What’s really behind Calgary’s higher home prices

Has Mayor Nenshi’s desire to see Calgary build “up” rather than “out” resulted in a lack of land on the outskirts of the city for new builds?  The director of the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, economist Jack Mintz thinks so…

“Calgary now has moved towards what’s called an intensification strategy. And it’s a good thing to have some intensification because you don’t want to hollow out the middle of the city,” says Mintz.

“But you have to have some balance and if there’s no more expansion that’s going to be allowed, maybe we have to close down parks to make way for new housing. Otherwise prices are going to go up because you’re simply going to have higher land prices.”

Mintz says the city needs to think carefully about limiting new housing development if it wants to make housing more affordable.

“The prices can be policy induced. and if you think of it being artificially high that can happen if you’re no longer getting enough supply relative to the number of people who want to move into Calgary.”

ATB economist Todd Hirsch has a different theory…

“I think that’s part of the reason building costs and material costs and labour costs are a little bit elevated in Calgary still because again we’re not seeing the same impact in Edmonton. So I think Calgary’s flood last year still having some residual carry over effect to these new home prices even today.”

Hirsch says once the flood rebuilding is complete, building costs will come down — and we will likely see more moderate growth in new home prices.

Read more Curbing urban sprawl, flood driving up new home prices

What we didn’t hear in this story is that Calgary is inundated with thousands of new residents every year.  Last year alone, net migration to Alberta from the rest of Canada totalled almost 45,000. Would there be a problem with supply, and higher prices, if we weren’t growing so fast?

Market update April 30, 2014

Inventory vs sales and price2

A frenzied market continues…

  • 33% of sales were for list price or higher.
  • The only occurrence which has prevented all-out insanity is the fact that new listings are increasing slightly. In the price range below $500,000 homes are selling faster than they’re being listed.  The absorption rate for homes priced between 0 – 500,000 is .8, so that means there is a 24-day supply of listings. In December there was a 36-day supply.
  • 66% of the homes listed last month are already sold.

Suggestion for buyers…

If you’re a buyer, and can wait a few months, there’s bound to be more inventory come July and chances are good that prices will moderate accordingly.

Suggestion for sellers…

There’s never been a better time to get top dollar and a quick sale.

Send me an email if you’d like an evaluation or have any questions bobtruman@shaw.ca

Market update March 31, 2014

Inventory vs sales and price2

My warnings last year of a looming inventory shortage have become reality and it’s an entrenched seller’s market. If you’re looking to sell your home, chances are good that you’ll have a bidding war from prospective buyers. In March, 34% of homes sold for list price or higher. That’s the highest it’s been since the insanity of 2006-2007. Call me for a free evaluation 403-650-2514.

For a more detailed summary of the month-end stats , go to my website

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Market update Oct 1 – 12, 2013

Inventory vs sales and price2

Waiting on Ross Kay’s open and full disclosure

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Ross Kay

Ross Kay has made some claims, unsubstantiated, that CREB has engaged in double-reporting of sales. His allegations came to light in a recent blog posting on GreaterFool.ca., a blog written by Garth Turner.

I’ll be the first one to call out CREB if they have inconsistencies in their reporting. My first and foremost goal is to provide accurate statistics to my readers and clients.

Says Kay: “If CREB removes the 317 private sales in August not similarly counted last August, total sales are really up 14.24%, not 27.5%. And removing private sales from listing means there are only 6,447 active listings now – a 28.17% decrease.”

I’ve repeatedly asked Ross Kay for a list of the 317 sales. Crickets.

Ross Kay is an advocate of open and full disclosure. I say, bring it on!

ComFree, one of the largest FSBO brokerages that lists on MLS, weighs in. “CREB has included ComFree MLS® listings in its sales stats since we became a brokerage in 2012. And those listings that are only featured on ComFree.com (and do not include an MLS® listing) are not included in CREB’s stats and are not counted as “private sales…In August of 2012 our brokerage was already offering MLS® listings on REALTOR.ca to our sellers. So that certainly does not account for the rise in listings on REALTOR.ca in August 2013!” Calgary Real Estate Review

CREB has released this statement: One outspoken critic of organized real estate recently wrote a blog in which he questioned the integrity of the data at some real estate boards in Canada, including CREB®’s. CREB® would like to assure you that there is no significant double-reporting of sales in our MLS® System, nor is there any distortion of data involving the reporting of so-called “private sales”, as the blog’s author referred to them. “There is no such thing as a ‘private sale’ in the MLS® System – all sales are recorded and treated equally,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB®’s chief economist.

Ross Kay states on his website, “RossKay.com is independent of any and all fiduciary duties related to MLS® data allowing for full independence, open and full disclosure and finally data review that is statistically valid.”

Kay initially returned my emails but stopped when I asked him directly for his “317.”

“When pressed for hard numbers, he doesn’t respond”

The methodology by which Ross Kay has invented his secret frankenumbers is, as far as I can tell, known only to him. He’s  all too happy and quick to dish out vague allegations but when pressed for hard numbers, he doesn’t respond. He’s critical of CREB’s data, yet won’t disclose his method of collecting data, or the data itself. The media has been giving him a free ride with no hard questions.

As Garth said in the title of his blog posting, “Who can you trust?

My emails to Ross Kay requesting the info are reprinted below:

Oct 1: Are you going to provide this information so we can see what we’re missing?  I’ll take you at your word that it is for anyone to read. My readers are waiting. I’d rather that I have all the information so I can provide to my readers a proper and well-informed comment.  

 Sep 30, 2013: It’s easy to solve this issue. Could you send me a copy of the audit so we can all comment intelligently on it? It would be enlightening to know what we are overlooking.

Sep 28: You can put this controversy to rest by furnishing MLS numbers or addresses of the supposed 317 “private” sales that sold in Calgary for August. There’s nothing to hide, and there is no proprietary information if it’s already on MLS.

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Market update Sep 30, 2013

First timers

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Market update Sep 1 – 26, 2013

Inventory vs sales and price2

The most serious threat to Calgary real estate

Trudeau

Justin Trudeau will follow in the footsteps of his father and demonize Alberta in order to get elected

“Screw the west, we’ll take the rest”

I have no doubt that previous strategies of the Liberal party will be resurrected come election time. It was Liberal Senator and campaign chairman Keith Davey who, in the 1980 election, summed up his party’s strategy as “Screw the West, we’ll take the rest.” Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien used Alberta as a foil for everything he claimed would go wrong if his Liberals were not re-elected in 2000, and it was Mr. Chretien who said he preferred to do politics with anyone but Albertans.

“It’s all Alberta’s fault.”

Trudeau6As we get closer to an election, and reality sets in, and Trudeau sees his support plummeting, he will do the same thing that his old man did to get elected. Demonize Alberta. Alberta has become the economic engine of the country, however, so there are serious consequences for the rest of the country as well.

Pretentious, vacuous, and bumbling, Justin Trudeau has the support of many Canadians based simply on his looks and his name. His platform consists of smoke and mirrors(legalizing marijuana). Trudeau and the Liberals stand for nothing except the goal of attaining power at any cost. Scarier still, Trudeau has most of the media eating out of his hand and asking him no difficult questions.

“Justin Trudeau and Justin Bieber have more in common than just a first name. Both guys are also adored by legions of love struck fans. Except in the case of Bieber the fans are teenage girls, whereas for Trudeau they are the Canadian media.”

In November 2010, Trudeau told a Quebec television show that he was tired of Albertans running the country and that, whether it was Jean Chretien or Brian Mulroney, Canada is better off when Quebecers are running the country.

“Canada isn’t doing well right now because it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn’t work.”

Trudeau was then asked if he thought Canada was better served when there are more Quebecers in charge than Albertans.

Trudeau replied: “I’m a Liberal, so of course I think so, yes. Certainly when we look at the great prime ministers of the 20th century, those that really stood the test of time, they were MPs from Quebec… This country – Canada – it belongs to us.”

Trudeau3“This anti-Alberta attitude is deeply held in the Liberal party.” 

He’s also on the record for saying “…it would be a bad idea to abolish the Senate, because we have 24 senators from Quebec and there are just six from Alberta and six from British Columbia. That’s to our advantage.”  He is defending the status quo Senate because it gives Quebec disproportionate power at the expense of the West. 

Alberta has been a tried-and-true whipping boy of Liberal politicians. They have nothing to lose because there are no seats to be won by Liberals in Alberta, but they have tons to gain in central and eastern Canada. I expect he’s learned this lesson well from his daddy.

Baby Trudeau has accomplished nothing in his life except to charge schools and charities with speaking fees while he’s supposed to be in parliament, all the while collecting his MP pay from the taxpayer. Charities with lobbyists who later approach him for favours.

Will Trudeau Jr. follow in the steps of Trudeau Sr. and plunder Alberta?

Will Trudeau Jr. follow in the steps of Trudeau Sr. and plunder Alberta?

“Alberta will suffer if Trudeau becomes prime minister”

If he  becomes prime minister, Alberta will be plundered as occurred during the national energy program when real estate tanked and thousands of people lost their homes.

Two years ago, on the night that Stephen Harper was elected, I predicted on this blog that Justin Trudeau would become leader of the Liberals, and that our real estate values would be in jeopardy if Trudeau became prime minister. I have no doubt that as the pressure mounts for him to get elected, he will revert to the divisive style of regional politics that Liberals are known for.

“Justin Trudeau is a dabbler – he dabbled in teaching, dabbled in the arts, dabbled in acting, dabbled in activism. Now he’s dabbling in politics.” 

Trudeau has absolutely no idea what it’s like to work for a living. He is a silver-spoon millionaire who pretends to understand the middle class average guy. I hope there are enough intelligent Canadians who can see through the thin veneer of this airhead. He is an opportunist with little intelligence and no abilities. His most important decisions to date revolve around managing the $1.2 million trust fund which was bequeathed to him.

I hope I am wrong in thinking that Canadians would give this lightweight the reins of power on Oct 19, 2015. My greatest fear is that they will buy into the name, the looks, the hair, the smile, the youth, and completely disregard his agenda that will decimate Alberta, and consequently Canada.

“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter” -Winston Churchill

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Market update Sep 1 – 20, 2013

Inventory vs sales and price2

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Market update Sep 1 – 13, 2013

Inventory vs sales and price2

What were they predicting?

Jan 14, 2013 MacLean’s Magazine headline: “Inside the Great Real Estate Crash of 2013. The sudden cooling in Canada’s housing sector seemingly struck without warning.” WTH? Sales up 37%, price up 12%, is not exactly a sudden cooling. Overheated would be more accurate. MacLean’s Crash and Burn

Jan 2013 Ben Rabidoux, analyst, from the MacLean’s story: “The demand for oversized homes is expected to fall.” Calgary has already set a record in 2013 for the most million dollar homes sold in one year. Luxury home market breaks annual sales record

April 2013, Garth Turner of GreaterFool.ca blurted out this forecast: “The beginning of the end in Cowtown.” End of what, inventory? Garth has the audacity to say in this post “realtors lie.” If Garth can misconstrue realtors’ accurate predictions into lies, what does that make Garth? When bulls croak 

Two years ago, Garth  ejaculated: “That the Calgary market will crack is a given. It’s different here, until it isn’t. Which is soon.” So far, his crack has resulted in the median price being up $40,000. What did he mean by soon?

Dec 20, 2008, Garth said he “expects housing prices will plunge another 30 per cent next year —  on top of the 11 per cent drop so far this year.”  http://www.ctvnews.ca/garth-turner-says-hard-times-have-just-begun-for-canada-1.353465#ixzz2fpRqGVha