Wow!  The Alberta Real Estate Association has developed a realy good site where you can go and see the real estate statistics from all around Alberta.  View differnt types of stats, compare different parts of Alberta and a host of other interesting stats.  If you are wonderign how your area is doing compared to another, this is the place!


Check it out.  This is really well done.  Click HERE to access this great resource.

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Courtesy of CREB


City of Calgary, September 3, 2019


Increased sales and easing new listings reduced housing inventories in August. Sales were primarily driven by homes priced below $500,000.


“Employment numbers have been improving, but mostly in industries that are traditionally lower paid,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “This is contributing to the shift that we are seeing in the housing market, with growth being limited to product priced below $500,000.”


Rising sales for homes priced under $500,000 offset sales declines in the higher price ranges. This caused August sales to improve by six per cent compared to last year.


Sales activity improved for all product types. The growth was largest for apartment-style and attached properties.
Attached sales increased for the sixth consecutive month compared to the previous year. This is also the only property type with year-to-date sales higher than last year’s levels.


New listings continued to ease this month, which caused inventory to decline. This is helping the market shift toward more balanced conditions.


The amount of downward pressure on prices is also easing. At $426,000, the unadjusted citywide benchmark price this month remained comparable to last month, but 2.6 per cent lower than last year’s levels.


Despite improving sales and reductions in inventory, housing market recovery will take time. Inventory levels remain elevated and sales activity is still well below historical norms. The market continues to favour the buyer, with over four months of supply.


Detached


  •Year-to-date detached sales remain just below last year’s levels, but sales improved in the South and North West districts this month.
  •Citywide growth has been driven by homes priced under $500,000. Meanwhile, easing sales and elevated inventories among homes priced above $500,000 have increased the months of supply, pushing it further into buyers’ market territory.
  •Benchmark prices in August ranged from a year-over-year decline of over five per cent in the South district to a decline of nearly one per cent in the South East.


Apartment


  •For the second month in a row, sales activity improved for apartment-style homes, but these gains were met with a rise in new listings. This prevented any significant adjustments to inventory levels and kept the months of supply elevated.
  •Sales activity remains just below last year’s levels. On average, the amount of inventory in the market this year has eased compared to last year.
  •Citywide benchmark prices in August eased compared to last year, but the East, South East and North East districts recorded modest gains. Despite those gains, prices remain well below 2014 highs.


Attached


  •For the sixth consecutive month, year-over-year attached sales improved in the city. This has resulted in year-to-date sales of 2,665 units, nearly a five per cent increase compared to the previous year. At the same time, new listings continue to ease, causing further reductions in inventory.
  •The months of supply have moved from over six months at this time last year to under five months in August.
  •These improvements have supported some monthly gains in benchmark prices, but August benchmark prices remain 2.6 per cent below last year’s levels.


You can download the complete statistics package HERE.

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Are you considering a place in the Arizona sun?  Or another U.S. destination?

Give me a call!  (403) 253-7326

Estates At Lone Mountain

Single Family Homes - United States - Arizona

Location: 5910 East Little Wells Pass, Cave Creek, AZ, United States

Prices starting from: USD 502,990

The Estates at Lone Mountain is where desert life blooms. Community parks, ball fields and playgrounds, basketball courts, ramadas and desert gardens neatly complement beautiful new single-family homes. All are laid out across more than 600 acres (243 hectacres) of the Sonoran Desert and its striking beauty. Lone Mountain also offers an opportunity to be close to highly acclaimed shopping, schools and recreation areas.
Property Type
  • Single Family Homes
Amenities
  • Playground
  • Green areas
  • Common areas
  • Security
Community Highlights

Think green amid beautiful desert terrain — as in more than 600 acres of the Sonoran Desert, including a greenbelt area. Then think “active” amenities — as in courts for sports, a hiking trail, a playground and a picnic area.


Home Features

Homes range in size from 261 to 337 square meters, and they offer many of Lennar’s most popular features: Lennar’s Future Proof Home, Next Gen℠ - The Home Within a Home® and Lennar’s Everything's Included®. Lennar’s Future Proof Home is all about home automation and home entertainment, ensuring quality and convenience for years ahead. Next Gen℠ contains a separate suite with private living space — its own bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. Lennar’s Everything's Included® is an exclusive offering from the builder, delivering thousands of dollars in extras simply included with each home, offering great value and the latest in luxury, technology and efficiency. Among the items throughout the home: granite kitchen countertops, GE® slate appliances, maple raised panel bathroom cabinets and executive height in all bathrooms, tile roof, recessed and energy efficient lighting, and much more.


Click HERE for more information.

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If you are tired of the rat race of loading the RV, fighting traffic, paying high fuel costs, leaving two days before the weekend to get a spot, fighting traffic again, unloading and paying storage costs…then perhaps it’s time to consider an alternative.


Have you ever considered owning your own “get away”?  Or your “get away” today that could become your future retirement home?  If so, you should give me a call and come for a look around Gleniffer Lake Resort & Country Club.


Click HERE to see a few pictures from around the resort on the August long weekend.


Gleniffer Lake Resort & Country Club has it all.  A great location, between Calgary & Edmonton (southwest of Red Deer), properties to fit any budget - from RV lots to Park Models to full homes with basements and garages.

Some of the features of this great place are:


  • A beautiful, clean clear lake
  • Challenging 9-hole golf course (plus a 9-hole executive course) with Pro Shop
  • Beach & Marina
  • 13,000 sq. ft. clubhouse with fitness room, games room, licenced restaurant & lounge
  • 3 swimming pools (1 year-round indoor with hot tub and 2 outdoor)
  • Tennis courts, pickleball, basketball, beach volleyball
  • Year-round water, sewer and power make this a 4-season resort
  • Gated community is resident owned!
  • And, most importantly a wonderful community atmosphere.  All ages.

All this just an hour and half from Calgary, two hours from Edmonton.  If any of this sounds like something you might like to see…give me a call.  (403) 253-7326.  Prepare to be amazed!


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Courtesy of CREB


City of Calgary, August 1, 2019 – For the fourth consecutive month, inventories in the market declined compared
to last year. This is due to the combination of improving sales and a decline in new listings.


The market continues to favour the buyer, but a continuation in supply reduction compared to sales is needed to
support more balanced conditions.


“We are starting to see reductions in supply across the resale, rental and new-home markets,” said CREB® chief
economist Ann-Marie Lurie.


“This adjustment in supply to the lower levels of demand will support more balanced conditions. It is starting to
support more stability in prices. If this continues, the housing market should be better positioned for recovery as
we move into 2020.”


Year-to-date sales activity remains just below last year’s levels and well below longer-term averages. However, the
reduction in inventory has caused the months of supply in July to ease to 4.5 months, a significant improvement
from the 5.5 months recorded last year.


With less oversupply in the market, prices are showing some signs of stability on a monthly basis. This is causing
the rate of price decline to ease on a year-over-year basis. Overall, year-to-date benchmark prices remain over four
per cent below last year’s levels.


Detached


• Sales activity in July was slightly higher than last year’s levels, but it was not enough to offset earlier declines, as year-to-date sales remain just below last year’s levels. Despite overall declines, trends vary significantly by price range. Year-to-date sales for product priced below $500,000 have improved by 11 per cent compared to last year, while sales over $500,000 have declined by nearly 16 per cent.
• New listings continue to ease for detached product, reducing inventory across most price ranges. This is also starting to result in year-over-year declines in the months of supply for all prices ranges except homes over $1 million.
• Adjustments in sales and inventories also vary significantly by district. Year-to-date sales have declined across all districts except the North West and South districts. Easing inventories have not occurred across all districts, with year-over-year July inventory gains occurring in both the City Centre and West districts.
• Buyers’ market conditions persist, with detached benchmark prices at $488,400 in July. This is over three per cent lower than last year’s levels. Price declines range from a high of 5.7 per cent in the South district to a low of 1.4 per cent in the North East district.


Apartment


• Despite improvement in July, year-to-date sales for apartment condominiums eased by over four per cent and remain well below longer-term averages.
• Available rental supply and ample selection in the new-home sector have impacted sales in the resale market. However, inventories continue to adjust, reducing the oversupply in this sector.
• With conditions favouring the buyer, prices continue to edge down. However, year-to-date benchmark price declines are not occurring across all districts, with modest gains occurring in the North East district.


Attached


• The attached sector is the only sector with recorded growth in year-to-date sales, up nearly four per cent. The affordable nature of this product, relative to detached, has likely supported some of these gains.
• The number of new listings continues to ease. This is causing inventory declines and reductions in oversupply. Like the other sectors, this segment continues to favour the buyer, preventing any significant changes in prices.
• Both row and semi-detached prices remain over three per cent lower than last year’s levels and well below historical highs. Attached price declines have been the highest in the City Centre district at over five per cent.


You can download the complete statistics package by clicking HERE.

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Courtesy of CREB -


Experts say you should buy a home with your head and not your heart, but it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement when you find a home that seems perfect for you.

That’s why a home inspection is a crucial step. It can uncover problems that might require walking away from a potential purchase, or at least mean reassessing your offer.

According to Jared McIntyre, a home inspector with Canadian Property Inspections Ltd. and REALTOR® with Redline Real Estate Group, these are five red flags a home inspection might uncover:

Foundation issues
Since the foundation is literally what holds up a house, McIntyre says this is an enormous potential red flag. Settling of a foundation is one kind of problem, but another is underground water seepage. Both can threaten the structure of the home.

“It might be an extra cost up front, but it’s well worth the knowledge that the house is fine structurally and is safe.” – Jared McIntyre, home inspector & REALTOR®

Structural walls removed
McIntyre says it’s quite common for people wanting a more open concept in their older home to just start removing walls or support posts themselves.

He says if this is not done properly, with the expertise of an engineer, you can compromise the structure of the entire home. Warnings signs can include cracks in ceilings or walls.

Roof problems
If a home needs a new roof, “it’s an expensive thing to do, and if the people who are selling are not willing to negotiate on it that can obviously compromise the sale of a house,” said McIntyre. He adds if the roof structure also needs repairs, the job could become even more expensive.

Water stains on ceilings can be a warning sign that the roof has leaked for quite some time.

Electrical, heating and plumbing
McIntyre says this is an area where home inspectors sometimes find do-it-yourself nightmares that can cause serious damage or even injury.

“We’ve walked into a house and opened up electrical panels that we actually have to condemn, and say ‘sorry, but we’re turning off power to this section of the house,’ ” he said.

Pest infestation
Raccoons or mice making themselves at home in an attic space might seem more comical than serious, but McIntyre says they can do a lot of damage.

He says mice like to burrow through attic insulation and will chew through whatever gets in their way, including electrical wiring.

Overall McIntyre says a knowledgeable homebuyer looking to repair and then flip a home might find some issues less daunting than a first-time homebuyer, but a home inspection is still a smart investment.

“It might be an extra cost up front, but it’s well worth the knowledge that the house is fine structurally and is safe,” he said.

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Courtesy of CREB


City of Calgary, July 2, 2019 – New listings coming onto the market continued to decline in June, which is helping to reduce the oversupply of homes in Calgary.


Year-over-year, new listings saw a decrease of nearly 19 per cent. Sales activity slowed this month compared to last year by six per cent, but the pullback in new listings was enough to cause inventories to fall by 15 per cent compared to last year’s elevated levels.


“So far, the housing market has generally behaved as expected this year. Sales activity remains just below last year’s levels, prices have eased and supply is starting to adjust to the lower level of sales,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.


“However, it is mostly product priced under $500,000 that is trending towards more balanced conditions.”


While the market still favours the buyer –with 4.2 months of supply –the amount of oversupply has eased and is slowing the decline in prices. As of June, the benchmark price in the city was $425,700, nearly four per cent below last year’s levels and comparable to unadjusted prices recorded last month.


Detached

  • Detached sales in June declined by nine per cent compared to last year, causing year-to-date sales to ease by nearly three per cent. The decline in sales was mostly driven by homes priced above $500,000.
  • Detached homes priced under $500,000 have recorded improvements in sales and oversupply reductions. The tightening in the lower end of the market will likely start to support price growth in this sector of the market.
  • Despite city wide year-to-date sales declines, activity improved in both the South and North West districts of the city. Sales did ease across other districts, but in some of the most affordable districts (North East and East) supply-to-demand ratios are improving compared to last year. This is pushing those markets toward more balanced conditions.
  • Despite slower sales activity, the amount of inventory declined by nearly 18 per cent. The reduction in inventories occurred throughout all districts.
  • Prices have remained relatively stable over the past few months, with some modest monthly improvements. However, the oversupply scenario has left prices nearly four per cent below last year’s levels.

Apartment

  • Apartment condominium sales eased in June, causing year-to-date sales to total 1,292 units. This is over seven per cent below last year’s levels. Over the same time frame, new listings eased by over 15 per cent, helping reduce some of the resale inventory in the market.
  • Resale inventory levels have declined, but the months of supply continue to remain elevated at 6.8 months. Combined with elevated inventories in the competing rental and new-home markets, this continues to weigh on resale pricing.
  • June’s benchmark price was $250,200, three per cent below last year’s levels. This is resulting in a total price adjustment of over 17 per cent since 2014.

Attached

  • Unlike other property types, sales activity for attached product continued to improve in June. Year-to-date sales total 1,955 units, nearly three per cent above last year’s levels. Improvements were driven mostly by growth in demand for semi-detached product. Attached sales improved across all districts except the North West and West.
  • New listings have eased compared to last year, which is starting to reduce oversupply in the market. Like all other sectors, theattached market remains oversupplied and this is impacting prices.
  • June’s benchmark prices were $399,700 for semi-detached and $286,300 for row product. Respectively, this represents year-over-year declines of 3.3 and 5.4 per cent.
Download the complete statistics package HERE.
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Courtesy of CREB


Real estate fraud and scams are rare, but often receive an outsized amount of media attention.

Former Real Estate Council of Alberta investigator, and current supervisor of training and compliance with CREB®, Ryan DeLuca says it’s far more likely day-to-day real estate transactional details – without the benefit of advice, research and direction from licensed professionals – will trip people up.

However, here are some of the potential, albeit rare, issues to avoid and how to spot them:

Title fraud
DeLuca describes this as the only case of fraud where a homeowner is totally oblivious to what’s happening – until the bank comes looking for its money or the new “buyer” shows up. The scammer, often through identity theft, gets an additional mortgage on the home, or sells it. Homeowners should get title insurance or check their land title documents regularly through Service Alberta.

Straw buyer fraud
In this scam, you are offered money for your name on a mortgage because the “real” buyer – maybe someone new to the country – is unable to get a mortgage. You’re told the title will eventually be transferred, only it never happens, and you end up on the hook for money borrowed.

Foreclosure scams
People in financial distress are most likely to get caught up in real estate scams, due to a tendency to look for an easy fix and overlook major red flags. In this scam, someone offers to buy your property for a small amount of money and rent back the home until you can “catch up.” The rent’s high, you will never “catch up” and the property eventually gets sold from under you.

Property investment seminars/courses
Offered by unlicensed professionals, these courses often promise the secrets to buying and flipping properties for millions of dollars.

“They make it sound simple,” said DeLuca. “The seminars are free, but then they sell you books and paid seminars.”

Usually U.S.-based, these seminars don’t speak to Canadian or Alberta laws and regulations. “There is nothing wrong with attending for general information, but unless you have a background in contract law and real estate, you can get into a lot of financial and legal trouble [following their advice],” said DeLuca.

Rental scams
In this scam, a condo owner rents to a tenant who, instead of living in the unit, uses it for short-term rentals, breaking municipal bylaws and possibly damaging the condo in the process. In a similar scenario, people sometimes rent units from services like Airbnb or VRBO only to find the posting was created by scammers, not the unit’s owner.

Because relevant legislation and bylaws are constantly changing, DeLuca says doing your research, reading all contracts and seeking the help of a licensed professional – whether it’s a REALTOR®, lawyer, mortgage broker, reputable lender or property manager – are the best ways to avoid becoming a victim of any real estate scam.

“Find someone who will act in your best interests,” he said.

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Courtesyof CREB


City of Calgary, June 3, 2019 – Sales growth in May was met with a decline in new listings. This combination eased the pressure on inventory levels, which finished the month at 7,467 units, a decline of 12 per cent compared to last year.


Improving sales relative to inventory levels caused the months of supply to ease to just under four months. While still oversupplied, this is an improvement from the five months of supply recorded last May.


Citywide sales in May totalled 1,921 units, 11 per cent higher than last year’s levels. However, sales remain 10 per cent below longer-term trends. This sales growth was primarily driven by homes prices under $500,000.


“While sales activity remains low based on historical activity for May, the easing prices have brought some people back to market, while also preventing some others from listing their homes,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.


“This has started to push the market towards more balanced conditions. If this trend continues, it could limit some of the downward pressure on prices.”


Citywide benchmark prices totalled $423,100 in May. Prices have shown some signs of improvement month-over-month, but remain four per cent lower than 2018 levels.



Detached


• Detached sales in May totalled 1,182 units. This is a 12 per cent increase over last year, but still 13 per cent below long-termaverages. The improvement in sales was driven primarily by gains in homes priced under $500,000.


• Sales activity increased across most districts in May. However, year-to-dates sales have only increased in the East, South and North East districts of the city. Citywide sales remain one per cent lower than last year’s levels.


• New listings in May pulled back significantly from previous year’s levels. Combined with an improvement in sales, this resulted in inventories declining from 4,504 units last May to 3,921 units this month. This is the first time since May 2017 that year-over-year inventories declined.


• Easing inventory and improving sales caused months of supply to ease to 3.3 months. This is still elevated compared to historical levels, but represents an improvement compared to levels from the past year.


• Prices have remained relatively stable over the past few months, with some modest monthly improvements. However, the oversupply scenario has left prices four per cent lower than last year and seven per cent lower than 2014 highs.


Apartment


• The improvement in monthly sales was not enough to offset previous declines. Year-to-date apartment sales sit at 1,030 units. This is seven per cent lower than last year and 28 per cent lower than longer-term averages. Easing sales were met with fewer new listings, reducing the market inventory. This pushed months of supply to just over five months.


• If the reduction in oversupply continues, it will eventually help limit price declines. However, this market remains oversupplied and prices continue to edge down.


• May benchmark prices totalled $246,900, 0.6 per cent lower than last month and nearly three per cent lower than last year’s levels. This is resulting in a total price adjustment of over 17 per cent since 2014.


Attached


•Attached sales activity continue to improve in May. Year-to-date sales improved by two per cent, making this the only sector to record a year-to-date improvement. Improvements occurred throughout most districts of the city, apart from the City Centre, North West and West districts.


•New listings have also pulled back relative to sales. This is causing inventories to ease compared to last year and months ofsupply to trend down.


•Benchmark prices remain five per cent lower than last year’s levels, but have seen some modest gains on a month-to-month basis. Despite some signs of improvement, prices remain 10 per cent lower than 2014 highs.


To download the complete statistics package, click HERE.

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Are you considering a beautiful winter home in Arizona?  How about Cave Creek, just outside Scottsdale?  If this is something you are thinking about, give me a call.  Here is more information.


Estates At Lone Mountain

Single Family Homes - United States - Arizona

Location: 5910 East Little Wells Pass, Cave Creek, AZ, United States

Prices starting from: USD $502,990


The Estates at Lone Mountain is where desert life blooms. Community parks, ball fields and playgrounds, basketball courts, ramadas and desert gardens neatly complement beautiful new single-family homes. All are laid out across more than 600 acres (243 hectacres) of the Sonoran Desert and its striking beauty. Lone Mountain also offers an opportunity to be close to highly acclaimed shopping, schools and recreation areas.


Property Type:  Single Family Homes

Amenities:  Security, Playgrounds, Green Spaces, Common Areas, Easy access to Scottsdale & Phoenix


Community Highlights


Think green amid beautiful desert terrain — as in more than 600 acres of the Sonoran Desert, including a greenbelt area. Then think “active” amenities — as in courts for sports, a hiking trail, a playground and a picnic area.


Home Features


Homes range in size from 261 to 337 square meters, and they offer many of Lennar’s most popular features: Lennar’s Future Proof Home, Next Gen℠ - The Home Within a Home® and Lennar’s Everything's Included®. Lennar’s Future Proof Home is all about home automation and home entertainment, ensuring quality and convenience for years ahead. Next Gen℠ contains a separate suite with private living space — its own bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. Lennar’s Everything's Included® is an exclusive offering from the builder, delivering thousands of dollars in extras simply included with each home, offering great value and the latest in luxury, technology and efficiency. Among the items throughout the home: granite kitchen countertops, GE® slate appliances, maple raised panel bathroom cabinets and executive height in all bathrooms, tile roof, recessed and energy efficient lighting, and much more.

Location

5910 East Little Wells Pass, Cave Creek, AZ, United States

For more information on Cave Creek and other U.S. destinations, please click HERE.


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Courtesy of CREB


City of Calgary, May 1, 2019 – There have been no significant changes occurring in sales activity, but the number of new listings coming onto the market continues to ease relative to 2018 levels.


The decline in new listings was enough to start chipping away at overall inventory levels, which have eased slightly comparedtolast year.


The slight adjustment in supply levels has helped support further reductions in the months of supply, which was 4.6 months inApril. While this level still represents oversupply in our market, it does reflect improvement from the nearly seven months of supply that we saw at thestart of the year.


“Demand remains relatively weak in the resale market. However, if supply levels continue to adjust, this could help reduce the amount of oversupply and eventually support some price stability,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.


As of April, the total residential benchmark price in Calgary was $415,900. This is slightly higher than last month, but still nearly five per cent lower than last year’s levels.


Citywide sales were 1,547 units in April, two per cent higher than last year’s levels. Year-to-date sales remain nearly six per cent lower than last year and are 26 per cent below longer-term averages.


“Sales have been improving mostly in the lower price ranges, causing tighter supply conditions in that segment. This will likely have a different impact on price trends in the lower price ranges depending on location,” said Lurie.


HOUSING MARKET FACTS


Detached


•Detached sales improved by nearly three per cent in April compared to last year, due to gains in homes priced under $500,000.However, with 930 sales, activity still remain 24 per cent below long-term averages. Recent gains were also not high enough to offset pullbacks earlier in the year, causing year-to-date sales to fall by over five per cent.

•Improving sales did not occur across all districts. In April, there was growth in the North East, North West, South and SouthEast districts of the city. Despite some signs of sales improvement, overall sales activity remains well below 10-year averages throughout every region in the city.

•April detached inventories citywide continue to remain just above levels recorded last year. Months of supply remain relatively unchanged at four months.

•The amount of oversupply has varied significantly depending on the area of the city. Months of supply has only risen in the CityCentre, South and West districts of the city.

•Despite some of the adjustments occurring in the detached sector, overall April prices remain lower than last year’s levels across all districts. Year to date, the largest year-over-year declines occurred in in the City Centre, North West and South districts.

Apartment

•Despite the affordability of apartment condominiums, sales activity continues to fall across the city and in most districts. There have been 714 apartment condominium sales so far this year, the lowest level since 2001.

•The decline in new listings has started to outweigh the sales decline, causing inventories to ease. As of April, resale apartment condominium inventories totaled 1,546 units, 16 per cent lower than inventory levels last April.

•The easing inventories have also caused the months of supply to decline to just above six months. While this is still a buyers’ market, this trend could help ease the downward pressure on prices if it continues.

•Apartment condominium prices in April totalled $250,400, comparable to last month, but over two per cent below last year’s levels and nearly 17 per cent below 2014 highs.

Attached


•Attached sales activity improved compared to last year’s levels for the second straight month, almost offsetting the declinesoccurring in the first two months of the year. Year-to-date sales were 1,113 units, nearly one per cent below last year’s levels, and 14 per cent below long-term averages.

•Year-to-date sales have improved in all districts except the City Centre, North West and West.

•Improved sales and easing listings have helped prevent further inventory gains in this sector and overall months of supply have trended down to five months.

•Following several months of prices trending down, semi-detached benchmark prices in April rose over the previous month. However,prices remain over five per cent below last year’s levels at $395,300.

•Row prices were $284,900 in April, over five per cent below last year’s levels.


To download the complete statistics package, click HERE.

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Courtesy of CREB


When Mark Evernden goes to list his own west-end home next month, it will be priced at less than what he bought it for a decade ago.

“I paid $1.3 million, and I know the replacement value if I was building today would be $1.8 million,” said the private office advisor and licensed partner with Engel & Volkers Calgary, who has been selling in Calgary’s luxury market for more than a decade.

By listing his home at $1.289 million, in a clear buyers’ market, Evernden says the price will generate traffic. “There’s still buyers, there’s still money out there.”

He says his situation is what every luxury home seller must face today.

“The market tells us what is happening right now, and the evaluations of high-end homes are 30 to 40 per cent less than replacement value,” he said.

That market for $1-million-plus properties is primarily focused in the inner city and west end of Calgary. As an international firm, Evernden says, Engel & Volkers is seeing interest from foreign buyers in Calgary’s luxury product, as well as Canmore’s, where his company recently opened a new office.

“Prices there are double that in Calgary and it is a luxury home destination for those wanting a second or third home,” he said.

“There are a lot of pretty amazing homes out there that are unique and just need to find the right buyer.” – Mark Evernden, Engel & Volkers

Mary-Ann Mears, managing broker at Sotheby’s International Realty in Calgary, describes the luxury market as “active, and for me, that is a good market.

“There is no doubt that, right now, buyers are in the driver’s seat and looking for the best optimization of their portfolios,” she said.

In its year-end report, Sotheby’s said 2018’s luxury market in Calgary saw a sales drop of 10 per cent.

Mears says February’s bad weather meant lower activity, but March has brought an upswing. Buyers are seeing good prices, while a lot of interest is being directed at the semi-detached market.

However, Mears says many potential buyers are still taking a wait-and-see approach, as the city’s economic woes continue and new layoffs add to the already high unemployment rate.

Yet, the luxury market, and its high-net-worth buyers, are still there. Evernden, for example, will soon be listing a west-Calgary home for $13 million.

“There are a lot of pretty amazing homes out there that are unique and just need to find the right buyer,” he said.

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As spring starts to arrive in Calgary, homeowners might be looking ahead to the warmer months and the possibilities for home improvement or building something new on their property.

Many of the most popular projects involve fences, whether building new or breathing life into an old one. However, fence building can be fraught with frustrations: Who is responsible for fence construction between two properties? What are the costs? What should it be made of?

Here are some key considerations to think about before beginning any fence project, big or small.

Materials
Hardware stores like Home Depot and Rona sell fencing packages that are pre-configured and help reduce costs. Deciding which materials to use can be difficult, but the main options are cedar, wrought iron, vinyl and aluminum. Regardless of the material, fences need to be maintained over each season to extend their life.

“Treated cedar is usually the most cost effective and will last between 10 and 15 years if properly cared for,” said Ray Vodden, a sales specialist at Rona in Calgary.

“Sight lines for vehicles and pedestrians are a safety concern and fences cannot inhibit the view.” – Leanna McMillan, City of Calgary media relations

Cost
Fencing costs will largely depending on the materials used in construction and the area being fenced in. For eight linear feet of standard brown treated cedar, which is one of the most common in Calgary, the cost would be $150 plus a gate package at $200. Multiplying this by the number of feet on your property should provide a fair approximation of total cost.

Choosing another building material might lower your costs, but the resulting fence could be less than ideal for cold weather. “With vinyl and aluminum … You have the problem with hot to cold, so it’s not designed to go between those temperatures,” said Vodden. “Aluminum will discolour over time as well.”

Permits and bylaw
There are several bylaw considerations that need to be respected when planning a new fence. According to the City of Calgary, fence heights should be two metres for the backyard, 1.5 metres in the front and gates should be no more than 2.5 metres. Posts must be dug four feet deep in order to avoid frost damage.

Calgarians can always call 311 with specific questions or to deal with any issues that appear.

Common issues
Disputes between neighbours over fences are a matter for civil courts and not under the purview of the City of Calgary. However, there are other issues where the City may be forced to intervene.

“One consideration that often surprises homeowners on corner lots is the corner visibility triangle,” said Leanna McMillan, a media relations contact with the City of Calgary. “Sight lines for vehicles and pedestrians are a safety concern and fences cannot inhibit the view.”

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Courtesy of CREB


City of Calgary, March 1, 2019 – The effects of Calgary’s economic climate continue to create weak sales activity and elevated inventory in the city’s housing market.


As a result, prices are being affected.


“It is not a surprise that slowing activity in the housing market has persisted into February,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.


“There has been no substantial change in the economic climate and concerns regarding potential layoffs in the energy sector are weighing on confidence.”


As of February, citywide benchmark prices were $414,400. This is nearly five per cent below last February, slightly lower than last month’s figures and over 10 per cent below highs recorded in 2014.


While the market remains oversupplied, slower sales and price declines do appear to be influencing sellers. New listings this month eased by eight per cent compared to last year for a total of 2,211 units. However, the 976 sales this month were not enough to substantially impact inventories levels, which remain elevated at 5,885 units.


HOUSING MARKET FACTS


Detached


  1.  After the first two months of the year, detached sales were 1,079 units. This is 13 per cent below last year’s levels and nearly 30 per cent below long-term averages. Sales eased across all city districts except the North West. Activity remained well below normal levels across all districts of the city.
  2. The adjustments in new listings ranged from a 15 per cent increase in the North West district to a decline of 23 per cent in the North district.  Overall, year-to-date new listings were 2,544 units, nearly two per cent below last year’s levels.
  3. Despite some adjustments in new listings, average inventories in the detached sector so far this year rose by 25 per cent compared to last year.  However, some of the most affordable detached areas, including the North East and East districts, have seen inventories fall compared to last year.
  4. With detached months of inventory remaining above five months, prices continue to trend down. In February, citywide detached benchmark prices were $475.600, 0.2 per cent below last month and over five per cent below levels recorded last February.

Apartment


  1. Despite the relative affordability of apartment product, sales activity remained slow with 149 sales.
  2. Unlike the detached sector, the seventh consecutive year-over-year decline in new listings is starting to have an impact on inventory levels.
  3. In February, inventory levels totalled 1,301 units. This is nine per cent below levels recorded last year. Inventories did ease, but slow sales in February kept the months of supply near nine months.
  4. Apartment condominium prices were $252,300 in February, a 1.7 per cent decline compared to last year, but similar to levels recorded last month.  Apartment condo prices have fallen by 16 per cent over the previous monthly highs.
  5. Citywide benchmark prices have eased, but some districts of the city have recorded modest gains. This is not enough to erase previous declines, but points toward price stability in parts of the market.

Attached


  1. Conditions remained relatively unchanged in the attached sector, as months of inventory remained near seven months and prices have remained unchanged from last month, but over four per cent below last year’s levels.
  2. Like the apartment sector, activity can vary significantly depending on location. Benchmark prices for semi-detached product eased by over five per cent compared to last year, with the steepest declines occurring in the South and City Centre districts.
  3. Prices slightly improved in the North district.
  4. Row prices declined by nearly four per cent compared to last year. Unlike the semi-detached sector, prices eased across all districts compared to last year and remain nearly 14 per cent below monthly highs.
 

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Courtesy of CREB.  By Andrea Cox


Despite market setbacks and price drops in nearby Calgary, the Okotoks housing market managed to emerge relatively unscathed from 2018.

Okotoks REALTOR® Alison Marshall says there is still strong demand for the amenities and small-town charm inherent to the Okotoks lifestyle.

“It’s such a family-friendly town,” she said. “The school systems are great. There are so many sports programs and every neighbourhood has parks and pathways. Okotoks has all the amenities of the city and is a super easy commute into Calgary.”

According to CREB®’s 2019 Calgary Economic and Housing Outlook, total home sales (excluding new builds) in Okotoks were down from 547 homes in 2017 to 463 in 2018, a decrease of 15.36 per cent. Marshall notes that the detached market followed the same trend, down from 422 homes sold in 2017 to 368 in 2018, “which is basically only one fewer per week.”

Although the drop in sales did cause inventories to inch upwards, the market imbalance didn’t affect overall benchmark prices. In fact, year- over-year, the average benchmark resale price grew by 1.22 per cent from $421,500 in 2017 to $426,625 in 2018.

“I’m hopeful that the desire to live in one of the best communities in Alberta will drive Okotoks’s housing market and keep it steady with 2019 sales.” – Alison Marshall, Okotoks REALTOR®

That said, with the spectre of increased inventories still hanging over the market, there remains the potential for downward price pressure throughout 2019.

“But I’m hopeful that the desire to live in one of the best communities in Alberta will drive Okotoks’s housing market and keep it steady with 2019 sales,” said Marshall.

Meanwhile, the Okotoks new-home market has recently experienced an exciting shift.

Over the past few years, Okotoks hit the brakes on expansion, keeping the population hovering just below 30,000. The most recent census numbers put the town’s population at 29,002, up just 21 residents from 2016, where the federal census recorded the population at 28,881.

However, the Government of Alberta recently approved the annexation of approximately 1,950 hectares (4,900 acres) of land to the north, west, south and southeast of the town’s current boundaries. This represents a 60-year land supply, one that will be developed sustainably and to promote healthy transportation and living through a plan that is in harmony with the environment.

Anthem United is one developer that recognizes the potential of the Okotoks market.

Filling the demand for a more diverse mix of home types (the offering in Okotoks are skewed towards single-family dwellings), the developer behind the sustainability-focused community of Drake Landing broke ground on two new communities in 2018.

Located in the town’s northwest quadrant adjacent to D’Arcy Ranch Golf Course and joined by the future Gateway Village – an amenity-rich hub in the heart of the overall development – the master-planned communities of D’Arcy (113 hectares) and Wedderburn (65 hectares) offer product types that are not common in the broader Okotoks market.

Currently, D’Arcy has a selection of paired and laned homes, and villa designs and street towns with no condo fees will be coming online this spring.

All homes incorporate significant environmental features. The builder group includes Morrison Homes, Sterling Homes, Trico Homes, Prominent Homes and Partners Development Group.

In both D’Arcy and Wedderburn, showhomes will be unveiled in the coming months, including three front-drive models, along with the villas and street towns.

Amenities in these two communities are designed to complement the greater suite of offerings in Okotoks. Gateway Village will feature a high street with an urbanized, mixed-use retail environment comprised of a grocery store, coffee shops, restaurants and local retail. It is expected to open in 2020.

A pond, fitness park, play park, skating rink, walking paths and two school sites will also add to the mix.

Upon completion, the communities of D’Arcy and Wedderburn will accommodate close to 7,000 residents.

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Courtesy of CREB


City of Calgary, February 1, 2019 – As economic challenges linger into 2019, housing markets remain on a sluggish pace.


January sales totalled 804 units, 16 per cent below last year and 21 per cent below long-term averages for the month.
“The slow start to the year does not come as a surprise, as concerns about job losses and the state of the energy sector weigh on consumers. We anticipate that the slow market conditions will persist throughout much of the first quarter,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.


The number of new listings entering the market remained comparable to last year, but those levels far surpassed sales activity. This is resulted in further gains in inventory levels. Elevated inventories relative to sales caused months of supply to rise to nearly seven months.


Persistent buyers’ market conditions have continued to impact prices. Citywide residential benchmark prices eased to $414,800 in January. This is nearly one per cent lower than December figures and four per cent below January 2018 levels.


HOUSING MARKET FACTS


Detached


•Detached sales eased by 17 per cent compared to last year. However, declines did not occur across all districts, as sales activity improved in both the North West and North East districts. The most significant sales declines occurred in the North and West districts of the city.
•New listing rose across all districts except the North East, North and South East districts. Only the North East district recorded easing months of supply compared to last year.
•Detached benchmark prices totalled $476,500, a one per cent decline compared to December and over four per cent lower than last January.
•Prices eased across all districts. The largest year-over-year declines occurred in the South, North West and City Centre districts.


Apartment


•Apartment sales totalled 126 units in January. This is 13 per cent below last year and over 20 per cent below long-term averages for the month.
•Slower sales and lower new listings helped inventory levels ease. Currently, there are 1,173 units in inventory, which is nine per cent lower than January 2018 levels.
•Despite some adjustments in inventory, months of supply remained elevated at nine months, impacting prices. While prices remained relatively flat compared to last month, they declined by two per cent compared to levels from last January.
•Prices remain well below previous highs, but there were some price improvements compared to last year in both the North East and South East districts.


Attached


•Sales declined for both row and semi-detached product types. New listings rose, causing inventories to rise for both product types.
•With the attached sector firmly reflecting buyers’ market conditions, prices eased by over four per cent for a January benchmark price of $313,700.
•Semi-detached prices eased by nearly five per cent compared to last year for a total of $393,100. The steepest declines occurred in the City Centre and South districts, with adjustments of over six per cent.
•Row prices declined by four per cent compared to last year for a total of $284,300. All districts recorded price declines, but the most notable decline occurred in the City Centre, where prices were nearly eight per cent lower than last year.

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Courtest of CREB


Condo owners, sellers and buyers will have more information at their fingertips – and it will be less cumbersome and expensive to access – under new provincial guidelines slated to take effect this July.

Changes to the Condominium Property Act tackle the biggest challenge to current and potential owners and sellers: obtaining all the essential financial, legal and technical information related to the operation of condominium corporations.

“Information was frequently only partly available, costly and difficult to obtain,” said Terry Gibson, president of the Condo Owners Forum Society of Alberta, one of the consumer groups consulted by the provincial government. “Quite frankly, it hurt condominium sales and values.”

With condo ownership on the rise – one in five Albertans now live in a condo – the new regulations ensure easier access to condo documents, while clarifying what documents must be provided to owners and when they need to be provided. They also tighten rules related to meetings and how reserve funds are managed.

Serhan Tarkan, a Calgary REALTOR® with Kirby Cox and Associates who has been selling condos here for 15 years, echoes Gibson’s comments.

“It’s been the Wild West in the last decade,” he said, with some clients charged as much as $1,000 to receive condo management documents. “It’s been out of hand for a long time.”

“I can’t wait until it takes effect. It levels the playing field for transactions, whether a person is buying or selling.” – Serhan Tarkan, Kirby Cox and Associates

Tarkan says condo management companies were making substantial profits in this area for providing simple digital files.

“For some of the smaller corporations, (the new rules) could be big trouble,” he said, noting that some were charging owners $25 per month just to access condo board meeting minutes that will now have to be provided free.

“I can’t wait until it takes effect. It levels the playing field for transactions, whether a person is buying or selling.”

Gibson says the regulation changes will substantially improve governance by increasing transparency on the part of condo boards of directors when it comes to sharing information.

“Condominium corporations are valuable assets,” he said.

“Prior to these changes, it was our opinion the governance and management of many condominiums needed improvement. Many times, their quality was not representative of the large value of the assets concerned.”

Gibson also says his organization believes the changes will improve property values in the long term. However, he says additional changes are needed, including better dispute resolution and licensing regulations for condo property managers.

“Education, training and standards for condominium property managers are a very important issue – we believe many improvements are required.”

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Courtesy of CREB.  By Gerald Vander Pyl


Making sure your dream renovation doesn’t turn into a nightmare means doing some due diligence before signing on the dotted line.

Many potential problems can be avoided by simply choosing the right contractor to tackle your renovation project, says Danny Ritchie, president and co-owner of Ultimate Homes & Renovations.

“People need to do their homework a little bit more on the credibility and background of the company,” said Ritchie. “How long they’ve been in business, what their track record is, how much subcontracting they do.”

Here are four renovation nightmares you might encounter and, more importantly, how to avoid them:

1. Contractor takes a deposit then disappears
Consumer groups warn about smooth-talking, door-to-door contractors who offer to repair a roof or renovate a bathroom, accept a deposit and then are never heard from again.

Ritchie says people should never decide who to hire because “they like the salesman.”
He says get a business card, check them out first and then decide if it’s a good idea to hire someone who knocked on your door.

2. Costly “extras” start adding up
The price you are quoted is only useful if it spells out exactly what’s included. Otherwise, you might find yourself charged more during construction to get the renovation you actually wanted.

Ritchie says for a major renovation project, his company often provides the homeowner with a “scope of work” that includes 20 pages of specifications on the materials included, so there are no surprises.

“Even to the point of saying how many pot lights will be put into a kitchen, and not just (an amount) for electrical,” he said.

3. Renovation is taking forever
Ritchie says a disreputable renovator might tell a person “what they want to hear” when it comes to how long a project will take, regardless of whether that timeframe is realistic or not

“Quite often, I’ll tell a customer that it’s going to take three or four months to do this job, and they’ll turn around and tell me, ‘the other guy said he can do it in three to six
weeks,’ ” he said.

He adds a typical kitchen renovation takes two to three months – not two to three weeks – so be wary of anyone who promises such a tight turnaround.

4. Renovator doesn’t back up their workmanship
After a renovation is complete, there are bound to be a few things that might need a follow-up visit to fix or touch up, so a contractor who doesn’t respond will leave the homeowner in the lurch.

Ritchie says being a member of the RenoMark program is a good indicator that a company stands behind its workmanship, since the program’s code of conduct requires companies to offer at least a two-year warranty on a renovation.

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Courtesy of CREB


City of Calgary, January 2, 2019 -As oversupply continues in Calgary’s housing market, December prices eased by one per cent compared to last month and are over three per cent below last December.


“Persistent weakness in the job market and changes in the lending market impacted sales activity in the resale market this year,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.


“This contributed to elevated supply in the resale market, resulting in price declines.”


December sales totalled 794 units, a 21 per cent decline over the previous year. Overall year-to-date sales in the city totalled 16,144 units. This is a 14 per cent decline over 2017 and nearly 20 per cent below long-term averages.


Inventory levels in December sat at 4,904 units. This is well above levels recorded last year and 30 per cent above typical levels for the month. Elevated resale inventories in 2018 were caused by gains in the detached and attached sectors.


Throughout 2018, the months of supply remained elevated and averaged 5.2 months. This contributed to the annual average benchmark price decline of 1.5 per cent. Price declines occurred across all product types and have caused citywide figures to remain over nine per cent below the monthly highs recorded in 2014.


“Both buyers and sellers faced adjustments in expectations this year. Sellers had to compete with more choice in the resale market, but also the new-home market,” said CREB® president Tom Westcott.


“With less people looking for a home, it became a choice between delaying when to sell or adjusting the sale price. However, buyers looking for more affordable product did not find the same price adjustments that existed in some of the higher price ranges.”


More information on the 2018 housing market will be released at CREB®’s 2019Forecast Conference & Tradeshow(www.crebforecast.com) on Jan. 30, 2019.


HOUSING MARKET FACTS


Detached


•Detached sales declined across all districts in 2018. With citywide sales of 9,945 units, activity remains 21 per cent below typical levels for the year.


•Detached inventories were higher than last year’s levels for each month of the year, including December. Slow sales caused the market to be oversupplied through most of 2018.


•Detached benchmark prices totalled $481,400 in December, a one per cent decline over last month and a three per cent decline over last year. Overall, 2018 prices declined by 1.5 per cent compared to last year.


•Prices have eased across most districts in 2018. The largest declines this year have occurred in the North East, North West and North districts.


Apartment


•Apartment sales totalled 2,663 units in 2018. While the decline is less than other product types, levels are 22 per cent below long-term averages.


•The apartment condominium sector has struggled with oversupply for almost three years and 2018 was no exception.


•However, supply has been easing, as inventories this year averaged 1,584 units, one per cent below last year’s levels.


•Despite slowing supply growth, the market remained oversupplied, causing further price declines. In December, benchmark prices were $251,500, over two per cent below last year. Annually, prices have declined by nearly three per cent for a total decline of 14 per cent since 2014.


•Price declines this year have ranged from a high of nearly six per cent in the East district to a low of two per cent in both the City Centre and North West districts.


Attached


•Declines for both row and semi-detached product resulted in 2018 attached sales of 3,536 units, a 15 per cent decline over the previous year and 14 per cent below long-term averages.


•Slower sales activity prompted some pull-back in new listings, but this was limited to the row sector. Row new listings declined by four per cent and semi-detached new listings rose by nearly 15 per cent in 2018.


•Despite some adjustments to new listings, inventory levels remained elevated, keeping the market in buyers’ market territory and putting downward pressure on prices.


•In December, the semi-detached benchmark price totalled $397,500. This is a monthly and year-over-year decline of 0.8 and 3.8 per cent, respectively. Recent price declines have caused this sector to erase any of the gains that occurred last year, as 2018 prices remain just below 2017 levels. Overall, annual prices remain 1.4 per cent below 2014 peak levels.


•Row prices have also been edging down. As of December, row prices were $288,400, a 1.5 per cent decline from last month and nearly four per cent below last year’s levels. Overall, 2018 prices remain two per cent below last year’s levels and nearly 10 per cent below previous highs.


You can download the complete statistics package HERE.

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Wishing everyone a very




Merry Christmas


and a


Healthy, Happy & Prosperous


New Year!

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Data supplied by CREB®’s MLS® System. CREB® is the owner of the copyright in its MLS® System. The Listing data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by CREB®.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.