominium market lagged the single family market, as price adjustments in both the single family and condominium markets resulted in more selection for consumers,”
 

Stante says. “For the first time in several years, consumers had additional selection of single family homes at a lower price range, which directly competed with the condominium market.”

 
Single family average price in 2011 reached $466,402, a one per cent increase over last year. While there have been some strong monthly increases, primarily due to sales in the upper end skewing the prices, overall prices have remained fairly stable. Meanwhile, the year-end median price of 405,000 remains at levels similar to 2010.
 
Condominium prices have remained persistently low in 2011, while some of the monthly figures have been boosted by high end penthouse sales. By the end of 2011, the average price of $287,172 remained one per cent lower than the previous year.
 

“Throughout 2011, elevated levels of inventories have limited price growth as consumers benefitted from sufficient supply of housing to choose from; however, as these inventories drop to levels more

consistent with a balanced market, we can expect some moderate price growth moving forward,” Stante concludes.

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I have uploaded the Housing Market OutlookCalgary 2012 Provided by CMHC to the REPORTS section of my website. It is in PDF format and available for download.
 

This Outlook report for Calgary is published semi-annually and offers forecasts and analyses of trends in the new, resale and rental housing markets. For the new home market, housing starts and price changes are examined in detail, while the resale section presents sales activity, average prices, and listings. Analysis of the rental market focuses on vacancy rates, average rents and related forecasts. An overview and forecast of key economic indicators is also detailed, along with other factors affecting the local economy and housing market.

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Free Real Estate Apps to Amp Up Your Home Search!

Modern technology has given us wonderful tools that can make our lives easier in so many ways and Real Estate is no different. 
 
Most people know they can search the MLS® on the website of their favourite REALTOR®, however you have more power at your fingertips and on your iPhone, iPad or Android Smartphone than you probably realized!  Here is some info on a very cool, free application that once installed, combines real time GPS capability with the Calgary and surrounding district MLS® system, allowing you to search thousands of listings while on the move, quickly, easily and instantly!  
 
What’s so unique about this?  If you are a serious home buyer, it brings an entirely new dimension to looking for your new home.  Once activated, the system uses GPS technology to create a map showing you all current listings within a 1 kilometre radius of your current location. 
 
See a home you like while you are out for the evening and would like to know the listing details?  Open your mobile MLS® app and click on the pin indicating the home on the map. The price, listing details including photographs and all related information is there for you instantly.  If you would like to know more about the listing or schedule an appointment to view, simply click on the Inquire button or call the phone number provided.  It’s as simple as that. 
 
To obtain the app, simply visit HouseHuntingAdventures.com, click on the Mobile Web App and follow the installation guide.

Your Own Personal and Private Online Real Estate Office

Your mobile app can also be combined with your online VOW Virtual Office Website, another freely available service.  People are often hesitant to “sign up” because they are unaware of what it is, and are concerned about personal privacy, however sign up simply allows the system to create file space for a system personalized to you, allowing you to take advantage of more than just the simple MLS ® search engine.
 
Setting up your personalized system is quick and easy, and provides you with the ability to do custom searches for homes or properties.  When you sign up for a free account the system creates your personal real estate virtual office where you can organize your home research, organize folders for your searches and much more.  You can save your searches and compile lists of potential homes for you to compare quickly and easily. It's your own personal MLS® service, customized specifically to you and your needs. 
 
 If you would like to set up your own personal space, visit HouseHuntingAdventures.com/vow.html and click the sign up button to set up your private online Real Estate office.  The service is free, easy to set up and use.


 

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By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald December 7, 2011
 
 
Fuelled by low interest rates and job security, demand for residential real estate in Calgary is on the upswing, says the Re/Max Housing Market Outlook 2012 report published Tuesday. And the real estate firm says Calgary will be a Canadian leader next year in the annual growth rate for MLS sales.
 
By year-end 2011, 22,500 homes are expected to change hands, an eight per cent increase over the 20,801 sales reported in 2010, it said. And the average price in Calgary is forecast to appreciate as well, rising a "modest" one per cent to $405,000 in 2011, up from $401,186 one year ago.
 
The report forecasts the average MLS sale price will jump by three per cent in 2012 to $417,000, while sales will rise by five per cent to 23,600 units.
 
Lowell Martens, of Re/ Max Real Estate (Mountain View) in Calgary, said any hesitation on the part of some buyers in the city is more than likely a direct reflection of the uncertainty in the European economic situation. He said commercial realestate construction taking place in Calgary "tells us the long-term feeling out there is very positive for Calgary."
 

"We have a very stable market over the next little while. We don't anticipate any big upswings, but at the same time we don't anticipate any big downswings either. It's going to be very stable," he said.

Buyers in the city are cautiously optimistic after more than two years of recession, making their moves while interest rates are at historic lows and housing values are affordable, said the report.
 
"Single-family homes remain most popular with purchasers, representing close to 60 per cent of total residential sales. Demand is greatest for entry-level product, priced between $350,000 and $450,000," it said. "Con-dominium apartments and town houses have also experienced solid momentum in recent months, with the lion's share of activity occurring from $200,000 to $300,000. Luxury home sales - priced over $1 million - have been particularly brisk, up approximately 25 per cent over 2010 levels."
 
While global concerns still loom, the market appears to be gaining some traction moving into the new year, said the report. Re/Max said Canadian residential realestate defied conventiona l logic and outperformed expectations in 2011, posting another solid year of housing activity virtually across the board. The trend is expected to carry forward into 2012 as Canadians "continue to demonstrate their faith in home ownership, despite concerns over the European debt crisis and its impact on the global economy."
 
"What 2011 proves is that real estate continues to have momentum," said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president, Re/Max of Western Canada, in a statement
.
"The economic underpinnings support ongoing demand, particularly as job creation efforts continue and unemployment rates edge down further."
 
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Stable Pricing Providing Opportunities for Buyers

 

Calgary, December 1, 2011 – According to figures released today by CREB® (Calgary Real Estate Board), Calgary residential sales in November increased eight per cent over last year, at 17,538 after the first 11 months of the year. 

 

While sales activity tends to taper off in the winter months, so far this year Calgary area sales remain significantly stronger than levels recorded last year. Single family home sales totaled 962 for the month, an increase of eight per cent from November 2010. Meanwhile, year-to-date sales totaled 12,464, a 10 per cent increase over last year. Over the long term, however, sales remained a tepid 17 per cent below the 10 year average. 

 

“Despite any global economic cautions, consumers are actively seeking well priced listings in the market, a reflection of their positive long term outlook for the city,” says Sano Stante, president of CREB®. “Following two years of employment losses, the current growth in jobs is translating into improvements in the housing sector and a more optimistic consumer.”

 

November listings have edged down over last year’s levels, decreasing by two per cent. Lower listings combined with the increase in sales helped reduce the months of inventory to less than four months. 

 

The year-to-date average and median price of single family homes were a respective $467,140 and $406,500. Overall, prices remain relatively flat compared to last year. 

 

“This stable pricing provides an opportunity for buyers in our market. The addition of historically low interest rates, combined with a good selection of inventory, makes it a trifecta,” Stante says. “With positive wage growth in the wind, this is a signal, and a reminder, that this market opportunity will not remain forever.”

 

Condominium sales for the first 11 months of the year totaled 5,074, a five per cent rise over the same period last year. Inventory levels declined to 1,676 units, helping push down the months of supply. 

 

“The rise in condominium sales can be attributed to the confidence in the market, and is typical of this phase of a normal market recovery,” says Stante.

 

Condominium year-to-date average and median prices in 2011 were $287,545 and $261,500, respectively, a decline over the first 11 months of 2010, mostly due to increased sales in units priced under $200,000. 

 

“Calgary continues to record impressive employment growth and long term fundamentals remain strong,” Stante concludes. “The strength in our economy, combined with affordability levels that outperform most major centers, will continue to attract migrants to the city and spur further growth in our Calgary housing market.”

 

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Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Housing Market Outlook 
 Date Released: Fourth Quarter 2011

Alberta Overview
Alberta’s housing starts are forecast to increase by 15.3 per cent to 29,200 units in 2012, following a 6.5 per cent decrease in 2011 to 25,325 units.
  
 These robust gains are a result of a number of factors. Firstly, the economy is projected to show relatively strong growth over the forecast period. In 2011, real gross domestic product is expected to rise by 3.1 per cent, followed by 3.5 per cent in 2012. Note, however, a pullback in oil prices during the summer, along with various wildfires, briefly slowed economic conditions, but these effects have dissipated.
  
 Secondly, employment growth is projected at 3.4 per cent in 2011, lowering the unemployment rate from 6.5 per cent to 5.6 per cent. By 2012, the unemployment rate is expected to be lowered to 5.1 per cent. As a result, this will put upward pressure on Alberta’s housing sector.

 

Finally, the demographic outlook for Alberta is positive. With an improving economy generating jobs, it is expected more migrants will choose Alberta as their home. Last year was a 15-year low for migration to Alberta.

 

Moving forward, expect significant growth in migration this year with further gains in 2012. These gains are also expected to put upward pressure on the demand for housing within the province.

 

In Detail

 

 
Single Starts: Single-detached starts are projected to decline about ten per cent in 2011, as builders mitigate the risk of rising inventories. Over the balance of the forecast period, demand for single-detached homes will improve with a growing economy and job creation. In 2012, single-detached starts are expected to rise by over 15 per cent to 18,400 units. The number of single-detached units under construction in August was at approximately half the level reported five years ago. However, with the inventory of complete and unabsorbed units up from the previous year, builders have been cautious about expanding production.

 

  
Multiple Starts: More affordable condominium projects are now competing with the resale market and enticing some renters to move into new condominium units. After a slow start to this year, the pace of multi-family starts has picked-up and is expected to edge past last year’s level of production. In 2012, demand is expected to improve with rising incomes and new household formation, raising the level of multi-family production by 14.6 per cent to 10,800 units.

 

  
Resales: The number of MLS® sales in Alberta is projected to increase by over six per cent in 2011 to 52,800 units. In 2012, MLS® sales are projected to rise to 53,900 units.

 

  
Prices:   Most of Alberta’s major urban centres remain in buyers’ market conditions as indicated by a sales-to-new listings ratio that has fluctuated around 50 per cent this year. The average resale price in 2011 is expected to rise fractionally above last year’s average, with much of the price movement attributed to compositional effects. As Alberta’s economy generates employment and attracts more migrants, demand will rise and improve market balance. The average resale price in Alberta is projected to rise by more than two per cent in 2012 to $362,700.
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by Chris O' Sullivan - cosullivan@mortgagwriters.ca

The answer to this question depends on one two things: One’s current financial situation and do you want to save on paying the interest part of the mortgage.

I will go over the different payment options available and provide a chart on how much a mortgage will cost you depending on the payment option you decide on.

The Monthly Mortgage Payment:

This is the most standard payment. You pay your mortgage once a month. This is the most expensive option, since you don’t save anything on interest fees. You will have 12 payments for the entire year.

Semi-Monthly Mortgage Payment:

This option requires two equal payments ( 50% on the monthly payment), which makes 24 payments for the entire year. This is a better option than the monthly payment. It will save you more on the interest payments.

Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payment:

This option requires the borrower to make mortgage payments every two weeks on the same day. You will pay a total of 26 payments for the year.  You make half the monthly payment every two weeks. So you will make 13 full payments for the entire year. This will save you a bit more on the interest then the semi-monthly option.

Accelerated Weekly Mortgage Payment:

This will give you slightly better interest rate savings then the accelerated bi-weekly payment option. You will make 52 payments per year. This results in an additional monthly payment for the year.

This chart will assume a mortgage of $200,000, for a 5 year fixed term at 3.39%, with amortization of 25 years.  Below are the different payment options and the savings associated with each from a monthly payment option.

 

Total Payments

Total Interest Paid

Time To Payoff Mortgage

Savings 

Monthly Mortgage Payment

$296,088

$96,088

300 months

(25 yrs.)

N/A

Semi-Monthly Mortgage Payment

$295,765

$95,765

300 Months (25 yrs.)

$323.00

Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payment

$283,606.59

$83,606.59

266 months

(22 yrs. and 2 months)   

$12,483.21

Weekly Mortgage Payment

$283,470.10

$83,470.10

266 months

(22yrs. And 2 months)

$12,619.71

 

This chart will assume a mortgage of $450,000, for a 5 year fixed term at 3.39%, with amortization of 25 years.  Below are the different payment options and the savings associated with each from a monthly payment option.

 

Total Payments

Total Interest Paid

Time To Payoff Mortgage

Savings 

Monthly Mortgage Payment

$666,200.36

$216,200.36

300 months

(25 yrs.)

N/A

Semi-Monthly Mortgage Payment

$665,471.25

$215,471.25

300 Months (25 yrs.)

$729.10

Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payment

$638,114.83

$188,114.83

266 months

(22 yrs. and 2 months)   

$28,065.52

Weekly Mortgage Payment

$637,804.92

$187,804.92

266 months

(22yrs. And 2 months)

$28,395.44

 

If you can, it is well worth to use a bi-weekly or weekly payment structure to pay down your mortgage.
Chris O'Sullivan
 
Chris O'Sullivan is a mortgage agent for The Mortgage Writers and can be reached at cosullivan@mortgagewriters.ca
 
 
 
  
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Selling Your Home For Market Value!
 
Even in today’s market, you don’t have to under value your home in order to generate buyers.  At the same time, if you want your home to sell in a reasonable amount of time, it is important that you don’t price your home over market value either.  In the end, it is entirely up to you how you price your home, but it is important to determine what outcome you want to have and what your goals are when determining what your final listing price should be.
 

Some clients prefer to list on the high side to test the market in the hopes they will make more money from the sale of their home. In the end, the home stays listed for many months with few if any showings, and no movement because the home owner has chosen to over price their home.

In the end, if you want to sell your home and progress to the next stage of your real estate goals, it is important to price your home fairly, with a marketable price that is competitive, but without under valuing your home just to get a quick sale.
 
Pricing your home fairly is always a fine balance!  In the end, the correct selling price of your home is the highest price the current market will bear. Your home will always sell for the current market value if you are patient, price it right and have a REALTOR®  who is working in YOUR best interest.
 
I am frequently contacted by home owners who request a free market evaluation of their home. More often than not, I am requested to provide an online evaluation or Comparative Market Analysis and to email the report. 
 
Unfortunately this does not provide the home owner with information that is accurate enough to make a proper determination of the true value of their home, and in many cases the estimate of the value of their home will be undervalued.
 
For this reason, I prefer to do more than providing a standard comparative market analysis. Consider the following questions:
 
Do you know how much your home has appreciated over the last few years?  Do you know how much CASH is tied up in your home?  What your REAL equity is?
 
Serious sellers should request an on site evaluation to determine the most accurate potential value of your home.
 
Why?  Because any  CMA provided by using the standard tools available to Real Estate professionals cannot take into account what the REALTOR® is able to add into the equation by attending and viewing specific upgrades, taking accurate measurements and comparing what they see on site to other homes they have been to that are in a similar category as your home.  For this reason, an on site Maximum Home Value Audit provides you with a more accurate calculation of what the fair market value is for your home.
 

 

 

 

 

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I have a wonderful couple who have just sold their home and are trying to find a nice bungalow to move to. They are interested in finding a home in Carstairs, Langdon, Chestermere or Strathmore.
 
If you have a home that you would like to sell that meets their needs, please get in touch with me. We are trying to find that "special" bungalow that is well looked after with a well groomed yard and nice features. 
 
If you are not currently listed for sale but have been considering a move and would like to consider selling your home and need to determine the full market value of your home and consider accepting an offer from this couple, please get in touch and I will be happy to help you put it all together.
 
More details about the home my clients need can be found at this link on my website.
 
Natasha
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First year-over-year increase in monthly condominium sales since April 2010

 

Calgary, July 4, 2011 – According to figures released today by CREB® (Calgary Real Estate Board), residential sales surged in the month of June 2011 to 1,979 units. While this indicates a third more sales than June 2010, the year-todate increase proved a moderate 2 per cent. Strong monthly increases does not imply a housing boom, as it is important to put into perspective that sales

activity remains below long term averages. While the single family market has shown signs of improvement throughout the first half of this year, this is the first time since April 2010 that condominium sales have recorded a year-over year increase.

 

“Improved housing demand is being fueled by a younger demographic and, with the affordability of homes in Calgary, we are continuing to see young Calgarians pursue ownership over rentals,” says Sano Stante, president of CREB®.

 

“Historically, Calgary’s average family income has been higher than the national average and a younger more mobile demographic has been attracted to good paying professional jobs in Calgary. As the economy continues to build momentum, we expect this same trend will support a balanced and healthy

housing market in the second half of 2011 and into 2012.”

 

With 581 sales for the month of June 2011, the condominium market improved by 31 per cent over June of 2010, however year-to-date figures show a 5 per cent decrease over the same period last year.

 

“Condo sales bounced back this month, and we now have less than four months of supply on the market. Stronger condo sales, combined with a decline in inventory, will lend more balance to this market in the months to come,” says Stante.

 

After the first half of the year, average prices of condominiums are still slightly lower than levels recorded last year, as more buyers bought condominiums under $200,000 in 2011 compared to 2010 for the same period.
 

“Buyers in this market expect value and many are taking advantage of some affordable buys in both the single family and condo markets. It highlights using a skilled REALTOR® to properly price your home for your unique market area,” says Stante.

 

The single family market recorded 1,398 sales in the month of June 2011. This is an increase of 32 per cent when compared to June 2010 when 1,059 single family homes sold in the city of Calgary. With a total of 7,231 sales after the first half of the year, year-to-date single family sales are 6 per cent higher than last year.

 

“While new listings are still lower than levels recorded last year, the rate of decline has eased. With the market shifting to more balanced conditions in recent months, sellers are feeling more confident to list their home. Overall our absorption rate has remained relatively stable, staving off any significant rise in

prices,” says Stante.

 

Year-to-date average price of a single family home in Calgary is $472,330, while the median price is $410,000, virtually unchanged over levels recorded in the previous year. The distribution of sales by price range has not shown any significant shift compared to last year, pointing to continued stability in the market.
 

“After the first half of the year, it appears the recovery in the housing market is starting to find its footing.

This gradual leveling has been fueled by growth in employment, and in particular growth in full time jobs. Improved job prospects, combined with an increase in the number of people moving to Calgary, will give lift to our housing market for the remainder of this year and into the

next,” says Stante.

 

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Higher priced homes selling faster as listings trend down
 

According to figures released today by CREB® (Calgary Real Estate Board), City of Calgary year-to-date sales declined by 4 per cent compared to the first four months of 2010. The decline was offset by a 14 per cent drop in listings recorded over the same period, resulting in lower inventory levels, and a moderate growth in average prices.

 

In April 2011, single family home sales were 1,217, while 2,299 listings came to market, a decline of 10 per cent over April 2010 and 25 per cent, respectively. Inventory levels rose slightly over March 2011

levels, but remained well below inventories recorded in April 2010, and close to the long term average, indicating the market continues to show balanced conditions.
 
“While our spring market has been a little slow to get started, we are seeing our inventory levels return to healthy levels,” says Sano Stante, president of CREB®. “This trend, combined with an improving job market, will help warm up Calgary’s housing market in the coming months.”
 
Along with a decline in inventory, Stante points out that homes in the higher-end of the market are selling faster, with average days on market trending down, and below the 5-year average.
 
“We are seeing improvements in the sale of homes in the higher price points. Homes above $700,000 are selling within an average of 41 days. This is consistent with pre-recession levels,” says Stante.
 
To view the full report and current Calgary market stats, click here.
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Property Photo: 306 5500 SOMERVALE CRT SW in CALGARY
***PROPERTY SOLD***
 
I have listed a new property at 306 5500 SOMERVALE CRT SW in CALGARY.
Great size of the unit - 1011sq ft, with 2 good sized bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. This apartment is located on the 3rd floor with covered balcony facing green space - great to enjoy your summer BBQ. Island kitchen and ample counter space,in-suite laundry, huge storage room (in-suite). Spacious living room is open to both the kitchen and dining area. Master bedroom features great walk-in closet and 3 pc en-suite with shower stall. Titled underground parking. Great quiet location, close to public transportation, shopping, the YMCA/Library,and restaurants. Condo fees include heat & electricity.
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I have just implemented the use of QR Codes on my website!
 
What does it do?  If you scan it into your iPhone, you have instant access to the entire Calgary and area MLS® system. It is virtually instantaneous and once it fires up it will ask you for permission to use your current location so it can find homes on the MLS® close to you.  Once you click on OK,  within seconds you will have access to all the homes in your immediate vincinity and the ability to search the MLS® system Calgary wide!  It's cost free, doesn't require any setup and uses your iPhone/Android internal GPS to map the locations. By tapping on any pin you see on the map, you are able to instantly see all the details for that particular home. 
 
Want to do more than just use the map?  If you want to search for properties in a specific area, in a certain price range, virtually the same way as you do on my website, you can use the menus provided.
 
This is such a unique and fun tool to use.  For anyone who owns an iPhone, Android or any QR Code capable phone or computer, you can go onto my site and scan the QR Code that is on the MLS® page or on the page header.
 
Setting Up Your Phone
 
This is such an easy tool to use.  Simply obtain any QR Code scanning app and install it on your iPhone. Then activate the application, and hold the camera lens of your phone up to the screen so it can scan the unique QR Code on the screen.  You can use the QR Code image here and try it out. 
 
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Calgary, February 1, 2011
 

– Single family home sales in the City of Calgary edged upwards month-over-month and showed the first yearover-year increase since April  2010, according to figures released today by CREB® (Calgary Real Estate Board).

 

The number of single family home sales in the month of January 2011 were 787, compared with December 2010, when sales were 734— an increase of about 7 per cent. The number of condominium sales for the month of January 2011 was 297. This was down from the 320 condominium transactions recorded in December 2010.
 
Year-over-year, the number of single family homes sold in January 2011 in the city of Calgary increased by just over 3 per cent. In January 2010, single family home sales totaled 762. Condominium sales saw a decrease of 21 per cent from the same time a year ago. In January 2010, condominium sales were 376.
 
“More affordable housing will continue to attract homebuyers to the inner-city, particularly as employment in the city of Calgary continues to improve,” says Sano Stante, president of CREB®. “Single family homes in the city are currently driving this gradual recovery, and we are seeing an uptick in the sale of homes below the $350,000 price point. This may suggest more first time homebuyers are entering the market, providing the fuel needed for a sustained housing recovery.”
 
The average price of a single family home in the city of Calgary in January 2011 was $454,287, showing a 3 per cent increase from December 2010, when the average price was $441,341, and a 3 per cent increase from January 2010, when the average price was $441,217. The average price of a condominium in the city of Calgary in January 2011 was $287,954, showing a 2 per cent increase from December 2010, when the average price was $282,768 and a 2 per cent increase over last year, when the average price was $282,639.
 
The median price of a single family home in the city of Calgary for January 2011 was $390,000, showing a slight increase from December 2010 when the median price was $389,000. This was a 2 per cent decrease from January 2010, when the median price was $398,000.
 
The median price of a condominium in January 2011 was $255,000, showing a 1 per cent decrease from December 2010, when the median price was $258,500, and a 4 per cent decrease from January 2010, when it was $265,000.
 
“The recovery in 2011 will be incremental and gradual. Nonetheless, at the moment Calgary is offering buyers a great deal of affordability, low interest rates and a large selection of inventory,” says Stante. “Overall the first quarter of 2011 will show modest improvements in sales which will lay the foundation for the return to a more balanced market,” he adds.
 

Single family listings in the city of Calgary added for the month of January 2011 totaled 1958, an increase of 169 per cent from December 2010 when 728 new listings were added, and showing an increase of 7 per cent from January 2010, when 1822 new listings came to the market.

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Well, we finally have some details and insight for the 2011 housing market, and it's about to get tougher for new home owners, and even those currently in the market.

There have been significant announcements this week for everyone interesting in buying or selling a home.  Timing is everything, and it appears that once again, there will be some significant changes that you need to be aware of. 

Considering the forecast for the Calgary Housing market to start increasing in pricing, and the tighter mortgage rules that will be coming into force in 60 days, now might be a vital window for home owners that are currently considering a move.

It is especially urgent for homeowners who are currently wishing to sell their current homes and lock in a new mortgage rate on a newly purchased home.  With only 60 days to finalize before the new rates come into effect, it will be a challenge to get a home on the market and sold in time to take advantage of the current status.  The up side is that over the next two months, the market may get very fluid with those who need to take advantage of the current mortgage rules.

I received the following details from one of my mortgage specialists advising that there will be some major changes in how mortgages are approved. This is a significant tightening for those of you who are currently considering purchasing a new home.

1.       No more 35 year amortizations

 

As of March 18, 2011 all insured deals will be allowed a 30 year amortization. Any fully signed contracts whether it be a purchase or refinance committed to by CMHC on or before March 18 will be honoured over 35 years.  You cannot have an increase in price after this date - if you do, you will be subject to the 30 year amortization.

2.       Refinancing has been scaled back to 85%.

 

As of March 18th,  home owners will have access to 85% of the value of a home instead of the current 90%. This will affect  you as a  home buyer when you take equity out of your home for a down payment.  In this case, you won’t be able to get as much funding up front and your monthly  payments will be higher.

Current and potential buyers please note that the magic date is March 18th, 2011.

On a $450,000 purchase with 5% down, this would save you $200.00 per month in mortgage payments and your affordability increases by 3%.

For those who are considering a home purchase requiring an insured mortgage (less than 20% down payment), you will want to complete pre-approval and possession of home prior to March 18 2011.

If you are currently sitting on the fence as to whether or not to make your move it is important to understand that buying today will save you money in the long run. After March 18th, this window will be closed.

If you are currently considering a home purchase and would like to speak to a mortgage specialist, I have excellent resources who are very talented in obtaining financing.  Please feel free to call me at 403-399-0809 and I will put you in touch with someone who can assist you according to your current circumstances.

For further information on these changes, and the background associated, here are a few links you can visit:

The Harper Government Takes Prudent Action to Support the Long-Term Stability of Canada’s Housing Market

Backgrounder: Supporting the long-term stability of Canada’s housing market

CALGARY HERALD ARTICLE: FeDERAL GOVERNMENT TIGHTENS MORTGAGE RULES AGAIN

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The Calgary Real Estate Board released is annual forecast on Tuesday, advising that there will be a recovery in the market this year with improved sales compared with 2010.

The board is predicting that Calgary's housing inventory levels are expected to stabilize, which will result in a return to a more balanced and sustainable housing market.

It forecasts single-family home sales to increase by 19.9 per cent this year to 14,500 transactions  and the average MLS sale price is predicted to rise 4.1 per cent to $480,000.

The board also predicted that condominium sales will rise by 15.8 per cent to 6000 transactions with the average sale price increasing by 1.8 per cent to $295,900.

In the towns outside of Calgary market, the board is forecasting a 13.5 per cent increase to 4,000 with the average price increasing by 2.6 per cent to $368,500.

Sano Stante, president of the real estate board, said that his forecast wouldn't change in light of the federal government's announcement to toughen up mortgage lending practices.

"We are expecting in-migration into Calgary.  If we see the job growth that we expect to happen in Calgary then the in-migration should drive the sales."

The boards report states that the key to market recovery in 2011 will be permanent job creation sufficient to stimulate in-migration. Recovery in the first half of the year will be more modest, picking up pace in the second half. Recovery of sales will be from single family homes close to the downtown core, and by condos and single family homes in the outlying areas.

" 2011 will offer buyers unprecedented affordability, low interest rates and a large selection of inventory."

The CMHC, is predicting increased sales, with residential properties in the sold in the Calgary area to increase by 2.0 per cent this year to 20,700 units, with an increase in the average sale price.

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New condo construction in Calgary on February 9, 2015.

New condo construction in Calgary on February 9, 2015.

Colleen De Neve / Calgary Herald


 

The recent oil price decline has put the brakes on the hot housing market in the Calgary region, but during the last five major oil price declines, new home prices only fell in just two of those instances, says a new report by Fortress Real Developments.

 

The semi-annual Market Manuscript, released on Monday, said completed and unsold housing units fell to their lowest level in more than 25 years in the Calgary census metropolitan area in 2014, with just one unsold condominium.

 

“In October, Calgary was ranked as the top real estate market to watch for 2015. That optimism has faded, with many housing experts now calling for balanced market conditions in the metropolitan area,” it said. “Demand clearly exceeded supply in the late stages of 2014 in the Calgary CMA. The cooling effect on homebuyer demand that is expected in 2015 will contribute to a re-balancing of the demand-supply equation for the CMA in the first half of the year. It is expected that Calgary will move from a seller’s market to a more balanced market.

 

“In three of the last five major oil price declines, new house prices in Calgary didn’t decline, let alone crash.”

Analyst Ben Myers, the author of the report, said he was surprised by the data, adding that Calgary’s housing market is historically fairly resilient when it comes to economic downturns.

 

“Certainly from everything that I read, the analysts tend to think that Calgary is a lot more diversified than it ever has been before,” said Myers. “It’s a much bigger census metropolitan area and there’s other things going on than just the oil industry.

 

“Right now, everyone’s in that ‘we’re not sure what’s going on period so we’re just going to hold off. We’re not going to make this huge decision in our lives until we kind of figure out what’s happening’. It looks like oil prices have stabilized a bit. They’re not really going up but they’re not really going down anymore. The slide has kind of stopped.”

 

The report said the World Bank has identified five other major episodes where oil prices dropped by 30 per cent or more over a six-month period besides the current one.

 

“These declines coincided with other global events: an increase in supply of oil and change in OPEC policy (1985-86); U.S. recessions (1990-91 and 2001); the Asian crisis (1997-98); and the global financial crisis (2007-09). New house prices (in Calgary) only declined in the 1991 and 2009 situations,” said the report.

It said new house prices in the City of Calgary increased 12.5 per cent in 2014, with condominium apartment prices jumping 28.9 per cent, adding that absorption rates should remain strong in 2015, as a significant portion of the new home product is pre-sold.

 

“Household formation figures indicate there is minimal risk of oversupply in the Calgary CMA over the next year,” said the report.

 

It said absorptions were just short of a record high in the Calgary CMA in 2014 at 12,740, while completed and unabsorbed supply fell to just 451 units at the end of December, marking a 25-year low. There was only one completed and unabsorbed apartment at the end of 2014, down from 600 units in 2010.

 

Between February 1986 and December 1986, oil prices were down 49 per cent year-over-year on average. During that same period, new house prices in the Calgary CMA increased eight per cent annually on average, said the report.

 

Between August 1991 to January 1992, oil prices were down 29 per cent on average, new house prices were down two per cent on average.

 

Between September 1997 to February 1999, oil prices declined 27 per cent on average, new house prices increased seven per cent on average.

 

Between June 2001 to March 2002, oil prices declined 24 per cent on average, new house prices increased three per cent on average.

 

Between November 2008 to September 2009, oil prices declined 50 per cent on average and new house prices declined seven per cent on average.

 

“The biggest new house price decline occurred during the last ‘episode’ in 2008/2009, when Calgary and the world were in the midst of the global economic meltdown,” said the report. “During this crisis period, credit was totally cut off, the U.S. was in terrible financial shape, and Calgary was already on a downward spiral following bubble-like conditions in their housing market in 2007.”

 

Original article from the Calgary Herald at http://calgaryherald.com/business/real-estate/calgary-new-home-prices-survived-three-of-five-previous-oil-price-collapses

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The following is an excellent article by By Michael Estrin. While it is written to an America audience, the information is valuable to anyone selling their home.

 
The greatest hindrance to the sale of a home can be a seller who is seized by emotion.

"It is very important for sellers to (keep) in mind that a real estate transaction is most likely the single largest financial transaction they will ever undertake," says Fiona Dogan, a realtor in the Rye, N.Y., office of Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty. "It should be viewed and handled primarily as a business transaction, with cold, hard decisions being made on a financial and investment basis."

Home sellers who allow emotions and sentimental attachments to overtake them during the sales process run the risk of making hasty, sometimes poor decisions, Dogan says.

Here are some tips to help any home seller avoid making emotional mistakes that could cost money.

Getting top dollar is the dream of every home seller. But getting a buyer to pay a premium for features that are valuable only to you? That's closer to fantasy, according to Tracie Hamersley, senior vice president and associate broker at Citi Habitats in New York City.

"Overpricing often occurs because of emotional reasons," Hamersley says. "So many sellers make the mistake of thinking that their home is special and that a special buyer will pay more because they also fell in love with the property."

The truth is prices have nothing to do with the seller's emotional affinity for the property, and according to Hamersley, it's important sellers understand that as early as possible.

Sellers who bought at the top of the market likely won't see that same price from today's buyers.

"It's a different market," Hamersley explains. "If a seller bought their home during the market's peak, they may have to face the unappealing prospect of losing money on the sale in today's market. This is a difficult position for a seller to be in, but it's one that reflects today's reality."

There are a lot of legitimate reasons why a seller might want to be present for the home's showing. But having a seller there tends to sour the experience for most buyers, according to Renee Weinberg of Petrey Real Estate in Long Beach, N.Y.

"Getting the seller out of the house is key," Weinberg says. "Whenever we take a listing, this is explained in advance."

According to Karyn Anjali Glubis, a real estate broker and owner of The Real Estate Expert in Tampa, Fla., sellers are sensitive when buyers nitpick flaws. "Sellers think that every little thing is a complaint against how they may have maintained a property," Glubis says. The reality is that observations from buyers -- though sometimes harsh -- have nothing to do with the person selling the home.

Having a seller present for an open house or the first (or even second) showing tends to stifle potential buyers from expressing opinions. After hearing negative feedback, some sellers reject offers for emotional reasons, Weinberg says. Sellers should use their agents to insulate them from the process, filter relevant information and only meet the buyers when there's a serious offer on the table.


Sellers be warned: The longer a property sits on the market, the worse the offers are likely to get, says Nick Jabbour, a New York City real estate agent and vice president of Nest Seekers International.
 

"Once a property is marketed, it will receive the most attention during the first two weeks," Jabbour says. "(The home is) new to the market, and any buyers that have been in the market for a home will see it come up. If it is priced right, an educated buyer, (who has) been in the market for a while (and) sees the home as a fit, will put a serious foot forward."

Sometimes early bids run the risk of spooking sellers who worry they underpriced their properties. But Jabbour says you can tell the property was priced correctly when an early offer is near the asking price, as long as the asking price is in line with the market.

"Waiting for a better offer is counterproductive and can result in a property languishing," Jabbour says.


When you're selling your home, it's easy to take everything personally. But doing so is a big mistake, according to Fiona Dogan, a realtor in the Rye, N.Y., office of Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty.
 

"Sellers need to become emotionally detached very quickly from their homes," Dogan says. "By its very nature, a real estate transaction is aggressive and confrontational since the seller wants the highest price and the buyer wants the lowest."

That negotiation almost always means a buyer will point out every flaw with the property. But while hearing that information may sting a little, it's really a good sign, according to Dogan, because it means the buyer is serious.

"A seller needs to be ready to hear criticism of their lovely home and be able to deal with it as a negotiating tool and not take it as a personal affront and walk away from a potential sale for emotional reasons," Dogan says.



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New price tool shows year-over-year growth
 
Calgary, February 6, 2012 – The year-over-year value of homes in Calgary increased in January 2012 by 2.7 per cent, according to a new price measurement tool vetted by academia and financial industry experts, including the Bank of Canada.
 
The new MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was introduced today by the Canadian Real Estate Association in partnership with Canada’s five largest real estate boards – Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
 
The new tool measures how typical properties are valued in the market rather than relying on average and median prices. In January, for example, the average price declined year-over-year, but only because more homes were sold in the lower-price ranges compared to the previous year, when more luxury home sales occurred. 
   
“By combining information from the MLS® HPI with their own knowledge, experience and skills, REALTORS® can help their clients approach one of life’s most important decisions – that of buying or selling a home – with greater confidence,” says Bob Jablonski, president of CREB®.
 
The MLS® HPI is calculated using a sophisticated statistical model that estimates home prices based on their quantitative and qualitative features that are typical to that neighborhood, such as square footage, number of rooms above the basement level, number of bathrooms and half-bathrooms, whether the property has a fireplace and/or finished basement, lot size or the age of the property, to name a few. 
 
“The MLS® HPI is the best tool to determine true price trends in the market,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® chief economist. “The commonly used average and median prices can be misleading as they are easily affected by the composition of what is sold.”
 
For buyers and sellers, the MLS® HPI determines what a typical home is valued at in their neighborhood, as well as how this compares to other neighborhoods. In addition, it provides a true price trend for their community.
 

“We are excited to be able to offer the purest, most accurate housing data that is currently available,” Jablonski says. “The MLS® HPI  can be used to not only determine pricing trends, but also to gain insight into the typical home in a specific market segment, adding value to the existing tools REALTORS® can use to value homes for both buyers and sellers.”

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Calgary, January 3, 2012
 

According to figures released today by CREB® (Calgary Real Estate Board), Calgary residential sales in 2011 increased eight per cent over last year, with 18,568 sales for 2011 compared to

17,267 in 2010.

 

Recovering from tepid sales activity in the first half of 2011, early improvements in employment and migration resulted in a pickup in housing demand in the second half of the year. By the end of June 2011, year-to-date sales activity had only increased by two per cent compared to the second half of the year, where residential sales improved by 15 per cent.
 
“While sales activity in 2011 remained below the long run average by 17 per cent, monthly figures point towards the trend of this gap narrowing,” says Sano Stante, president of CREB®.
 

2011 single family sales totaled 13,186, a nine per cent increase over last year. While sales increased, listings remained low, with an annual total of 24,245, six per cent lower than 2010 levels. The decline in listings relative to sales pushed down inventory levels to 2,761, resulting in four months of supply.

Meanwhile, the condominium market recorded declining sales for nearly half of the year, but favorable pricing and improved economic conditions pushed sales up by double digit rates for the second half of

the year. 2011 condo sales totaled 5,382, a 4 per cent increase over the previous year. The rise in sales was complemented by an annual 12 per cent decline in listings. This helped to tighten the condominium market, causing inventories to decline to 1,287 and months of supply to remain just above four months.
 
“The demand recovery in the condominium market lagged the single family market, as price adjustments in both the single family and condominium markets resulted in more selection for consumers,”
 

Stante says. “For the first time in several years, consumers had additional selection of single family homes at a lower price range, which directly competed with the condominium market.”

 
Single family average price in 2011 reached $466,402, a one per cent increase over last year. While there have been some strong monthly increases, primarily due to sales in the upper end skewing the prices, overall prices have remained fairly stable. Meanwhile, the year-end median price of 405,000 remains at levels similar to 2010.
 
Condominium prices have remained persistently low in 2011, while some of the monthly figures have been boosted by high end penthouse sales. By the end of 2011, the average price of $287,172 remained one per cent lower than the previous year.
 

“Throughout 2011, elevated levels of inventories have limited price growth as consumers benefitted from sufficient supply of housing to choose from; however, as these inventories drop to levels more

consistent with a balanced market, we can expect some moderate price growth moving forward,” Stante concludes.

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I have uploaded the Housing Market OutlookCalgary 2012 Provided by CMHC to the REPORTS section of my website. It is in PDF format and available for download.
 

This Outlook report for Calgary is published semi-annually and offers forecasts and analyses of trends in the new, resale and rental housing markets. For the new home market, housing starts and price changes are examined in detail, while the resale section presents sales activity, average prices, and listings. Analysis of the rental market focuses on vacancy rates, average rents and related forecasts. An overview and forecast of key economic indicators is also detailed, along with other factors affecting the local economy and housing market.

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Free Real Estate Apps to Amp Up Your Home Search!

Modern technology has given us wonderful tools that can make our lives easier in so many ways and Real Estate is no different. 
 
Most people know they can search the MLS® on the website of their favourite REALTOR®, however you have more power at your fingertips and on your iPhone, iPad or Android Smartphone than you probably realized!  Here is some info on a very cool, free application that once installed, combines real time GPS capability with the Calgary and surrounding district MLS® system, allowing you to search thousands of listings while on the move, quickly, easily and instantly!  
 
What’s so unique about this?  If you are a serious home buyer, it brings an entirely new dimension to looking for your new home.  Once activated, the system uses GPS technology to create a map showing you all current listings within a 1 kilometre radius of your current location. 
 
See a home you like while you are out for the evening and would like to know the listing details?  Open your mobile MLS® app and click on the pin indicating the home on the map. The price, listing details including photographs and all related information is there for you instantly.  If you would like to know more about the listing or schedule an appointment to view, simply click on the Inquire button or call the phone number provided.  It’s as simple as that. 
 
To obtain the app, simply visit HouseHuntingAdventures.com, click on the Mobile Web App and follow the installation guide.

Your Own Personal and Private Online Real Estate Office

Your mobile app can also be combined with your online VOW Virtual Office Website, another freely available service.  People are often hesitant to “sign up” because they are unaware of what it is, and are concerned about personal privacy, however sign up simply allows the system to create file space for a system personalized to you, allowing you to take advantage of more than just the simple MLS ® search engine.
 
Setting up your personalized system is quick and easy, and provides you with the ability to do custom searches for homes or properties.  When you sign up for a free account the system creates your personal real estate virtual office where you can organize your home research, organize folders for your searches and much more.  You can save your searches and compile lists of potential homes for you to compare quickly and easily. It's your own personal MLS® service, customized specifically to you and your needs. 
 
 If you would like to set up your own personal space, visit HouseHuntingAdventures.com/vow.html and click the sign up button to set up your private online Real Estate office.  The service is free, easy to set up and use.


 

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By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald December 7, 2011
 
 
Fuelled by low interest rates and job security, demand for residential real estate in Calgary is on the upswing, says the Re/Max Housing Market Outlook 2012 report published Tuesday. And the real estate firm says Calgary will be a Canadian leader next year in the annual growth rate for MLS sales.
 
By year-end 2011, 22,500 homes are expected to change hands, an eight per cent increase over the 20,801 sales reported in 2010, it said. And the average price in Calgary is forecast to appreciate as well, rising a "modest" one per cent to $405,000 in 2011, up from $401,186 one year ago.
 
The report forecasts the average MLS sale price will jump by three per cent in 2012 to $417,000, while sales will rise by five per cent to 23,600 units.
 
Lowell Martens, of Re/ Max Real Estate (Mountain View) in Calgary, said any hesitation on the part of some buyers in the city is more than likely a direct reflection of the uncertainty in the European economic situation. He said commercial realestate construction taking place in Calgary "tells us the long-term feeling out there is very positive for Calgary."
 

"We have a very stable market over the next little while. We don't anticipate any big upswings, but at the same time we don't anticipate any big downswings either. It's going to be very stable," he said.

Buyers in the city are cautiously optimistic after more than two years of recession, making their moves while interest rates are at historic lows and housing values are affordable, said the report.
 
"Single-family homes remain most popular with purchasers, representing close to 60 per cent of total residential sales. Demand is greatest for entry-level product, priced between $350,000 and $450,000," it said. "Con-dominium apartments and town houses have also experienced solid momentum in recent months, with the lion's share of activity occurring from $200,000 to $300,000. Luxury home sales - priced over $1 million - have been particularly brisk, up approximately 25 per cent over 2010 levels."
 
While global concerns still loom, the market appears to be gaining some traction moving into the new year, said the report. Re/Max said Canadian residential realestate defied conventiona l logic and outperformed expectations in 2011, posting another solid year of housing activity virtually across the board. The trend is expected to carry forward into 2012 as Canadians "continue to demonstrate their faith in home ownership, despite concerns over the European debt crisis and its impact on the global economy."
 
"What 2011 proves is that real estate continues to have momentum," said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president, Re/Max of Western Canada, in a statement
.
"The economic underpinnings support ongoing demand, particularly as job creation efforts continue and unemployment rates edge down further."
 
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Stable Pricing Providing Opportunities for Buyers

 

Calgary, December 1, 2011 – According to figures released today by CREB® (Calgary Real Estate Board), Calgary residential sales in November increased eight per cent over last year, at 17,538 after the first 11 months of the year. 

 

While sales activity tends to taper off in the winter months, so far this year Calgary area sales remain significantly stronger than levels recorded last year. Single family home sales totaled 962 for the month, an increase of eight per cent from November 2010. Meanwhile, year-to-date sales totaled 12,464, a 10 per cent increase over last year. Over the long term, however, sales remained a tepid 17 per cent below the 10 year average. 

 

“Despite any global economic cautions, consumers are actively seeking well priced listings in the market, a reflection of their positive long term outlook for the city,” says Sano Stante, president of CREB®. “Following two years of employment losses, the current growth in jobs is translating into improvements in the housing sector and a more optimistic consumer.”

 

November listings have edged down over last year’s levels, decreasing by two per cent. Lower listings combined with the increase in sales helped reduce the months of inventory to less than four months. 

 

The year-to-date average and median price of single family homes were a respective $467,140 and $406,500. Overall, prices remain relatively flat compared to last year. 

 

“This stable pricing provides an opportunity for buyers in our market. The addition of historically low interest rates, combined with a good selection of inventory, makes it a trifecta,” Stante says. “With positive wage growth in the wind, this is a signal, and a reminder, that this market opportunity will not remain forever.”

 

Condominium sales for the first 11 months of the year totaled 5,074, a five per cent rise over the same period last year. Inventory levels declined to 1,676 units, helping push down the months of supply. 

 

“The rise in condominium sales can be attributed to the confidence in the market, and is typical of this phase of a normal market recovery,” says Stante.

 

Condominium year-to-date average and median prices in 2011 were $287,545 and $261,500, respectively, a decline over the first 11 months of 2010, mostly due to increased sales in units priced under $200,000. 

 

“Calgary continues to record impressive employment growth and long term fundamentals remain strong,” Stante concludes. “The strength in our economy, combined with affordability levels that outperform most major centers, will continue to attract migrants to the city and spur further growth in our Calgary housing market.”

 

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Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Housing Market Outlook 
 Date Released: Fourth Quarter 2011

Alberta Overview
Alberta’s housing starts are forecast to increase by 15.3 per cent to 29,200 units in 2012, following a 6.5 per cent decrease in 2011 to 25,325 units.
  
 These robust gains are a result of a number of factors. Firstly, the economy is projected to show relatively strong growth over the forecast period. In 2011, real gross domestic product is expected to rise by 3.1 per cent, followed by 3.5 per cent in 2012. Note, however, a pullback in oil prices during the summer, along with various wildfires, briefly slowed economic conditions, but these effects have dissipated.
  
 Secondly, employment growth is projected at 3.4 per cent in 2011, lowering the unemployment rate from 6.5 per cent to 5.6 per cent. By 2012, the unemployment rate is expected to be lowered to 5.1 per cent. As a result, this will put upward pressure on Alberta’s housing sector.

 

Finally, the demographic outlook for Alberta is positive. With an improving economy generating jobs, it is expected more migrants will choose Alberta as their home. Last year was a 15-year low for migration to Alberta.

 

Moving forward, expect significant growth in migration this year with further gains in 2012. These gains are also expected to put upward pressure on the demand for housing within the province.

 

In Detail

 

 
Single Starts: Single-detached starts are projected to decline about ten per cent in 2011, as builders mitigate the risk of rising inventories. Over the balance of the forecast period, demand for single-detached homes will improve with a growing economy and job creation. In 2012, single-detached starts are expected to rise by over 15 per cent to 18,400 units. The number of single-detached units under construction in August was at approximately half the level reported five years ago. However, with the inventory of complete and unabsorbed units up from the previous year, builders have been cautious about expanding production.

 

  
Multiple Starts: More affordable condominium projects are now competing with the resale market and enticing some renters to move into new condominium units. After a slow start to this year, the pace of multi-family starts has picked-up and is expected to edge past last year’s level of production. In 2012, demand is expected to improve with rising incomes and new household formation, raising the level of multi-family production by 14.6 per cent to 10,800 units.

 

  
Resales: The number of MLS® sales in Alberta is projected to increase by over six per cent in 2011 to 52,800 units. In 2012, MLS® sales are projected to rise to 53,900 units.

 

  
Prices:   Most of Alberta’s major urban centres remain in buyers’ market conditions as indicated by a sales-to-new listings ratio that has fluctuated around 50 per cent this year. The average resale price in 2011 is expected to rise fractionally above last year’s average, with much of the price movement attributed to compositional effects. As Alberta’s economy generates employment and attracts more migrants, demand will rise and improve market balance. The average resale price in Alberta is projected to rise by more than two per cent in 2012 to $362,700.
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by Chris O' Sullivan - cosullivan@mortgagwriters.ca

The answer to this question depends on one two things: One’s current financial situation and do you want to save on paying the interest part of the mortgage.

I will go over the different payment options available and provide a chart on how much a mortgage will cost you depending on the payment option you decide on.

The Monthly Mortgage Payment:

This is the most standard payment. You pay your mortgage once a month. This is the most expensive option, since you don’t save anything on interest fees. You will have 12 payments for the entire year.

Semi-Monthly Mortgage Payment:

This option requires two equal payments ( 50% on the monthly payment), which makes 24 payments for the entire year. This is a better option than the monthly payment. It will save you more on the interest payments.

Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payment:

This option requires the borrower to make mortgage payments every two weeks on the same day. You will pay a total of 26 payments for the year.  You make half the monthly payment every two weeks. So you will make 13 full payments for the entire year. This will save you a bit more on the interest then the semi-monthly option.

Accelerated Weekly Mortgage Payment:

This will give you slightly better interest rate savings then the accelerated bi-weekly payment option. You will make 52 payments per year. This results in an additional monthly payment for the year.

This chart will assume a mortgage of $200,000, for a 5 year fixed term at 3.39%, with amortization of 25 years.  Below are the different payment options and the savings associated with each from a monthly payment option.

 

Total Payments

Total Interest Paid

Time To Payoff Mortgage

Savings 

Monthly Mortgage Payment

$296,088

$96,088

300 months

(25 yrs.)

N/A

Semi-Monthly Mortgage Payment

$295,765

$95,765

300 Months (25 yrs.)

$323.00

Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payment

$283,606.59

$83,606.59

266 months

(22 yrs. and 2 months)   

$12,483.21

Weekly Mortgage Payment

$283,470.10

$83,470.10

266 months

(22yrs. And 2 months)

$12,619.71

 

This chart will assume a mortgage of $450,000, for a 5 year fixed term at 3.39%, with amortization of 25 years.  Below are the different payment options and the savings associated with each from a monthly payment option.

 

Total Payments

Total Interest Paid

Time To Payoff Mortgage

Savings 

Monthly Mortgage Payment

$666,200.36

$216,200.36

300 months

(25 yrs.)

N/A

Semi-Monthly Mortgage Payment

$665,471.25

$215,471.25

300 Months (25 yrs.)

$729.10

Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payment

$638,114.83

$188,114.83

266 months

(22 yrs. and 2 months)   

$28,065.52

Weekly Mortgage Payment

$637,804.92

$187,804.92

266 months

(22yrs. And 2 months)

$28,395.44

 

If you can, it is well worth to use a bi-weekly or weekly payment structure to pay down your mortgage.
Chris O'Sullivan
 
Chris O'Sullivan is a mortgage agent for The Mortgage Writers and can be reached at cosullivan@mortgagewriters.ca
 
 
 
  
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Selling Your Home For Market Value!
 
Even in today’s market, you don’t have to under value your home in order to generate buyers.  At the same time, if you want your home to sell in a reasonable amount of time, it is important that you don’t price your home over market value either.  In the end, it is entirely up to you how you price your home, but it is important to determine what outcome you want to have and what your goals are when determining what your final listing price should be.
 

Some clients prefer to list on the high side to test the market in the hopes they will make more money from the sale of their home. In the end, the home stays listed for many months with few if any showings, and no movement because the home owner has chosen to over price their home.

In the end, if you want to sell your home and progress to the next stage of your real estate goals, it is important to price your home fairly, with a marketable price that is competitive, but without under valuing your home just to get a quick sale.
 
Pricing your home fairly is always a fine balance!  In the end, the correct selling price of your home is the highest price the current market will bear. Your home will always sell for the current market value if you are patient, price it right and have a REALTOR®  who is working in YOUR best interest.
 
I am frequently contacted by home owners who request a free market evaluation of their home. More often than not, I am requested to provide an online evaluation or Comparative Market Analysis and to email the report. 
 
Unfortunately this does not provide the home owner with information that is accurate enough to make a proper determination of the true value of their home, and in many cases the estimate of the value of their home will be undervalued.
 
For this reason, I prefer to do more than providing a standard comparative market analysis. Consider the following questions:
 
Do you know how much your home has appreciated over the last few years?  Do you know how much CASH is tied up in your home?  What your REAL equity is?
 
Serious sellers should request an on site evaluation to determine the most accurate potential value of your home.
 
Why?  Because any  CMA provided by using the standard tools available to Real Estate professionals cannot take into account what the REALTOR® is able to add into the equation by attending and viewing specific upgrades, taking accurate measurements and comparing what they see on site to other homes they have been to that are in a similar category as your home.  For this reason, an on site Maximum Home Value Audit provides you with a more accurate calculation of what the fair market value is for your home.
 

 

 

 

 

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I have a wonderful couple who have just sold their home and are trying to find a nice bungalow to move to. They are interested in finding a home in Carstairs, Langdon, Chestermere or Strathmore.
 
If you have a home that you would like to sell that meets their needs, please get in touch with me. We are trying to find that "special" bungalow that is well looked after with a well groomed yard and nice features. 
 
If you are not currently listed for sale but have been considering a move and would like to consider selling your home and need to determine the full market value of your home and consider accepting an offer from this couple, please get in touch and I will be happy to help you put it all together.
 
More details about the home my clients need can be found at this link on my website.
 
Natasha
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First year-over-year increase in monthly condominium sales since April 2010

 

Calgary, July 4, 2011 – According to figures released today by CREB® (Calgary Real Estate Board), residential sales surged in the month of June 2011 to 1,979 units. While this indicates a third more sales than June 2010, the year-todate increase proved a moderate 2 per cent. Strong monthly increases does not imply a housing boom, as it is important to put into perspective that sales

activity remains below long term averages. While the single family market has shown signs of improvement throughout the first half of this year, this is the first time since April 2010 that condominium sales have recorded a year-over year increase.

 

“Improved housing demand is being fueled by a younger demographic and, with the affordability of homes in Calgary, we are continuing to see young Calgarians pursue ownership over rentals,” says Sano Stante, president of CREB®.

 

“Historically, Calgary’s average family income has been higher than the national average and a younger more mobile demographic has been attracted to good paying professional jobs in Calgary. As the economy continues to build momentum, we expect this same trend will support a balanced and healthy

housing market in the second half of 2011 and into 2012.”

 

With 581 sales for the month of June 2011, the condominium market improved by 31 per cent over June of 2010, however year-to-date figures show a 5 per cent decrease over the same period last year.

 

“Condo sales bounced back this month, and we now have less than four months of supply on the market. Stronger condo sales, combined with a decline in inventory, will lend more balance to this market in the months to come,” says Stante.

 

After the first half of the year, average prices of condominiums are still slightly lower than levels recorded last year, as more buyers bought condominiums under $200,000 in 2011 compared to 2010 for the same period.
 

“Buyers in this market expect value and many are taking advantage of some affordable buys in both the single family and condo markets. It highlights using a skilled REALTOR® to properly price your home for your unique market area,” says Stante.

 

The single family market recorded 1,398 sales in the month of June 2011. This is an increase of 32 per cent when compared to June 2010 when 1,059 single family homes sold in the city of Calgary. With a total of 7,231 sales after the first half of the year, year-to-date single family sales are 6 per cent higher than last year.

 

“While new listings are still lower than levels recorded last year, the rate of decline has eased. With the market shifting to more balanced conditions in recent months, sellers are feeling more confident to list their home. Overall our absorption rate has remained relatively stable, staving off any significant rise in

prices,” says Stante.

 

Year-to-date average price of a single family home in Calgary is $472,330, while the median price is $410,000, virtually unchanged over levels recorded in the previous year. The distribution of sales by price range has not shown any significant shift compared to last year, pointing to continued stability in the market.
 

“After the first half of the year, it appears the recovery in the housing market is starting to find its footing.

This gradual leveling has been fueled by growth in employment, and in particular growth in full time jobs. Improved job prospects, combined with an increase in the number of people moving to Calgary, will give lift to our housing market for the remainder of this year and into the

next,” says Stante.

 

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Higher priced homes selling faster as listings trend down
 

According to figures released today by CREB® (Calgary Real Estate Board), City of Calgary year-to-date sales declined by 4 per cent compared to the first four months of 2010. The decline was offset by a 14 per cent drop in listings recorded over the same period, resulting in lower inventory levels, and a moderate growth in average prices.

 

In April 2011, single family home sales were 1,217, while 2,299 listings came to market, a decline of 10 per cent over April 2010 and 25 per cent, respectively. Inventory levels rose slightly over March 2011

levels, but remained well below inventories recorded in April 2010, and close to the long term average, indicating the market continues to show balanced conditions.
 
“While our spring market has been a little slow to get started, we are seeing our inventory levels return to healthy levels,” says Sano Stante, president of CREB®. “This trend, combined with an improving job market, will help warm up Calgary’s housing market in the coming months.”
 
Along with a decline in inventory, Stante points out that homes in the higher-end of the market are selling faster, with average days on market trending down, and below the 5-year average.
 
“We are seeing improvements in the sale of homes in the higher price points. Homes above $700,000 are selling within an average of 41 days. This is consistent with pre-recession levels,” says Stante.
 
To view the full report and current Calgary market stats, click here.
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Property Photo: 306 5500 SOMERVALE CRT SW in CALGARY
***PROPERTY SOLD***
 
I have listed a new property at 306 5500 SOMERVALE CRT SW in CALGARY.
Great size of the unit - 1011sq ft, with 2 good sized bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. This apartment is located on the 3rd floor with covered balcony facing green space - great to enjoy your summer BBQ. Island kitchen and ample counter space,in-suite laundry, huge storage room (in-suite). Spacious living room is open to both the kitchen and dining area. Master bedroom features great walk-in closet and 3 pc en-suite with shower stall. Titled underground parking. Great quiet location, close to public transportation, shopping, the YMCA/Library,and restaurants. Condo fees include heat & electricity.
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I have just implemented the use of QR Codes on my website!
 
What does it do?  If you scan it into your iPhone, you have instant access to the entire Calgary and area MLS® system. It is virtually instantaneous and once it fires up it will ask you for permission to use your current location so it can find homes on the MLS® close to you.  Once you click on OK,  within seconds you will have access to all the homes in your immediate vincinity and the ability to search the MLS® system Calgary wide!  It's cost free, doesn't require any setup and uses your iPhone/Android internal GPS to map the locations. By tapping on any pin you see on the map, you are able to instantly see all the details for that particular home. 
 
Want to do more than just use the map?  If you want to search for properties in a specific area, in a certain price range, virtually the same way as you do on my website, you can use the menus provided.
 
This is such a unique and fun tool to use.  For anyone who owns an iPhone, Android or any QR Code capable phone or computer, you can go onto my site and scan the QR Code that is on the MLS® page or on the page header.
 
Setting Up Your Phone
 
This is such an easy tool to use.  Simply obtain any QR Code scanning app and install it on your iPhone. Then activate the application, and hold the camera lens of your phone up to the screen so it can scan the unique QR Code on the screen.  You can use the QR Code image here and try it out. 
 
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Calgary, February 1, 2011
 

– Single family home sales in the City of Calgary edged upwards month-over-month and showed the first yearover-year increase since April  2010, according to figures released today by CREB® (Calgary Real Estate Board).

 

The number of single family home sales in the month of January 2011 were 787, compared with December 2010, when sales were 734— an increase of about 7 per cent. The number of condominium sales for the month of January 2011 was 297. This was down from the 320 condominium transactions recorded in December 2010.
 
Year-over-year, the number of single family homes sold in January 2011 in the city of Calgary increased by just over 3 per cent. In January 2010, single family home sales totaled 762. Condominium sales saw a decrease of 21 per cent from the same time a year ago. In January 2010, condominium sales were 376.
 
“More affordable housing will continue to attract homebuyers to the inner-city, particularly as employment in the city of Calgary continues to improve,” says Sano Stante, president of CREB®. “Single family homes in the city are currently driving this gradual recovery, and we are seeing an uptick in the sale of homes below the $350,000 price point. This may suggest more first time homebuyers are entering the market, providing the fuel needed for a sustained housing recovery.”
 
The average price of a single family home in the city of Calgary in January 2011 was $454,287, showing a 3 per cent increase from December 2010, when the average price was $441,341, and a 3 per cent increase from January 2010, when the average price was $441,217. The average price of a condominium in the city of Calgary in January 2011 was $287,954, showing a 2 per cent increase from December 2010, when the average price was $282,768 and a 2 per cent increase over last year, when the average price was $282,639.
 
The median price of a single family home in the city of Calgary for January 2011 was $390,000, showing a slight increase from December 2010 when the median price was $389,000. This was a 2 per cent decrease from January 2010, when the median price was $398,000.
 
The median price of a condominium in January 2011 was $255,000, showing a 1 per cent decrease from December 2010, when the median price was $258,500, and a 4 per cent decrease from January 2010, when it was $265,000.
 
“The recovery in 2011 will be incremental and gradual. Nonetheless, at the moment Calgary is offering buyers a great deal of affordability, low interest rates and a large selection of inventory,” says Stante. “Overall the first quarter of 2011 will show modest improvements in sales which will lay the foundation for the return to a more balanced market,” he adds.
 

Single family listings in the city of Calgary added for the month of January 2011 totaled 1958, an increase of 169 per cent from December 2010 when 728 new listings were added, and showing an increase of 7 per cent from January 2010, when 1822 new listings came to the market.

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Well, we finally have some details and insight for the 2011 housing market, and it's about to get tougher for new home owners, and even those currently in the market.

There have been significant announcements this week for everyone interesting in buying or selling a home.  Timing is everything, and it appears that once again, there will be some significant changes that you need to be aware of. 

Considering the forecast for the Calgary Housing market to start increasing in pricing, and the tighter mortgage rules that will be coming into force in 60 days, now might be a vital window for home owners that are currently considering a move.

It is especially urgent for homeowners who are currently wishing to sell their current homes and lock in a new mortgage rate on a newly purchased home.  With only 60 days to finalize before the new rates come into effect, it will be a challenge to get a home on the market and sold in time to take advantage of the current status.  The up side is that over the next two months, the market may get very fluid with those who need to take advantage of the current mortgage rules.

I received the following details from one of my mortgage specialists advising that there will be some major changes in how mortgages are approved. This is a significant tightening for those of you who are currently considering purchasing a new home.

1.       No more 35 year amortizations

 

As of March 18, 2011 all insured deals will be allowed a 30 year amortization. Any fully signed contracts whether it be a purchase or refinance committed to by CMHC on or before March 18 will be honoured over 35 years.  You cannot have an increase in price after this date - if you do, you will be subject to the 30 year amortization.

2.       Refinancing has been scaled back to 85%.

 

As of March 18th,  home owners will have access to 85% of the value of a home instead of the current 90%. This will affect  you as a  home buyer when you take equity out of your home for a down payment.  In this case, you won’t be able to get as much funding up front and your monthly  payments will be higher.

Current and potential buyers please note that the magic date is March 18th, 2011.

On a $450,000 purchase with 5% down, this would save you $200.00 per month in mortgage payments and your affordability increases by 3%.

For those who are considering a home purchase requiring an insured mortgage (less than 20% down payment), you will want to complete pre-approval and possession of home prior to March 18 2011.

If you are currently sitting on the fence as to whether or not to make your move it is important to understand that buying today will save you money in the long run. After March 18th, this window will be closed.

If you are currently considering a home purchase and would like to speak to a mortgage specialist, I have excellent resources who are very talented in obtaining financing.  Please feel free to call me at 403-399-0809 and I will put you in touch with someone who can assist you according to your current circumstances.

For further information on these changes, and the background associated, here are a few links you can visit:

The Harper Government Takes Prudent Action to Support the Long-Term Stability of Canada’s Housing Market

Backgrounder: Supporting the long-term stability of Canada’s housing market

CALGARY HERALD ARTICLE: FeDERAL GOVERNMENT TIGHTENS MORTGAGE RULES AGAIN

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The Calgary Real Estate Board released is annual forecast on Tuesday, advising that there will be a recovery in the market this year with improved sales compared with 2010.

The board is predicting that Calgary's housing inventory levels are expected to stabilize, which will result in a return to a more balanced and sustainable housing market.

It forecasts single-family home sales to increase by 19.9 per cent this year to 14,500 transactions  and the average MLS sale price is predicted to rise 4.1 per cent to $480,000.

The board also predicted that condominium sales will rise by 15.8 per cent to 6000 transactions with the average sale price increasing by 1.8 per cent to $295,900.

In the towns outside of Calgary market, the board is forecasting a 13.5 per cent increase to 4,000 with the average price increasing by 2.6 per cent to $368,500.

Sano Stante, president of the real estate board, said that his forecast wouldn't change in light of the federal government's announcement to toughen up mortgage lending practices.

"We are expecting in-migration into Calgary.  If we see the job growth that we expect to happen in Calgary then the in-migration should drive the sales."

The boards report states that the key to market recovery in 2011 will be permanent job creation sufficient to stimulate in-migration. Recovery in the first half of the year will be more modest, picking up pace in the second half. Recovery of sales will be from single family homes close to the downtown core, and by condos and single family homes in the outlying areas.

" 2011 will offer buyers unprecedented affordability, low interest rates and a large selection of inventory."

The CMHC, is predicting increased sales, with residential properties in the sold in the Calgary area to increase by 2.0 per cent this year to 20,700 units, with an increase in the average sale price.

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