Considering downsizing, but not sure if it’s the right time to do so? There are many factors to take into account, and many reasons why people feel compelled to move to a smaller house or condo. When there’s no more kids in the house to look after, a big house can seem a bit much for one or two people to live in. More space means more to clean. Bigger property might mean more equity that can be used towards retirement. And the list goes on!

 

Downsizing is obviously a lifestyle adjustment, and something to mull over in its entirety to make sure you are really ready for smaller living quarters. Ask yourself these five questions to give you peace of mind and assess if you are, in fact ready to downsize:

 

  1. How much might my house grow in value if I stay?

 

Timing is everything when it comes to selling your home. The longer you wait, the riskier it could be when there’s uncertainty around the markets. If the market is looking hot - it might be a good time to sell. If things are going south, it may be better to sell than to wait and wait. Consider your timelines and speak to a real estate agent to help you assess the current climate. 

 

  1. Does the size of the house really matter to me?

 

Overtime your home becomes part of your identity. It’s where you’ve built memories, and a life. It’s brought you new friends, provided comfort; it becomes full of furniture, trinkets, scents and people that define you. So is moving going to be easy? Probably not. You probably would feel the same way if you were moving to a bigger or similar size house - it’s change, and change isn’t always an easy pill to swallow.

 

There will come a time when bigger factors come into play - like the health and safety of you and your loved one. Your future physical and medical needs will likely change. Will there come a time when the stairs are too much to handle? When there’s too many bathrooms to clean, the yard is too large to mow and shoveling the snow is no longer possible? These are not pleasant to think about, but they are important and difficult factors to really consider. 

 

  1. What will it cost me to move to a smaller place?

 

Make a budget for yourself on what it will cost for a moving truck,moving company, new furniture (you’re moving to a smaller space remember - what worked well in the old place may not make the cut in a smaller living area), the cost to get rid of items (if you’re looking to sell old furniture or decor on Kijiji, expect that you won’t get as much for the item as what you paid for it), and any fees associated with selling your home such as realtor and lawyer fees.

 

 

  1. What would be my net gain from selling?

 

Reducing housing costs by selling your house is an easy way to increase funds; provided you make a gain on your home. Do the math to find out how much will end up back in your pocket after you sell to make sure you have the right amount of gain to make the move worth it for you. These are the numbers you should be looking at: 

 

The value of your home, actual or anticipated balance remaining on your mortgage or line of credit, net gain after subtracting total moving costs, and the cost of a new home. 

 

  1. How will other life events impact my living in a smaller home?

 

It is possible that a family member; son, daughter, grandchild, aging parent or sibling may need a place to stay for awhile. Is the house you’re considering equipped to fulfill your physical and emotional needs? Keep in mind that when downsizing it should be the right move that works for you long-term and can accommodate for the unexpected without impacting your comfort, and sanity. 

 

If you’re looking to embark upon the downsizing journey, contact me today. My team and I are well-equipped to answer your questions and help you get your home sale ready to ensure get you top dollar to start this next chapter of your life. 

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Although the spring months may be one of the most popular times for the housing market, that doesn’t mean you need to wait for the flowers to bloom before you get to the shopping. There are several reason why you should consider purchasing a home in the winter, and here’s why:

 

  1. Take advantage of lower prices

According to market trends in Canada, the first two weeks of January are usually very s-l-o-w. People tend to be recovering from holiday shopping and returning from vacation; not exactly ready to start thinking about buying a new house. 

 

A slower market may push motivated sellers to lower their prices - which can be a difference of tens of thousands of dollars compared to spring housing prices. There could be a number of reasons why the seller needs to get rid of their property during a less than ideal housing season; divorce, relocation, death in the family, and so on. Shopping around in January is an opportune time to take advantage of getting a discount. 

 

  1. Less Competition

 

With fewer buyers during the winter, houses spend more time on the market. With less people on the house hunt, there is less competition for you as a buyer. Chances of risking multiple offers on house you’re keen on could be slim. Less offers can also help you in negotiating a lower price and take the time you need to find the house that is right for you, eliminating the pressure to scoop something up immediately. 

 

  1. You’ll see the home’s true performance in the coldest of seasons

 

Everything just seems to look and feel better in the spring. The sun is out, you’ve shed your winter coat, flowers are blooming, leaves are on the trees and the grass is finally green again. This springy feel is a definite perk during the peak buying season. 

 

In winter, however, the home is the truest version of itself. This is the best time to do a home inspection. You’ll see how well the heating works, how dark the house gets, any drafts, lack of insulation, how cold the floors are, what the yard looks like without the leaves on the trees. After a fresh snowfall you’ll notice if a house is losing heat if snow is melted on the roof, and the ones that are well insulated will have a a fresh layer of snow overhead. 

 

If you like the house in the winter, chances are you will love it come summer. 

 

  1. You’ll have the full attention of your Realtor and Lender. 

 

Winter is a slower season for all parties involved in the home buying process. With less people buying and selling properties, you’re team has even more time to dedicate to you and make sure you get the best deals. 

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Winter. We’re in the middle of it – and you’re getting ready to list your home. Despite what some may say, the winter months are still an opportune time to put your house on the market. There will always be reasons for people to buy – whether they are being relocated, need to downsize, upsize or are ready to purchase that first home – these people exist all year round. The fact that it is winter has its perks – this time is usually slower so you have more time to prepare and set the stage for the viewing experience, plus as we are dropping to below freezing temperatures, you can be sure that the ones house hunting in the snow and cold are serious buyers.

 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help sell your home during the winter months:

 

1. Make your entrance accessible

 

This means shovelling snow (consistently!) from the sidewalk, to the driveway to the walkway – any obstacle can be a deterrent to potential homebuyers. No one wants to trudge through snow or risk slipping on ice. Sprinkle salt on the exposed ice as necessary to mitigate any slips and falls; now that would really deter a would-be buyer.

 

 

2. Get your Mr. Clean on

 

That’s right – keeping your place clean, tidy and homey is going to be your top priority. With winter comes snow and slush – both unwanted elements that track their way into your home – especially when you have people trudging in and out on a regular basis. Although it may seem challenging – it’s nothing you can’t handle. How can you mitigate this? Place a “Shoes Off” sign as people walk in. Have absorbent rubber mats and/or a shoe tray in place for people to store their boots and shoes. Have your place look organized and tidy by setting up an aesthetically pleasing stand or coat rack for viewers to hang their outerwear that won’t take away from the beauty of your home. If you have pets, do your best to give the appearance of clean pets. Rid your home of pet hair, paw prints and the smell of wet dog. No one’s nostrils want to be graced with that.

 

3. Show off your homes “cozy-ness”

 

There are a few ways to bring a cozy, comforting feel into the home, and this can work pleasantly well during the winter months. Set the stage with some “mood” lighting. Romance your viewers with lights that set the stage for a cozy night in, so they can envision themselves sipping hot tea under the blankets in your living room. Keep things bright in the winter. Make sure all lights are on and do your own

tinkering to adjust the levels. If you have a fireplace, light a fire and let the crackle and glow swoon your viewers throughout the showing. Temperature is also a key component to consider. It’s fair to think that because it’s cold outside that the temperature in your house should be toasty warm, but be careful about going too warm. Remember, most of the buyers coming through your house are bundled in coats, have been running around from viewing to viewing, up stairs and in and out of their car. Keep the thermostat to a comfortable level to avoid any sweaty, heated buyers.

 

If you’re looking to list your home this winter, contact me today to get your home show-ready. We have a team equipped to get your house in tip-top shape before listing; from cleaning, to staging, photography and video – we leave no stone unturned in getting our clients a sale they deserve.

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Planning on moving out of your property before it sells? If so, there are a few measures you can take to convince passersby that the home is still occupied and keep it as safe as possible after you’ve left. Even if the property is completely empty of contents, thieves may still be on the lookout for valuable building components, or assume all of the homes contents are still inside. Void of contents or not, during a break-in the property is susceptible to vandalism, which is something no home owner wants to take on. 

 

The five tips below provide a good checklist of what you can do to help keep your property safe after you’ve moved out: 

 

 

1. Keep up the yard work

 

An unkempt lawn, snowy driveway and walkway are clear giveaways that the house has been empty for awhile. Be sure to pop by the property every now and again to mow the lawn, tend to the garden, rake the leaves or shovel the snow. Out of town? No problem. Hire someone to do the maintenance for you or ask a neighbor to help you out until the new owners move in. Be sure to thank them later!

 

2. Winterize your home 

 

Moving out in the winter months?  Make sure you take the right precautions to prevent potential damage from fire and freezing due to faulty heating and electrical systems. Just because the house is vacant doesn’t mean you should abandon it completely. The heating system should be cleaned and inspected by a contractor and checked once a week to make sure the system is operating properly. Chimneys should also be inspected and cleared of any obstructions such as squirrels or nesting birds. Remove overhanging tree limbs that could cause damage from heavy snow or wind, and make sure windows are closed and locked shut. Clean out gutters and downspouts (these can cause basement flooding if clogged after the snow melts) and inspect the roof and shingles for any evidence of damage and leaks to prevent wind or water damage. 

 

  1. Get eyes on the house

 

Let your immediate neighbors, realtor, police and fire departments know that your property will be vacant so they can keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior. Leave them with emergency contact information in case anything does happen so that they can reach you quickly. Ask neighbors to pickup any mail, flyers and newspapers that could start to build up - a clear sign that the property is empty.

 

  1. Turn on the lights

 

Nothing says “people are home” like lights on in the house. Of course, don’t leave them on all day; rather, invest in some lighting timers and strategically place lamps around the house. Set the timers to go on and off in different rooms at different times of the day. You can also keep curtains and blinds installed to give the illusion that people are still living in the home.

 

  1. Install or keep your security system

 

Alarms deter trespassers from entering your property and quickly alert the authorities when they go off. Alert the alarm company that the home will be vacant ahead of time, and display security signs in the window or on the lawn so passersby know the system is armed before attempting to break in. Security cameras (and even fake cameras) are a great way to monitor activity, or give the impression that the house is being monitored.

 

For more advice and help on securing your home as you transition into a new place, you can connect with me directly and we’ll make sure your home looks just how you left it, long after the moving trucks are gone. 

 

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There are plenty of perks to owning your own home versus renting, especially as rental prices continue to creep up, often times costing the same if not more than a mortgage payment. So it makes sense why more and more adults in their twenties are starting to take a serious look at home ownership. Here are some tips on how to get started on becoming a first time home buyer in your twenties:

 

  1. Find out what you can afford

 

This is the first step before you start doing any major house hunting. Sit down with a mortgage lender to get pre-qualified. In this meeting you’ll go over your credit history, income and and any debts you may have to add up to one final equation of what the banks will be able to lend you. It’s important to note that although you may be approved for a home at say, $300,000.00 - that doesn’t mean you should be buying a house at that price. Make a budget and determine how much you can afford to pay monthly for the mortgage payment, condo fees and property taxes on top of your day-to-day living expenses. 

 

  1. Find a Realtor

 

This is where it gets exciting. Once you’ve interviewed Realtors and found someone you can trust, connect with and can see yourself partnering with throughout the home buying process, you are ready to start the journey, however short or long you choose to make it. A reliable Realtor will keep on top of new listings as they come up, make themselves available for a viewing as soon as the opportunity presents itself, and go to bat for you when it comes to negotiations and signing the papers. Be sure to communicate what you are looking for in a house (neighborhood, preferred characteristics and any must-have’s) so they can send you listings that hit the mark. 

 

  1. Be realistic about your expectations

 

Buying your first home is exciting! You’ve been waiting for this moment for a lonnggg time - like any young adult who’s been cooped up with their parents or feeling sick about how much money they’re throwing away by renting. It’s easy to get carried away and have high expectations of the home you want. This is where you need to reel it in. It is after all, your first home. Building equity takes time, and patience. Buy a house you can comfortably afford now and be willing to sacrifice some of those “like-to-haves” in favor of paying down a mortgage that suits your (current) lifestyle.

 

  1. Let your Realtor do the heavy lifting

 

Being a first time home buyer can be daunting. I mean, you’re putting a lot of money on the line - it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Realtors are experts at navigating their field and will always work to get you, the client, what you deserve. Be open to their recommendations and watch them work their magic when it comes to negotiations. I assure you, if you’ve done your due diligence, you should be in quite competent hands.

 

Good luck on this new adventure of home ownership. Feel free to connect with me if you have any questions about the above, or home ownership and the Real Estate market in general. My team and I have been at this for over 11 years and are happy to help guid you through this new and exciting time in your life. 

Call us today 403.701.7139

 

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There are a few good reasons why people are in the market to buy a home with a secondary suite – so much so that they’re even willing to jump through all the hurdles of approvals to build homes to include these additions. Renting out a second suite is a great opportunity for homeowner’s to subsidize their mortgage payments. These homes tend to be valued higher – so as a potential buyer you would be paying a premium – however in return you have the potential to earn rental income and increase property value compared to homes without a second suite.

 

These are all great perks - but what if you just happened to find your dream home and there happens to be a secondary suite in the basement – what do you do with it? You can of course still buy the home and go about your merry way, but if you are looking to utilize the space for some additional income there are a few things you need to be aware of.

 

Is the suite legal?

 

First things first – do your homework before you buy. All new and existing secondary suites are required to be safe in accordance with the Alberta Safety Codes Act. Find out if permits have already been issued for the secondary suite before you get ahead of yourself.

 

Below are some general requirements that must be met for a suite to be considered legal:

 

* The suite must be self-contained: separate bathroom, kitchen and living space

* Must meet a minimum ceiling clearance – these differ depending on municipal codes

* Have two forms of unobstructed escape: at least one direct exit via a door to the outside and one bedroom window to meet specific size and style requirements

* Have an accessible laundry area

* Meet a minimum ceiling height

* All legal and safe secondary suites require a parking space on the property

* Second suites must adhere to specific residential zoning and health and safety requirements, occupancy standards, property bylaws, and fire and electrical codes o Find out what municipality the property is located in – from there you will have a clearer picture of the exact codes for your given community.

 

If you decide to buy a home and the suite is not legal – then you should not rent it out. Rather, do what needs to be done to turn it into a legal suite. If the secondary suite was built prior to 1970 it’s known as legal but not conforming to code. If you were thinking of renovating the suite, as an owner you would be required to apply for a Development Permit and Building Permit. Legal suites that existed prior to December 31, 2006 must meet the requirements under the Alberta Fire Code.

 

 If you're ready to take the leap into secondary suite homeownership, connect with me to ensure your future investment is up to code.

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The holiday season is a busy time for most people. Between shopping, entertaining and jetting off to visit family, finding the time to sell your house during this season can seem a bit daunting. However, it does have its advantages. For example, the holiday buyers braving the snow and lower temperatures tend to be more serious. Not only that, less houses on the market means less competition; which could mean a quicker sale for you.

 

Here are five holiday-friendly tips to consider when trying to sell your home this season:

 

1. Deck your Halls with just a little bit of holly-day cheer

 

If you’re thinking of packing up all of your holiday décor into boxes – don’t. Keep some key decorations out to make a welcoming first impression for buyers. The key is not going overboard. Potential homebuyers want to be able to envision themselves living in the home. A few tasteful decorations like a simple garland along your staircase, lights outside, and an elegant – not overcrowded – tree can help paint that picture. It’s important you stay away from displaying anything too personal to your family – such as religious symbols or homemade ornaments. Stick to classic gold, greenery and white lights and your holiday style should make a great first impression.

 

Our team is equipped with skilled home stagers who will get you started with the essential steps that help your home show its best. When you list with me – this service is provided at no extra charge.

 

2. Make your home a cozy escape from the cold

 

Don’t let cold, dreary winter days put a damper on the home buying experience. Ensure your sidewalk and driveway are shovelled, curtains and blinds are open to offer in lots of natural light, and that you keep the house a nice, warm temperature to offer some recluse from the cold outdoors. Have some soft, festive music playing in the background and if you aren’t home beforehand get your realtor to turn on your fireplace before the buyers arrive. If you can find the time, bake up some delicious holiday treats. Nothing says “home” like the smell of homemade cookies.

 

Set the stage for a positive viewing experience and let the joy and love of the holiday season flow throughout your home.

 

3. Price to sell

 

If your home is priced fairly for market conditions this can help alleviate any back and forth price wars that could emerge from potential buyers unwilling to go above their budget. Listing your house priced to sell can help make the whole process go a lot smoother – and faster. No one wants to feel like a scrooge during the holidays.

 

4. Hire a {reliable} realtor

 

You want someone who is going to work hard for you no matter what time of year it is. Working with someone you can trust, is dependable and will go above and beyond for you will be key to your success. Don’t add any extra stress to your home selling experience. Let your realtor do all the legwork so there is more time for you to relax and enjoy the holiday cheer with those you love.

 

 

5. Understand the value of great photography

 

Your online listing is the first impression homebuyers will get of your home. How your listing stands out could make all the difference in how much foot traffic you get through your doors. Be sure to enlist the help of your realtor to get some professional, high-quality photos of your home. Avoid using your cellphone for these images– the professionals know how to enhance your space and work the angles to make for some flattering, and stunning, images. We have a full time professional photographer on our team who knows what equipment to use based on the time of day, the ever-changing Calgary weather, and the angle to ensure your home’s pictures raise eyebrows.

 

If you have images on hand of the exterior of your house in other seasons, include those as well so buyers can get a sense of what the house looks like without all the snow and bare trees. You can also look into shooting a video tour of the home (with professional help). As winter months may make for less foot traffic, house hunters who don’t have time to do the walk through can take advantage of this feature.

 

 

As you set out to list your home, just remember to go in with realistic expectations and know that you can lean on your realtor to help you through the process. Contact me today to get your home ready to sell this holiday season.

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Despite what the name may suggest, an energy audit isn’t just for “green” homebuyers. In fact, completing an energy audit before listing your home on the market can help answer any lingering questions a prospective buyer may have – especially around cost.

 

A prospective buyer wants to know how much this house is really going to cost them. The monthly mortgage payment is one thing, but how much will it cost me to maintain the home and make any repairs after signing on the dotted line?

 

Any doubt can lead a buyer to change their mind. An energy-efficient house is an attractive house.

 

So what is an energy audit, and how will it help make your home more attractive to buyers?

 

An energy audit is conducted by a professional to determine where, when, why and how energy is being used in the home. With this data, you now have the opportunity to improve your home’s efficiency and decrease energy costs. Lower utility bills can be a big bragging point – especially when you factor in Calgary’s long winters. The report will show you where to put those improvement dollars, boosting your home’s performance to make it more attractive on the market.

 

When listing your house, there’s nothing more painful than waiting, and waiting for it to sell. Let’s say there are a couple houses on your street up for sale – including yours. Price is in the same ballpark; all have the same selling features. Except your house has gone through an energy audit and as it checks out, you have an energy bill that are half the price of the other two homes listed on your block. As a prospective buyer – which one sounds more appealing?

 

For many Canadian consumers, energy efficiency plays a big factor in purchasing decisions. Energy efficient products help save consumers money, lower utility bills and reduce impacts on the environment.

If a full audit sounds too daunting, there are a few other ways you can improve your energy rating with a few household products. Look for appliances that have the ENERGY STAR and/or EnerGuide Label.

 

When selling your house, you are legally obligated to disclose any problems with it – known as “seller’s disclosure”. To avoid any phone calls – or worse – a lawsuit – from aggravated new home owners, it’s in your best interest to disclose any leaky roof or other issue that would cause discomfort and repair costs to new buyers. Conducting an energy audit before listing your house can help spot any issues before putting your house on the market.

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Market remains balanced despite easing in absorption rates while supply gain in apartment sector threatens to impact price!


Declines in residential housing sales activity eased in July, creating, when combined with stable inventory levels, no change to the month-over-month price.

 

Year-over-year sales fell by 14 per cent to 1,995 units in July, compared to a 17.8 per cent decrease the previous month. Despite the decline, sales activity during the month was consistent with the 10-year average. 

 

While sales declines eased, so too did the decline in new listings, causing the unadjusted sales-to-new listings ratio to edge down to 67 per cent in July and months of supply to increase to 2.53 months.

 

“As weakness in the energy sector continues, this is trickling into several other aspects of our local economy including our housing market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. 

 

Despite weaker absorption rates, market conditions remained relatively balanced and helped maintain monthover-month stability in benchmark prices, which remained unchanged from the previous month at $455,400. “Often, the focus is on home prices. In fact, Calgary has recorded significant gains in home prices over the past several years,” said Lurie “And despite the recent retraction, we have not seen all those previous gains eroded.”

 

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Monthly Stats

See this months full report here.

 

"Despite the 18 per cent year-over-year decline in June home sales, for a total of 2,183 units, transaction levels remain only five per cent below the 10 year average for June and three per cent above levels over the past five years.

“We’ve seen less concern from consumers lately,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall. “One of the main reasons is that we haven’t seen the worst case scenarios play out in the energy and housing sectors.”
  
“Consumers who were waiting for wide-spread price declines have been surprised to see that it just hasn’t happened yet, and so they’ve decided to take advantage of the improved selection and lower lending rates,” said Lyall.
  
The level of new listings that came on the market in June totaled 3,122 units, resulting in the second month of elevated absorption rates, which placed downward pressure on inventory levels. The overall months of supply continues to remain balanced at 2.3 months.

With conditions remaining relatively stable in June, there was minimal pressure on home prices. The city-wide benchmark price totaled $455,400, a respective monthly and year-over-year gain of 0.29 and 0.13 per cent.

“Even though city-wide prices were essentially unchanged in June, it’s important to note that activity can vary significantly depending on community, property type and price range,” said Lyall. “Every transaction has its own unique features, which is why we always encourage consumers to discuss these differences with local experts.”

Second quarter results pointed towards more stability in the market. The year-over-year decline in sales activity eased from 32 per cent in the first quarter to 22 per cent in the second quarter.  Meanwhile, the level of pullback of new listings outweighed the gains recorded in the first quarter, resulting in a year-to-date decline of nearly eight per cent.

While both sales and new listings have slowed for each property type within the city, the apartment sector continues to report the weakest absorption rates.
  
The weaker rates in this sector are now impacting prices. Despite last month’s improvement in price, the second quarter benchmark price was 0.81 per cent below levels recorded last year and 0.93 per cent below first quarter figures. Year-to-date unadjusted apartment averages continue to remain 1.65 per cent above last year’s levels.

In the detached segment, benchmark prices totaled $515,500 in June, slightly higher than last month and 0.4 per cent higher than June 2014 prices. Meanwhile, the year-to-date benchmark price for detached properties remained 3.44 per cent above last year’s figures.

Against this backdrop, the year-to-date average and median detached home price for Calgary has reported declines of 2.26 and 1.54 per cent city-wide. This doesn’t come as a surprise, given that the share of sales activity has declined in the higher price ranges.
  
“The housing market is showing some signs of stability right now,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.  “However, there are several risk factors that could influence the market in the second half of the year,” said Lurie. “Many of these factors will be addressed in CREB®’s mid-year forecast update, which will be released at the end of July.” "

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For the first time since December 2014, Calgary’s residential unadjusted benchmark prices improved over the previous month. Within the city of Calgary, housing prices totaled $454,100 in May, a monthly and year-over-year increase of 0.55 and 0.96 per cent.

 

“For the third month in the row, new listings have eased compared to last year, helping push the market toward more balanced conditions, despite the current environment of slower sales activity,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “This has helped prevent further declines in the unadjusted benchmark price.”

New listings in the city of Calgary totaled 3,161 units in May, a 27 per cent decrease over last year. Meanwhile, total inventory levels for the month were 5,342 units, 16 per cent higher than last year, but eight per cent lower than May levels recorded over the past five years and three per cent lower than average levels over the past 10 years.

Two measures of balance are the months of supply and the sales to new listings ratio. In May, the months of supply decreased to 2.43, while the sales to new listings ratio was 69 per cent, both within the norms for balanced conditions.

 

“Back in January, higher inventory levels relative to sales activity caused months of supply to rise above five months,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall. “While some challenges continue to exist for sellers, depending on the property type, price and location, the decline in the months of supply points toward more stability for both buyers and sellers.”

Year-to-date the detached sector recorded the largest decline in new listings at eight per cent. While overall inventory levels are 12 per cent higher than last year’s levels, they remain well below the five and 10 year averages for May.

Detached sales activity in May totaled 1,366 units, with the majority of transactions occurring below $500,000. While conditions are not as tight as last year’s market conditions, which favoured the seller, over the first five months of this year activity in this price range has remained relatively balanced.

“This segment of the detached market continues to have a good amount of consumer activity, as many have taken advantage of the improved selection compared to last year,” said Lyall. “While some have waited for steeper price declines, to this point it just hasn’t happened across all areas of the market. This is partly related to activity in the under $500,000 segment.”

Meanwhile, year-to-date apartment sales and new listings totaled 1,383 and 3,229 units respectively. The May apartment benchmark price of $294,800 increased by 1.20 per cent compared to last month, but remains 0.2 per cent below May 2014 figures.

 

The apartment sector continues to remain the only sector where prices have contracted relative to last year’s figures.

“While the resale market has recorded an easing of upward inventory pressures, the new home sector has started to record some gains in inventory,” said Lurie. “Current new home inventories remain relatively low. However, the overall impact on Calgary’s housing prices will ultimately depend on the duration of the economic slowdown and the amount of inventory build-up in the new home sector.”

 

See the full report here

 

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Luxury home sales halved in Calgary
The volume of luxury home sales in Calgary has almost halved according to figures from the Calgary Real Estate Board. Sales of homes priced at $1 million or more dropped by 42 per cent in April compared with the same time last year; there were 152 sales this year and 261 in April 2014. Total MLS sales fell by 29.5 per cent in the month. The sharp drop in luxury homes is linked to job security in higher-paying industries as a result of the oil price decline. The figures also show a slight drop in the city’s median MLS listing price which was $484,449 last April and $480,635 now.

As you can see, the overall market has remained just slightly lower than last year at only a 1% decrease while the high end market has really suffered. As the market declines the higher priced homes take the biggest hit first. In fact 359 high end homes have  had price reductions as that market softens. This is great news for a buyer looking to move up to the $700000.. and over price range.

 

If you’re looking at a move up now is a good time based on current market conditions.

 

If you want to discuss your options I am always available to chat (403) 701-7139


Travis Copp

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Below you will find the Creb summary for April 2015. To see the full report please go to http://bit.ly/1FKNI4w

If you have any questions or wish to learn more about how your property in today's market please do not hesitate to contact me directly (403) 701-7139.


Calgary, May 1, 2015 - After the fifth consecutive monthly benchmark price decline in Calgary, the number of new home listings eased to 3,064 units in April, an 18 per cent decrease over the previous year.

 

“With fewer buyers making purchase decisions and improved selection for resale, new home and rental property, sellers have been either adjusting their expectations on price or delaying their plans about when to list their home,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall.

 

Sales activity in April totaled 1,957 units, 22 per cent below last year’s levels and nearly 15 per cent below April’s long term averages. Despite weak sales levels, the drop in new listings prevented strong gains in overall inventory levels and helped improve absorption rates in the market.

 

“While conditions continue to favour the buyer, both the months of supply and the sales to new listings ratio, which represent measures of market balance, tightened in April,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “If this trend continues, it should help prevent resale inventories from rising to previous highs and limit some of the downward price pressures we’ve been seeing.”

 

Benchmark prices for detached homes totaled $510,200 in April, which represents an unadjusted decline of 0.7 per cent from last month and 1.9 per cent higher than April 2014 figures. Meanwhile, apartment product recorded a monthly decline of 0.7 and a year-over year decline of 0.2 per cent

 

Year-to-date apartment sales activity has declined by 33 per cent, while new listings have risen by nearly eight per cent. Despite the recent shift in new listings, months of supply in this sector remain elevated, causing steeper monthly price declines and a year-over- year price contraction.

 

“There’s improved selection across all segments of the market, which takes some of the urgency away for buyers as they consider all of their options before making a purchase decision,” said Lyall. “Sellers have more competition and need to be aware of how much product is available in comparable neighborhoods.”

 

The detached sector continues to be the most balanced out of the three market sectors. For the second month in a row, the sales to new listings ratio and the months of inventory moved to levels that are more consistent with balanced conditions. However, the detached market does vary significantly depending on the price range.

 

“Higher priced properties in the detached sector saw a noticeable decline in absorption levels city-wide, indicating there is less demand relative to supply levels,” said Lurie. “This does not come as a surprise as many of the job losses in recent months have occurred in the higher paying sectors.”

 

Meanwhile, areas outside city limits are also impacted by the slower economic conditions. Year-to-date sales activity in the surrounding areas totaled 1,346 units, a 26 per cent decline. Despite positive growth following the first quarter, April benchmark prices totaled $434,800, 0.4 per cent below last month’s figures and 5.8 per cent above April 2014 figures.

 

“Market impacts on pricing are wide ranging and ultimately depend on the location, property type, specific features and amount of comparable supply available,” said Lyall. Both buyers and sellers need to be aware of the local market conditions and adjust their expectations accordingly.”

 

 

 

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Below you will find the CREB® first quarter commentary from this weeks March 2015 report. 

Please feel free to contact me directly to recieve the full CREB® March 2015 report. 


Calgary, April 1, 2015 - Elevated inventory levels and low sales for three consecutive months caused unadjusted benchmark prices to ease by 0.44 per cent in March, relative to the previous month, for a total of $454,300. Based on first quarter statistics, conditions are consistent with buyers’ market conditions.

 

Typical home prices have declined by 0.59 per cent in the first quarter of2015, compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. The sales to new listings ratio also dropped to 41 per cent and months of supply averaged 4.03 for the quarter. This is a significant change from one year ago when the market was facing inventory shortages and price gains.

 

“Based on current sales activity and rising supply levels, the change in pricing does not come as a surprise,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “However, the recent price adjustments have not eroded all the higher than expected price gains recorded last year. While conditions have likely tempered growth in new listings, further near term price adjustments will be dependent on changes to inventory levels.” said Lurie.

 

Sales activity fell by nearly 30 per cent in March, compared to this time last year, and remains well below 10-year averages. City of Calgary sales totaled 3,843 units at the end of the first quarter.

 

“In this market, buyers and sellers should be thinking about their short term and long term objectives,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall. “This is a challenging economic time and people need to know their long game, so they can make the right real estate choices for today and tomorrow.”

 

While Calgary’s housing market has demonstrated buyer market conditions for the first quarter, the recent pullback in new listings in March has helped ease the growth in inventory levels, resulting in better absorption rates.

 

The apartment sector has the highest months of inventory in Calgary. This has resulted in higher quarterly price declines in this sector, when compared to the detached and attached sectors. By the end of March, the apartment quarterly benchmark price declined by 1.46 per cent, against the previous quarter. This compares to the 0.4 per cent declines in the detached and attached sector over the same time frame.

 

“Market influence is always wide-ranging and everyone has different reasons for making a move,” said Lyall. “Consideration must be given to the amount of inventory that’s available for a similar property based on the specific features of that home. The amount of competition for a property is often what influences the price that buyers and sellers will agree on.”

 

When considering the inventory that is available in the City of Calgary, there are 878 units priced under $300,000, of which 99 per cent are either apartment or attached product. The majority of inventory falls in the range of $300,000 to $600,000, of which 56 per cent of the product is detached. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, there are 1,933 units in inventory at a price over $600,000, of which more than 72 per cent are detached homes.

 

“Concerns in the energy sector continue to persist, and employment figures are starting to support those concerns,” said Lurie. “In February, employment figures pointed towards job losses related to the energy sector. While monthly employment gains offset the losses, most of the gains were in the traditionally lower paying industries such as the personal services sector. If this trend continues, it may influence the composition of housing demand,” said Lurie.

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After learning the ins and outs of this sometimes-fickle-business from a life-time expert and close family friend and now, with almost 14 years experience embedded in the heart of Calgary’s boom and bust real estate market, I can tell you these three things:

  1. There are many lessons to be learned over time and every market is different. Downtown is different from the suburbs, a lake community is different from a non-lake community, an older community is different from a new one, etc.

  2. There are still good deals out there.  How to ensure you get the right insight from your agent & don’t generalizing a diverse market

  1. As a realtor I am always asked “how the market is doing” and to that I ask “which one?”

  2. Depending on who you talk to, the Canadian real estate market is either overvalued and due for a sudden corrective crash, or there may be a soft landing in store for almost all. One thing is for certain and that is not all Canadian markets are the same and within each city, every neighborhood and even varying property types perform differently as well. This is especially the case with Calgary. The suburban areas will tend to depreciate faster than the inner city locations in a declining market.Lake communities will hold better resale values than non lake communities. Single family homes under 400K will hold better values than the high end of the market ,say over 800k because of the buying pool being a lot larger for the less expensive properties. There are many other aspects to the Calgary and area market including condo country residential and rural.

  3. You need guidance and good advice from a highly knowledgeable agent to find them though; and you need to know exactly what to look for.

In this post I’ve highlighted some of the key variables to watch and challenge you to ask the next realtor you meet “how is the market doing” to see what they have to say.


Finding Value in a Fluctuating Market

Identifying the right trends can help you target a stronger position and reap larger rewards.

Drilling into the detailed data from local real estate boards can help you identify neighborhoods where prices are cheap, when compared with neighboring areas and the city as a whole. With the help of the right agent, an experienced pro can help you make quick sense of these complex figures and add dollars and cents to your investment’s overall return by helping you isolate the areas with the most to gain.  

The Globe and Mail’s recent article “Neighbourhoods where home prices have gained most in Canada’s major cities” highlights the findings of Brookfield RPS when looking through some of the latest numbers published by the Canadian Real Estate Board:

“The best areas to have bought a house in 2009, from a price appreciation point of view, would have been Killarney, South Calgary and Hillhurst, where average prices collectively rose 36 per cent in the period since. For condos, the places to have bought were the Beltline, Elboya, and Edgemont and the Hamptons. Those areas collectively saw condo prices rise by 24 per cent.”

In another article by The Globe and Mail, Airdrie is highlighted as one of the top three little-known hot, but affordable Canadian housing markets. Only 36 kilometres from Calgary, Airdrie is growing fast and the housing prices are still considerably more affordable.


Measuring Momentum Amidst a Myriad of Variables

Money can be important but it isn’t everything

Each community has it’s own “market” and so does every price point, housing type etc. Detached homes in downtown’s surrounding neighborhoods are very different from the detached homes in all other areas of the city. Townhomes can also be vastly different from condos, depending on the area.  

The Huffington Post offered Calgary home buyers the following fast breakdown of a detailed and respected report compiled by MoneySense Magazine (October 2013):

Overall, Calgary's new housing market has fully recovered from a 2009 - 2011 slump and there is a ton of condo investment going on. This may be due to the fact that first-time homebuyers are the youngest in Canada (BMO, 2014). The Calgary Real Estate Board states in a 2014 report that "there is higher investor activity in Calgary than Toronto" on a percentage basis. Ok, great, what neighbourhoods are best in Calgary?

For family homes, it's all about the community of Lakeview.

Spruce Cliff for condos and townhomes and a very new LRT station.

Finally, Varsity Village was voted the best community to live in by local media in recent years.”

There’s a lot more to making your decision about where to buy than just money and a community’s amenities though. According to Avenue Magazine, Calgarians voted safety as their most important quality. Based on their survey responses from the question that asked respondents to rank how safe they felt in their neighbourhood, which was combined with 2013 crime stats provided by the Calgary Police Service and then also weighing crimes against people heavier than crimes against property - the following is a list of the 10 safest communities in Calgary:


1. Royal Oak

2. West Springs

3. Kincora

4. Tuscany

5. Panorama Hills

6. Aspen Woods

7. Hawkwood

8. Citadel

9. Strathcona Park

10. Rocky Ridge


When it comes to choosing the perfect place to buy, safety isn’t the only other factor by far. Buying a home is about lifestyle and community and it’s also about investing in your future through most people’s single largest investment vehicle.

With this in mind, we always try to assist you through every nuance of the buying process by understanding all your needs to ensure the home you choose will be one of long-term value.


Travis’s Takeaways

Turn to the One Source You Can Trust

To help you identify and locate the ideal blend of amenities, community, culture, and financial aspects that will make up your next dream home - it takes a dedicated and experienced professional.

Even after you decide, the negotiation process is another critical element where having a highly experienced pro is essential to ensure you avoid legal problems and paying more than you should.

 

My best advice to you is to find a realtor with the right focus on your bottom line, ability to understand the market, and the earnest desire to help you find the perfect harmony of community elements you are looking for.   

Thank you for reading, if you need any advice on any of the issues raised above, leave a comment below, email me: traviscopp@remax.net, or feel free to call me anytime at 403.701.7139

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2015 is well underway and as we head into the light of Spring, what better time to present you with my outlook for the property market in 2015 and 2016.

 

We’ve rounded up the leading expert opinion in Canadian Real estate to give you all the facts needed to make an informed decision whether buying, renting, or selling.

 

1. Renters, it might be time to buy.


The cost of rent is higher than ever, and set to continue rising.


The cost of rent in Canada is soaring and according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), monthly rents for a two-bedroom unit increased by 5.9 per cent from $1,224 in October 2013 to $1,322 in 2014 and these rates are expected to climb further in 2015.

 

This is pushing many Canadian renters to consider buying a home. But what types of homes are current renters looking to purchase? According to CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Luri, Calgarians in particular are looking to purchase “in the condominium apartment sector”. 

 

CMA Rental Market

 

Notably, demand for larger family homes have also put construction companies at a supply deficit for 2015, meaning that Calgary is expected to see some increasing construction activity in the next 12-24 months.

 

2. Something to watch.


Oil price could spark shifts in the market.


Oil prices have been stagnant for the past few months which has been influenced by the credit crunch globally, increased efficiency, and a switch to alternative sources of fuel.

 

Another issue which had a major effect on the price of crude oil was OPEC’s failure to agree on curbing production back in November of last year which sent prices tumbling

 

On the domestic front lower oil prices have had a negative effect on the local economy which is contributing to a slowing in the housing market.

 

On the plus side, prices are expected to increase in 2016 from US$65 per barrel

in 2015 and US$74 in 2016 and this is hoped will offset increasing interest rates and should aid steady economic activity.

 

Lots of speculation exists whether production will be curbed in 2015 as a result of continually falling prices, or even a consistently lower price being maintained. No matter what happens, interest rates, the local Calgary economy, and our housing market all shift in accordance so people are wise to keep abreast and ask their Realtor for help understanding the implications.

 

3. Home Prices could be another reason to get into the market if you can.


Calgary's Real Estate market is still going strong.


Canada’s home prices have for the most part increased since 2008 and Calgary, has been the epicentre for growth nationally with average house prices rising at 8.3%, over the past 12 months.

 

This is nearly double the national average and with research from Teranet–National Bank Composite House Price Index indicating a further rise of 1.5% nationally, 2015 looks to be a good, albeit slowing year for the housing market.

 

4. Interest Rates and long-term financial planning.


An experienced Real Estate agent who understands the market can help you plan success.


One of the biggest factors that influence the housing market and mortgage feasibility are interest rates. Canada’s interest rates have been generous over the past few years reaching the optimum growth rate of 3% in September 2010. This was expected to continue until at least the 2nd half of the year when the Bank of Canada was originally expected to revise their lending rates.

 

However, as The Economist wrote on January 22nd “...on January 21st markets were shocked by the bank’s decision to drop the target for the overnight rate from 1% to just 0.75%. Stephen Poloz, the central bank's governor, said that it was moving swiftly to counteract the negative economic impact of lower oil prices on Canada, the world’s fifth largest crude producer.

 

Robert Hogue, senior economist with RBC Bank, says he believes the coming year will be “a moderating phase for the market with a soft landing in 2016.” He went on to say that waiting for a price drop may not be the best advice and that people seriously interested in purchasing property need to think about affordability in the long-term.

CBC’s Business News suggested on Jan 26th that Alberta may be among a few provinces in Canada to feel the pinch from lower interests rates and a lower Canadian dollar more acutely. In the real estate market, this can spell advantages for some and caution for others.

 

 

Bottom line, in a complicated financial world professional advice can be mission critical to making good decisions and if you’re considering your home-ownership options, it’s always wise to seek out an experienced Realtor to help you assess the market.

 

5. Jumping on the property ladder.


Transitioning from renting to owning is almost always a sound fiscal move.


With rent prices where they are and construction set to continue, then buying a home in  2015 may be a good option. There’s also the fact that giving all your hard earned cash to your landlord, might be better used on a longer term, more tangible investment.

 

However with interest rates expected to increase in the second half of 2015, if you are considering buying, then you may want to do so quickly.

 

Travis's Takeaways



In my opinion with rent rates what they are and interest rates low for the time being, now may be as good a time as any to buy, but that window could be closing quickly.

 

My advice would be make sure that you can afford the repayments when interest rates do increase.

 

Another solution for rising interest rates might be a  fixed rate mortgage, that way you will be protected at the same rate for at least 5 years, which according to veteran mortgage lender VInce Gaedomo "makes good sense for homeowners until they find their financial equilibrium."


Thank you for reading, if you need any advice on any of the issues raised above, leave a comment below, email me: traviscopp@remax.net, or feel free to call me anytime at 403.701.7139.

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Calgary Real Estate Market

 

 

As oil prices continue to drop across Canada, analysts are predicting an impact to Calgary’s resale house market in 2015 as a result. While there appears to be no stopping the rising house prices, there will certainly be a slowdown in the price growth in the New Year. 

 

House price increases have been attributed to the employment in the energy sector, one of Calgary’s primary source of jobs. In the fall of 2014, however, the housing market saw a shift from a seller’s market to a more balanced market, mostly due to a decrease in oil prices. The price adjustments will likely have an impact on the 2015 Real Estate market, and is anticipated to be less active as potential buyers wait to see if lower gas prices result in more favorable house prices.

 

Re/MAX expects the market to have sales go up by four percent from 2014 levels, with buyers looking to upgrade their housing to drive the market in 2015. Also, the low vacancy rate for rentals will have potential tenants look at purchasing sooner than they anticipated.

 

Recent reports said the average price of residential property in Calgary at 402,851 in 2011, 412,315 in 2012 and 456,000 in 2013. The house market was booming at the end of 2013 right up to the end of November, with the market very active and breaking records. Now, buyers can sense the heat is off and waiting to see possible deals in the marketplace.

 

According to CREB, there have been 25,011 MLS listings in Calgary, which is up 10.222% from the previous year. The average sale price has also risen by 5.83% to $483,303.

 

“What we have been expecting is that as we look at 2015 and lower gas prices, there’s going to be a lot of wait and see” said Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with CREB, although the board has not finalized its forecast for 2015."

 

Full-time employment in the energy sector could also create some stability in the housing market, although no gains are expected. The lower gas prices could see a fall in employment, which would also impact the house prices. 

 

Prices are expected to remain stable, with listings and sales pulling back a bit. Don Campbell, senior analyst with the Real Estate Investment Network, said Alberta’s Real Estate markets have historically been cyclical than those in the rest of the country.

 

“There is good news and not so good news in that history. Good news is that when there is dramatic change in oil prices, either up or down, Albertans usually do not over-react for the first six months… However when the price stays down for more than six months, nervousness begins to develop in the Real Estate market in customer confidence and retail sales…”

 

The Re/MAX report forecast the median sale price in Canada to go up by 2.5% to 416,300 in 2015 after a 6.2% hike in 2014 to $406,415.

 

I will continue to monitor Real Estate prices throughout Calgary and Canada, and will publish updates as soon as they come. For proven results and distinctive Real Estate services, give me a call.

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Commercial real estate has emerged to become one of the leading business investments in many places all over the world. Nevertheless, there have been a lot of uncertainties regarding the future of real estate. There are some real estate investments experts who have predicted that the sector should brace itself for the tough time ahead in 2012-13 periods. This follows the common understanding that; there the period has been presided by a roaming housing crisis in almost every nation of the world.

 

The other prediction that points out at the bleak future of real estate investment in 2012-13 periods is that, many banks have raised the interest rate for real estate investment loans.  As a result, many people are shying from applying for real estate loans, for they fear that they will end up paying exorbitant interest rates.

 

Nevertheless, amid fears that real estate investment is on the verge of taking downwards trend, there are real estate experts who have expressed optimism that the sector will revamp in 2012-13 period. This follows the common understanding that, there is a huge demand for houses in all cities all over the world.  This is because of the scores of people who are flocking all cities, with all of them in dire need of accommodation. Therefore, real estate investment will serve to address the shortage of houses.

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Currently, real estate is one of the most lucrative types of investment in the world. However, there are certain aspects of property investment that you have to be familiar with before you invest. For instance, you need to understand the entire market and its movement. Real estate market keeps changing and it is up to you to learn when it is appropriate to invest. Apart from that, you need to understand the roles of a real estate agent and where you can get one.  There are a few things you should look for in a good real estate agent.

 

When it comes to choosing a good real estate agent, you have to consider the most important qualities. For instance, it is obvious that a real estate agent must be personable. He or she should be someone you are comfortable talking to. Some agents end up annoying their clients by trying to prove to them that they know everything. A good real estate agent should be licensed. It is very risky to rely on an unlicensed real estate agent since they might end up conning you. Your agent should be knowledgeable. He she should know how to bargain and complete purchase contracts.   

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Are looking for the best type of investment? If yes, you should try property investment. This is one of the most popular investments in the world today. You can make a high return on investment when you invest in real estate. However, there are several essential aspects of property investment that you have to be familiar with when you are investing. The truth is that, real estate is an easy to understand type of investment especially since it is clear-cut and involves a reasonable trade between the property proprietor and the tenant. In practice though, property investment involves more than this.

 

For starters, there are various types of property investments including industrial, commercial, stock exchange, and residential property investments. The main objective of investing in real estate is to make as much profit as possible. You invest your money today and expect to make more of it someday. It is important to ensure that the profit you make is more than the cost of owning the property. Some of the extra costs you expect to meet in property investment include utility bills, taxes, insurance, and more. You should also hire the best property investment agent to help you in negotiating prices and completing purchase contracts.   

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Data supplied by CREB®’s MLS ® System. CREB® is the owner of the copyright in its MLS® System. The Listing data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by CREB®.
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.
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