Monthly Archives: June 2013

Market update Jun 1 – 18, 2013

To quote Ben Rabidoux, “Hard to see how Alberta’s housing market will slow meaningfully given population growth + low units under constrctn.”

Inventory vs sales and price2Rabidoux: “Alberta nominal y/y population growth in Q2 2013 was HIGHER than Ontario for the first time….ever.”

 Here’s a chart from Rabidoux showing population growth:

Population change


Calgary house price growth best in Canada

Last month I made a special note of the fact that first-time buyers were busy in May, with a 30% increase in first-timers over last year. This story in the Herald reinforces it:

The real estate market in Calgary is supported by three important factors,  any of which would support a robust market independently and yet we enjoy all  three,” said Cody Battershill, a realtor with RE/MAX House of Real Estate in  Calgary. “The underlying variable that ties all three together is the  desirability and quality of living we enjoy in Calgary.”

The first factor is strong migration to Calgary and Alberta.

“The second is Calgary’s demographics. We are Canada’s youngest major city  with the average Calgarian being in their mid to late 30’s. This is important as  first-time buyers kick start the property ladder and enable existing homeowners  to sell and move up,” he said.

“The third factor is that Calgary is a head office leader and business hub  that is recognized internationally for our experience, technical prowess and  leadership. Calgary has more head offices per capita than anywhere else in  Canada and is the world’s 17th most competitive financial centre.”

Read more:  House price growth best in Canada

also, from BMO: Prices remain stable, perhaps maddeningly so for the legions of bubble mongers. The ceiling can’t hold us

Yesterday’s re-lists

If you’re not familiar with the term, re-listing refers to the practice of terminating a listing and re-listing it soon after in order to have the days-on-market reset to zero, and perhaps give the impression that it’s a fresh, new listing.

There were 96 new listings yesterday, of which 11 were re-lists. The criteria I’m using covers anything that terminated or expired since March 14.

What’s interesting is that most of them, 9 of the 11, were in the upper price ranges(an original list price above $700,000). Also, 2 of the 11 were re-listed at the same price. Sometimes a listing expires at the end of 60 or 90 days and the sellers simply re-list in order to keep their property on the market, frequently at the same price.

Why is this important information? If you’re looking at buying, it’s vital to know the history of the listing as it will give you some insight that can be used when considering your offer.

I can’t stress enough the importance of sellers pricing their property correctly. If your house sits on the market for longer than average, it becomes stale and you’ll usually end up selling for less than if you had priced it correctly for a quick sale in the first place.

Market update Jun 1 -11, 2013

According to the  Teranet – National Bank house price index for May which was released today, Calgary prices recorded a 2.3% month-over-month gain, while year-over-year, Calgary’s index was up 5.8%.(CREB data shows the y-o-y median price up 4.1%)

Inventory vs sales and price2

Housing starts hit 5-year high

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported Monday that total starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area reached 1,078 units during the month, which was an increase from 949 in May 2012.

“The trend of total housing starts increased slightly in May, due to strong construction in both the single-detached and multi-family markets,” said Richard Cho, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Calgary.

Builders started construction on 41,438 new homes in Alberta in May — the highest this year and the first time since early 2008 that the figure has risen above the 40,000 mark.

“What’s more, the trend over the last several months clearly suggests that the housing market is heating up,” added Hirsch. “Between May 2012 and May of this year, housing starts are 14.1 per cent higher than they were in the previous 12-month period.

Read more in the Herald It’s boom time in Alberta

Canadians buying too many homes in the U.S.

Flag2I have numerous acquaintances who have purchased a holiday home in Arizona over the past three years, and I’m always hearing about the cheap houses there. If the purchases made by Calgarians were added to our MLS sales totals, the number would far surpass the record sales we experienced in 2005 – 2007.

Now there’s concern about Canadians pushing up the prices and making it difficult for Americans to buy homes, condemning them to become permanent renters. “Your average working family, at least where I live, is not able to buy a home,” Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez recently lamented during Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s latest testimony. “Cash offers, from in particular foreign markets, are wiping them off,” she said.

Read more: Canadian home buyers: from saviors to carpetbaggers

Cardel shows confidence in Calgary real estate

From the Calgary Herald:

Calgary home builder Cardel Homes is planning a 1,700-unit residential  development in Shawnee Park after purchasing 52 hectares of land that was  formerly known as the Shaw-Nee Slopes Golf Course.

The golf course ceased operations in 2011.

Cardel Homes purchased the southwest land, located alongside the southern  edge of Fish Creek Park, from Geo-Energy Enterprises Ltd. The sale price was not  disclosed.

The home builder said its city-approved project will consist of condo  apartments, town houses, and single-family estate homes, all adjacent to Fish  Creek Park.

Development will begin in the fall.

Read more:  Cardel Homes plans 1700 unit residential project

Silence says a lot

Easterner Garth Turner who has made no secret of his disdain for Alberta, has a posting on his pathetic blog which is critical of Calgary’s Attainable Homes program. No mention has been made of Calgary’s May real estate numbers, something he does for all other major cities in Canada.  After making predictions about a housing crash with home prices falling 50%, he can’t find anything to criticize here except a program which helps people buy their first homes. Seeing Calgary’s stable real estate market must be driving him crazy. He could have swallowed his pride and reported the truth: Calgary housing market smashes records in May.

You can be held accountable for what you say on the internet

Dickwad“I want to sincerely apologize to them for any personal or professional damages my actions may have caused them.” – Zack Bradley, journalism student

Great post on why everyone posting online needs to be aware of defamation issues. MacLeans: How not to grovel

Brian Burke’s lawsuit serves as a useful tool to remind anyone who posts a comment or tweets online to carefully consider the content of their post.  The message delivered by the B.C. court in Brian Burke’s case couldn’t be clearer. Comment online with malice at your peril: What Brian Burke’s defamation lawsuit means for social media.

This is a follow-up to my recent post: Someone else finally said “Enough”

A relevant comment: “you can easily get out of any and all liability by showing what you wrote was true. If it wasn’t true and you said it anyway, then the consequences are yours to suck up. That’s the price you pay for being a liar.
Don’t lie then there is no problem, what a novel concept.”

Update: This column in the Calgary Herald reinforces what I’m saying: Uncivil discourse in the social media is growing. “Were these people jerks before the advent of the internet yet had no venue to spout off, or have they, at least partially, become what they have because of the example set by other people?”

More optimism


Real estate activity in the beautiful mountain town of Canmore is on the upswing

Real estate activity in Canmore is very dependent upon the state of the economy in Calgary. When Calgarians have spare cash, they look for holiday homes in the mountains. As reported in the Canmore Leader, a couple recent events spell optimism for Canmore and Calgary.

  • March and April were the two busiest months in the local Canmore real estate market since 2007.
  • As of the end of April, the Town of Canmore had issued permits for just over $19.6 million in new construction for 2013. That’s more than double the value of permits issued for the first four months of 2012, when the town’s building permit total only hit $7.1 million from January to April, and only $27.3 million for the entire year.

Read more Building activity on the way up