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.

 


January 2021: sales activity signals strong start to the year

January sales were the highest they have been for the month since 2014, as housing market momentum from the end of 2020 carried over into the start of 2021.


Sales activity improved across all product types and across all price ranges.


“Discount lending rates are exceptionally low, which is likely attracting all types of buyers back into the market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.


“New listings in the market were also slightly higher than what was available over the past two months, which is providing more options to purchasers.”


Read the full report on the CREB Now website.




The following data is a comparison between January 2021 and January 2020 numbers, and is current as of February 2021.





Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package.


Click here to view the full Calgary region monthly stats package.

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Located in the most highly sought after building adjacent to the University of Calgary!

LARGE Studio condo + titled, underground parking + titled storage unit:

  • ~600 square feet (approximate RMS interior measurement)
  • 1-bedroom apartment condo (studio)
  • 4-piece bathroom
  • large closet space in bedroom
  • in-suite, full-sized, stacked washer + dryer
  • 2nd floor on the quiet side of the building
  • covered balcony space with gas BBQ hookup
  • titled, underground parking
  • titled, underground storage unit
  • located in a quiet, exceptionally well-maintained, 150-unit building — "3111 Varsity"
  • across the street from the University of Calgary
  • close to TWO C-Train stations
  • close to shopping
  • easy access to downtown Calgary
  • ideal for an student, grad student, researcher or urban worker

Scheduled to hit the Alberta MLS® market February 10th, 2021.


Call, text or email for photos, floor plan and list price!

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Located in the most highly sought after building adjacent to the University of Calgary!

LARGE 1-bedroom + DEN condo + titled, underground parking + titled storage unit:

  • 760 square feet (approximate RMS interior measurement)
  • 1-bedroom apartment condo
  • 4-piece, ensuite bathroom with cheater door
  • large closets
  • in-suite, full-sized, stacked washer + dryer
  • spacious den (or small second bedroom)
  • 3rd floor with southern exposure
  • large, covered balcony space with gas BBQ hookup
  • titled, underground parking
  • titled, underground storage unit
  • located in a quiet, exceptionally well-maintained, 150-unit building — "3111 Varsity"
  • across the street from the University of Calgary
  • close to TWO C-Train stations
  • close to shopping
  • easy access to downtown Calgary
  • ideal for an out-of-town student, grad student, researcher, urban worker or couple

Scheduled to hit the Alberta MLS® market February 4th, 2021.


Call, text or email for photos, floor plan and list price!

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City of Calgary, February 1, 2021

The number of January sales were the highest they have been for the month since 2014, as housing market momentum from the end of 2020 carried over into the start of 2021.


Sales activity improved across all product types and across all price ranges.


“Discount lending rates are exceptionally low, which is likely attracting all types of buyers back into the market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.


“New listings in the market were also slightly higher than what was available over the past two months, which is providing more options to purchasers.”


January’s new listings were 2,246 relative to the 1,208 sales in the market, causing inventories to edge up over December levels. These types of movements are typical for January, but 2021 is starting the year with 4,035 units in inventory. This is far lower than the past six years.


Benchmark prices remained at levels relatively consistent with prices recorded at the end...

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We had a rather lively discussion on a private Facebook group this week regarding the number of active monitoring devices Realtors are seeing in homes when we are showing homes these days. It used to be that we would see the occasional baby monitor in odd locations in a home. Then, we saw laptop computers left open or desktop computers with their "camera on" lights covered up (but not the cameras).


Now, it seems that monitoring devices are probably more common than not. They come in all forms: security systems, smoke detectors, light switches, audio and television systems. These are all great appliances to monitor your home and for convenience. However, when you have your home on the market and you have thereby asked that a Realtor and their clients visit your home wit you not present, it is actually quite illegal for you to be monitoring their discussions!


In one example, one Realtor had stated that after a weekend of showings, the seller and Realtor had agreed to have a price reduction...

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With individual agents, homebuyers and sellers have a direct connection with a highly-skilled expert

[reposted WITH permission of the original Calgary author]


I saw a social media post recently by our local ‘mega-agent’ entitled: “Breaking News: Individual Real Estate agents added to Endangered Professions List!”


This post compares the individual real estate agent to “a tennis player using a wooden racket” or “a football player with a leather helmet.” The individual agent is on life support, it exclaims.


Total nonsense. Here’s an entirely different perspective.


The individual agent


‘Indy Bob’ is classified as an individual real estate agent only because he doesn’t have other licensed agents on his team. And yet, Bob has surrounded himself with a top-notch team of highly-skilled professional photographers, staging experts, graphic designers and other specialists.


Bob takes a huge amount of pride in the presentation and...

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INFOGRAPHICS: December 2020 CREB City And Region Market Reports

December 2020: Amidst economic challenges, housing market ends 2020 on a high note

With December SALES of 1,199, this is the highest December total since 2007.


“Housing demand over the second half of 2020 was far stronger than anticipated and nearly offset the initial impact caused by the shutdowns in spring,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.


“Even with the further restrictions imposed in December, it did not have the same negative impact on housing activity like we saw in the earlier part of the year.”


Attractive interest rates, along with prices that remain lower than several years ago, have likely supported some of the recovery in the second half of the year. However, it is important to note that annual sales activity declined by one per cent compared to last year and remains well below long-term averages.


Read the full report on the CREB Now website!




The following data is a comparison between December 2019 and December 2020 numbers, and is current...

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Updated 2021-01-15


A Condominum Document Review is one of the many standard conditions that can be entered on an offer to purchase for Alberta real estate. This condition is inserted to protect the buyer's interests when buying property with condominium ownership. In many cases reviewing the condominium documents is far more important than even doing a home inspection with a licensed property inspector. There are dozens of documents to review: audited and unaudited financial statements, operating budgets, board meetings, engineer reports, a survey(s), 25-year cash-flow projections, owner's obligations, restrictions, by-laws, rules and policies. There are just so many important and costly things that can be hidden in those documents relating to the condominium corporation that you're getting involved in and how well it is being run. In buying a unit in a condominium corporation, you become an partial owner of that corporation. The condominium corporation is a not-for-profit corporation which...

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INFOGRAPHICS: November 2020 CREB City And Region Market Reports


Sales activity remains strong in November.


For the sixth month in a row, sales in the Calgary market recorded a year-over-year gain.


Sales growth over the past several months has been the strongest seen in the past five years, but the activity has not been strong enough to offset the pullbacks from the spring. Year-to-date sales remain over 3% lower than last year’s levels.


New listings continue to slow, reducing inventory in the market. On a year-to-date basis, new listings have eased by nearly 10% and are at the lowest level recorded since 2001. This has reduced the oversupply that has been impacting the market for nearly five years.


Read the full report on the CREB Now website!




The following data is a comparison between November 2019 and November 2020 numbers, and is current as of December 2020.





Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package.


Click here to view the full Calgary region monthly stats package.

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As of this Friday, province-wide, licensed real estate agents and unlicensed sales agents (employees of builders and real estate developers) return to operating "By Appointment Only."


Most Realtors are already operating in this fashion throughout the pandemic as has been the recommendation of our national trade association, but as of the new restrictions, we are once again given clear direction from the provincial legislature to which we must comply.


What this means for real estate is pretty simple: Realtors can no longer use OPEN HOUSES as a prospecting method.


OPEN HOUSES had fallen out of favour a few decades ago, but with the advent of 3D virtual tours they are a rarity as there is no longer a need for sellers to vacate their properties for hours on end every weekend and for their agents (or a subcontractor) to sit in the homes to get prospects to view them. Open houses have been an extremely poor way of getting someone to buy a home: a recent real estate statistic is that less than...

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New on the market today!



Impressive EXECUTIVE CONDO! Opportunity awaits you in the highly sought-after 3111 VARSITY in this well-established Calgary neighbourhood. This 3rd-floor, 1-bedroom, 1-bath condo has it all: It's MOVE-IN READY + IMMACULATELY MAINTAINED + QUALITY FINISHES + AFFORDABLE CONDO FEES: It's ideal for a working professional or university student with close access to the University & Research Park, Foothills & Alberta Children's Hospitals, Brentwood & Market Malls and only minutes to SAIT or downtown via either University or Brentwood LRT stations. Only a 5-minute walk to the University of Calgary. Open-concept kitchen with stunning features: gorgeous maple cabinetry, sleek black kitchen appliance package including a BOSCH dishwasher, built-in oven + cooktop, Whirlpool fridge + built-in microwave with hood fan, a raised eating bar with pendant lighting that opens to the great room with a sunny, southern exposure ensuring plenty of light throughout. This unit overlooks...

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The spread of COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of our lives. Communities have shown themselves to be resilient, however, and so too have real estate professionals. Responding to the challenge imposed by the pandemic to continue to serve their clients in a safe, responsible manner, agents have incorporated streaming video technology to offer showings while adhering to social distancing best practices.


While many real estate professionals include a very in-depth, 3D virtual tour with every listing they post on the MLS, you may wonder if they have missed something in their tour. Either due to limited space or intentionally. Both of these are valid concerns. You can overcome both of these concerns with a quick personal tour of the home with your own real estate professional.


However, in light of today's concerns, you may not wish to visit 10 or 12 homes in person and only wish to see the TOP 3. No problem – a solution is a VIRTUAL SHOWING. To request a virtual showing contact...

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Housing market conditions continue to follow similar trends to last year, with gains in sales.

At the same time, there have been further reductions in new listings, inventory and more declines in prices.


January sales activity was 863 units, nearly eight per cent higher than last year’s levels. While sales remained well below January activity recorded before 2014, they remain consistent with activity recorded over the past five years.


“A persistent slowdown in the energy sector has resulted in a reset in many aspects of our economy. This includes the housing market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.


“We continue to see the slow adjustment to more balanced conditions, but it will take time before that starts to translate into price stability.”


Citywide unadjusted benchmark prices were $417,100 in January. This is slightly lower than the previous month and nearly one per cent lower than last year’s levels.


Benchmark prices eased, but there...

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Time flies and by next fall your child will be a college or university student. Most likely, you don't live conveniently close to the school where they will be attending for the next 3-5 years, so they will leave the family home. You are probably thinking about all the money that will be spent in the next few years on rental housing or student residence fees.


Here are some of the benefits of investing in housing for your student child:

  • Buy a condo for resale with added value in mind. In the student cities, like Calgary, you'll find neighbourhoods in which condos hold a lot of value and, oftentimes, rise in value. If your child is handy enough, you might want to consider buying a duplex or detached home so that rented extra rooms can help you pay off the mortgage while still saving money compared to paying residence fees.
  • If you have several children who will be students in the next few years, the student housing budget of all will probably be far higher than your mortgage payments and carrying...
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Are you as excited as we are for the coming new year? Here are the latest housing market updates for areas covered by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB)!


As noted in CREB’s latest media release, year-to-date residential sales in the city remain just above last year’s levels due to improvements in the attached sector so far this year.


However, November sales activity eased over last year’s levels, mostly due to pullbacks in the apartment sector.


Meanwhile, new listings eased enough relative to sales to cause inventories to ease and the amount of oversupply to come down slightly compared to last year’s levels.


According to CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie,

“Achieving more stable conditions will take time. Sales activity has been settling in at lower levels and is likely being influenced by the economic conditions and uncertainty weighing on our market. While the amount of supply in the market continues to ease, the persistent oversupply continues to...

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With the winter season just on the horizon, here are the latest housing market updates for areas covered by the Calgary Real Estate Board Co-Operative.

In our latest market update, CREB reports that homes under $500,000 have been moving to more balanced conditions, and that resale sales activity in October improved by nearly 10% compared to last year, driven mostly by improvements for apartment and attached product.

New listings also eased, which helped reduce inventory levels and the oversupply in the market. Despite the move to more balanced conditions, the market remains oversupplied and prices continue to remain below last year’s levels.

According to CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie,
“Employment has shifted in the city, with job growth occurring in our non-traditional sectors and often at a different pay scale. This is consistent with the shift to more affordable housing product. However, at the higher end of the market the amount of oversupply is rising, as supply...
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Last week's Alberta Provincial budget announced a pending increase to the Alberta Land Title Office's registration fees for both transfer of land and mortgage registrations.


Currently, the fees are:

For mortgage registrations – $50 + $1 for every $5,000 in mortgage amount, plus

for land transfer registrations – $50 + $1 for every $5,000 in the purchase amount.


While the fixed component of the fee remains the same, the variable portion is merely doubled. So, the new amounts are:

For mortgage registrations – $50 + $2 for every $5,000 in mortgage amount, plus

for land transfer registrations – $50 + $2 for every $5,000 in the purchase amount.


So, for a typical purchase of, say, $500,000 with a $400,000 mortgage, the amounts are slated to go from:

$280 (i.e. [$50 + $400,000 / $5,000] + [$50 + $500,000 / $5,000]), to

$460 (i.e. [$50 + 2 x $400,000 / $5,000] + [$50 + 2 x $500,000 / $5,000]).


In the grand scheme of things, this is a pretty insignificant amount given...

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Putting a house on the market can be a stressful time for many sellers, even during the height of a seller’s market when everything is working in your favour.


You consult with your real estate agent to come up with a price – a price that, in your mind, may not accurately reflect your home’s value – but actually reflects the house in which you’ve lived. You bite the bullet, accept your agent’s insight, put the house on the market and then…


Crickets.


No interest. No showings. No nothing!


What did you do wrong? The house where you’ve created so many memories – your home – isn’t only not valued by others in the same way as you but isn’t even worth seeing.


Why? Let’s take a look at six reasons why your house isn’t getting showings:

1. It’s Overpriced

Let’s get straight to the biggest issue: In almost every case, the reason your house isn’t getting showings is because it’s priced too high....

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When viewing home listings, have you ever thought, "How many days has this home been on the market?" Sure, almost everyone does.


Why do people wonder and always inquire about this number?


Well, it probably has to do with the thought that if a property has been on the market for, say 90 days, then there must be something wrong with the home/property, the home is priced too high, there mustn't be enough commission being offered to buyer's agents (and therefore the buyer would most likely have to top up any shortfall), or the seller must be getting desperate to sell and therefore will be more willing to take a "much lower offer." All great reasons.


All of these are the same reasons why some agents play a little sales gimmick with that DOM number (under the direction of the seller, of course).


Here is what agents know: If a property listing expires or is terminated early, then the DOM (Days On Market) indicator is reset back to ZERO. So, if they relist the property for sale the same day, or...

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