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.”

 

Read More here

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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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If you have decided that you would like to buy some new property, you can be sure that this is not a decision that should be taken lightly. You will want to do everything within your power to find a property that will not only look nice, but that will be able to be resold in the future for a much higher price. You see, real estate can be seen as an asset, because if the value of the property goes up in the future you will then be able to sell it at a much higher price and thus make a lot of money from it.

 

Of course, it is not always possible to know for certain if the property that you are interested in purchasing is going to be worth more in the future, but you can still get a pretty good idea by doing some research. To find the property of your dreams, you should also take the time to search at a real estate agency. Your real estate agent will make the task of finding a new home a whole lot easier for you, and in many cases you will find that commissions for this service are actually quite low.

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Those who have decided to purchase new homes for sale in Calgary should know that there is a lot of potential for raises in value over time. This is because Calgary is a city that is growing rapidly and property prices are steadily raising over time. If you want to buy a new home in this area, now is the best time to do so. There are also a lot of nice new homes available for sale in the area and you might be quite surprised with the luxuriousness and beauty of some of them - not to mention the outstanding prices at which they are being sold.

 

Of course, you will not want to make any quick decisions when searching for a new home, and it will be very helpful if you consider hiring the services of a good real estate agent in your area. If you choose to do this you will find it a whole lot easier to locate a home that closely matches your ideal expectations. Also, make sure to ask for the advice of many people before you eventually make the decision to put in the cash to buy a brand new home within this particular city.

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Making the decision to purchase a new home is something that should never be rushed into, especially if you want to make sure that you remain perfectly satisfied with your home in the future. There are a broad range of properties available for sale in Calgary, and you can be sure that many of these homes will increase in value over time. If you want to find a home that closely matches your specific needs and preferences, you might want to consider finding a good real estate agency to help you out.

 

Choosing a real estate agency is not all that difficult, and you can be sure that there are a lot of them out there. If you want to find a home that is perfect for you, then make sure to take the time to clearly communicate your needs and preferences to the real estate agent that you consult. This will help to ensure that your real estate agent finds a home that matches what you are looking for. After all, if you are going to be moving into a new home, you will want to make sure that it is closely matched to your ideal expectations for the perfect dream home.

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Shopping for a new home is something that is very personal for most people.  They want to be able to look at homes without feeling the pressure and scrutiny that often comes with working with a seller or even some real estate agents.  You don’t want to have a home sold to you, you just want to view it for yourself.  If you want to look around for homes for sale in Calgary and you want to do so as privately as possible in the beginning you might want to look at the MLS listings Calgary residents have access to.

 

The MLS listings will allow you to see actual information and even pictures of the homes that are for sale at any given time.  Through this process you can narrow the scope of your search and also narrow down which homes you would actually like to see in person.  This saves time, allows you to only travel to and from those houses that you know you really may be interested in, and it will also allow you to see how much house you can afford in the current market.  MLS listings can help you start your search and when you are ready to visit homes, only then do you need to worry about working with a realtor.

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If you are searching for a new home you probably know that here are a lot of different properties available to you at any time.  You can go on the hunt for a new property on your own, or you can get together with one of the real estate agents Calgary residents have been depending on for years.

 

Calgary real estate agents can help you in many different ways.  First, they can help reduce the number of listings for you to consider just by asking you questions about the number of bedrooms, square footage, etc.  When they know what you want they can help you focus on the homes that will really suit your needs.  You can look at their MLS listings and from there you can whittle down the list of potential new homes even more.  From there, the realtor can take you to the properties and help you weigh the pros and cons of each.  Not to mention, when you decide to buy they will be able to walk you through the whole process so that it is as simple and as straight forward as is possible from the beginning of your search until the keys to your new home are in your hand.

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