Monthly Archives: June 2012

What happened in June?

Canada Day in Canmore, Alberta

The housing market in Calgary continues to defy gravity(and all the predictions that were calling for a crash).  The biggest issue we had this spring was a shortage of attractive listings. I predicted back in the winter that we’d eventually see higher prices if the lack of inventory persisted, and that’s exactly what happened. The median price is up 9.2% compared to December.

With so little for buyers to choose from, it’s surprising to see that year-to-date sales are up 19% compared to 2011, and up 12% compared to the past three years. More complete statistics can be seen here Monthly stats update

Bidding wars update

Over the past three days, 12% of homes went for list price or higher. A home in North Glenmore which was listed for $489,500 was sold for $492,500, with an accepted offer coming after 2 days on the market. The home was purchased in 2007 for $450,000.

29,289 new residents in Calgary

Calgary’s population increased 2.86% over the past year, higher than the boom year of 2007. Where will they all live?

These statistics go a long way in explaining the torrid pace of home sales this spring. Total residential sales are up 21% this year, with an increase in price of 2.1%. Continue reading

Mortgage changes are too late

Two Moody’s analysts maintain that Canadians have borrowed too much and consumer debt will be the undoing of some:

‘Last week’s mortgage changes unveiled by regulators and the federal government are positive for Canada’s banks, but “may be too late to avoid a housing correction,” according to analysts at Moody’s Investors Service.’

Read more Mortgage changes may be too late

Bidding wars update

Over the past four days, 13% of the single family homes went for list price or higher. A few examples…

A home in Garrison Woods sold for $606,000 which was $6,100 over list price. It had an accepted offer in four days. It was purchased in 2004 for $308,000.

A home in Glamorgan sold for $482,000 which was $7,000 over list price. It had an accepted offer on its first day on the market. It was purchased in 2006 for $395,000.

A reno project in Oakridge Estates sold for $765,000 which was $$2,500 over list price. It was purchased last year for $517,500.

Is this why Calgary’s prices didn’t skyrocket like Toronto’s?

Today there’s another article in the Herald about western Canadians buying property in Arizona. What I’ve never seen analysed is the effect it’s had on the Calgary market. A good portion of Calgarian’s property investment dollar is being spent in the U.S. rather than in Calgary. I personally know of many people who have bought in Arizona. Is this an explanation Continue reading

No increase in interest rates anytime soon

This is an opinion piece from Martin Pelletier in the Financial Post:

Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney has been warning consumers for some time  not to get too comfortable, since higher interest rates are on the horizon. We  think this is more of a scare tactic to get overleveraged consumers to rein in  their borrowing levels, because Canada is certainly not on solid enough footing  economically to raise interest rates, at least not until its trade partners  do.

The problem is many Canadians aren’t listening. They’re partying like its  1999, taking on vast amounts of debt because of low interest rates and robust  housing prices. While the level of household debt to GDP is falling in the U.S.,  it’s been increasing in Canada and now stands at more than 93 per cent.

Read more: Paying off your mortgage should take priority

June 1-20 market update

This being the last update before the new mortgage rules were announced, it will be interesting to see how it changes over the coming weeks. Will there be a huge increase in inventory with sellers desperate to make a sale before the new rules come into effect on July 9?

No more 30-year amortizations

Update June 21: I received an email from a mortgage broker which states the following: “If you have a client on the fence if they produce a contract within the next 2 weeks (to July 9th) they will be subject to the old rules until December 2012.”


The government will reduce the maximum amortization period for a government-insured mortgage, lowering it from 30 to 25 years, and also drop the upper limit that Canadians can borrow against their home equity from 85 per cent to 80 per cent. The government expects less than 5% of home buyers will be affected by the changes.

If you were paying attention, you’ll understand Continue reading

Bidding wars update

Over the past two days, only 10% of the SFH sales were for list price or higher. Homes in the following communities sold over list price:
Glamorgan $10,100
North Haven $100
Tuxedo $14,600
Bankview $7,600
Winston Heights $5,700
Inglewood $5,100
Shaganappi $2,700
North Glenmore $15,100
Tuscany $100
Glenbrook $578
Canyon Meadows Estates $100

Homes in these communities sold for list price:
Valley Ridge
South Calgary

The home in North Haven was purchased in 1998 for $149,000 and sold for $360,000. It had an accepted offer on its first day on the market.

During the first 8 days of June, 13% of homes sold for list price or higher.

In 282 years, Calgary home price will be $276,776

The Plunge-O-meter guy comes up with some totally bizarre predictions. He won’t be around to be accountable, but he predicts in the year 2294(yes, that’s 282 years from now), the average price in Calgary will be $276,776. It will drop an average of $66/mo for 3383 months.

By comparison, he predicts the demise in Edmonton will be quick. In a short 23 years, Edmonton’s average price will be $216,187.