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Kirby Cox's Calgary Real Estate Blog

2021 Real Estate Trends

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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Canada Mortgage Rates Under One Percent

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 Eavesdropping

As 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

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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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Finally some good news in the Calgary Real Estate market, where we're seeing an improvement in sales relative to the number of homes on the market. The uptick in sales for May 2019 was met with a decrease in new listings, easing the pressure on inventory levels throughout the City of Calgary. Homes priced under $500,000 are the driving force behind this sales growth, which we hope to see continue into the move-up market.

"While sales activity remains low based on historical activity for May, the easing prices have brought some people back to market, while also preventing some others from listing their homes,” according to CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie, “This has started to push the market towards more balanced conditions. If this trend

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Summertime in Calgary means something different to everyone. For some, it means floating down the Bow River with their friends; for others, it means hiking through the mountains or taking walks on our world-class pathways. Of course, there’s also the world-famous Calgary Stampede that takes over the city for two weeks in July. It is deemed to be the ‘greatest show on Earth,’ but we also boast a wide variety of other festivals. There is always something for everyone here in Calgary. Here’s a list of the best festivals around this summer:

  • Sled Island Music Festival takes place each year in mid-June, bringing together over 200 performers that range from comedians and artists to films and, of course, live music. Spread over five days and 35
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Spring is finally here and with it comes everyone’s favourite activity: spring cleaning! It might seem like a difficult task at first, but once you get started, you might even enjoy the clean outcome. Here, we’ve got eight tips to help make your house sparkle this spring:

  1.  Use doormats to help mitigate dust. Put one outside your front door and one inside. To keep the outdoor mat clean, give it a spray with your hose now and then; stay on top of dust inside by vacuuming both sides of the indoor mat. 
  2. Wait for an overcast day so you’re not bombarded with direct sunlight (which causes streaks) to wash your windows. Use glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth to clean the windows themselves, then pull the blinds down and wipe them with a duster. If
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