Moving To Calgary Real EstateIt was one of the hottest Election topics.

Housing affordability and how the parties would help Canadians buy a home in the current high market. Many parts of the country have seen skyrocketing house prices which has made home ownership unobtainable.

National House Prices

Across the country the price of an average home has risen by more than 50% in the past 5 years according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. It’s now at $663,500. Covid didn’t slow the pace of rising house prices and even contributed to it. Lockdowns meant people put more emphasis on their homes. Many chose to upgrade and go for more space. Even as the Canadian economy recovers, spending on housing continues to be a priority. Sales and prices are rising faster than the…

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House prices and sales numbers usually grab the headlines but there’s another issue in the spotlight and that’s low inventory. The number of homes listed for sale in Calgary and across the country is at near record lows. With less supply comes higher prices.

Inventory Levels

Simply put, housing inventory is at about half its normal level across Canada. The Canadian Real Estate Association says nationally there’s about 2.3 months’ worth of supply available in July. Its chair, Cliff Stevenson warns “it’s record low inventories that should be our focus. We still have extremely unbalanced housing markets all over the country.”

Here in Calgary, there’s been some improvement in housing inventory levels this year. Calgary Real Estate Board figures…

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Calgary Commute Electric Bikes

The Fast Track to Suburbia?

It’s been a worldwide trend. Calgary like other cities across the world has seen more and more of its population moving to the suburbs and choosing space over proximity to the office. Calgary’s latest assessment figures show property values have increased by more than 10% in some parts of the suburbs. So far that move seems here to stay.

There’s another trend that’s been quietly taking the world by storm that can make the suburbs even more accessible and affordable. Electric Bikes sales have been on the rise worldwide. Deloitte recently predicted there would be around 300 million e-bikes in circulation worldwide by 2023. Calgary is keeping pace. Bow Cycle’s electric bike store saw sales exponentially boom this year, up…

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Real Estate Trends in Canada

What will the 2021 Economic Climate bring to the Calgary Housing Market?

The year 2020 was meant to be a hopeful one for the Alberta Real Estate market. After years of decreasing prices and high inventory levels, it seemed as if Calgary was on an upward trajectory. Then, struck by the global pandemic in Spring 2020, sales ground to a halt. However, it was short-lived, and the market made an impressive rebound as people realized how, and where, they lived mattered.

As we settled into life with Covid-19, our homes became extremely important to us. We often think of Faith Popcorn’s term “Cocooning” coined in 1981, to best describe what has transpired over the past year. This term seemed ahead of its time, but most accurately sums up our pandemic…

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Canadian Mortgage Rates Below 1%

While the pandemic has caused great devastation to the Canadian economy, for those lucky enough to have kept their jobs, they are able to take advantage of record low mortgage rates.

HSBC's variable rate for five-year, closed term mortgage, is the lowest in Canadian history at a rate just under 1% percent. The 0.99% percent rate is available for high-ratio mortgages, meaning a mortgage with a downpayment of less than 20% percent of the purchase price. This variable rate will change as HSBC’s prime rate fluctuates, meaning it could increase over the next few years based on a number of factors, including the Bank of Canada’s rates.

After being stuck at home for months because of COVID-19, many people want bigger homes with more space and home…

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Yay, The Taxman Cometh. . .

It can be very confusing determining the difference between the terms “assessed value” and “market value” when either buying or selling a home. Assessed value is often much less than market value, so buyers would prefer the assessed value while sellers would much rather sell at the market value of the home. It is because of this discrepancy that assessed values are not very reliable when calculating true Real Estate values. Let me explain further.

Market Value

Simply put, the market value is how much your home is worth on the market today. The market value is usually what the home will sell for and is typically the price used when calculating a listing price for the property. True market value is ultimately the…

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Cameras EavesdroppingAs more homes are equipped with “smart” technologies for everything from surveillance to home automation, the real estate purchase process is changing.

Home sellers are increasingly using video and/or audio surveillance to eavesdrop on potential buyers, using the information gleaned as leverage. This places the buyer at an obvious disadvantage during negotiations.

With many of today’s sellers using technology to their advantage, it pays to exercise caution. If you are viewing a home, a good rule of thumb is to assume you are being recorded and act accordingly.

Although it can be a challenge, especially since a home purchase can be such a personal and emotional process, try to keep any comments to yourself. The home showing is not the time to gush…

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Calgary Downsizing your Home

If you're wondering when the right time is to say goodbye to your family home and downsize to a home more suitable for your lifestyle and needs, consider these scenarios:

  • You plan on travelling: if you're nearing a time in your life when you plan on seeing more of the world, then leaving a big home just sitting doesn't seem sensible. You can downsize to a home that's more appropriate, and then rent it out for the months you are away. 
  • The kids have moved out: with your kids moving out and you becoming an empty-nester, you likely don't need the same amount of space anymore. This also leads into the next point...
  • You have empty rooms: if you have rooms in your house (especially bedrooms) that are sitting empty and you can't come up with a…

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Inspecting your Home

Finding a home, you know you can live with can be difficult business. Whether buying a brand-new house from a builder or a resale home there are a number of things you should look for. It’s also important to keep in mind that new homes can be just as problematic as older homes. First of all, let me start by saying it almost always makes sense to hire a qualified home inspector and it can potentially protect you from costly surprises down the road. 

However, if you anticipate serious problems (that you’re not prepared to remedy) in the house, you’re better off saving the cost of a home inspection and moving on to a more suitable prospect. Here are some things to watch for to determine a house’s overall quality before you commit to the cost of hiring…

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  • Canmore leads the way with 10.2% price increase
  • Prairies see softening in both prices and sales
  • Prices in British Columbia to remain stable while sales continue to decline

Canadian Lake in the Fall

The Royal LePage 2019 Recreational Housing Report indicates vacation homes in Canada saw healthy price gains going into the 2019 spring market, rising 5.0% to $411,471 compared to last year. As high demand in Ontario and Quebec continue to put upward pressure on prices, Royal LePage is predicting another year of increases (4.7%) offsetting softer market conditions in BC.

Weak demand in British Columbia (mirroring the residential market) and low inventory in Ontario were behind a decline in total Canadian recreational property sales (-8.3%).

Both Ontario and…

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