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.

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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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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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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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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 August 25, 2010

 

A high inventory of homes for sale combined with a softening demand from potential homebuyers is starting to put downward pressure on Calgary MLS prices.
 
Preliminary and unofficial data for August month-to-date indicates prices are dropping from levels of the past few months in both the single-family and condominium market.
 
"We have almost the same number of buyers that we had in December but we have so many more listings," said Gary MacLean, a realtor with Re/Max Real Estate Central. "It's like having a Safeway that got two times as big but only has the same number of customers coming in the door and in order to get rid of the inventory they have to reduce the prices.
 
"It's a supply and demand issue. There's an oversupply of houses not only here but all across Canada and the number of buyers are decreasing."
 
For example, at the end of December one of every 1.6 houses listed for sale were selling. In July, that ratio jumped to one for every 6.6 listings. The month-end inventory of properties for sale in Calgary metro at the end of December was 3,258. It was 7,982 at the end of July.
 
MacLean said the inventory is starting to shrink but it's not as a result of increasing sales. Many people have simply taken their homes off the market.
 
According to preliminary, unofficial data on the website of realtor Mike Fotiou, of First Place Realty, there have been 661 single-family home MLS sales in Calgary for an average price of $441,469 month-to-date until Tuesday.
 
In July for the entire month, there were 915 sales for an average of $464,655 and in August 2009 there were 1,277 sales for an average of $454,130.
 

The average MLS sale price peaked this year in May at $483,240.

The condominium market is showing a similar story with sales so far this month at 271 for an average price of $283,485. In July, there were 396 condo transactions averaging $291,168 and in August 2009 there were 632 sales for an average price of $283,330.
 

The average MLS sale price for a condo peaked this year in May as well at $304,662.

Diane Scott, president of the Calgary Real Estate Board, said supply and demand is playing a role on current average prices but there's also the factor of luxury home sales.

"Homes sold over $1 million are down in numbers from last year for the same period," she said. "June to August last year we had 98 sales over $1 million. This year we've had 87 ... That will drive the average price down as well for sure."
 

On Wednesday, the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index showed Calgary was lagging behind other major Canadian centres in the rate of change for home prices.

The index is estimated by tracking observed or registered home prices over time using data collected from public land registries and all dwellings that have been sold at least twice are considered in the calculation of the index.
 
The report said in June Calgary prices rose by 0.2 per cent on a monthly basis behind Ottawa (2.7 per cent), Toronto (2.4 per cent), Montreal (1.4 per cent), Halifax (1.3 per cent) and Vancouver (0.8 per cent). The national average was 1.5 per cent, the 14th consecutive month of increases.
 
On a year-over-year basis, the national average was 13.6 per cent growth led by Vancouver at 16.3 per cent and followed by Toronto (16.2 per cent), Ottawa (12.0 per cent), Montreal (8.7 per cent), Calgary (8.3 per cent) and Halifax (7.1 per cent).
 

mtoneguzzi@theherald.canwest.com



Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/real-estate/High+inventory+cooling+sales+pressure+house+prices/3440610/story.html#ixzz0yyLPwgI0
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Now might just be the best time to lock into a fixed-rate mortgage, especially for those homeowners on a tight budget, according to an expert broker.
 
The Bank of Canada hiked its overnight lending rate by 25 basis points Wednesday, and variable mortgage rate products offered through major lenders are expected to rise in step.
 
Despite Wednesday’s increase, variable rates -- hovering between 2.05% and 2.25% these days -- still offer savings compared to fixed-rate plans in the near term.
 
But there is an argument for locking into a fixed rate sooner rather than later, said Gary Siegle, a Calgary-based regional manager at Invis.
 
The rate for the popular five-year fixed mortgage has recently dropped to a commonly available 3.89% and is as low as 3.6% in some cases.
 
We haven’t seen rates this low in recent memory, Siegle said.
 
“There are lots of people out there who are saying: Why would you overlook the fact that we haven’t seen five-year rates this low in a long, long time?
 

“Why would you not take advantage of historic low interest rates?”

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t clear-cut, Siegle said.
 
Some people are choosing to overlook low fixed rates because the variable options are still cheaper and may be for some time.
 

However, mortgage holders do need to consider that variable rates do change eventually.

“And the direction everyone is predicting that they’ll go is up. It’s a question of how much and when,” Siegle said.
 

Floating rates have historically been the cheaper option over the entire life of a mortgage but not everyone can stomach the often dramatic swings in monthly expenses.

“It’s a question also of psyche,” Siegle said.
 
People who are generally nervous or who are on a tight budget might be better off locking in now, he said.
 

“Even though they are giving up that 1.25%, they are gaining a lot of peace of mind.”

Homeowners considering the switch to a fixed plan could look into whether there is penalty for switching mid-term, Siegle said.
 
Either way, both variable and fixed-rate mortgage holders can take advantage of current borrowing prices by paying down as much of the principal amount as quickly as possible. That way, as rates go up, total debt burden will be lowered come renewal time.
 

Whereas the central bank influences variable rates, the bond market influences fixed-rate mortgages.

The slower-than-expected economy has fuelled investor interest in the bond rally, pushing yields down and allowing banks to offer attractive fixed-rate products.

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Calgary Market Update for September 1, 2010
- courtesy of the Calgary Real Estate Board
 
Home sales in the city of Calgary continued to trend lower in the month of August, according to figures released today by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®).

 

The number of single family homes sold in August 2010 in the city of Calgary was down 32 per cent from the same time a year ago, and condominium sales saw a decrease of 42 per cent from the same time a year ago.

 

August 2010 saw 867 single family homes sold in the city of Calgary. This is a decrease of 5 per cent

from 915 sales in July 2010. In August 2009, single family home sales totalled 1,277. The number of

condominium sales for the month of August 2010 was 364. This was a decrease of 8 per cent from the 396 condominium transactions recorded in July 2010.
 
In August 2009, condominium sales were 632. “Calgary’s housing market has been undergoing a
measured correction over the past 4 to 5 months. Sales are trending lower as a result of a increase in first time home buyers entering the market and a decline in pent up demand following a strong post-recession recovery,” says Diane Scott, president of CREB®.
 

“There has been much talk recently about the potential for a housing bubble in Canada--but the economic fundamentals at play make this scenario unlikely for Calgary. What we are seeing is an adjustment to higher levels of inventory and a shift to a buyer’s market.”

 

“A slower than anticipated pace of mortgage rate hikes and continued improvements in  employment are more likely to bring stability rather than volatility into Calgary’s housing market as we move into 2011, ” adds Scott.
 
The average price of a single family home in the city of Calgary in August 2010 was $445,617, showing a 4 per cent decrease from July 2010, when the average price was $464,655, and a decrease of 2 per cent from August 2009, when the average price was $454,130.
 

The average price of a condominium in the city of Calgary in August 2010 was $286,384, showing a 2 per cent decrease from July 2010, when the average price was $291,168 and a 1 per cent increase over last year, when the average price was $283,330. 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 expect a period of correction will continue into the fall of this year. Prices may sag in the short-term and level off as we move into 2011,” says Scott. “Homebuyers and sellers should keep in mind that market trends are unique even throughout the wider Calgary region.
 
A case in point is the relative strength of Calgary’s town and country market, where sales have remained at 2009 levels. Homebuyers and sellers should speak to a REALTOR® to better understand the opportunities in our current market,” says Scott.

 

The median price of a single family home in the city of Calgary for August 2010 was $395,000, showing a 1 per cent decrease from July 2010 and August 2009, when the median price was $400,000. The median price of a condominium in August 2010 was $260,000, showing a 3 per cent decrease from July 2010, when the median price was $268,000, and no change from

August 2009, when it was the same – $260,000.
 

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.

 

Single family listings in the city of Calgary added for the month of August 2010 totalled 1,960, an increase of less than 1 per cent from July 2010 when 1,942 new listings were added, and showing an increase of 3 per cent from August 2009, when 1,910 new listings came to the market.
 

Condominium new listings in the city of Calgary added for August 2010 were 808, down 9 per cent

from July 2010, when the MLS® saw 890 condo listings coming to the market. This is a decrease of 3 per cent from August 2009, when new condominium listings added were 832.
 

“Total month end inventory for the wider Calgary region is down marginally when compared to July—a trend we expect will continue in the coming months.

 

New listings are also likely to recede in the coming months in response to slowing sales,” adds Scott.

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Prices for new homes in Canada rose 0.3 per cent in October after a 0.5 per cent increase the previous month.
 
It was the fourth straight monthly gain in the federal agency's new home price index, although the increase was slightly below the 0.4 per cent many economists had expected.
 
The biggest price increase was in Quebec City, up 1.1 per cent, followed by Vancouver, up 0.7 per cent. In Ontario, Hamilton and the Sudbury-Thunder Bay area were both up 0.5 per cent.
 
The largest year-over-year increase was also in Quebec City, which jumped 7.5 per cent.
 
"Land values have been growing in this city as a result of increased demand and fewer available lots, as well as new development phases with higher land costs," Statistics Canada said.
 
Prices in St. John's, N.L., rose 6.8 per cent in October from a year earlier. In New Brunswick, the Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton region gained 3.1 per cent.
 
Meanwhile, short-term expectations for housing starts have risen significantly, the Conference Board of Canada said. Of 27 census metropolitan areas (cities and surrounding communities) the board covers, an additional 10 are showing positive expectations in December compared with the month before.
 
They are Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Halifax, Montreal, Sherbrooke, Que., Oshawa, Ont., St. Catherines, Ont., Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., and Abbotsford, B.C.
 

Expectations fell in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Toronto and Sudbury, Ont.

The figures are based on data from the conference board and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

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Strong numbers in Calgary boost Oct. MLS sales to record highs in Canada
 
Calgary Herald - Nov 17, 2009
 
CALGARY - MLS sales activity in October reached record levels in Canada for the month, buoyed by strong residential real estate markets in Western Canada, particularly Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary.
The numbers last month compared with a year ago are simply staggering. Greater Vancouver led the country with a whopping 170.8 per cent hike in MLS sales, followed by Victoria at 135 per cent, Toronto at 64.2 per cent and Calgary at 55.9 per cent.
 
"A dramatic rebound in sales activity compared to the recent low rate at the beginning of the year," said Gregory Klump, chief economist for the Canadian Real Estate Association, of the Calgary real estate market.
 
"Trendwise, we're still continuing to see new listings down from their peak reached in early 2008. So the market's tightened up considerably. In fact, using sales to new listings as a gauge for market balance, Calgary appears to be in a seller's market territory."
 
In October, Calgary had 2,265 MLS sales for an average sale price of $399,679, which includes single-family homes and condos. The price is up 2.9 per cent from a year ago. Total dollar volume for transactions in the month was just under $905.3 million for a 60.3 per cent hike from a year ago. And new listings were down by 21.9 per cent to 3,343.
 
In Alberta, sales for October increased by 29.6 per cent from last year to 4,978 units and the average sale price jumped by 2.6 per cent to $351,091.
 
Total dollar volume of all transactions rose by 33 per cent to over $1.7 billion while new listings decreased by 24.2 per cent to 7,643 units.
 
At the national level, total unit sales were up 41.5 per cent across the country to 42,288 for an average sale price of $341,079, up 20.7 per cent from a year ago. In Canada, total dollar volume of all transactions increased by 70.8 per cent to just over $14.4 billion. New listings dropped by 15.2 per cent to 63,285.
 

Klump said he expects in Calgary as "headline price increases persist, as I expect they will over the rest of the year and into 2010, that that will draw a lot of the sellers who moved to the sidelines back to the market as well, and that will take some of the pricing pressure off."

With the steep decline in new listings since the beginning of 2008, "supply is having trouble keeping up with demand," he said.
 
Bonnie Wegerich, president of the Calgary Real Estate Board, said affordability due to low interest rates and a variety of choice have fuelled the Calgary market recently.
 
The torrid pace of the Calgary residential real estate market does not appear to be subsiding this month.
 
According to the website of Mike Fotiou, of First Place Realty, there have been 528 single-family home sales so far in November until Nov. 15 for an average sale price of $473,476, while for the same period there have been 225 condo sales for an average sale price of $298,761.
 
For the whole month of November in 2008, there were 670 single-family home sales with an average price of $435,471. There were also 284 condo sales for an average price of $285,820.
 

In October across Canada, low interest rates and upbeat consumer confidence continued to release the pent-up demand that built late last year and earlier this year, said Dale Ripplinger, CREA president.

"The release of that pent-up demand has boosted national sales activity to new heights and is drawing down inventories," he said.
 
Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets, said the "rapid-fire rebound" in Canadian housing is showing no sign of letting up. "While that may be causing some sweaty palms among bubble-phobes, the quick turn is a vivid illustration that monetary policy still works in this country," he said.
 

---------

Prices Across The Country

Market Average/Sale Price/Year-Over-Year Change

Toronto $423,507 20.0%

Greater Vancouver $638,948 14.8%

Ottawa $320,561 14.1%

Winnipeg $210,618 10.6%

Montreal $284,024 10.4%

Regina $246,300 5.4%

Halifax-Dartmouth $235,465 4.8%

Calgary $399,679 2.9%

Victoria $481,500 2.6%

Edmonton $318,969 0.4%

Saskatoon $274,759 -3.7%

---------

Calgary October MLS Sales

Category/October 2009/Year-Over-Year Change

Dollar volume $905.272 million 60.3%

Unit sales 2,265 55.9%

Average price $399,679 2.9%

New listings 3,343 -21.9%

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Article by Calgary Real Estate News Staff
 
According to preliminary figures released this week by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), total housing starts in the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) totaled 732 units in October 2009, up from 599 units in the previous year. To the end of October, total housing starts declined from 10,460 units in 2008 to 4,829 in 2009.
 
Single-detached builders started work on 502 homes in October 2009, an increase of 38 per cent from the 365 units started in 2008. This represents the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year increases in single starts.
 
“Builders continued to increase starts in response to declining inventory levels and higher new home sales,” said Richard Cho, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Calgary.
 

“The recent up-tick in construction activity is expected to continue in the months ahead,” noted Cho.

To the end of October, there have been 3,612 single-detached units started, down four per cent from the previous year.
 
“Although new construction is down year-to-date, the recent rise in activity is bringing production closer to 2008 levels,” he added.
 

In October, there were 230 multi-family units that broke ground, down two per cent from a year earlier.

“The year-over-year decline in multi-family starts, which consists of semi-detached, row and apartment units, is less pronounced since we are no longer comparing to the elevated construction levels earlier in 2008,” said Cho.
 

After the first 10 months of the year, there have been 1,217 multi-family units started, down 82 per cent from 2008. “Multi-family construction is expected to remain low in the coming months as builders, especially those in the apartment segment, are still facing heightened inventory levels,” he noted.

Provincially, housing starts in Alberta’s seven largest centres totalled 2,179 units in October, up 30 per cent from October 2008. For census agglomeration areas, Medicine Hat and Red Deer reported a year-over-year increase in total housing starts.
 
Nationally, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts reached 157,300 units in October. This is an increase from 149,300 units started in September, according to CMHC.
 
“The improvement in housing starts in October is attributable to improvement in the multiple starts segment,” said Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “Despite a small decline in single home starts in October, the level of single home starts remains at its second highest level since October 2008.”The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 5.2 per cent to 139,900 units in October. Urban multiple starts climbed 13.8 per cent to 72,600 units, while urban single starts declined by 2.7 per cent to 67,300 units in October.
 
October’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 15 per cent in British Columbia, by 14.8 per cent in Ontario, by 6.5 per cent in the Prairies and by 1.2 per cent in the Atlantic. The rate of urban starts decreased by 11.6 per cent in Quebec.
 

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,400 units in October.

As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions.

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Calgary, September 1, 2009 – Calgary metro home prices made the first year-over-year increase on a monthly basis since February 2008 according to figures released by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB ®). Prices received an added boost from the sale of a $10.3 million home earlier this month.

“Calgary’s housing prices are edging upwards as consumer confidence improves and demand

continues to grow,” says Bonnie Wegerich, President of the Calgary Real Estate Board. “The recent $10.3 million-sale has undoubtedly boosted the average price this month, but even without this sale the average price is higher than a year ago.”
 
 

MARKET UPDATE March 4, 2009

I noticed on the recent CREB stats that we sold 825 single family homes in Calgary in Feb. 2009 for an increase of 50% over Jan. 2009. Condo sales also increased by 52% over Jan. 2009 and out of town sales were also up 43% from Jan, We had total sales of 1383 or 2766 ends in Feb. which is up an average of 47% improvement from Jan. 2009. Listings really leveled off with a 31% drop when compared to Feb 2008. In addition we have the lowest prime rate of .50% (One half a percentage point) that we have ever had in Canada. I also note several of our Banks actually earned a profit last year. With interest rates at an all time low and a great selection of inventory this looks like a terrific time to be buying, selling or even investing in Real Estate. If sellers wish to upgrade, the timing could not be better as they are buying and selling in the same market. Like we points out “How would you like to lose $50,000.00 to make $100,000.00” by buying up. We are not naïve enough to think the economic crisis is nearing an end, but we do have opportunities and the sun will always come up the next day so lets go out, be very positive and do the absolute best with our existing market conditions.

MARKET UPDATE February 17, 2009

There was an article that appeared in Saturday’s Calgary Herald that suggests our resale market is gathering strength. I note we had a total of 923 sales or 1846 ends in the Calgary area in January 2009. The flow of listings coming on the market has slowed down which will help our market balance. The last paragraph in this article raised a great point as follows: If you bought a home today and the price dropped 10% in the next year and mortgage rates went up 1%, it would still cost you less to buy today – and you’d have your home paid off one year sooner. I really think this is terrific information to pass on to all my buyers as interest rates are very competitive and there is a great selection of properties available now. For first time buyers, our Federal Government has a new non refundable $5,000.00 tax credit available for first time buyers who take possession after January 27th. 2009.

Calgary Stats for October 2008

http://www.creb.com/public/documents/statistics/2008/package/res-stats-2008-october.pdf

 

 

December 2, 2008
Calgary Metro Area Single Family
Active Listings: 5,067
Sold, Last 30 Days: 671
Avg Sale Price, Last 30 Days: $ 437,164
Median Sale Price, Last 30 Days: $ 388,500


November 10, 2008
Calgary Metro Area Single Family
Active Listings: 5,573
Sold, Last 30 Days: 683
Avg Sale Price, Last 30 Days: $ 446,147
Median Sale Price, Last 30 Days: $ 390,000


October 15, 2008
Calgary Metro Area Single Family Statistics
Active Listings: 5,656
Sold, Last 30 Days: 1,046
Avg Sale Price, Last 30 Days: $ 444,862
Median Sale Price, Last 30 Days: $ 390,000


September 10, 2008
Calgary Metro Area single Family Statistics
Active Listings: 5,652
Sold, last 30 days: 1,125
Avg Sale price, last 30 days: $446,705
Median Sale price, last 30 days: $400,000


August, 2008
Calgary Metro Area single Family Statistics
Active Listings: 5,971
Sold, last 30 days: 1,127
Avg Sale price, last 30 days: $446,173
Median Sale price, last 30 days: $400,000

 

 

 


* October 2008 (488KB PDF)
* September 2008 (483KB PDF)
* August 2008 (517KB PDF)
* July 2008 (144KB PDF)
* June 2008 (484KB PDF)
* May 2008 (448KB PDF)
* April 2008 (393KB PDF)
* March 2008 (415KB PDF)
* February 2008 (731KB PDF)
* January 2008 (834KB PDF)
* December 2007 (719KB PDF)
* November 2007 (1,233KB PDF)
* October 2007 (598KB PDF) 

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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.

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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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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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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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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 August 25, 2010

 

A high inventory of homes for sale combined with a softening demand from potential homebuyers is starting to put downward pressure on Calgary MLS prices.
 
Preliminary and unofficial data for August month-to-date indicates prices are dropping from levels of the past few months in both the single-family and condominium market.
 
"We have almost the same number of buyers that we had in December but we have so many more listings," said Gary MacLean, a realtor with Re/Max Real Estate Central. "It's like having a Safeway that got two times as big but only has the same number of customers coming in the door and in order to get rid of the inventory they have to reduce the prices.
 
"It's a supply and demand issue. There's an oversupply of houses not only here but all across Canada and the number of buyers are decreasing."
 
For example, at the end of December one of every 1.6 houses listed for sale were selling. In July, that ratio jumped to one for every 6.6 listings. The month-end inventory of properties for sale in Calgary metro at the end of December was 3,258. It was 7,982 at the end of July.
 
MacLean said the inventory is starting to shrink but it's not as a result of increasing sales. Many people have simply taken their homes off the market.
 
According to preliminary, unofficial data on the website of realtor Mike Fotiou, of First Place Realty, there have been 661 single-family home MLS sales in Calgary for an average price of $441,469 month-to-date until Tuesday.
 
In July for the entire month, there were 915 sales for an average of $464,655 and in August 2009 there were 1,277 sales for an average of $454,130.
 

The average MLS sale price peaked this year in May at $483,240.

The condominium market is showing a similar story with sales so far this month at 271 for an average price of $283,485. In July, there were 396 condo transactions averaging $291,168 and in August 2009 there were 632 sales for an average price of $283,330.
 

The average MLS sale price for a condo peaked this year in May as well at $304,662.

Diane Scott, president of the Calgary Real Estate Board, said supply and demand is playing a role on current average prices but there's also the factor of luxury home sales.

"Homes sold over $1 million are down in numbers from last year for the same period," she said. "June to August last year we had 98 sales over $1 million. This year we've had 87 ... That will drive the average price down as well for sure."
 

On Wednesday, the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index showed Calgary was lagging behind other major Canadian centres in the rate of change for home prices.

The index is estimated by tracking observed or registered home prices over time using data collected from public land registries and all dwellings that have been sold at least twice are considered in the calculation of the index.
 
The report said in June Calgary prices rose by 0.2 per cent on a monthly basis behind Ottawa (2.7 per cent), Toronto (2.4 per cent), Montreal (1.4 per cent), Halifax (1.3 per cent) and Vancouver (0.8 per cent). The national average was 1.5 per cent, the 14th consecutive month of increases.
 
On a year-over-year basis, the national average was 13.6 per cent growth led by Vancouver at 16.3 per cent and followed by Toronto (16.2 per cent), Ottawa (12.0 per cent), Montreal (8.7 per cent), Calgary (8.3 per cent) and Halifax (7.1 per cent).
 

mtoneguzzi@theherald.canwest.com



Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/real-estate/High+inventory+cooling+sales+pressure+house+prices/3440610/story.html#ixzz0yyLPwgI0
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Now might just be the best time to lock into a fixed-rate mortgage, especially for those homeowners on a tight budget, according to an expert broker.
 
The Bank of Canada hiked its overnight lending rate by 25 basis points Wednesday, and variable mortgage rate products offered through major lenders are expected to rise in step.
 
Despite Wednesday’s increase, variable rates -- hovering between 2.05% and 2.25% these days -- still offer savings compared to fixed-rate plans in the near term.
 
But there is an argument for locking into a fixed rate sooner rather than later, said Gary Siegle, a Calgary-based regional manager at Invis.
 
The rate for the popular five-year fixed mortgage has recently dropped to a commonly available 3.89% and is as low as 3.6% in some cases.
 
We haven’t seen rates this low in recent memory, Siegle said.
 
“There are lots of people out there who are saying: Why would you overlook the fact that we haven’t seen five-year rates this low in a long, long time?
 

“Why would you not take advantage of historic low interest rates?”

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t clear-cut, Siegle said.
 
Some people are choosing to overlook low fixed rates because the variable options are still cheaper and may be for some time.
 

However, mortgage holders do need to consider that variable rates do change eventually.

“And the direction everyone is predicting that they’ll go is up. It’s a question of how much and when,” Siegle said.
 

Floating rates have historically been the cheaper option over the entire life of a mortgage but not everyone can stomach the often dramatic swings in monthly expenses.

“It’s a question also of psyche,” Siegle said.
 
People who are generally nervous or who are on a tight budget might be better off locking in now, he said.
 

“Even though they are giving up that 1.25%, they are gaining a lot of peace of mind.”

Homeowners considering the switch to a fixed plan could look into whether there is penalty for switching mid-term, Siegle said.
 
Either way, both variable and fixed-rate mortgage holders can take advantage of current borrowing prices by paying down as much of the principal amount as quickly as possible. That way, as rates go up, total debt burden will be lowered come renewal time.
 

Whereas the central bank influences variable rates, the bond market influences fixed-rate mortgages.

The slower-than-expected economy has fuelled investor interest in the bond rally, pushing yields down and allowing banks to offer attractive fixed-rate products.

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Calgary Market Update for September 1, 2010
- courtesy of the Calgary Real Estate Board
 
Home sales in the city of Calgary continued to trend lower in the month of August, according to figures released today by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®).

 

The number of single family homes sold in August 2010 in the city of Calgary was down 32 per cent from the same time a year ago, and condominium sales saw a decrease of 42 per cent from the same time a year ago.

 

August 2010 saw 867 single family homes sold in the city of Calgary. This is a decrease of 5 per cent

from 915 sales in July 2010. In August 2009, single family home sales totalled 1,277. The number of

condominium sales for the month of August 2010 was 364. This was a decrease of 8 per cent from the 396 condominium transactions recorded in July 2010.
 
In August 2009, condominium sales were 632. “Calgary’s housing market has been undergoing a
measured correction over the past 4 to 5 months. Sales are trending lower as a result of a increase in first time home buyers entering the market and a decline in pent up demand following a strong post-recession recovery,” says Diane Scott, president of CREB®.
 

“There has been much talk recently about the potential for a housing bubble in Canada--but the economic fundamentals at play make this scenario unlikely for Calgary. What we are seeing is an adjustment to higher levels of inventory and a shift to a buyer’s market.”

 

“A slower than anticipated pace of mortgage rate hikes and continued improvements in  employment are more likely to bring stability rather than volatility into Calgary’s housing market as we move into 2011, ” adds Scott.
 
The average price of a single family home in the city of Calgary in August 2010 was $445,617, showing a 4 per cent decrease from July 2010, when the average price was $464,655, and a decrease of 2 per cent from August 2009, when the average price was $454,130.
 

The average price of a condominium in the city of Calgary in August 2010 was $286,384, showing a 2 per cent decrease from July 2010, when the average price was $291,168 and a 1 per cent increase over last year, when the average price was $283,330. 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 expect a period of correction will continue into the fall of this year. Prices may sag in the short-term and level off as we move into 2011,” says Scott. “Homebuyers and sellers should keep in mind that market trends are unique even throughout the wider Calgary region.
 
A case in point is the relative strength of Calgary’s town and country market, where sales have remained at 2009 levels. Homebuyers and sellers should speak to a REALTOR® to better understand the opportunities in our current market,” says Scott.

 

The median price of a single family home in the city of Calgary for August 2010 was $395,000, showing a 1 per cent decrease from July 2010 and August 2009, when the median price was $400,000. The median price of a condominium in August 2010 was $260,000, showing a 3 per cent decrease from July 2010, when the median price was $268,000, and no change from

August 2009, when it was the same – $260,000.
 

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.

 

Single family listings in the city of Calgary added for the month of August 2010 totalled 1,960, an increase of less than 1 per cent from July 2010 when 1,942 new listings were added, and showing an increase of 3 per cent from August 2009, when 1,910 new listings came to the market.
 

Condominium new listings in the city of Calgary added for August 2010 were 808, down 9 per cent

from July 2010, when the MLS® saw 890 condo listings coming to the market. This is a decrease of 3 per cent from August 2009, when new condominium listings added were 832.
 

“Total month end inventory for the wider Calgary region is down marginally when compared to July—a trend we expect will continue in the coming months.

 

New listings are also likely to recede in the coming months in response to slowing sales,” adds Scott.

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Prices for new homes in Canada rose 0.3 per cent in October after a 0.5 per cent increase the previous month.
 
It was the fourth straight monthly gain in the federal agency's new home price index, although the increase was slightly below the 0.4 per cent many economists had expected.
 
The biggest price increase was in Quebec City, up 1.1 per cent, followed by Vancouver, up 0.7 per cent. In Ontario, Hamilton and the Sudbury-Thunder Bay area were both up 0.5 per cent.
 
The largest year-over-year increase was also in Quebec City, which jumped 7.5 per cent.
 
"Land values have been growing in this city as a result of increased demand and fewer available lots, as well as new development phases with higher land costs," Statistics Canada said.
 
Prices in St. John's, N.L., rose 6.8 per cent in October from a year earlier. In New Brunswick, the Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton region gained 3.1 per cent.
 
Meanwhile, short-term expectations for housing starts have risen significantly, the Conference Board of Canada said. Of 27 census metropolitan areas (cities and surrounding communities) the board covers, an additional 10 are showing positive expectations in December compared with the month before.
 
They are Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Halifax, Montreal, Sherbrooke, Que., Oshawa, Ont., St. Catherines, Ont., Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., and Abbotsford, B.C.
 

Expectations fell in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Toronto and Sudbury, Ont.

The figures are based on data from the conference board and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

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Strong numbers in Calgary boost Oct. MLS sales to record highs in Canada
 
Calgary Herald - Nov 17, 2009
 
CALGARY - MLS sales activity in October reached record levels in Canada for the month, buoyed by strong residential real estate markets in Western Canada, particularly Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary.
The numbers last month compared with a year ago are simply staggering. Greater Vancouver led the country with a whopping 170.8 per cent hike in MLS sales, followed by Victoria at 135 per cent, Toronto at 64.2 per cent and Calgary at 55.9 per cent.
 
"A dramatic rebound in sales activity compared to the recent low rate at the beginning of the year," said Gregory Klump, chief economist for the Canadian Real Estate Association, of the Calgary real estate market.
 
"Trendwise, we're still continuing to see new listings down from their peak reached in early 2008. So the market's tightened up considerably. In fact, using sales to new listings as a gauge for market balance, Calgary appears to be in a seller's market territory."
 
In October, Calgary had 2,265 MLS sales for an average sale price of $399,679, which includes single-family homes and condos. The price is up 2.9 per cent from a year ago. Total dollar volume for transactions in the month was just under $905.3 million for a 60.3 per cent hike from a year ago. And new listings were down by 21.9 per cent to 3,343.
 
In Alberta, sales for October increased by 29.6 per cent from last year to 4,978 units and the average sale price jumped by 2.6 per cent to $351,091.
 
Total dollar volume of all transactions rose by 33 per cent to over $1.7 billion while new listings decreased by 24.2 per cent to 7,643 units.
 
At the national level, total unit sales were up 41.5 per cent across the country to 42,288 for an average sale price of $341,079, up 20.7 per cent from a year ago. In Canada, total dollar volume of all transactions increased by 70.8 per cent to just over $14.4 billion. New listings dropped by 15.2 per cent to 63,285.
 

Klump said he expects in Calgary as "headline price increases persist, as I expect they will over the rest of the year and into 2010, that that will draw a lot of the sellers who moved to the sidelines back to the market as well, and that will take some of the pricing pressure off."

With the steep decline in new listings since the beginning of 2008, "supply is having trouble keeping up with demand," he said.
 
Bonnie Wegerich, president of the Calgary Real Estate Board, said affordability due to low interest rates and a variety of choice have fuelled the Calgary market recently.
 
The torrid pace of the Calgary residential real estate market does not appear to be subsiding this month.
 
According to the website of Mike Fotiou, of First Place Realty, there have been 528 single-family home sales so far in November until Nov. 15 for an average sale price of $473,476, while for the same period there have been 225 condo sales for an average sale price of $298,761.
 
For the whole month of November in 2008, there were 670 single-family home sales with an average price of $435,471. There were also 284 condo sales for an average price of $285,820.
 

In October across Canada, low interest rates and upbeat consumer confidence continued to release the pent-up demand that built late last year and earlier this year, said Dale Ripplinger, CREA president.

"The release of that pent-up demand has boosted national sales activity to new heights and is drawing down inventories," he said.
 
Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets, said the "rapid-fire rebound" in Canadian housing is showing no sign of letting up. "While that may be causing some sweaty palms among bubble-phobes, the quick turn is a vivid illustration that monetary policy still works in this country," he said.
 

---------

Prices Across The Country

Market Average/Sale Price/Year-Over-Year Change

Toronto $423,507 20.0%

Greater Vancouver $638,948 14.8%

Ottawa $320,561 14.1%

Winnipeg $210,618 10.6%

Montreal $284,024 10.4%

Regina $246,300 5.4%

Halifax-Dartmouth $235,465 4.8%

Calgary $399,679 2.9%

Victoria $481,500 2.6%

Edmonton $318,969 0.4%

Saskatoon $274,759 -3.7%

---------

Calgary October MLS Sales

Category/October 2009/Year-Over-Year Change

Dollar volume $905.272 million 60.3%

Unit sales 2,265 55.9%

Average price $399,679 2.9%

New listings 3,343 -21.9%

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Article by Calgary Real Estate News Staff
 
According to preliminary figures released this week by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), total housing starts in the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) totaled 732 units in October 2009, up from 599 units in the previous year. To the end of October, total housing starts declined from 10,460 units in 2008 to 4,829 in 2009.
 
Single-detached builders started work on 502 homes in October 2009, an increase of 38 per cent from the 365 units started in 2008. This represents the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year increases in single starts.
 
“Builders continued to increase starts in response to declining inventory levels and higher new home sales,” said Richard Cho, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Calgary.
 

“The recent up-tick in construction activity is expected to continue in the months ahead,” noted Cho.

To the end of October, there have been 3,612 single-detached units started, down four per cent from the previous year.
 
“Although new construction is down year-to-date, the recent rise in activity is bringing production closer to 2008 levels,” he added.
 

In October, there were 230 multi-family units that broke ground, down two per cent from a year earlier.

“The year-over-year decline in multi-family starts, which consists of semi-detached, row and apartment units, is less pronounced since we are no longer comparing to the elevated construction levels earlier in 2008,” said Cho.
 

After the first 10 months of the year, there have been 1,217 multi-family units started, down 82 per cent from 2008. “Multi-family construction is expected to remain low in the coming months as builders, especially those in the apartment segment, are still facing heightened inventory levels,” he noted.

Provincially, housing starts in Alberta’s seven largest centres totalled 2,179 units in October, up 30 per cent from October 2008. For census agglomeration areas, Medicine Hat and Red Deer reported a year-over-year increase in total housing starts.
 
Nationally, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts reached 157,300 units in October. This is an increase from 149,300 units started in September, according to CMHC.
 
“The improvement in housing starts in October is attributable to improvement in the multiple starts segment,” said Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “Despite a small decline in single home starts in October, the level of single home starts remains at its second highest level since October 2008.”The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 5.2 per cent to 139,900 units in October. Urban multiple starts climbed 13.8 per cent to 72,600 units, while urban single starts declined by 2.7 per cent to 67,300 units in October.
 
October’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 15 per cent in British Columbia, by 14.8 per cent in Ontario, by 6.5 per cent in the Prairies and by 1.2 per cent in the Atlantic. The rate of urban starts decreased by 11.6 per cent in Quebec.
 

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,400 units in October.

As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions.

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Calgary, September 1, 2009 – Calgary metro home prices made the first year-over-year increase on a monthly basis since February 2008 according to figures released by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB ®). Prices received an added boost from the sale of a $10.3 million home earlier this month.

“Calgary’s housing prices are edging upwards as consumer confidence improves and demand

continues to grow,” says Bonnie Wegerich, President of the Calgary Real Estate Board. “The recent $10.3 million-sale has undoubtedly boosted the average price this month, but even without this sale the average price is higher than a year ago.”
 
 

MARKET UPDATE March 4, 2009

I noticed on the recent CREB stats that we sold 825 single family homes in Calgary in Feb. 2009 for an increase of 50% over Jan. 2009. Condo sales also increased by 52% over Jan. 2009 and out of town sales were also up 43% from Jan, We had total sales of 1383 or 2766 ends in Feb. which is up an average of 47% improvement from Jan. 2009. Listings really leveled off with a 31% drop when compared to Feb 2008. In addition we have the lowest prime rate of .50% (One half a percentage point) that we have ever had in Canada. I also note several of our Banks actually earned a profit last year. With interest rates at an all time low and a great selection of inventory this looks like a terrific time to be buying, selling or even investing in Real Estate. If sellers wish to upgrade, the timing could not be better as they are buying and selling in the same market. Like we points out “How would you like to lose $50,000.00 to make $100,000.00” by buying up. We are not naïve enough to think the economic crisis is nearing an end, but we do have opportunities and the sun will always come up the next day so lets go out, be very positive and do the absolute best with our existing market conditions.

MARKET UPDATE February 17, 2009

There was an article that appeared in Saturday’s Calgary Herald that suggests our resale market is gathering strength. I note we had a total of 923 sales or 1846 ends in the Calgary area in January 2009. The flow of listings coming on the market has slowed down which will help our market balance. The last paragraph in this article raised a great point as follows: If you bought a home today and the price dropped 10% in the next year and mortgage rates went up 1%, it would still cost you less to buy today – and you’d have your home paid off one year sooner. I really think this is terrific information to pass on to all my buyers as interest rates are very competitive and there is a great selection of properties available now. For first time buyers, our Federal Government has a new non refundable $5,000.00 tax credit available for first time buyers who take possession after January 27th. 2009.

Calgary Stats for October 2008

http://www.creb.com/public/documents/statistics/2008/package/res-stats-2008-october.pdf

 

 

December 2, 2008
Calgary Metro Area Single Family
Active Listings: 5,067
Sold, Last 30 Days: 671
Avg Sale Price, Last 30 Days: $ 437,164
Median Sale Price, Last 30 Days: $ 388,500


November 10, 2008
Calgary Metro Area Single Family
Active Listings: 5,573
Sold, Last 30 Days: 683
Avg Sale Price, Last 30 Days: $ 446,147
Median Sale Price, Last 30 Days: $ 390,000


October 15, 2008
Calgary Metro Area Single Family Statistics
Active Listings: 5,656
Sold, Last 30 Days: 1,046
Avg Sale Price, Last 30 Days: $ 444,862
Median Sale Price, Last 30 Days: $ 390,000


September 10, 2008
Calgary Metro Area single Family Statistics
Active Listings: 5,652
Sold, last 30 days: 1,125
Avg Sale price, last 30 days: $446,705
Median Sale price, last 30 days: $400,000


August, 2008
Calgary Metro Area single Family Statistics
Active Listings: 5,971
Sold, last 30 days: 1,127
Avg Sale price, last 30 days: $446,173
Median Sale price, last 30 days: $400,000

 

 

 


* October 2008 (488KB PDF)
* September 2008 (483KB PDF)
* August 2008 (517KB PDF)
* July 2008 (144KB PDF)
* June 2008 (484KB PDF)
* May 2008 (448KB PDF)
* April 2008 (393KB PDF)
* March 2008 (415KB PDF)
* February 2008 (731KB PDF)
* January 2008 (834KB PDF)
* December 2007 (719KB PDF)
* November 2007 (1,233KB PDF)
* October 2007 (598KB PDF) 

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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.