Stable Pricing Providing Opportunities for Buyers

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

prices,” says Stante.

 

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

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

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

next,” says Stante.

 

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Higher priced homes selling faster as listings trend down
 

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

 

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

levels, but remained well below inventories recorded in April 2010, and close to the long term average, indicating the market continues to show balanced conditions.
 
“While our spring market has been a little slow to get started, we are seeing our inventory levels return to healthy levels,” says Sano Stante, president of CREB®. “This trend, combined with an improving job market, will help warm up Calgary’s housing market in the coming months.”
 
Along with a decline in inventory, Stante points out that homes in the higher-end of the market are selling faster, with average days on market trending down, and below the 5-year average.
 
“We are seeing improvements in the sale of homes in the higher price points. Homes above $700,000 are selling within an average of 41 days. This is consistent with pre-recession levels,” says Stante.
 
To view the full report and current Calgary market stats, click here.
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Calgary, February 1, 2011
 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.       No more 35 year amortizations

 

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

2.       Refinancing has been scaled back to 85%.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CALGARY HERALD ARTICLE: FeDERAL GOVERNMENT TIGHTENS MORTGAGE RULES AGAIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Condominium new listings in the city of Calgary added for December 2010 were 369, down 42 per cent from November 2010, when the MLS® saw 632 condo listings coming to the market. This is a decrease of 17 per cent from December 2009, when new condominium listings added were 444.
 
To read the entire report and see the latest statistics, visit http://www.creb.com/public/documents/statistics/2010/package/res-stats-2010%20December.pdf
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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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OTTAWA – November 16, 2009 – Monthly MLS® home sales activity continues to run strong, with new monthly records set in July, September, and October. This has prompted The Canadian Real Estate Association to revise its MLS® home sales forecast for 2009 and 2010.
 
CREA now forecasts national activity will reach 460,200 units in 2009, up 6.6 per cent from last year. CREA’s previous forecast issued in August had annual sales this year about even with 2008 levels. The new sales forecast for 2009 puts activity about on par with annual activity in 2004, but below levels reported for the years 2005 through 2007.
 
British Columbia and Ontario are still forecast to post annual increases in activity this year, but the forecast has been lifted as a result of recent record level activity in both provinces. In addition, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island are also now forecast to post an annual increase in activity in 2009. Forecast declines in annual activity have been trimmed for Manitoba and Nova Scotia, and are little changed for New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.
 
National MLS® home sales activity is forecast to rise seven per cent to 492,300 units in 2010. This is a slightly larger rise in activity than previously forecast. This would make 2010 the second highest year on record for sales, putting activity below the peak reached in 2007, and slightly above the 2005 and 2006 figures. New annual records are forecast for Manitoba and Quebec in 2010.
 
The forecast increase in activity for 2010 reflects significant weakness in activity recorded in the first quarter of 2009. Monthly activity in 2010 is expected to trend downward from recent heights, but the sharp drop inactivity recorded in the in the first quarter of 2009 is not expected to repeat in 2010.
 
New listings began declining in the third quarter of 2008, as many sellers took their home off the market pending an improvement in housing market conditions. CREA’s previous forecast suggested that average price increases in the second half of 2009 would likely result in mild a rebound in listings. In the third quarter of 2009, the number of new listings did post the first quarterly increase in more than a year, which coincided with the return of strong average price increases. New residential listings are expected to continue trending upward.
 

The national MLS® average home price is forecast to climb 4.2 per cent in 2009, reaching a record $317,900. This is an upward revision from the 1.5 per cent gain in CREA’s previous forecast, and reflects the high degree to which the national average price was skewed downward last year by a significant decline in activity in Canada’s priciest markets, and then upward by the rebound in activity.

Alberta remains the only province with a forecast decline in average price in 2009 (-3.0 per cent).
 
Average prices are forecast to rise in all other provinces, with gains ranging from a low of 1.5 per cent in British Columbia to 13.1 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador.
 
Average prices are forecast to climb a further 4.7 per cent in 2010. Much of the annual increase reflects weakness in the average price in first quarter of 2009, which is not expected to repeat in 2010. Average sale prices are forecast to rise in every province in 2010.
 
The price trend is similar but less dramatic for the weighted national MLS® average price, which compensates for changes in provincial sales activity by taking into account provincial proportions of privately owned housing stock. The weighted national MLS® average price is forecast to climb 2.9 per cent in 2009, with a further 4.0 per cent rise in 2010. CREA previously forecast that the weighted national average price for MLS® homes sales would hold steady from 2009 to 2010.
 
“Pent-up demand built in late 2008 and early 2009, as many buyers moved to the sidelines pending an improved economic outlook,” said CREA President Dale Ripplinger. “With the economic outlook having improved since then, the release of that pent-up demand will boost activity over the rest of the year and in 2010.”
 
“Significant weakness in activity and average prices seen in late 2008 and earlier this year is not expected to repeat in 2010, so 2010 will look a lot better by comparison,” said CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump. “The raised outlook for MLS® sales activity in 2010 still puts annual activity below the pre-recession peak recorded for 2007.”
 
For the complete release:
 

http://www.crea.ca/public/news_stats/pdfs/mlsForecast_nov09.pdf

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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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Stable Pricing Providing Opportunities for Buyers

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

prices,” says Stante.

 

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

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

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

next,” says Stante.

 

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Higher priced homes selling faster as listings trend down
 

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

 

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

levels, but remained well below inventories recorded in April 2010, and close to the long term average, indicating the market continues to show balanced conditions.
 
“While our spring market has been a little slow to get started, we are seeing our inventory levels return to healthy levels,” says Sano Stante, president of CREB®. “This trend, combined with an improving job market, will help warm up Calgary’s housing market in the coming months.”
 
Along with a decline in inventory, Stante points out that homes in the higher-end of the market are selling faster, with average days on market trending down, and below the 5-year average.
 
“We are seeing improvements in the sale of homes in the higher price points. Homes above $700,000 are selling within an average of 41 days. This is consistent with pre-recession levels,” says Stante.
 
To view the full report and current Calgary market stats, click here.
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Calgary, February 1, 2011
 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.       No more 35 year amortizations

 

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

2.       Refinancing has been scaled back to 85%.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CALGARY HERALD ARTICLE: FeDERAL GOVERNMENT TIGHTENS MORTGAGE RULES AGAIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Condominium new listings in the city of Calgary added for December 2010 were 369, down 42 per cent from November 2010, when the MLS® saw 632 condo listings coming to the market. This is a decrease of 17 per cent from December 2009, when new condominium listings added were 444.
 
To read the entire report and see the latest statistics, visit http://www.creb.com/public/documents/statistics/2010/package/res-stats-2010%20December.pdf
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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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OTTAWA – November 16, 2009 – Monthly MLS® home sales activity continues to run strong, with new monthly records set in July, September, and October. This has prompted The Canadian Real Estate Association to revise its MLS® home sales forecast for 2009 and 2010.
 
CREA now forecasts national activity will reach 460,200 units in 2009, up 6.6 per cent from last year. CREA’s previous forecast issued in August had annual sales this year about even with 2008 levels. The new sales forecast for 2009 puts activity about on par with annual activity in 2004, but below levels reported for the years 2005 through 2007.
 
British Columbia and Ontario are still forecast to post annual increases in activity this year, but the forecast has been lifted as a result of recent record level activity in both provinces. In addition, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island are also now forecast to post an annual increase in activity in 2009. Forecast declines in annual activity have been trimmed for Manitoba and Nova Scotia, and are little changed for New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.
 
National MLS® home sales activity is forecast to rise seven per cent to 492,300 units in 2010. This is a slightly larger rise in activity than previously forecast. This would make 2010 the second highest year on record for sales, putting activity below the peak reached in 2007, and slightly above the 2005 and 2006 figures. New annual records are forecast for Manitoba and Quebec in 2010.
 
The forecast increase in activity for 2010 reflects significant weakness in activity recorded in the first quarter of 2009. Monthly activity in 2010 is expected to trend downward from recent heights, but the sharp drop inactivity recorded in the in the first quarter of 2009 is not expected to repeat in 2010.
 
New listings began declining in the third quarter of 2008, as many sellers took their home off the market pending an improvement in housing market conditions. CREA’s previous forecast suggested that average price increases in the second half of 2009 would likely result in mild a rebound in listings. In the third quarter of 2009, the number of new listings did post the first quarterly increase in more than a year, which coincided with the return of strong average price increases. New residential listings are expected to continue trending upward.
 

The national MLS® average home price is forecast to climb 4.2 per cent in 2009, reaching a record $317,900. This is an upward revision from the 1.5 per cent gain in CREA’s previous forecast, and reflects the high degree to which the national average price was skewed downward last year by a significant decline in activity in Canada’s priciest markets, and then upward by the rebound in activity.

Alberta remains the only province with a forecast decline in average price in 2009 (-3.0 per cent).
 
Average prices are forecast to rise in all other provinces, with gains ranging from a low of 1.5 per cent in British Columbia to 13.1 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador.
 
Average prices are forecast to climb a further 4.7 per cent in 2010. Much of the annual increase reflects weakness in the average price in first quarter of 2009, which is not expected to repeat in 2010. Average sale prices are forecast to rise in every province in 2010.
 
The price trend is similar but less dramatic for the weighted national MLS® average price, which compensates for changes in provincial sales activity by taking into account provincial proportions of privately owned housing stock. The weighted national MLS® average price is forecast to climb 2.9 per cent in 2009, with a further 4.0 per cent rise in 2010. CREA previously forecast that the weighted national average price for MLS® homes sales would hold steady from 2009 to 2010.
 
“Pent-up demand built in late 2008 and early 2009, as many buyers moved to the sidelines pending an improved economic outlook,” said CREA President Dale Ripplinger. “With the economic outlook having improved since then, the release of that pent-up demand will boost activity over the rest of the year and in 2010.”
 
“Significant weakness in activity and average prices seen in late 2008 and earlier this year is not expected to repeat in 2010, so 2010 will look a lot better by comparison,” said CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump. “The raised outlook for MLS® sales activity in 2010 still puts annual activity below the pre-recession peak recorded for 2007.”
 
For the complete release:
 

http://www.crea.ca/public/news_stats/pdfs/mlsForecast_nov09.pdf

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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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