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.”

 

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.
Read full post

This is the question that I get most asked: Should I go with a fixed or variable mortgage?

In the past, when the spread between the variable and fixed rates were way farther apart, it was an easy answer, as long as the client didn’t mind their monthly payments fluctuating. I would always answer: Go with the variable.

This was because, historically, the variable has saved homeowners money more than 85% of the time. However, times have changed and the spread between the variable and fixed rates has become a lot closer, since banks are not discounting the variable rates as much,  the best variable now is prime – 0.35%, that equates to 2.65%. The best fixed rate right now for a five year term is 3.29%. The spreads have come closer primarily because banks are losing money on the variable side and are trying to direct borrowers to the fixed side with lower spreads.

So back to the question: Should I go with the variable or fixed mortgage?

With the fixed rate mortgage, homeowners lock in their mortgage for a period of time, the most popular being the five year fixed-rate mortgage. Since rates can arguably only go up from the rates we are at, it seems like a logical decision to go with a fixed mortgage.

The difference between today’s variable rate, which is 2.65% and the four year fixed, 2.99%, is a difference of 34 basis points or just over one rate hike.

This is a small difference to have the security knowing that you won’t have to pay more if rates were to rise.

Moshe Milevsky, professor at York University and an author of mortgage studies says that the savings that one may get from variable rates in the future will be a lot lower then what was once enjoyed.

However, a person’s circumstances should dictate if they should go with a fixed or variable mortgage. If a person can take on the fluctuation of monthly payments, then the variable is ok for them.

One must remember that a mortgage is only one piece of a person’s total financial plan.

However, if you are still struggling to decide which mortgage is right for you, these are the top considerations to think about:

1.     Your Financials

Since variable – rate mortgages take on more risk, a person needs to know whether they are able to take on a fluctuating variable – rate mortgage. A person’s income should be stable, their debt should be low, a person’s sensitivity to risk should be low, and any assets a person has, are able to be turned into cash if cash flow tightens.

2.     Spreads

This is the difference between the variable – rate mortgage and the fixed rate mortgage. When this difference tightens, the variable losses some advantage. When the spread is less than one percentage point and the economy is at the bottom of an economic cycle, like we are now, the fixed has a higher probability of outperforming. Today’s spread between a five year fixed and a variable mortgage is half a percentage point. Based on this, a fixed is likely to outperform.

3.     Breaking Your Mortgage Early

One bank study pegged the duration of a five year mortgage is 3.3 years. This is because people break their five year mortgage early to refinance, sell, divorce, or just change to a mortgage with a better rate. Penalties on variables tend to be less, only three months interest, compared to breaking a fixed rate mortgage. Penalties for breaking the fixed rate can be a lot more expensive because of lenders interest rate differential penalties. If there is a chance you will break your mortgage, a variable may cost you less.

4.     Flexibility

Variables give you the option of changing your mind and locking into a fixed rate option. However, a lender’s rate to convert is about a fifth to a half a percentage point above its best fixed rate.

5.     Alternatives

The five year fixed and the variable mortgages are not the only options; look at shorter fixed terms. Today, you can find a two year fixed rate at 2.49%, where most variables are at 2.7% - 2.90%. You can diversify risk by using a hybrid mortgage. This is part fixed and part variable.

6.     Knowing Your Rate

There is comfort to know what your monthly payments will be from month to month. Variable rate borrowers don’t have this comfort and may have to tolerate some anxiety if rates start to rise.

Read full post

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.

Read full post

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:

 

Read full post

CNN has an excellent article on rumours that we may be in for a double dip recession.  Apparently, the stats indicate otherwise.
 
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Europe's debt crisis. Companies still not hiring. The Gulf oil spill. These are uncertain times to say the least. But while you might think economists would be running for the hills and looking ahead to a so-called "double dip recession," that's not necessarily the case.
 
In fact, some economists think a double dip is even less likely than it was earlier this year.
 
David Wyss, chief economist with Standard & Poor's, said that even though he thinks slower U.S. growth is practically a sure thing, the odds of a double-dip actually have shrunk to 20%, from 25% earlier this year.
 
Same goes for Derek Hoffman, founder and editor of The Wall Street Cheat Sheet, who also puts the odds of a double dip at 20%, when just a few months earlier he saw them at 50-50.
 
The term "double dip" refers to a recession followed by a short-lived recovery that then slides back into a second recession. It can be measured by fluctuations in gross domestic product, or GDP -- one of the broadest measures of economic activity.
 
Hoffman said he changed his mind about a potential double dip after major U.S. companies reported solid profit growth in the first quarter of 2010 and European leaders approved a $1 trillion bailout package to deal with the region's debt crisis.
 
Granted, the picture isn't all rosy. Unemployment is still high at 9.7%. But Wyss points out that consumers are spending again. Plus, the average person on main street doesn't seem as worried about getting laid off as they were a year ago, he said.
 
Wyss's comments echo those of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who on Monday told reporters that he expects a continued economic recovery, in part because of revived consumer spending. Bernanke also said the recovery would be slow -- it "won't feel terrific," he said.
 
Bernanke dodged a question about whether he fears a double-dip recession, saying "nobody knows with any certainty."
 
 
To be sure, any chance of a double dip is nothing to shrug off.
 
Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities, likes to call himself an optimist, but said he can't deny that when he talks to clients, he's blunt about the risk of a double dip. He calculates the chances of one happening at about 30%, whereas a few months ago, he would have said it was as low as 15%.
 

"We experienced the worst crisis in a generation and now there are major problems in Europe and with the oil spill. How optimistic can you expect an optimist to be?" he said.

The winding down of government stimulus programs and inventory rebuilding, which together accounted for much of the recovery, are the major factors behind a slowdown, Vitner said.
Add in geopolitical unrest and volatile global markets, and businesses, consumers and lawmakers alike will be more hesitant to make investments that could support economic growth.
 

"One of the things to remember is conditions do not have to be perfect for the economy to grow," Vitner said. "But there's a limit to how much bad news this economy can take."

Read full post
Categories:   | Abbeydale, Calgary Real Estate | Airdrie, Airdrie Real Estate | Alberta Housing Market | alberta housing market forecast 2012 | Alberta Housing Market, housing projections, cmhc | Alberta Housing Market, housing projections, cmhc, Calgary housing market, chestermere homes for sale | Alberta Land Tax | Android | April Market Update | April Market Updates for Calgary | Arbour Lake, Calgary Real Estate | Bowness, Calgary Real Estate | Bragg Creek, Bragg Creek Real Estate | Bridlewood, Calgary Real Estate | Calgary cash incentives | Calgary Economic Recovery | calgary economy | Calgary Economy, Calgary Housing Market, Calgary Real Estate, Chestermere Real Estate | Calgary Econonomy, Calgary Housing Market, Calgary Real Estate, Chestermere Real Estate | Calgary Grants | Calgary home market | Calgary Home Prices | Calgary home sales | Calgary Homes For Sale | Calgary Housing | Calgary Housing Market | Calgary Housing Market Outlook 2012 | calgary housing market statistics | Calgary Housing Market Update | Calgary Housing Stats | Calgary Housing Trend | Calgary Market Forecast | Calgary Market Outlook 2012 | Calgary Market Update | Calgary Open House | Calgary Properties | Calgary Real Estate | Calgary Real Estate Forecast | Calgary Real Estate Market | Calgary Real Estate Stats | Calgary Relocation | Canada Housing Market | Canada Mortgage Update | Cardston, Cardston Real Estate | Chestermere | Chestermere home for sale | Chestermere Homes | Chestermere Housing Market | Chestermere Open House | Chestermere Real Estate | Chestermere Real Estate Stats | Chestermere Realtor | Chestermere, Chestermere Real Estate | Cityscape, Calgary Real Estate | CMA, Market Analysis, Selling Price, Fair Market Value, Home Value, home price | CMHC | Connaught | Connaught, Calgary Real Estate | Country Hills | Country Hills, Calgary Real Estate | Coventry Hills, Calgary Real Estate | Deer Ridge, Calgary Real Estate | Deer Run, Calgary Real Estate | economic recovery | Economy | Evanston, Calgary Real Estate | Executive Home for Sale | Falconridge, Calgary Real Estate | Finance | First Time Home Buyers | foreclosure | Garrison Green | Garrison Green, Calgary Real Estate | Harvest Hills, Calgary Real Estate | Hawkwood, Calgary Real Estate | Hillhurst, Calgary Real Estate | Housing Trends | Inglewood, Calgary Real Estate | IPhone | January 2013 Market Update | Lakeside Home For Sale | Langdon | Langdon, Langdon Real Estate | Mahogany, Calgary Real Estate | Market Trends | Market Update | Market Value | Marlborough Park, Calgary Real Estate | Martindale, Calgary Real Estate | Mayland Heights, Calgary Real Estate | McKenzie Towne, Calgary Real Estate | MLS QR Code | MLS Search | MLS Search, Personal Real Estate Office, Real Estate, home search, compare homes, search for homes | Monterey Park, Calgary Real Estate | Mortgage | Mortgage Fraud | Mortgage Rates | Mortgage Registration | Mortgages | New Listing | Okotoks, Foothills Real Estate | Okotoks, Okotoks Real Estate | Open House | Pineridge, Calgary Real Estate | Pricing Your Home For Sale | QR Code | Real Estate | Real Estate App | Real Estate Forecast | Real Estate GPS QR Code | Real Estate Integrity | Real Estate QR Code | Real Estate, Chestermere Real Estate, Calgary, Buy, Sell, home | Recession | Redcarpet_Mountview, Calgary Real Estate | Rent vs Buy | Rental Property | Rental Property, Calgary Rental, First Time Home Buyers | Rosscarrock | Rosscarrock, Calgary Real Estate | Rural Rocky View MD, Rural Rocky View County Real Estate | Rural Rocky View MD, Rural Rocky View MD Real Estate | Rural Rocky View MD, Rural Rockyview County Real Estate | Rural Wheatland County, Rural Wheatland County Real Estate | Sage Hill, Calgary Real Estate | Secondary Suite | Sell Your Home | Selling Your Home | Shawnessy, Calgary Real Estate | Somerset | South Calgary, Calgary Real Estate | Southview, Calgary Real Estate | Spruce Cliff, Calgary Real Estate | Strathmore | Strathmore, Strathmore Real Estate | Suite | Sundance, Calgary Real Estate | Temple, Calgary Real Estate | Turtle Lake Real Estate | Tuscany, Calgary Real Estate | Victoria Park, Calgary Real Estate | Whitehorn | Whitehorn, Calgary Real Estate

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.”

 

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.
Read full post

This is the question that I get most asked: Should I go with a fixed or variable mortgage?

In the past, when the spread between the variable and fixed rates were way farther apart, it was an easy answer, as long as the client didn’t mind their monthly payments fluctuating. I would always answer: Go with the variable.

This was because, historically, the variable has saved homeowners money more than 85% of the time. However, times have changed and the spread between the variable and fixed rates has become a lot closer, since banks are not discounting the variable rates as much,  the best variable now is prime – 0.35%, that equates to 2.65%. The best fixed rate right now for a five year term is 3.29%. The spreads have come closer primarily because banks are losing money on the variable side and are trying to direct borrowers to the fixed side with lower spreads.

So back to the question: Should I go with the variable or fixed mortgage?

With the fixed rate mortgage, homeowners lock in their mortgage for a period of time, the most popular being the five year fixed-rate mortgage. Since rates can arguably only go up from the rates we are at, it seems like a logical decision to go with a fixed mortgage.

The difference between today’s variable rate, which is 2.65% and the four year fixed, 2.99%, is a difference of 34 basis points or just over one rate hike.

This is a small difference to have the security knowing that you won’t have to pay more if rates were to rise.

Moshe Milevsky, professor at York University and an author of mortgage studies says that the savings that one may get from variable rates in the future will be a lot lower then what was once enjoyed.

However, a person’s circumstances should dictate if they should go with a fixed or variable mortgage. If a person can take on the fluctuation of monthly payments, then the variable is ok for them.

One must remember that a mortgage is only one piece of a person’s total financial plan.

However, if you are still struggling to decide which mortgage is right for you, these are the top considerations to think about:

1.     Your Financials

Since variable – rate mortgages take on more risk, a person needs to know whether they are able to take on a fluctuating variable – rate mortgage. A person’s income should be stable, their debt should be low, a person’s sensitivity to risk should be low, and any assets a person has, are able to be turned into cash if cash flow tightens.

2.     Spreads

This is the difference between the variable – rate mortgage and the fixed rate mortgage. When this difference tightens, the variable losses some advantage. When the spread is less than one percentage point and the economy is at the bottom of an economic cycle, like we are now, the fixed has a higher probability of outperforming. Today’s spread between a five year fixed and a variable mortgage is half a percentage point. Based on this, a fixed is likely to outperform.

3.     Breaking Your Mortgage Early

One bank study pegged the duration of a five year mortgage is 3.3 years. This is because people break their five year mortgage early to refinance, sell, divorce, or just change to a mortgage with a better rate. Penalties on variables tend to be less, only three months interest, compared to breaking a fixed rate mortgage. Penalties for breaking the fixed rate can be a lot more expensive because of lenders interest rate differential penalties. If there is a chance you will break your mortgage, a variable may cost you less.

4.     Flexibility

Variables give you the option of changing your mind and locking into a fixed rate option. However, a lender’s rate to convert is about a fifth to a half a percentage point above its best fixed rate.

5.     Alternatives

The five year fixed and the variable mortgages are not the only options; look at shorter fixed terms. Today, you can find a two year fixed rate at 2.49%, where most variables are at 2.7% - 2.90%. You can diversify risk by using a hybrid mortgage. This is part fixed and part variable.

6.     Knowing Your Rate

There is comfort to know what your monthly payments will be from month to month. Variable rate borrowers don’t have this comfort and may have to tolerate some anxiety if rates start to rise.

Read full post

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.

Read full post

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:

 

Read full post

CNN has an excellent article on rumours that we may be in for a double dip recession.  Apparently, the stats indicate otherwise.
 
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Europe's debt crisis. Companies still not hiring. The Gulf oil spill. These are uncertain times to say the least. But while you might think economists would be running for the hills and looking ahead to a so-called "double dip recession," that's not necessarily the case.
 
In fact, some economists think a double dip is even less likely than it was earlier this year.
 
David Wyss, chief economist with Standard & Poor's, said that even though he thinks slower U.S. growth is practically a sure thing, the odds of a double-dip actually have shrunk to 20%, from 25% earlier this year.
 
Same goes for Derek Hoffman, founder and editor of The Wall Street Cheat Sheet, who also puts the odds of a double dip at 20%, when just a few months earlier he saw them at 50-50.
 
The term "double dip" refers to a recession followed by a short-lived recovery that then slides back into a second recession. It can be measured by fluctuations in gross domestic product, or GDP -- one of the broadest measures of economic activity.
 
Hoffman said he changed his mind about a potential double dip after major U.S. companies reported solid profit growth in the first quarter of 2010 and European leaders approved a $1 trillion bailout package to deal with the region's debt crisis.
 
Granted, the picture isn't all rosy. Unemployment is still high at 9.7%. But Wyss points out that consumers are spending again. Plus, the average person on main street doesn't seem as worried about getting laid off as they were a year ago, he said.
 
Wyss's comments echo those of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who on Monday told reporters that he expects a continued economic recovery, in part because of revived consumer spending. Bernanke also said the recovery would be slow -- it "won't feel terrific," he said.
 
Bernanke dodged a question about whether he fears a double-dip recession, saying "nobody knows with any certainty."
 
 
To be sure, any chance of a double dip is nothing to shrug off.
 
Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities, likes to call himself an optimist, but said he can't deny that when he talks to clients, he's blunt about the risk of a double dip. He calculates the chances of one happening at about 30%, whereas a few months ago, he would have said it was as low as 15%.
 

"We experienced the worst crisis in a generation and now there are major problems in Europe and with the oil spill. How optimistic can you expect an optimist to be?" he said.

The winding down of government stimulus programs and inventory rebuilding, which together accounted for much of the recovery, are the major factors behind a slowdown, Vitner said.
Add in geopolitical unrest and volatile global markets, and businesses, consumers and lawmakers alike will be more hesitant to make investments that could support economic growth.
 

"One of the things to remember is conditions do not have to be perfect for the economy to grow," Vitner said. "But there's a limit to how much bad news this economy can take."

Read full post
Categories:   | Abbeydale, Calgary Real Estate | Airdrie, Airdrie Real Estate | Alberta Housing Market | alberta housing market forecast 2012 | Alberta Housing Market, housing projections, cmhc | Alberta Housing Market, housing projections, cmhc, Calgary housing market, chestermere homes for sale | Alberta Land Tax | Android | April Market Update | April Market Updates for Calgary | Arbour Lake, Calgary Real Estate | Bowness, Calgary Real Estate | Bragg Creek, Bragg Creek Real Estate | Bridlewood, Calgary Real Estate | Calgary cash incentives | Calgary Economic Recovery | calgary economy | Calgary Economy, Calgary Housing Market, Calgary Real Estate, Chestermere Real Estate | Calgary Econonomy, Calgary Housing Market, Calgary Real Estate, Chestermere Real Estate | Calgary Grants | Calgary home market | Calgary Home Prices | Calgary home sales | Calgary Homes For Sale | Calgary Housing | Calgary Housing Market | Calgary Housing Market Outlook 2012 | calgary housing market statistics | Calgary Housing Market Update | Calgary Housing Stats | Calgary Housing Trend | Calgary Market Forecast | Calgary Market Outlook 2012 | Calgary Market Update | Calgary Open House | Calgary Properties | Calgary Real Estate | Calgary Real Estate Forecast | Calgary Real Estate Market | Calgary Real Estate Stats | Calgary Relocation | Canada Housing Market | Canada Mortgage Update | Cardston, Cardston Real Estate | Chestermere | Chestermere home for sale | Chestermere Homes | Chestermere Housing Market | Chestermere Open House | Chestermere Real Estate | Chestermere Real Estate Stats | Chestermere Realtor | Chestermere, Chestermere Real Estate | Cityscape, Calgary Real Estate | CMA, Market Analysis, Selling Price, Fair Market Value, Home Value, home price | CMHC | Connaught | Connaught, Calgary Real Estate | Country Hills | Country Hills, Calgary Real Estate | Coventry Hills, Calgary Real Estate | Deer Ridge, Calgary Real Estate | Deer Run, Calgary Real Estate | economic recovery | Economy | Evanston, Calgary Real Estate | Executive Home for Sale | Falconridge, Calgary Real Estate | Finance | First Time Home Buyers | foreclosure | Garrison Green | Garrison Green, Calgary Real Estate | Harvest Hills, Calgary Real Estate | Hawkwood, Calgary Real Estate | Hillhurst, Calgary Real Estate | Housing Trends | Inglewood, Calgary Real Estate | IPhone | January 2013 Market Update | Lakeside Home For Sale | Langdon | Langdon, Langdon Real Estate | Mahogany, Calgary Real Estate | Market Trends | Market Update | Market Value | Marlborough Park, Calgary Real Estate | Martindale, Calgary Real Estate | Mayland Heights, Calgary Real Estate | McKenzie Towne, Calgary Real Estate | MLS QR Code | MLS Search | MLS Search, Personal Real Estate Office, Real Estate, home search, compare homes, search for homes | Monterey Park, Calgary Real Estate | Mortgage | Mortgage Fraud | Mortgage Rates | Mortgage Registration | Mortgages | New Listing | Okotoks, Foothills Real Estate | Okotoks, Okotoks Real Estate | Open House | Pineridge, Calgary Real Estate | Pricing Your Home For Sale | QR Code | Real Estate | Real Estate App | Real Estate Forecast | Real Estate GPS QR Code | Real Estate Integrity | Real Estate QR Code | Real Estate, Chestermere Real Estate, Calgary, Buy, Sell, home | Recession | Redcarpet_Mountview, Calgary Real Estate | Rent vs Buy | Rental Property | Rental Property, Calgary Rental, First Time Home Buyers | Rosscarrock | Rosscarrock, Calgary Real Estate | Rural Rocky View MD, Rural Rocky View County Real Estate | Rural Rocky View MD, Rural Rocky View MD Real Estate | Rural Rocky View MD, Rural Rockyview County Real Estate | Rural Wheatland County, Rural Wheatland County Real Estate | Sage Hill, Calgary Real Estate | Secondary Suite | Sell Your Home | Selling Your Home | Shawnessy, Calgary Real Estate | Somerset | South Calgary, Calgary Real Estate | Southview, Calgary Real Estate | Spruce Cliff, Calgary Real Estate | Strathmore | Strathmore, Strathmore Real Estate | Suite | Sundance, Calgary Real Estate | Temple, Calgary Real Estate | Turtle Lake Real Estate | Tuscany, Calgary Real Estate | Victoria Park, Calgary Real Estate | Whitehorn | Whitehorn, Calgary Real Estate
Categories
Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.