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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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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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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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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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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Housing sales in December declined from November, and the median house price has dropped 3% in comparison to 2009. Following are excerpts from the most current news release from the Calgary Real Estate Board.
 
Home and condo sales in Calgary and area remained relatively unchanged in December 2010, indicating that a full-fledged recovery in the housing market has yet to take hold, according to
fi gures released today by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®).
 

 

The number of single family home sales in the month of December 2010 were 734, compared with

November 2010, when sales were 891—a decline of about 18 per cent. The number of condominium sales for the month of December 2010 was 320. This was up from the 310 condominium transactions recorded in November 2010.

 
Undoubtedly housing markets in Alberta and Calgary underperformed in 2010, as sales recoveries did not materialize as forecasted. In many ways, re-sales in 2010 showed a repeat of 2008, with a short lived resurgence in the  fi rst few months, when confi dence returned to the market,” says Diane Scott, president of CREB®.
 

 

“Employment and net-migration have been slower to pick up here in Calgary—and these are key drivers of our housing market. The good news is we arenow seeing marked improvements in investment and employment in the energy sector. We believe these green shoots in our economy, supported by improved affordability and low interest rates, will eventually translate into a gradual recovery of our housing market as we move into 2011,” adds Scott.

 

“Supply outstripped demand in the second half of 2010, establishing conditions for a buyers’ market. Overall we did see significant improvements in affordability in the Calgary market in 2010—and I think the message to prospective buyers is that this is a great time to buy if you’re looking for good selection, specific locations and price points. The median price did indeed decline in 2010, signaling a year-over-year price correction of about 2 per cent for single-family homes, just over 4 per cent for condos and 6 per cent for the outlying towns,” adds Scott.

 

Single family listings in the city of Calgary added for the month of December 2010 totaled 744, a decrease of 44 per cent from November 2010 when 1,318 new listings were added, and showing a decrease of 8 per cent from December 2009, when 806 new listings came to the market.

Condominium new listings in the city of Calgary added for December 2010 were 369, down 42 per cent from November 2010, when the MLS® saw 632 condo listings coming to the market. This is a decrease of 17 per cent from December 2009, when new condominium listings added were 444.
 
To read the entire report and see the latest statistics, visit http://www.creb.com/public/documents/statistics/2010/package/res-stats-2010%20December.pdf
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The Calgary Herald today released a economic forecast provided by Scotiabank.  I have posted the information below, with a link back to the original article at the Calgary Herald website.
Alberta will lead the country in economic growth in 2011, building on a resource-led rebound this year, a new report suggests.

In its latest forecast released Wednesday, Scotiabank expects Alberta's economy to expand 3.5 per cent, the most growth among the provinces. The province is expected to post three per cent growth this year.

"Resource-related activity is ramping up alongside strong emerging-market demand for key industrial products, which along with a weaker U.S. dollar, is boosting commodity prices," said Scotia Economics economist Alex Koustas in a release.

The report also noted that Alberta's job market has been slow to catch up to national gains, but expects "substantial" improvements in 2011.

The housing market posted strong rebound in starts, with potential for steady gains as in-migration return to growth, it noted.

Housing starts have recovered sharply this year after steep declines in 2008-09. "Net flow turned positive in the first half of 2010, a trend that should continue as job prospects improve, supporting the outlook for retail and housing activity," Scotiabank said.

The pace of economic growth is more cautious than other recent forecasts, which also show the province to return to the head of the pack next year. RBC Economics pegs Alberta's economy to grow 4.3 per cent next year.

Rising prices for commodities such as oil and metals will play a role in bolstering certain parts of the country, the report said.

 
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It was disappointing to see prices and home sales slide again last month after a slight increase in September.  Home sales in the city of Calgary were down month-over-month in October 2010. The number of single family homes sold in October dropped 7% from September.

Buyers are still remaining cautious, keeping the market soft.  The year over year sales continued to decline in October. 

The average prices of single family homes in the city of Calgary in October 2010 decreased 3% from September 2010, when the average price was $460,278, and a 4 per cent decrease from October 2009, when the average price was $462,465.

The fact remains that the market is still soft and sellers need to be cognizant of this as it affects what they can reasonably expect to list their homes for if deciding to sell.  

On the up side, there were 22% fewer listings of homes in October than September, lowering inventory (number of homes available for sale) which in the long run will help to balance the market.

These stats were released on November 1st by the Calgary Real Board (CREB ®).

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I frequently receive requests for Market Evaluations from clients and potential clients.  In today’s market it is so important to know what our options are, and what the true value of our home is before putting it on the market.  Each REALTOR® has a different way of determining what price they will recommend to their clients when someone requests a market evaluation.  Often the home owner is surprised at the price they are provided by the REALTOR® who they have requested the information from.

I thought in this month’s newsletter I would provide some very basic information as to the process I go through when determining home prices, and how I come to the price that I provide when fulfilling requests for evaluations.

Most of my requests for evaluations come to me via my website.  The home owner provides me with their address, and basic information about their home and request for a price evaluation of their home.

When I receive this information I do a full market analysis for the area specific to the neighbourhood in which the home is located. 

An analysis will include research into the pricing of homes that are actively for sale in the area, as well as the prices of homes recently sold. It may also take into consideration nearby amenities such as schools and shopping facilities.  (Homes near a school will sometimes have a better potential for sale than those that are not, and therefore may command a better price than the same home that is not near such amenities.)

Once I have all the figures and have determined a price range for a home, I then send the home owner an email advising them what I believe the true value of the home is based on the information they have provided for me.

Now comes the insight that every home owner needs to know and understand about the options REALTORS®  have to consider when we are providing home evaluations to potential sellers.  There is a reality to realty!

I think the easiest way to explain how a REALTOR® may work in providing initial evaluations to a home owner is to give you an example:

Upon receiving the information from a home owner about their home, I research the area, the current market, the number of homes that are currently for sale in the area with their current listing prices, and a list of homes recently sold in the area and the prices those homes have sold for.  All the homes I research are based on the same criteria of information the home owner has sent to me, so that I can determine as closely as possible the most appropriate price based on similar homes.

It might look something like this:

Homes Actively For Sale – 9 homes found listed in the surrounding area that are similar in size and structure with similar finishing as the home owner.  They are on the market at prices ranging from $445,000.00 to $499,000.00.  Upon closer look, two of the homes have lowered their prices recently to the lower range of pricing.  Most of the newer listings are priced in the mid-range, and have also lowered their prices from their initial prices, and most of the homes have been on the market for over six months, with one of them being on the market as long as two years.

Homes Recently Sold – Two to five homes that have been the most recently sold that meet the same criteria were sold at prices ranging from $410,000.00 to $439,000.00.  In looking at the original listing prices of these homes, they had been listed from $440,000.00 to $470,000.00.  Four of the five homes sold only after the owners relisted at a lower price. Most sold at the upper range of the sold prices however were on the market for over 6 months before being sold.

Looking into sold properties is more important than comparing the pricing of active listings (properties that are currently for sale).  Sold properties indicate how much buyers are willing to pay for your home given the current market. Therefore when receiving comparable home prices from your REALTOR® is more important to put more weight on the pricing of homes being sold than the prices of those being listed when looking for an accurate price point.

My Pricing Determination – As a REALTOR® I have an obligation to anyone who contacts me to provide them with the best and most accurate information possible. However I also have to consider the position of the home owner. 

Price Determination Example 1 - On home evaluations for potential clients, knowing that they want to get the most value for their home as is possible, if I really want to obtain them as a client I can take the information I have gleaned from my research and price their home in the high range and send them a recommendation of listing between $460,000.00 to $470,000.00. 

By doing this, the home owner may get excited about using me as a REALTOR®  and choose to list their home with me.  I can then initially list the home at that price, however I know from my research that unless there are special circumstances, it is unlikely the home will sell at that price, so why would I want to give my client unrealistic expectations?  Well, if I price the home at a higher price, and the price is similar to other homes that are actively for sale in the area, it is more likely that the client will decide to list his home and that he will list his home with me.

However, experience has proven, time and again that in the end, the homeowner will in most cases over time, agree to lower the price to a level that is more reasonable to potential buyers.  He or she has to in order to get buyers to come through the home.  REALTORS® know this and often when providing initial market evaluations can use this practice to obtain the initial listing.

Price Determination Example 2 – Taking the same information and research, I determine that the home is likely to sell at a price that is within a price range of $430,000.00 and $450,000.00 depending on upgrades and other information that can only be determined upon viewing the actual property.  I know that by keeping the price estimate truer to the reality of what the current market is at, there is less likelihood for disappointment for my home owner.  They are not going to have unreasonable expectations and if the price has to be lowered, it will not be as significant a drop in order to sell the property as it would have to be in Example 1.

When I provide estimates, I prefer to look at what I believe the true value of the home is and provide my recommendations to the home owner based on what I believe I can sell their home for in a reasonable period of time.  I prefer to be conservative in my estimates as it is always easier to explain to a client reasons why they should increase their listing price once I have actually attended their home, rather than try to explain why my online evaluation is over estimated and that they need to lower the price when the time comes to list!

Every REALTOR®  has their own reasons for pricing homes the way they do, however regardless of what pricing is done, the fact remains, the market always sells at the market  price regardless at how the initial listing is priced.  It’s imperative that in order to get the best price for your home that you remain competitive, yet flexible in pricing.  How flexible is entirely dependent upon how quickly you want to move your home in the market.    

Think of it from a buyer’s perspective.  If you have the option of looking at 9 homes in the area you want to purchase in, and all those homes fit the same or very similar criteria, and all are in similar condition, are you going to spend an extra $50,000.00 you don’t need to spend?

True Pricing Determination – The most accurate way to determine what you should list your home for in order to get your highest price in the most reasonable amount of time is to have a REALTOR® attend your home to do an onsite home evaluation.  REALTORS® know what upgrades in your home can accentuate the value of your home and physically attending the residence and viewing your home is the only truly accurate method of determining the most realistic price of your home.  It also provides you an opportunity to ask questions that are important to you in regards to not only potential listing price, but also market timing.  An experienced REALTOR®  can often provide you excellent insight that can help you meet your personal goals.

Many of you who are recipients of my monthly newsletter are actively researching the market to either buy a home or sell your current home or both.  I hope this newsletter helps to explain why an online evaluation often seems on the lower end of the market and have been curious as to why your home is evaluated at the low end of the market. 

Current Market Trends – It is important to understand the significance of the current market trend when pricing your home as well.  Without taking into account current market trends, many homes are overpriced and simply won’t sell if they have not priced themselves according to the current market trends.  Remember too, that when you sell at lower prices, you are also in a position to buy your new home at a lower price as well.  Timing is important, but swings both for selling and buying.  These are important things to factor into your decision to sell and what price point to set.  Good advice from a realty specialist can help you make those decisions.

Free Onsite Evaluations - If you would like an accurate evaluation of your home and recommendations based on the current market I would be pleased to visit your home and provide you a full onsite appraisal, provide you a package with the latest in market information to help you make a sound decision regarding your home and answer any questions you might have regarding the market.  There is never any obligation and I am always ready to help.

If you would like to have a current market evaluation done on your home to determine what your next step should be, I’m here for you.  My business is made from sincerely helping people achieve their personal goals, not trying to convince them to sell if it is not in their best interest.  Nor will I suggest an unreasonably high listing price in order to obtain your business.  I will give you straight facts and advice and the rest is up to you!

Please don’t hesitate to call me at any time.  My personal cell phone number is 403-399-0809, or if you prefer, my personal Email of Natasha@HouseHuntingAdventures.com.  There is never any obligation and I understand and respect that you may only need an evaluation for current interest and that you may not even be in the market to sell your home.  I welcome any opportunities to do onsite market evaluations and enjoy meeting people and providing any market insight you may be in need of.

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Hello everyone!

Market Update!  A bit of good news!!

For the first time in many months there appears to be a turnaround in the Calgary Housing Market!  The Calgary Real Estate Board just released the stats for September and while the changes are modest, it is the first uptick in the Calgary market since April.

In short, the number of houses available for sale in the Calgary market has fallen, but the number of sales of homes has increased for the first time in six months.  Along with the increase in the number of homes sold a significant indicator of possible change is that the average median price of homes sold from August to September increased by almost $15,000.00.  If you would like to see the actual stats feel free to send me an email requesting a copy of the CREB Stats and I’ll forward the information to you in an email attachment.

In the homes I have had listed, I have noted and increased number of showings over the last few weeks as well.  While all these indicators are modest, it is certainly a refreshing change from the six months of steady downturn we have been experiencing, and appears to show that the real estate market is beginning to come to life again.

iPhone/Android App Update

I appreciate everyone who has downloaded my iPhone App to search the Calgary MLS system.  It has become quite a popular application.  Don’t be afraid to explore everything it has to offer, and if you have any questions or requests about a property, you can click on the links provided in the listings on the app to notify me and I will be happy to get back to you right away.  Keep in mind that if you sign into the VOW on HouseHuntingAdventures.com it opens up a special account for you where you can save all your home searches for comparables and once set up, you can do the same from your iPhone or Android as well.   If you have any questions, just call!

New to Canada?

I have many clients who are new to Canada who I have guided in their real estate adventures and I understand much of what it is like when coming into a new country.  I experienced coming to Canada, not knowing the languages here, first moving to Quebec and learning the French language, then to Calgary and learning English (Czech is my home language).  The challenges were difficult, but also a great character builder for me, especially while raising three children on my own.  I truly understand all the frustration with moving and setting down roots.  My desire is to help anyone who is a client of mine to make their transition as easy and cost manageable as possible.

 Keep it Drama Free!

I can really empathize with anyone when it comes to moving and all the related stresses and headaches. I’ve been there and done that on my own with my children, many times.  Every move made me a little wiser and I became an organizational wizard!  I understand all about moving a family, and the financial stresses and strains that can ensue.

Through my personal experiences as well as my experience as a REALTOR©, I have compiled a wonderful list of resources;  from excellent mortgage brokers who are very talented at locating great mortgage rates and helping you to qualify, to home inspectors  capable ensuring nothing is missed when you are looking to purchase a new home.

Please let me know if I can be of service to you.  Even if you are just at the research stage in locating a new home, or you simply would like to have a current market evaluation done on your home to determine what your next step should be, I’m here for you.  Please don’t hesitate to call me at any time. 

My personal cell phone number is 403-399-0809, or if you prefer, my personal Email of Natasha@HouseHuntingAdventures.com.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Natasha

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By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald September 2, 2010

An increase in active listings, combined with a cooling in housing demand, has started to push prices down in Calgary's residential real estate market.
 
Data released Wednesday by the Calgary Real Estate Board show single-family home sales fell by just over 32 per cent in August compared with a year ago while condominium transactions plunged by more than 42 per cent.
 

And the average MLS sale price in both markets dropped from what they were in July.

"If (buyers) don't have to buy they're just not doing it right now. There's just too much unrest," said CREB president Diane Scott.
 
"We know the traffic in the open houses has picked up in the last two weeks. We've been monitoring it very closely and the traffic is there, but the buyers are just a little leery."
 
Scott attributes that cautious sentiment to negative economic news and reports continuing to come before the public which create plenty of uncertainty in the marketplace.
 

"It's the economic situation that we happen to find ourselves in and the negative reports that keep popping up and buyers are kind of standing back, thinking it's going to go down lower," she added.

According to CREB, there were 867 single-family home sales in the city in August, down from August 2009's 1,277 sales and slightly down from the 915 sales recorded the previous month.
 
The average MLS sale price for a single-family home fell to $445,617, down 4.1 per cent from July and also off 1.9 per cent from a year ago. The year-over-year decline was the first month since July 2009 in which single-family home prices were lower than the previous year.
 
In the condominium market, sales dropped from last year as 364 properties were sold in Calgary for an average price of $286,384. The average price decreased by 1.6 per cent from July, but was up 1.1 per cent from August 2009.
 
"The rise in mortgage rates, more prudent lending practices and weaker net migration has contributed to the decline in sales," said Richard Cho, senior market analyst for Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. "In addition, the pent-up demand that helped fuel sales activity earlier in the year has also eased.
 
"In the last several months we have seen an uptick in the number of homes being listed on the market, providing consumers more choice and time. This, combined with the moderation in sales, has moved the market into buyers' conditions, softening price growth."
 
The month-end inventory of single-family homes for sale was 5,046 at the end of August, up from 3,296 in August 2009.
 
The month-end inventory of listings in the condo market was 2,255 in August, increasing from 1,479 last year.
 
Scott said the elevated level of listings plus the slowdown in sales is bound to have an impact on the average sale price.
 
The monthly peak for MLS sale prices was in May this year with single-family homes selling for an average of $483,240 and condos selling for $304,662.
 
"It's a downward type of trend. It's certainly not drastic but it is downward that I think we're going to see probably for the rest of the year," said Scott. "I think we'll have a little bit more activity as for the number of sales in September. Typical. It's seasonal and I think we'll see that in September."
 
In the MLS market of towns outside Calgary, sales dropped by just over 23 per cent to 312 from 406 a year ago and the average sale price increased by 0.3 per cent to $355,238 from $354,175.
 
The country residential market, which includes acreages, saw sales decrease by just under 17 per cent to 50 from 60 in August 2009 while the average sale price dropped by just over two per cent to $747,580.
 

mtoneguzzi@theherald.canwest.com

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Calgary Home Sales Continue To Slide



Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/Calgary+housing+sales+tumble/3472287/story.html#ixzz0yyMrfLrE
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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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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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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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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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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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Housing sales in December declined from November, and the median house price has dropped 3% in comparison to 2009. Following are excerpts from the most current news release from the Calgary Real Estate Board.
 
Home and condo sales in Calgary and area remained relatively unchanged in December 2010, indicating that a full-fledged recovery in the housing market has yet to take hold, according to
fi gures released today by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®).
 

 

The number of single family home sales in the month of December 2010 were 734, compared with

November 2010, when sales were 891—a decline of about 18 per cent. The number of condominium sales for the month of December 2010 was 320. This was up from the 310 condominium transactions recorded in November 2010.

 
Undoubtedly housing markets in Alberta and Calgary underperformed in 2010, as sales recoveries did not materialize as forecasted. In many ways, re-sales in 2010 showed a repeat of 2008, with a short lived resurgence in the  fi rst few months, when confi dence returned to the market,” says Diane Scott, president of CREB®.
 

 

“Employment and net-migration have been slower to pick up here in Calgary—and these are key drivers of our housing market. The good news is we arenow seeing marked improvements in investment and employment in the energy sector. We believe these green shoots in our economy, supported by improved affordability and low interest rates, will eventually translate into a gradual recovery of our housing market as we move into 2011,” adds Scott.

 

“Supply outstripped demand in the second half of 2010, establishing conditions for a buyers’ market. Overall we did see significant improvements in affordability in the Calgary market in 2010—and I think the message to prospective buyers is that this is a great time to buy if you’re looking for good selection, specific locations and price points. The median price did indeed decline in 2010, signaling a year-over-year price correction of about 2 per cent for single-family homes, just over 4 per cent for condos and 6 per cent for the outlying towns,” adds Scott.

 

Single family listings in the city of Calgary added for the month of December 2010 totaled 744, a decrease of 44 per cent from November 2010 when 1,318 new listings were added, and showing a decrease of 8 per cent from December 2009, when 806 new listings came to the market.

Condominium new listings in the city of Calgary added for December 2010 were 369, down 42 per cent from November 2010, when the MLS® saw 632 condo listings coming to the market. This is a decrease of 17 per cent from December 2009, when new condominium listings added were 444.
 
To read the entire report and see the latest statistics, visit http://www.creb.com/public/documents/statistics/2010/package/res-stats-2010%20December.pdf
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The Calgary Herald today released a economic forecast provided by Scotiabank.  I have posted the information below, with a link back to the original article at the Calgary Herald website.
Alberta will lead the country in economic growth in 2011, building on a resource-led rebound this year, a new report suggests.

In its latest forecast released Wednesday, Scotiabank expects Alberta's economy to expand 3.5 per cent, the most growth among the provinces. The province is expected to post three per cent growth this year.

"Resource-related activity is ramping up alongside strong emerging-market demand for key industrial products, which along with a weaker U.S. dollar, is boosting commodity prices," said Scotia Economics economist Alex Koustas in a release.

The report also noted that Alberta's job market has been slow to catch up to national gains, but expects "substantial" improvements in 2011.

The housing market posted strong rebound in starts, with potential for steady gains as in-migration return to growth, it noted.

Housing starts have recovered sharply this year after steep declines in 2008-09. "Net flow turned positive in the first half of 2010, a trend that should continue as job prospects improve, supporting the outlook for retail and housing activity," Scotiabank said.

The pace of economic growth is more cautious than other recent forecasts, which also show the province to return to the head of the pack next year. RBC Economics pegs Alberta's economy to grow 4.3 per cent next year.

Rising prices for commodities such as oil and metals will play a role in bolstering certain parts of the country, the report said.

 
Read more:

 

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It was disappointing to see prices and home sales slide again last month after a slight increase in September.  Home sales in the city of Calgary were down month-over-month in October 2010. The number of single family homes sold in October dropped 7% from September.

Buyers are still remaining cautious, keeping the market soft.  The year over year sales continued to decline in October. 

The average prices of single family homes in the city of Calgary in October 2010 decreased 3% from September 2010, when the average price was $460,278, and a 4 per cent decrease from October 2009, when the average price was $462,465.

The fact remains that the market is still soft and sellers need to be cognizant of this as it affects what they can reasonably expect to list their homes for if deciding to sell.  

On the up side, there were 22% fewer listings of homes in October than September, lowering inventory (number of homes available for sale) which in the long run will help to balance the market.

These stats were released on November 1st by the Calgary Real Board (CREB ®).

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I frequently receive requests for Market Evaluations from clients and potential clients.  In today’s market it is so important to know what our options are, and what the true value of our home is before putting it on the market.  Each REALTOR® has a different way of determining what price they will recommend to their clients when someone requests a market evaluation.  Often the home owner is surprised at the price they are provided by the REALTOR® who they have requested the information from.

I thought in this month’s newsletter I would provide some very basic information as to the process I go through when determining home prices, and how I come to the price that I provide when fulfilling requests for evaluations.

Most of my requests for evaluations come to me via my website.  The home owner provides me with their address, and basic information about their home and request for a price evaluation of their home.

When I receive this information I do a full market analysis for the area specific to the neighbourhood in which the home is located. 

An analysis will include research into the pricing of homes that are actively for sale in the area, as well as the prices of homes recently sold. It may also take into consideration nearby amenities such as schools and shopping facilities.  (Homes near a school will sometimes have a better potential for sale than those that are not, and therefore may command a better price than the same home that is not near such amenities.)

Once I have all the figures and have determined a price range for a home, I then send the home owner an email advising them what I believe the true value of the home is based on the information they have provided for me.

Now comes the insight that every home owner needs to know and understand about the options REALTORS®  have to consider when we are providing home evaluations to potential sellers.  There is a reality to realty!

I think the easiest way to explain how a REALTOR® may work in providing initial evaluations to a home owner is to give you an example:

Upon receiving the information from a home owner about their home, I research the area, the current market, the number of homes that are currently for sale in the area with their current listing prices, and a list of homes recently sold in the area and the prices those homes have sold for.  All the homes I research are based on the same criteria of information the home owner has sent to me, so that I can determine as closely as possible the most appropriate price based on similar homes.

It might look something like this:

Homes Actively For Sale – 9 homes found listed in the surrounding area that are similar in size and structure with similar finishing as the home owner.  They are on the market at prices ranging from $445,000.00 to $499,000.00.  Upon closer look, two of the homes have lowered their prices recently to the lower range of pricing.  Most of the newer listings are priced in the mid-range, and have also lowered their prices from their initial prices, and most of the homes have been on the market for over six months, with one of them being on the market as long as two years.

Homes Recently Sold – Two to five homes that have been the most recently sold that meet the same criteria were sold at prices ranging from $410,000.00 to $439,000.00.  In looking at the original listing prices of these homes, they had been listed from $440,000.00 to $470,000.00.  Four of the five homes sold only after the owners relisted at a lower price. Most sold at the upper range of the sold prices however were on the market for over 6 months before being sold.

Looking into sold properties is more important than comparing the pricing of active listings (properties that are currently for sale).  Sold properties indicate how much buyers are willing to pay for your home given the current market. Therefore when receiving comparable home prices from your REALTOR® is more important to put more weight on the pricing of homes being sold than the prices of those being listed when looking for an accurate price point.

My Pricing Determination – As a REALTOR® I have an obligation to anyone who contacts me to provide them with the best and most accurate information possible. However I also have to consider the position of the home owner. 

Price Determination Example 1 - On home evaluations for potential clients, knowing that they want to get the most value for their home as is possible, if I really want to obtain them as a client I can take the information I have gleaned from my research and price their home in the high range and send them a recommendation of listing between $460,000.00 to $470,000.00. 

By doing this, the home owner may get excited about using me as a REALTOR®  and choose to list their home with me.  I can then initially list the home at that price, however I know from my research that unless there are special circumstances, it is unlikely the home will sell at that price, so why would I want to give my client unrealistic expectations?  Well, if I price the home at a higher price, and the price is similar to other homes that are actively for sale in the area, it is more likely that the client will decide to list his home and that he will list his home with me.

However, experience has proven, time and again that in the end, the homeowner will in most cases over time, agree to lower the price to a level that is more reasonable to potential buyers.  He or she has to in order to get buyers to come through the home.  REALTORS® know this and often when providing initial market evaluations can use this practice to obtain the initial listing.

Price Determination Example 2 – Taking the same information and research, I determine that the home is likely to sell at a price that is within a price range of $430,000.00 and $450,000.00 depending on upgrades and other information that can only be determined upon viewing the actual property.  I know that by keeping the price estimate truer to the reality of what the current market is at, there is less likelihood for disappointment for my home owner.  They are not going to have unreasonable expectations and if the price has to be lowered, it will not be as significant a drop in order to sell the property as it would have to be in Example 1.

When I provide estimates, I prefer to look at what I believe the true value of the home is and provide my recommendations to the home owner based on what I believe I can sell their home for in a reasonable period of time.  I prefer to be conservative in my estimates as it is always easier to explain to a client reasons why they should increase their listing price once I have actually attended their home, rather than try to explain why my online evaluation is over estimated and that they need to lower the price when the time comes to list!

Every REALTOR®  has their own reasons for pricing homes the way they do, however regardless of what pricing is done, the fact remains, the market always sells at the market  price regardless at how the initial listing is priced.  It’s imperative that in order to get the best price for your home that you remain competitive, yet flexible in pricing.  How flexible is entirely dependent upon how quickly you want to move your home in the market.    

Think of it from a buyer’s perspective.  If you have the option of looking at 9 homes in the area you want to purchase in, and all those homes fit the same or very similar criteria, and all are in similar condition, are you going to spend an extra $50,000.00 you don’t need to spend?

True Pricing Determination – The most accurate way to determine what you should list your home for in order to get your highest price in the most reasonable amount of time is to have a REALTOR® attend your home to do an onsite home evaluation.  REALTORS® know what upgrades in your home can accentuate the value of your home and physically attending the residence and viewing your home is the only truly accurate method of determining the most realistic price of your home.  It also provides you an opportunity to ask questions that are important to you in regards to not only potential listing price, but also market timing.  An experienced REALTOR®  can often provide you excellent insight that can help you meet your personal goals.

Many of you who are recipients of my monthly newsletter are actively researching the market to either buy a home or sell your current home or both.  I hope this newsletter helps to explain why an online evaluation often seems on the lower end of the market and have been curious as to why your home is evaluated at the low end of the market. 

Current Market Trends – It is important to understand the significance of the current market trend when pricing your home as well.  Without taking into account current market trends, many homes are overpriced and simply won’t sell if they have not priced themselves according to the current market trends.  Remember too, that when you sell at lower prices, you are also in a position to buy your new home at a lower price as well.  Timing is important, but swings both for selling and buying.  These are important things to factor into your decision to sell and what price point to set.  Good advice from a realty specialist can help you make those decisions.

Free Onsite Evaluations - If you would like an accurate evaluation of your home and recommendations based on the current market I would be pleased to visit your home and provide you a full onsite appraisal, provide you a package with the latest in market information to help you make a sound decision regarding your home and answer any questions you might have regarding the market.  There is never any obligation and I am always ready to help.

If you would like to have a current market evaluation done on your home to determine what your next step should be, I’m here for you.  My business is made from sincerely helping people achieve their personal goals, not trying to convince them to sell if it is not in their best interest.  Nor will I suggest an unreasonably high listing price in order to obtain your business.  I will give you straight facts and advice and the rest is up to you!

Please don’t hesitate to call me at any time.  My personal cell phone number is 403-399-0809, or if you prefer, my personal Email of Natasha@HouseHuntingAdventures.com.  There is never any obligation and I understand and respect that you may only need an evaluation for current interest and that you may not even be in the market to sell your home.  I welcome any opportunities to do onsite market evaluations and enjoy meeting people and providing any market insight you may be in need of.

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Hello everyone!

Market Update!  A bit of good news!!

For the first time in many months there appears to be a turnaround in the Calgary Housing Market!  The Calgary Real Estate Board just released the stats for September and while the changes are modest, it is the first uptick in the Calgary market since April.

In short, the number of houses available for sale in the Calgary market has fallen, but the number of sales of homes has increased for the first time in six months.  Along with the increase in the number of homes sold a significant indicator of possible change is that the average median price of homes sold from August to September increased by almost $15,000.00.  If you would like to see the actual stats feel free to send me an email requesting a copy of the CREB Stats and I’ll forward the information to you in an email attachment.

In the homes I have had listed, I have noted and increased number of showings over the last few weeks as well.  While all these indicators are modest, it is certainly a refreshing change from the six months of steady downturn we have been experiencing, and appears to show that the real estate market is beginning to come to life again.

iPhone/Android App Update

I appreciate everyone who has downloaded my iPhone App to search the Calgary MLS system.  It has become quite a popular application.  Don’t be afraid to explore everything it has to offer, and if you have any questions or requests about a property, you can click on the links provided in the listings on the app to notify me and I will be happy to get back to you right away.  Keep in mind that if you sign into the VOW on HouseHuntingAdventures.com it opens up a special account for you where you can save all your home searches for comparables and once set up, you can do the same from your iPhone or Android as well.   If you have any questions, just call!

New to Canada?

I have many clients who are new to Canada who I have guided in their real estate adventures and I understand much of what it is like when coming into a new country.  I experienced coming to Canada, not knowing the languages here, first moving to Quebec and learning the French language, then to Calgary and learning English (Czech is my home language).  The challenges were difficult, but also a great character builder for me, especially while raising three children on my own.  I truly understand all the frustration with moving and setting down roots.  My desire is to help anyone who is a client of mine to make their transition as easy and cost manageable as possible.

 Keep it Drama Free!

I can really empathize with anyone when it comes to moving and all the related stresses and headaches. I’ve been there and done that on my own with my children, many times.  Every move made me a little wiser and I became an organizational wizard!  I understand all about moving a family, and the financial stresses and strains that can ensue.

Through my personal experiences as well as my experience as a REALTOR©, I have compiled a wonderful list of resources;  from excellent mortgage brokers who are very talented at locating great mortgage rates and helping you to qualify, to home inspectors  capable ensuring nothing is missed when you are looking to purchase a new home.

Please let me know if I can be of service to you.  Even if you are just at the research stage in locating a new home, or you simply would like to have a current market evaluation done on your home to determine what your next step should be, I’m here for you.  Please don’t hesitate to call me at any time. 

My personal cell phone number is 403-399-0809, or if you prefer, my personal Email of Natasha@HouseHuntingAdventures.com.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Natasha

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By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald September 2, 2010

An increase in active listings, combined with a cooling in housing demand, has started to push prices down in Calgary's residential real estate market.
 
Data released Wednesday by the Calgary Real Estate Board show single-family home sales fell by just over 32 per cent in August compared with a year ago while condominium transactions plunged by more than 42 per cent.
 

And the average MLS sale price in both markets dropped from what they were in July.

"If (buyers) don't have to buy they're just not doing it right now. There's just too much unrest," said CREB president Diane Scott.
 
"We know the traffic in the open houses has picked up in the last two weeks. We've been monitoring it very closely and the traffic is there, but the buyers are just a little leery."
 
Scott attributes that cautious sentiment to negative economic news and reports continuing to come before the public which create plenty of uncertainty in the marketplace.
 

"It's the economic situation that we happen to find ourselves in and the negative reports that keep popping up and buyers are kind of standing back, thinking it's going to go down lower," she added.

According to CREB, there were 867 single-family home sales in the city in August, down from August 2009's 1,277 sales and slightly down from the 915 sales recorded the previous month.
 
The average MLS sale price for a single-family home fell to $445,617, down 4.1 per cent from July and also off 1.9 per cent from a year ago. The year-over-year decline was the first month since July 2009 in which single-family home prices were lower than the previous year.
 
In the condominium market, sales dropped from last year as 364 properties were sold in Calgary for an average price of $286,384. The average price decreased by 1.6 per cent from July, but was up 1.1 per cent from August 2009.
 
"The rise in mortgage rates, more prudent lending practices and weaker net migration has contributed to the decline in sales," said Richard Cho, senior market analyst for Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. "In addition, the pent-up demand that helped fuel sales activity earlier in the year has also eased.
 
"In the last several months we have seen an uptick in the number of homes being listed on the market, providing consumers more choice and time. This, combined with the moderation in sales, has moved the market into buyers' conditions, softening price growth."
 
The month-end inventory of single-family homes for sale was 5,046 at the end of August, up from 3,296 in August 2009.
 
The month-end inventory of listings in the condo market was 2,255 in August, increasing from 1,479 last year.
 
Scott said the elevated level of listings plus the slowdown in sales is bound to have an impact on the average sale price.
 
The monthly peak for MLS sale prices was in May this year with single-family homes selling for an average of $483,240 and condos selling for $304,662.
 
"It's a downward type of trend. It's certainly not drastic but it is downward that I think we're going to see probably for the rest of the year," said Scott. "I think we'll have a little bit more activity as for the number of sales in September. Typical. It's seasonal and I think we'll see that in September."
 
In the MLS market of towns outside Calgary, sales dropped by just over 23 per cent to 312 from 406 a year ago and the average sale price increased by 0.3 per cent to $355,238 from $354,175.
 
The country residential market, which includes acreages, saw sales decrease by just under 17 per cent to 50 from 60 in August 2009 while the average sale price dropped by just over two per cent to $747,580.
 

mtoneguzzi@theherald.canwest.com

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Calgary Home Sales Continue To Slide



Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/Calgary+housing+sales+tumble/3472287/story.html#ixzz0yyMrfLrE
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