Truth and justice prevails. I sued Gary Bench (aka Squidly77) for defamation. He apologized and paid up.

Masked man at computer

Over three years ago, I commenced a lawsuit against an anonymous blogger( who went by the name of Squidly77 ) who was posting statements which were defamatory and damaging to me personally and to my real estate business. Many of the things he was saying were outright lies. I tracked him down(a fascinating story in itself), and after many delays and roadblocks put up by the defendant, it finally went to trial, and when it was his turn to take the stand, he chose to settle the matter “out-of-court.” He issued an apology and paid me a sum of money, the amount which I agreed not to disclose. My original statement of claim was for approximately half-a-million dollars.

When I unmasked him, it turns out his real name was Gary Michael Bench, and from what I can gather, he’s an oil patch worker who lives in Edmonton. 

Suing Gary Bench, receiving a public apology, and holding him accountable for his lies was a matter of principle for me. 

Physical threats

Dickwad

Click for a larger image

Some of his rantings appeared to be physical threats, and I was concerned that he was stalking me. He mentioned that he saw me skiing, and I knew it was true because he described my skiing style as stumbling around out there. He also threatened to hack into my website.

The guy was completely obsessed with me for some reason. I eventually installed tracking software on my real estate blog and have evidence that he logged into my blog up to 17 times a day(it could have been more, but I only tracked it for a few days).

Gary Bench’s apology (known to the blogosphere as Squidly):

Apology

Dramatic change in the market to start 2015

Inventory vs sales and price2

Some welcome changes are occurring in the Calgary housing market. It’s been a long time since buyers had the upper hand, and it’s also been a long time since buyers had a good selection of homes from which to choose.

Bidding wars are almost a thing of the past with only 9% of homes selling for list price or higher in January. It takes about six months for the realities of the market to hit home with most sellers and that’s why you haven’t yet seen a corresponding drop in prices yet.

You can see historical and more detailed statistics at bobtruman.com. CREB has changed their reporting criteria, but my stats criteria have remained consistent since I started reporting them 11 years ago.

If you’re buying or selling and want to be represented by someone who will give you the straight talk, give me a call or send an email.

Market update Oct 2014

“Two consecutive years of relatively strong employment and population growth, combined with rising wages and low lending rates, have supported demand growth in our housing sector,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

Inventory vs sales and price2

“All citywide resale segments have recorded a moderate easing of supply constraints, which should help stabilize prices as we approach the end of the calendar year,” said Lurie. “Nonetheless, consumers should be aware that market conditions can vary significantly depending on the location and property type.”

In Oct, 16% of homes sold for list price or higher.

Market update Sep 2014

More home owners have been motivated to list their homes and reap the rewards of the recent price increase. As a result, new listings are up slightly for the sixth consecutive month.

Inventory vs sales and price2

For September, 17% of sales were for list price or higher. If you bought an average house 12 months ago, it has increased in value by $38,750.

Market update Aug 2014

Calgary continues to experience a shortage of inventory with 17% fewer listings than normal for this time of year. There is only a 60-day supply of single family homes on the market. In the lower price ranges, it’s even more severe. For homes priced under $500,000, there is only a 42-day supply.

Inventory vs sales and price2

Despite the shortage of listings, it was the third-best August ever for SFH sales(second-best for overall sales due to strong condo sales).

If you had any doubts about the lack of inventory, bidding wars are still going strong with 18% of sales for list price or higher.

If you bought an average home in Calgary in Aug 2013, the price has increased $29,100 in the past year.

Market update July 2014

Inventory vs sales and price2
As always in the summer, the price dropped slightly in July. Sales activity is still strong, and more homes are being listed compared to historical averages. Inventory is still low. 19% of homes sold for list price or higher.

If you bought an average home in Calgary in July 2013, the price has increased $29,000 in the past year.

Market update June 30, 2014

Inventory vs sales and price2
Slightly better conditions for buyers in June

  • More homes are being listed
  • Bidding wars have eased, but are still commonplace.
  • 26% of homes sold for list price or higher in June.
  • The average amount paid over list price was $6,417.
  • The median price did not increase
  • Average DOM(days-on-market) increased by 2 days
  • Inventory is almost up to last year’s level
  • The trend is your friend: The sales-to-new-listings trend is decreasing. Last year it was increasing.

If you bought an average home in Calgary in June 2013, the price has increased $40,000 in the past year.

Where will Calgarians be buying holiday homes?

The iconic Three Sisters near Canmore, AB

The iconic Three Sisters near Canmore, AB

An article in the Invermere, BC newspaper touches on the subject of real estate values in resort communities such as Canmore and Invermere. The reporter sought input from me and the reknowned expert Garth Turner of GreaterFool.ca fame. Columbia Valley Pioneer “Real estate market in valley may not be stable expert warns.”

The market in Canmore has turned around remarkably in the past six months. Inventory is low, attractive homes are selling quickly, and Calgarians are buying them up. Prices are on the increase.

Ontarians to move to Calgary in droves

The election of the Liberal majority in Ontario has just ensured a continued shortage of housing in Calgary along with increasing prices.

The Twittersphere is choc-a-block full of disillusioned entrepreneurs, trades people and others who will be immigrating to Alberta, the land of opportunity.

“If the Liberals win a majority, I will emigrate from Onterrible.”

“Ontario will be the next Detroit. Bankruptcy on the horizon.”

“Trades will come as there will no longer be a need for them in Ontario.”

Hudak: “I’m moving to Alberta. Good luck.”

“Would the last business in Ontario please turn out the lights (if you haven’t already been cut off for not paying your exorbitant bill).”

“A corrupt government under police investigation is rewarded with a majority. The province is corrupt at this point.”

“To all the hardworking refugees, welcome to Saskatchewan. Move to a place where hard work and initiative still count for something”

“How bout Saskatchewan? Us and Alberta are the two economic powers now. We will take Ontario’s trades and businesses.”

“here is a business case for distribution centres going west, who should I talk to?”

“What other companies will move to Calgary? Debt, taxes, electricity costs, regulations, unemployment, housing costs, HST. Plus the Rockies.”

“The move to Alberta is looking more and more appealing.”

“To the thousands of Ontarians who aren’t content with decline, you’re welcome in Alberta.”

“My prediction: before Wynne is done, a national bank will move its head office to Calgary. Ontario’s have-not status is the new normal.”

“Breaking: Ontario to be renamed Detroit”

Welcome to Calgary. I hope you can find suitable housing. Our inventory of resales is low, new build inventory is low, and the rental vacancy rate is nearly the lowest in the country. Competition for the few homes available is going to be fierce.

Calgary prices post-flood

It’s enlightening to look back and see what the experts were predicting about Calgary real estate immediately after last June’s flooding. One got it right, one got it wrong. Mike has the details on his blog http://calgaryrealestatereview.com/2014/06/08/june-1-7-2014-calgary-real-estate-statistics-trends/