A blog cannot deal with all aspects of a subject and is not intended to replace professional advice. It's purpose is to highlight information and identify areas of possible interest. Anyone wishing to discuss this blog or to make any comments or suggestions about this blog is invited to do so by either posting comments or emailing me directly.


Sales activity improves for second consecutive month

City of Calgary, June 3, 2019 – Sales growth in May was met with a decline in new listings. This combination eased the pressure on inventory levels, which finished the month at 7,467 units, a decline of 12 per cent compared to last year.

Improving sales relative to inventory levels caused the months of supply to ease to just under four months. While still oversupplied, this is an improvement from the five months of supply recorded last May.

Citywide sales in May totalled 1,921 units, 11 per cent higher than last year’s levels. However, sales remain 10 per cent below longer-term trends. This sales growth was primarily driven by homes priced under $500,000.

“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,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“This has started...

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Regarding your property insurance, did you know that there are different rules for how long a house can be unoccupied?

Your home is considered unoccupied if you leave it unattended, but the property appears as if you will return any time. Every time a house is left empty, the residence has a greater chance of damage whether it is from plumbing, weather, theft or vandalism.

Reduce your risk with these helpful hints:

  • Have a trusted individual stay at or watch over your residence*
  • Turn off your main water supply to avoid flooding
  • Unplug electronics to prevent surge damage or an electrical fire

Consider contacting your property insurance advisor to inform them of any travel as coverages and notice requirements differ.

Did you know that the items you take with you on vacation could be covered by your homeowners or renters policy?

*For extended absences, check with your property insurance advisor for your policy requirements.

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Yesterday, I was reviewing a new Calgary MLS System listing of a condo apartment property and it reminded me of something that should be of importance to buyers and sellers.

When you are looking for a licensed real estate agent to market and sell your condominium property, PLEASE find one that is certified on Condominium sales or at least has significant experience in condominiums.

As it is, a basic real estate license is all that is needed to market, sell, and assist buyers with condominium purchases. However, it really is a specialty with some significant nuances. The entry-level real estate license program covers only the basics, provides a good summary as to why they are different, and provides a direction that the purchase and listing agreements needs to include key items and wording. It is expected that someone licensed in residential sales who is looking at completing in sales of condomiums (or acreages) will get additional training – but it isn't specifically mandated. It is...

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Ready for month number five for this year? Here are the latest housing market updates for areas covered by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB)!

In CREB’s latest press release, they have mentioned that April 2019 has brought a slight inventory decline along with it, while there have been “no significant changes occurring in sales activity.”

The slight adjustment in supply levels has helped support further reductions in the months of supply, which was 4.6 months in April. While this level still represents oversupply in our market, it does reflect improvement from the nearly seven months of supply that we saw at the start of the year.

According to CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie,

“Demand remains relatively weak in the resale market. However, if supply levels continue to adjust, this could help reduce the amount of oversupply and eventually support some price stability. Sales have been improving mostly in the lower price ranges, causing tighter supply conditions...

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If you have your home for sale, are you getting effective marketing as part of your agent's offering? I have been including floor plans and multiple 360° virtual tours as part of the included marketing services for all listings for sale for the last several years. I have always found them to be really effective in communicating the home and its wonderful features. However, like many leading Realtors®, I am in constant search of ways to improve the effectiveness of my property listing marketing.

Earlier this year, I came across a system that combines both and results in MUCH greater viewership from potential home buyers. Take a look at this as an example of how this system looks:

From the iGuide website:

iGUIDE is the Ultimate Solution that helps sell your home faster, for top dollar with less disruptions.

Every iGUIDE includes property photos, floor plans, room measurements, area calculations, neighbourhood information and a 3D immersive tour.

We use ALL the tools that today's p...

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If you have your home for sale, are you getting effective marketing as part of your agent's offering? Here's an example of what you can ask your agent to include in the marketing of your home!

For a current property listing, we've been on the market for 30 days and have already had 100x the exposure to LOCAL Calgary people whom have demonstrated an interest in real estate than with the Calgary MLS System alone.

Here is today's daily performance summary that we see with each of our listings:


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Are you ready for the second quarter of 2019? Here are the latest housing market updates for areas covered by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB)!

According to CREB’s latest market report, March saw a modest decline in city wide sales activity compared to last year. However, sales have been rising for more affordable product in the detached and attached sectors.

Shifts in the lower end of the market have not outweighed easing across the higher priced product. First-quarter sales dropped to 3,108 units. This is 9% below last year and 28% below typical levels of activity.

Price declines and relatively slow sales activity are impacting the number of new listings. For the second consecutive month, new listings eased compared to last year’s levels and long-term trends, but it was not enough to prevent inventory growth.

As noted by CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie,

“If new listings continue to slow compared to sales, it could start to help with the persistent oversupply...

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Every once in a while I get a call from a past client or a potential client asking about this Guaranteed Sales Program that we see on billboards and on local television advertisements or hear it on radio. Have you ever seen somthing like this and wondered what the heck it was about?:

"Guaranteed Sold Program

Your Home Sold in 29 Days... or WE WILL BUY IT.

Trapped in real estate limbo? Are you anxiously trying to sell your present home before taking possession of your new residence? With the Guaranteed Home Sale Program, you can list your home today, knowing for certain, that it will be sold and off your hands within a 29 day period... period. Our real estate company is able to offer you a 29 Day Guarantee because we have a proven sales system that works. The guarantee is just how we turn our faith in ourselves into a better offer for you.

Think that sounds too good to be true? We can do even better.

In order to doubly protect you, if after we mutually agree on the guaranteed price, I am...

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Showings are one of the biggest aspects of the home-selling process. After all, it's extremely rare that people make such a large purchase without first seeing the home in person.

But what happens after a real estate showing?

If the prospective buyer loves the house and wants to make an offer, it's a joyous time for all involved. If they decide the house they just viewed isn't their dream home, however, the showing process continues – for the seller, listing agent, buyer's agent and the prospective buyer.

The next step, and most important thing to do after a real estate showing, is to give, gather and share feedback. Here’s how each person involved in a real estate showing should handle the feedback process.

Listing/Seller's Agents

Let's get to it right away: Getting feedback can be a real challenge.

Buyer's agents are busy, they see a lot of different homes and, quite frankly, they're typically more worried about pleasing their client than acting as a conduit for another agent's...

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Secondary suites have been a source of endless hours of debate for members of Calgary City Council – but that all changed in March of 2018.

Council members no longer spending hours debating the merits of individual applications for residential secondary suites. On March 12, 2018, Calgary City Council approved amendments to the Land Use Bylaw that allow secondary suites as a discretionary use within ALL R-1, R-C1, and R-C1L land use districts. In these land use districts, homeowners can go straight to the development permit or building permit stage. [In R-C1s and R-C1Ls land use districts, suites are a permitted use, so homeowners can often go straight to the building permit stage.]

This is a huge step forward for people who believe Calgary needs more safe – but affordable – rental options. Another advantage for people who want a secondary suite in their dwelling is that the development permit fee for all new secondary suite applications is being waived until June 1, 2020....

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Calgary is a sophisticated and changing marketplace, so you need a really good REALTOR on your side to help ensure your home is sold for the best price and terms, in the shortest time, and as stress-free as possible. From the initial home evaluation and market analysis to preparing and staging, photos & marketing and, most importantly, the negotiations and sale — we’ll help ensure you and your property are represented professionally.

We are always happy to chat in person with you about the entire process.

So you’ve decided to sell your home… now what?

This is always a big deal and will, undoubtedly, affect your life in a significant way.

It’s important to know that for a few weeks while your property is being prepared to sell, you’ll need to possibly arrange for minor repairs of anything that needs it and to do a bit of editing and staging. We want to see your home through the eyes of the potential buyer. You’ll also need to keep the home clean...

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Curious to know how the markets fared at the start of the year? Well here are the latest housing market updates for areas covered by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB)!

As found in our most recent media release, 2019 kicked off with slow sales, and the market remains at a sluggish pace.

The number of new listings entering the market remained comparable to last year, but those levels far surpassed sales activity. This is resulted in further gains in inventory levels. Elevated inventories relative to sales caused months of supply to rise to nearly seven months.

According to CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie,

“The slow start to the year does not come as a surprise, as concerns about job losses and the state of the energy sector weigh on consumers. We anticipate that the slow market conditions will persist throughout much of the first quarter.”

2019 Outlook

It should also be noted that CREB has released their 2019 Real Estate Forecast. According to the forecast summary, the...

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It may come as a surprise to you, but there are over 100 real estate boards in Canada and they all have their own MLS Systems.

What won't surprise you is that the vast majority of home sales are completed with 2 agents involved through our local MLS Systems – somewhere near 98%. So how do real estate agents see listings for sale? They look at their own MLS System. As a Calgary real esate broker, I only have access to see the listing details of the homes listed for sale on the CALGARY MLS System. I don't have access to see the details on the listings from the other 10 MLS Systems in Alberta (let alone other systems from other provinces). Yes, I can sell homes and represent buyers and sellers of homes anywhere within Alberta, but at the moment we only see local listings.

So, how does that affect you?

Well – here is an example: I used my website to look for listings in Calgary and there are over 7,000 listings for sale (yep, no surprise there). Then, I looked for listings in Edmonton,...

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Hello there, 2019! Here are the latest housing market updates for areas covered by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB)!

In their latest media release, CREB has highlighted that job market weakness and lending restrictions was a common thread in 2018’s housing market.

As of December 2018, an oversupply continues in Calgary’s housing market. Prices for the month were lower compared to both the previous month, as well as the previous year.

According to CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie,

“Persistent weakness in the job market and changes in the lending market impacted sales activity in the resale market this year. This contributed to elevated supply in the resale market, resulting in price declines.”

Regarding sales, a total of 794 units were recorded for the month, which shows a decline of 21% compared to December 2017. Overall year-to-date sales in the city totaled 16,144 units, which is 14% lower than the total in 2017, and is also almost 20% below long-term averages....

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It's now the new year and yesterday morning I pulled off the stats for the month of December 2018 from the Calgary MLS® System.

While December is normally a slow month for sales and listings, it's VERY CLEAR  2018 was an incredibly slow year for real estate sales and deals were available at every turn (if you knew where to find them). January is expected to slowly be populated with new listings. If you were waiting for the good selection of homes to choose from, don't wait any longer than the third week in January to start your hunt!

So, how is the market?

Here is the breakdown as of yesterday morning:

Total Calgary MLS® System within Calgary for residential properties for sale:

  • 4,976 properties available in inventory
  • 779 properties marked sold in the last 30 days
  • That makes 6.39 MONTHS of inventory  a strong BUYERS' market


  • 2,634 properties available in inventory
  • 484 properties marked sold in the last 30 days
  • That makes 5.44 MONTHS...
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We’ve made it to December, and here are the latest housing market updates for areas covered by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB)!

In their most recent market update and official press release, it appears that challenging economic conditions continue to impact the resale market within CREB.

Sales activity has shown a 14% decline for the year so far, and is nearly 20% below long-term averages.

According to CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie,

“Recent challenges in the energy sector have weighed on consumer confidence over the past month. Combined with weakness in the employment market and further gains in lending rates, this is impacting ownership demand. Higher inventories and weaker sales are resulting in buyer’s market conditions and price declines.”

CREB President Tom Westcott also stresses the importance of being aware of the latest market trends, as he adds,

“In any market, affordable product is always desirable. For buyers, it may mean being able...

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As a mid-fall update — with just one week left in the month of November! I pulled the current Calgary MLS® System statistics a few moments ago.

It's VERY CLEAR  the annual decrease in listings for the December holiday season has already begun. If you were waiting for the best selection of homes to choose from, don't wait any longer!

So, how is the market?

Here is the breakdown as of this morning:

Total Calgary MLS® System within Calgary for residential properties for sale:

  • 7,098 properties available in inventory
  • 1,153 properties marked sold in the last 30 days
  • That makes 6.2 MONTHS of inventory  a strong BUYERS' market


  • 3,838 properties available in inventory
  • 663 properties marked sold in the last 30 days
  • That makes 5.79 MONTHS of inventory  a BUYERS' market

ATTACHED homes (townhouses and 1/2 duplexes):

  • 1,836 properties available in inventory
  • 264 properties marked sold in the last 30 days
  • That makes 6.95 MONTHS of inventory...
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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.
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.