Calgary, January 3, 2012
 

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

17,267 in 2010.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read full post

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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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.

Read full post

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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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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Following info from the Calgary Real Estate Board

 

Calgary, August 3, 2010 –

 
The summer cool down in Calgary’s housing market continued in the month of July, according to figures released today by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®).
 

 

The number of single family homes sold in July 2010 in the city of Calgary was down 42 per cent

from the same time a year ago, and condominium sales saw a decrease of 44 per cent from the same time a year ago.

  

July 2010 saw 915 single family homes sold in the city of Calgary. This is a decrease of 14 per cent from 1,061 sales in June 2010. In July 2009, single family home sales totalled 1,585. The number of condominium sales for the month of July 2010 was 396. This was a decrease of 11 per cent from the 445 condominium transactions recorded in June 2010.
  
In July 2009, condominium sales were 702.  “Calgary’s housing market is cooling off after its

record-setting pace in the post-recession period. This slow-down is not all that surprising in the face of tighter mortgage regulations and rising interest rates. The post-recession rally we saw in the summer of 2009 was unique and that pace couldn’t be sustained,” says Sano Stante, CREB

® president elect.

  

“The sense of urgency seen last summer, fall and winter in the lead-up to tighter mortgage-lending

measures has diminished,” says Stante. “Rising mortgage rates and increased inventories will be

the primary head-wind facing Calgary’s housing market, but improving job prospects will offer some tail winds in the latter half of 2010 and into 2011.”
  

The average price of a single family home in the city of Calgary in July 2010 was $464,655, showing a 4 per cent decrease from June 2010, when the average price was $481,964, and showing an increase of 6 per cent from July 2009, when the average price was $436,782. The average price of a condominium in the city of Calgary was $291,168, showing no significant

change from June 2010, when the average price was $292,238 and a 2 per cent increase over last year, when the average price was $285,032. Average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods, or account for price differentials between geographical areas.
  
“We are seeing relative stability in our average and median prices for the Calgary market,” says Stante. “A gradual return to moderate interest rates will not trigger any kind of steep decline in prices in our housing market. Prices may soften in select markets where inventory has bulked up, but for the most part they will remain relatively sticky as the economy improves.”
  
“Nonetheless with the combination of historically low interest rates and a large inventory of homes, there are some great buys out there—particularly in areas where comparable stock is ample such as the condominium and multi-family market. This presents a great opportunity to get into the market or to trade up,” adds Stante.
  
The median price of a single family home in the city of Calgary for July 2010 was $400,000, showing a 5 per cent decrease from June 2010, when the median price was $418,900, and a 3 percent increase from July 2009, when the median price was $390,000.
 
The median price of a condominium in July 2010 was $268,000, showing a 1 per cent decrease from June 2010, when the median was $269,900. That’s up 2 per cent from July 2009, when the median price was $263,000.
  

All city of Calgary MLS® statistics include properties listed and sold only within Calgary’s city limits. The median price is the price that is midway between the least expensive and most expensive home sold in an area during a given period of time. During that time, half the buyers bought homes that cost more than the median price and half bought homes for less than the

median price.

  

There was a slowdown in the number of Calgarians putting homes up for sale in the month of July.

Single family listings in the city of Calgary added for the month of July totalled 1,942, a decrease of 29 per cent from June 2010 when 2,733 new listings were added, and showing a decrease of 7 per cent from July 2009, when 2,089 new listings came to the market.
  

Condominium new listings in the city of Calgary added for July 2010 were 890, down 18 per cent

from June 2010, when the MLS® saw 1,084 condo listings coming to the market. This is a decrease of 3 per cent from July 2009, when new condominium listings added were 918.
 

“Indeed Alberta and Calgary’s economic recovery is lagging behind the rest of the country right now. But on the bright side we see this trend reversing itself as we move into 2011. We expect Alberta to lead in economic growth and recovery—outperforming much of the country in 2011,” says Stante.

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Calgary, January 3, 2012
 

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

17,267 in 2010.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read full post

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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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.

Read full post

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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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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Following info from the Calgary Real Estate Board

 

Calgary, August 3, 2010 –

 
The summer cool down in Calgary’s housing market continued in the month of July, according to figures released today by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®).
 

 

The number of single family homes sold in July 2010 in the city of Calgary was down 42 per cent

from the same time a year ago, and condominium sales saw a decrease of 44 per cent from the same time a year ago.

  

July 2010 saw 915 single family homes sold in the city of Calgary. This is a decrease of 14 per cent from 1,061 sales in June 2010. In July 2009, single family home sales totalled 1,585. The number of condominium sales for the month of July 2010 was 396. This was a decrease of 11 per cent from the 445 condominium transactions recorded in June 2010.
  
In July 2009, condominium sales were 702.  “Calgary’s housing market is cooling off after its

record-setting pace in the post-recession period. This slow-down is not all that surprising in the face of tighter mortgage regulations and rising interest rates. The post-recession rally we saw in the summer of 2009 was unique and that pace couldn’t be sustained,” says Sano Stante, CREB

® president elect.

  

“The sense of urgency seen last summer, fall and winter in the lead-up to tighter mortgage-lending

measures has diminished,” says Stante. “Rising mortgage rates and increased inventories will be

the primary head-wind facing Calgary’s housing market, but improving job prospects will offer some tail winds in the latter half of 2010 and into 2011.”
  

The average price of a single family home in the city of Calgary in July 2010 was $464,655, showing a 4 per cent decrease from June 2010, when the average price was $481,964, and showing an increase of 6 per cent from July 2009, when the average price was $436,782. The average price of a condominium in the city of Calgary was $291,168, showing no significant

change from June 2010, when the average price was $292,238 and a 2 per cent increase over last year, when the average price was $285,032. Average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods, or account for price differentials between geographical areas.
  
“We are seeing relative stability in our average and median prices for the Calgary market,” says Stante. “A gradual return to moderate interest rates will not trigger any kind of steep decline in prices in our housing market. Prices may soften in select markets where inventory has bulked up, but for the most part they will remain relatively sticky as the economy improves.”
  
“Nonetheless with the combination of historically low interest rates and a large inventory of homes, there are some great buys out there—particularly in areas where comparable stock is ample such as the condominium and multi-family market. This presents a great opportunity to get into the market or to trade up,” adds Stante.
  
The median price of a single family home in the city of Calgary for July 2010 was $400,000, showing a 5 per cent decrease from June 2010, when the median price was $418,900, and a 3 percent increase from July 2009, when the median price was $390,000.
 
The median price of a condominium in July 2010 was $268,000, showing a 1 per cent decrease from June 2010, when the median was $269,900. That’s up 2 per cent from July 2009, when the median price was $263,000.
  

All city of Calgary MLS® statistics include properties listed and sold only within Calgary’s city limits. The median price is the price that is midway between the least expensive and most expensive home sold in an area during a given period of time. During that time, half the buyers bought homes that cost more than the median price and half bought homes for less than the

median price.

  

There was a slowdown in the number of Calgarians putting homes up for sale in the month of July.

Single family listings in the city of Calgary added for the month of July totalled 1,942, a decrease of 29 per cent from June 2010 when 2,733 new listings were added, and showing a decrease of 7 per cent from July 2009, when 2,089 new listings came to the market.
  

Condominium new listings in the city of Calgary added for July 2010 were 890, down 18 per cent

from June 2010, when the MLS® saw 1,084 condo listings coming to the market. This is a decrease of 3 per cent from July 2009, when new condominium listings added were 918.
 

“Indeed Alberta and Calgary’s economic recovery is lagging behind the rest of the country right now. But on the bright side we see this trend reversing itself as we move into 2011. We expect Alberta to lead in economic growth and recovery—outperforming much of the country in 2011,” says Stante.

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