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Rising Interest Rates in Canada

The days of record low interest rates are numbered. The Bank of Canada has upped the ante and said interest rate rises could be coming as soon as April next year. So, what will this do to the soaring house prices we’ve seen here in Alberta and across the country? At least one expert believes the Canadian housing market is in for a “soft landing.”

Inflation is now at its highest level in more than a decade, pushed up largely by supply bottlenecks of goods as the global economy restarts. The Bank of Canada aims to keep inflation long term at 2% and is considering raising interest rates next year to help cool the economy.

Higher interest rates mean higher mortgage rates. The major banks are forecasting what they believe will happen next. RBC thinks…

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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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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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  • 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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Calgary Real Estate NewsCalgary's Real Estate market continues to be stuck in the doldrums with the sales-to-new-listings ratio hovering around 47.4%. In simpler terms, of the 16,760 homes listed this year, only 7,945 have sold as of September 30th, 2018.  This continues to put us firmly in a continued Buyers market with Sellers needing to be very realistic about their home prices.

Part of the slowdown can be attributed to the new mortgage stress test rules that took effect in January. These new rules, that were put in place to curb price appreciation in Toronto and Vancouver, have left Calgary caught in the crossfire. Our economy also continues to struggle with unemployment, pipeline uncertainties as well as increases to minimum wage and its effect on small business owners.…

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