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Calgary Resale Condo Market Booming As Sales Soar

Calgary’s resale condo market is booming these days with the annual growth in transactions far outstripping the pace in the single-family sector.

That is also sparking what could be a record year for new construction in the multi-family segment of the housing market.

The market for Calgary condos has been strong through 2014. It’s up over 20 per cent year-over-year and we expect demand to continue as buyers and the inventory available becomes more sophisticated. More demand are expecting from local buyers who are increasingly aware of the benefits of the condo lifestyle: convenience, security, unique amenities and proximity to the city’s downtown.

The Calgary economy is also attracting professionals from cities like Vancouver and Toronto, who regard Calgary condos as affordable and attractive alternatives to the highly-developed condo markets they are coming from. At the same time, pre-sale condo developments like The Guardian are attracting buyers and investors not only locally, but from other major cities, as Calgary’s real estate market becomes renowned as a stable place to invest.

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Waterfront Condo Project Moves Forward with Next Phase of Development

Posted on October 11, 2015


Western Canadian developer Anthem Properties brought some good news to Calgary’s labour market Thursday.

The developer of the Waterfront condo project in the Eau Claire neighbourhood said it’s moving ahead with the next phase of development that will create more than 250 direct construction jobs.

Four buildings totalling 624 units — all sold — were completed in the project’s first phase. The next stage, called Parkside, will eventually consist of six buildings comprising 361 units, of which 85 per cent are sold.

The entire project is expected to be completed by spring 2018.

There is a bit of a softening (in the housing market) but it’s really not as bad as one might think given that huge drop in such an important industry (energy) to this province.

Icon Business Park Adds Another Major Tenant

Posted on October 4, 2015


Hungerford Properties has secured a third anchor tenant for its Icon Business Park in the city’s southeast, bringing the leasing of office space there to almost 70 per cent.

ABB, a global company in the utilities, oil and gas and mining sectors, is leasing about 71,000 square feet of office and warehouse space. The company is moving from three separate Calgary locations into the one space.

The location was chosen after an extensive market search and Icon offered the best in workplace accessibility, convenience of location as well as flexibility to accommodate future expansion, said ABB Canada.

The 761,000-square-foot Icon Business Park has been under redevelopment by Hungerford for the past two years. Other major tenants include pet supply distributor Rolf C. Hagen Inc and The Data Group. The latest deal brings the property to more than 50 per cent leased for both office and warehouse space.

Sales Launched for Unique N3 Condo Project in East Village

Posted on September 27, 2015


Sales are launching today for one of the most unique residential condo projects Calgary has ever seen.

The N3 development in East Village is designed with Generation Y in mind with parking for bicycles and ‘microcars’ only.

Knightsbridge Homes, which is developing the concept, said the project vision also includes social open spaces for entertaining and hosting, Wi-Fi connectivity throughout and fully-furnished IKEA units. Also, to support the marketing platform of – No car, No parking, No problem – each buyer will receive a $500 credit to Car2Go and an urban bicycle.

It will be located near the historic St. Louis Hotel along 8th Avenue S.E. at 4th Street and consist of 300 condo units averaging about $225,000. Occupancy is expected by the summer of 2017.

Joe Starkman, president of Knightsbridge Homes, said the price point, as well as the unique development concept, is tailored to attract buyers in the 20-to-35-year-old demographic.

The N3 development, which stands for New Attitude, New Living, New Vision, held an official launch of the project on Friday. It is being co-developed with Metropia.

“We were fortunate we had a pretty strong seniors population. What we needed to make sure is that we had a difference in incomes as well as different (residences) . .  As a community, people are recognizing the strength in East Village and what we really have going for us. It is a different space.”

N3 will be located near the LRT line. Knightsbridge also owns a parcel of land on the other side of the St. Louis which could be another future condo development.

“We had a sensational location. The East Village redevelopment by CMLC is like second to none. I’ve travelled all over the world. This is one of the most incredible undertakings being done anywhere. To the community itself, that was a cornerstone,” said Andrew Brethour, president of PMA Brethour Realty Group which is handling sales and marketing for the condo.

Knightsbridge is planning to develop a pedestrian area on either side of the St. Louis Hotel, where CMLC expects retail and commercial use will be developed for that building.

Knightsbridge has developed a mixed-used,  four-tower University City project of 705 condo units in the northwest community of Brentwood. Only 24 units remain unsold there.

CMLC says East Village will be home to more than 11,000 residents upon completion in 2027. It will also be home to the new Central Library, the National Music Centres, an urban shopping centre, and two hotels.

Condo Tower With No Traditional Parking Sells 90% of Units In Five Days

Posted on September 20, 2015


A planned East Village car-free condo tower has sold 90 per cent of its 167 units in five days, according to officials.

The N3 project, to be located near the historic St. Louis Hotel along 8 Ave. S.E., and 4 St., is being developed by Knightsbridge Homes, of Calgary, and Metropia, of Toronto, with an expected occupancy of summer of 2017. The average price of available units is $260,000.

According to Altus Group, a real estate research company, 1,430 new Calgary condos sold in the first half of this year, compared with 2,758 for the same period in 2014.

The resale condo market in Calgary has also taken a hit this year. Through Tuesday, there have been 2,517 MLS sales in the city, down nearly 31 per cent from the same period a year ago, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board.

Calgary Records Largest New Home Price Decrease

Posted on September 13, 2015


The Calgary region posted the country’s largest new home price declines in July, says Statistics Canada.


Its New Housing Price Index fell 0.3 per cent locally from June, tying the region with Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo in Ontario.


“Builders in both areas cited lower negotiated selling prices, as well as lower list prices to stimulate sales as the main reasons for the decline,” said the federal agency.


Prices on an annual basis increased 0.3 per cent in July. Nationally, the index rose 0.1 per cent in July and it was up 1.3 per cent from a year ago.

Housing Affordability Continues to Improve in Calgary

Posted on September 6, 2015


Owning a home in Calgary at market price remains more affordable than it has been on average since the middle of the 1980s, says a new report released Monday by RBC Economics Research.

But the latest Housing Trends and Affordability Report said movements in oil prices are likely to exert a stronger influence on the market direction in the short term.

Alberta’s housing market is still feeling the impact from the oil price shock,” said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. “That said, the dust began to settle this spring, and we saw a gradual recovery in confidence, which helped rebalance demand-supply conditions. Home re-sales started to turn around, and sellers no longer rushed to list their properties.”

RBC said prices remained under slight downward pressure for the most part in the second quarter, which helped keep the cost of home ownership in the province on a descending course from the first quarter.

The RBC Housing Affordability measures, which capture the proportion of pre-tax household income needed to service the costs of owning a home at market values, fell slightly in Calgary for both two-storey homes, by 0.8 percentage points to 31.9 per cent, and bungalows, by 0.4 percentage points to 32.4 per cent. The measure for condos stayed relatively the same, rising by 0.1 percentage points to 19.5 per cent.

Across the province, the measures fell 0.5 percentage points to 32.5 per cent for two-storey homes and 0.1 percentage points to 31.7 per cent for bungalows, while rising 0.2 percentage points to 20.1 per cent for condos.

Record $12.25 Million MLS Listing for a Calgary Existing Home

Posted on August 30, 2015


An English-style manor home wrapped entirely in stone is the city’s most expensive ever MLS residential listing, with an asking price of $12.25 million.

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada has listed the nearly 10,000-square-foot Aspen Estates home, which includes five bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a 1,200-square-foot patio.

The Aspen Ridge Lane S.W. home — which sits on a full acre — was custom-built by its owner, Jim Quinn of QuinnCorp Communities, the original developer of Aspen Estates, said realtor Corinne Poffenroth, who has the listing.

Poffenroth said the listing includes two separate lots that can be developed. An enclosed galleria connects the primary residence to a 1,000-square-foot carriage house that sits atop a two-level, seven-car garage.

Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist, said the luxury sector comprises about 2.8 per cent of the overall market. For the past couple of years, it was just over three per cent.

It is an overall sign, a reflection, of what’s happening in the economy, adding that new listings in the luxury market represent a greater share of the overall market.

Deal Would Make Calgary-based Real Estate Trust One of Canada's Largest Landlords

Posted on August 23, 2015


CALGARY — A Calgary-based real estate trust would control one the largest collections of rental apartments in Canada under a three-way deal involving nearly 25,000 residential suites in eight provinces and two territories.

Under the proposed deal, Northern Property Real Estate Investment Trust of Calgary will acquire True North Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust of Toronto.

Northern would also acquire a 4,650-suite portfolio of multi-family properties from Starlight Investments Ltd., which is controlled by True North chairman Daniel Drimmer.

Drimmer, 42, would become the largest investor in the merged company, to be named Northview Apartment Real Estate Investment. He would have a 14.5 per cent interest in Northview and have the right to name two members of its board.

Northview is expected to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, where Northern Property and True North units are traded.

In total, the Northview would have suites in more than 60 markets in every province but Prince Edward Island and Manitoba, as well as about 800 employees. The largest number of suites is 8,235 in Ontario.

Its head office would be in Calgary, where Northern Property has its base.

Under the proposed deal, True North shareholders would receive 0.3908 of a share of Northern Property for each share. Based on Friday’s closing price, the offer was worth $9 per share when the deal was announced, which was 16 per cent above True North’s closing price of $7.73 per share.

Drimmer and some of his associates, who collectively have 41.9 per cent of True North’s outstanding voting units, have agreed to vote in favour of the transaction.

In addition, Northern Property would pay $535 million — including $316 million cash, $49 million of assumed debt and equity issued by the trust — to acquire a portfolio of apartment suites from a joint venture between Starlight and Public Sector Pension Investment Board, which manages retirement funds for the RCMP, Canadian Forces and the reserve forces.

New Condo Sales Gain Some Ground in Q2

Posted on August 16, 2015


 Calgary’s new condo market found its footing over the second quarter following the initial shock of the energy sector downturn, says Altus Group.

A report released on Thursday said second-quarter sales were 29 per cent lower than the average of the past three years, significantly better than the first quarter when sales fell 62 per cent compared with the 2012-2014 average.

Altus Group said 907 new Calgary condos were sold between April and June compared with 1,418 for the same 2014 period. While consumer confidence has improved since the first quarter, increased competition means the smaller pool of buyers has been diluted, it said. Inventory levels grew 14 per cent as sales failed to keep pace with new units coming onto the market.

The more than 3,000 available units, as of the end of June, mark the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2008.

The report said the increased inventory is concentrated in pre-sales. Standing inventory remains below 2010-2012 levels with less than 10 per cent of the available units move-in ready.


Calgary’s paradigm has shifted into a slower pace of growth, sure. But the city is still demonstrating a consistent level of demand for new condominium product.

Real Estate Developers Building New Calgary Playgrounds

Posted on August 09, 2015


The Calgary real estate industry has been instrumental in developing new non-school playgrounds in the city with 21 built in 2013 and 2014 and turned over to the city.

The most recently-built playground was unveiled the other day at the massive Currie Barracks development and a sign of a growing trend as developers and home builders look to attract homebuyers into new neighbourhoods.

Ryan Doherty, director of real estate for Canada Lands Company, a Crown corporation developing Currie Barracks, said the 20,450-square-foot playground, which includes the rubber pad with play equipment, all surrounding paths, landscaping, and seating areas, is in the heart of the community.

Playgrounds built by developers are approved and eventually maintained by the City of Calgary.

Doherty said new playgrounds play a very important role in new residential development.

That playground delivers on a long-term promise with residents of the very highest quality amenities. Residents cannot only engage with one another but engage with the community as well.

Calgarians look forward to the creation of new parks and value accessible outdoor year-round spaces where they can be active. The beautification of community spaces with trees, plants and features such as pathways for walking and cycling trails are valued by residents.

Calgary Resale Housing Market Sees Easing of Year-Over-Year MLS sales Declines
Posted on August 2, 2015


The rate of decline in year-over-year MLS sales in Calgary is continuing to ease.

Calgary Real Estate Board statistics indicate indicate July month-to-date activity in the resale housing market, up to and including Thursday, was down 13.9 per cent to 1,890 transactions compared with the same period a year ago.

It is the smallest year-over-year monthly drop of 2015 which began with a near 40 per cent annual plunge in January.

Month-to-date new listings in July were down 8.91 per cent to 2,802 units.

The average MLS sale price was off by 1.11 per cent to $476,500. However, the median price was up 2.42 per cent to $435,300.

The days on the market to sell a listing rose by 21.21 per cent from 33 days to 40 days.

Prices are remaining stable year-to-date as a result of a reasonable demand due to lower interest rates and less new inventory coming onto the market. The roles of buyers and sellers have changed in the last 12 months and this is creating a more balanced market to what it was last year. Balance is healthy.

Renovation Spending in Alberta on the Rise

Posted on July 26, 2015


Continued low borrowing costs and a growing housing stock will boost spending on renovations in Alberta this year and next year, says a report by the Altus Group.

The report said renovation spending, which is defined as the sum of residential alterations, conversions and repairs, reached $7.6 billion in the province in 2014, up 3.7 per cent from 2013. That was the second highest growth rate in the country behind Ontario’s 4.1 per cent.

The Altus Group is forecasting spending to increase by 2.6 per cent this year and by 3.8 per cent next year in the province.

In Canada, renovation spending reached an estimated $67.8 billion last year, up 3.2 per cent from 2013.

The report said the renovation sector accounted for 3.4 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product in 2014 and renovations are the top purpose for Canadians borrowing with home equity lines of credit.

Alterations/improvements is the biggest component of renovations, contributing about three out of every four dollars spent.

The report said that beginning in the 2000s, spending on renovations grew at 8.7 per cent on an average annual rate. But for the last seven years, including the recession and the subsequent recovery, it has been 2.6 per cent as an average annual rate of growth.

Altus Group said this is still “impressive” when it is compared to the overall Canadian economic average annual growth rate of 1.6 per cent during the same period.

Luxury Home of Canadian golfer Stephen Ames is Listed for Sale at Close To $8 Million

Posted on July 19, 2015


The property in Aspen Estates, at 20 Aspen Ridge Manor S.W., features a French country exterior with an interior that is described as “modern elegant” but combines a Calgary/Alberta feel to it.

It has a French country exterior but a very warm modern interior. The quality of workmanship and the thought they put into the home makes it special in its own right because it was a custom-built home. You just have a lot of special features and items in the home.

The unique property is owned by Ames and Jodi Ames. They have owned the property since 2010.

It has numerous unique features including custom cow-hide benches at the entrance for when an individual walks into the nearly 11,000-square-foot home.

Other features include a four-car garage, 11 fireplaces, nine bathrooms, a horizontal nine-foot fireplace, custom gym, infrared sauna, a custom-built wine room with large wine fridge and built-ins to accommodate about 1,800-plus bottles of wine with proper refrigeration, a media room and a golf simulator room.

Calgary’s luxury home resale market has taken a hit in 2015 with $1-million property transactions down 36 per cent from last year’s record level. A recent report by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada said  289 properties of $1 million or more sold in Calgary during the first six months of 2015. A record 854 high-end homes sold last year, besting the previous records of 726 in 2013 and 544 in 2012.

Arlington Street Has Big Designs for 17th Avenue

Posted on July 12, 2015


Arlington Street Investments president and CEO Frank Lonardelli built the four-storey commercial tower on 8th Avenue S.W. just to the west of the Uptown Theatre block where his head office is housed.

Under construction is The Windsor, a five-storey, mixed-use commercial project on the strategic corner of Elbow Drive and 50th Avenue S.W., surrounded by the communities of Elboya, Windsor and Britannia.

Designed by NORR Architects and built by Clark Builders, the structure will house almost 20,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor and an additional 5,000 square feet on the second. The remaining 70,000 square feet will be built for offices.

Lonardelli’s new focus is squarely on 17th Avenue between Macleod Trail in the southeast to 14th Street S.W. At the vibrant southwest intersection of 17th Avenue and 14th Street, Arlington Street purchased what many people still refer to as the Bank of Nova Scotia block but was known more recently as a retail outlet for American Apparel.

It has been fully leased to Prema Sai Wholistic Living, a clinic with the goal of transforming health care by a variety of different bodywork sessions including massage, acupuncture and detox services consulting with Calgary’s best practitioners.

Kitty corner to that site, Arlington Street has purchased the 36,000-square-foot Condon Building and Lonardelli has great plans to transform it and the parking area into a new Sentinel Block. He wants to create a village atmosphere with a design of retail that will include a grocery store on the main floor and a high tower of residential rental suites bringing more shoppers to walk the avenue.

The company already owns the block of 17th Avenue at 1st Street S.E. The next piece of land to be redeveloped will be the assembly it has purchased between College Lane and the Bank of Montreal branch at 7th Street S.W.

Designed by McKinley Burkart architects and interior designers, the dramatic High Street project is influenced by a New York Italian market concept.

Preliminary designs show a high-end restaurant on the ground floor. On the second will be a cooking school, bakery, wine boutique and grab-and-go foods. Floors three and four will be for office lease and the fifth floor will house a large 8,000-square-foot retail area connected to the second floor by an open glass stairwell and elevator.

It will be a casual, open area with kitchen for simple pastas, wine and beer, a variety of foods for sale and feature an atrium with retractable roof offering wonderful views of the downtown skyline to the north.

Lonardelli has a vision to see all of 17th Avenue as a destination, not just individual stores, so he is keen on providing space for unique shops. He will be in even more control of his idea as he also is in the final stages of negotiations to buy two more major sites he wants to develop along the avenue.

Calgary Has Province's Highest Average Rental Rate for Seniors' Residences

Posted on July 07, 2015


The vacancy rate for seniors’ residences in the Calgary region is on the rise, along with the average cost of a standard space.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the vacancy for standard retirement spaces in the Calgary metro area has grown to 6.4 per cent from 4.8 per cent last year. Average rents climbed to $3,564 this year from $3,460 last year, it said.

The rise in the vacancy rate for seniors housing was largely due to more supply added to the market. While the number of residents in seniors’ housing also rose from the previous year, it did not keep pace with the additions to supply.

Several factors, including land and construction costs, are behind rent increases. Many of the facilities in Calgary also offer more amenities compared to some of the other residences in Edmonton and in other areas of the province.

In contrast, vacancy throughout Alberta declined to 8.1 per cent in 2015 from 8.5 per cent in 2014 and the Edmonton area saw its vacancy rate drop to 6.3 per cent from 7.1 per cent last year.

The average rental rate for standard spaces in Edmonton rose to $2,538 from $2,402 while provincially it was up to $2,922 from $2,826.

The report said there were 11,143 retirement spaces in the province, up six per cent in 2014. About 40 per cent of those spaces (4,432) are in Edmonton and 33 per cent (3,645) are in Calgary.

Oil-fuelled Slowdown Improves Housing Affordability in Calgary

Posted on June 28, 2015


Plunging oil prices boosted housing affordability in Calgary during the first quarter of 2015, says RBC Economics.

Its latest housing trends report, released Monday, said falling energy prices shook the confidence of both buyers and sellers — reversing a trend of rapid price increases and swinging the market sharply in favour of buyers.

Recent developments suggest that housing activity stabilized in spring, and the market will be shaped by news on the economy and the job market in particular over the coming months.

RBC measures affordability using the proportion of pre-tax household income required to service the mortgage of an average home, including principal and interest, property taxes and utilities.

In Calgary, the affordability measures improved in all categories: Condos fell 0.6 points to 19.4 per cent, two-storey homes declined 1.5 points to 32.6 per cent, and bungalows dropped one point to 32.8 per cent.

The Calgary Real Estate Board has logged 1,550 MLS sales through Sunday, a decline of 19 per cent from the same period a year ago. The average sale price was down 2.9 per cent to $482,691.

RBC Economics said sales activity in Calgary has improved in recent months.

Alberta saw affordability measures improve in all categories as well: Condos were down 0.6 points to 19.9 per cent, two-storey homes declined one point to 33 per cent, and bungalows dropped 0.7 points to 31.8 per cent.

At the national level, RBC said affordability measures improved slightly: Condos were down 0.2 points to 27.1 per cent, two-storey homes declined 0.2 points to 47.9 per cent and detached bungalows were unchanged at 42.7 per cent.

Vacancy Rates, Monthly Rents Both Rise in Calgary Apartment Market

Posted on June 14, 2015


Apartment rents in Calgary jumped almost six per cent during the past year despite weakening demand led by the slumping energy sector.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, in its spring market survey, said same sample rents for a two-bedroom apartment rose 5.9 per cent in the 12 months to April 2015. The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment grew to $1,319, eclipsed only by Vancouver — at $1,345 — among the major markets surveyed by CMHC. The average two-bedroom rent in Toronto was $1,269, it said.

Meanwhile, the Calgary-area vacancy rate grew to 3.2 per cent in April, more than double the 1.4 per cent rate of a year earlier.

The CMHC report confirmed rent increases were largely attributed to stronger demand in the latter half of 2014.

The current rate of 3.2 per cent has historically reflected a supply and demand balance.

New condo construction in the past one to two years has decreased rental demand as more renters are buying homes.

Canmore posted Alberta’s lowest vacancy rate, at zero per cent. Cold Lake and Wood Buffalo had the province’s highest vacancy rates at 22.8 and 22.3 per cent respectively.

Southern Alberta Ranch Listed for Record $42.5 Million US

Posted on June 14, 2015


The Bar-N Ghost Pine Ranch in southern Alberta is being listed for sale for a record $42.5 million US.

The nearly 6,000-hectare property, owned by Calgary oil and gas executive Greg Noval, is located 90 minutes south of Calgary and close to renowned UNESCO World Heritage site Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

The previous owners were the Wesley family, who were well known for establishing an Alberta baseball team, the Granum White Sox.

Offers will be accepted exclusively in US dollars. The list price is about $52.5 million in Canadian dollars.

It features six residential homes “set on a pristine and diverse landscape, with lush meadows, rolling hills, steeper mountain country with scatterings of aspens and evergreens, as well as water springs, trout pond and a lake.

The cattle ranch is also home to elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer and several species of birds including the sharp-tailed grouse.

The water on this site is incredible. There are streams, ponds and a lake on the property that keep this property lush and green most of the year. They’ve never had any water issues. They have gravity water supply that comes into the home. So they have no pumps pumping any water because there’s just that much water on this land.

It is untouched nature basically that is a large parcel that hasn’t been affected by any development or any external effect. It’s been protected.

The working cattle ranch has 800 cattle and 36 Angus cross bulls. It has winter cabin facilities, corrals, barns, machine shops and sheds.

The residences include a luxurious 5,200-square-foot grand ranch home, a guest home, and four village houses for a full crew.

The primary residence has been designed to highlight the beauty of the surrounding natural landscape, with floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing panoramic views, custom millwork with etchings of the prairies and local wildlife throughout the home.

Canadian real estate is now regarded as being among the most desirable assets for discerning buyers worldwide. Given the low Canadian dollar, this property’s unique history, and its location one hour from the U.S. border, it’s no surprise that there has not only been interest from Canadian buyers, but from buyers from the U.S. and internationally as well.

Strategic Group to Build 32-storey Skyscraper in Beltline

Posted on June 7, 2015


A Calgary developer plans to build a 32-storey mixed-used skyscraper on a vacant downtown site that’s been a neighbourhood eyesore for several years.

Strategic Group has submitted a development permit application for the site at the corner of 1st Street S.E. and 10th Avenue. The $130-million project, to be named ONE, will include 100,000 square feet of Class A office space, 227 one- and two-bedroom rental residences and retail, says the Strategic Group.

Strategic acquired the site in November 2014 after it sat vacant for several years after a planned 30-storey condo project never got off the ground.

Despite the current economic uncertainty, the developer has confidence in the city and has confidence in the particular project that they're building.

Construction is expected to start later this year with completion by the end of 2017.

It’s got such great access into downtown so people can really have that living close to work and being able to walk or ride a bike and not having to rely on a car as much to get around. Everything is in a very close range from that site.

Industrial Real Estate Remains in Demand

Posted on May 31, 2015


Things may be a little quiet right now with commercial real estate downtown, but there doesn’t seem to be any slowdown in industrial real estate activity.

Fulton Industrial Park is a 210-hectare development east of Calgary off Highway 22X on TWP Road 230 and Range Road 280. It’s 10 minutes from Stoney Trail and fronts the Canadian Pacific main line, within the intermodal switching zone.

Owner Resland Development of Edmonton has sold about 5 hectares to Myshak Crane and Rigging and another 6 hectares to Whissell Contracting. Both companies are moving out of Calgary to take advantage of lower property taxes and no business tax.

Only four lots remain available in the 28-hectare first phase of the 120-hectare Point Trotter Industrial Park  between 68th Street S.E. and Stoney Trail that’s marketed by Walton International Group. The City of Calgary has 24 lots within Phase 1 that will become available but have not yet been released to the market.

Another 54,248 square feet that includes two shops and a 6,500-square-foot office is available along 52nd Street  S.E. Also available is 32,000 square feet on 1.6 hectares, with two floors of office and a 24,000-square-foot shop with two 7.5-ton cranes on 84th Street S.E. and another 19,288 square foot office/warehouse complex on 59th Avenue S.E.

Also in the southeast quadrant, Enerflex has moved back into the building it constructed but sold to Surefire in 2011. The 312,369 square feet became available again and Enerflex made the decision to relocate its three divisions to the attractive building on the prime address that gives good exposure to Peigan Trail and 52nd Street S.E.

Industrial continues to outpace other commercial real estate sectors today.

New Housing Investment Still Highest in Alberta

Posted on May 24, 2015


Alberta led all provinces with the largest annual increase in investment in new housing construction in March, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported Thursday that total investment in the province increased 15 per cent from a year ago to $937 million.

In British Columbia, spending was up 13.3 per cent to $643 million, while in Ontario, investment rose 2.4 per cent to $1.1 billion, it said.

Across Canada, investment in new housing construction was up 4.2 per cent to $3.5 billion in March.

Investment rose in all dwelling types with apartment and apartment-condominium buildings accounting for much of the national advance, said Statistics Canada. Investment in apartment and apartment-condominium buildings rose 7.5 per cent to $1.2 billion, while spending on single-family homes increased 1.5 per cent to $1.8 billion.

Investment in row house construction advanced 7.7 per cent to $351 million and spending on semi-detached dwellings rose 5.1 per cent to $193 million, it said.

Calgary Area Building Permits Soar in March

Posted on May 17, 2015


Building permit values for the Calgary region soared in March, topping $600 million on the strength of planned multi-family projects and institutional buildings, says Statistics Canada.

Permits in the Calgary census metro area reached $601.1 million, up 66.1 per cent from February and an increase of 34.9 per cent year-over-year.

Residential permits in the Calgary region rose 36.8 per cent from February to $349.1 million. Non-residential permits rose by 140.5 per cent to $252 million — an annual increase of 40.4 per cent. For Alberta, total permits of $1.3 billion were up 11.1 per cent month-over-month and 4.6 per cent year-over-year.

The province saw residential permits of $811.3 million for March which was down 10.7 per cent from the previous month but up 8.6 per cent year-over-year. Non-residential permits rose by 80.4 per cent from February to $515.2 million but were off by 1.1 per cent from a year ago.

Nationally, permits increased for the first time in three months by 11.6 per cent to $6.9 billion. That was also up 13 per cent from a year ago.

Renovation Warranty - Alberta New Home Warranty Program
Posted on May 10, 2015


As a homeowner planning a renovation, it’s important to do your due diligence before hiring a contractor.

But thanks to a new initiative launched this week by the Alberta New Home Warranty Program, the selection process may have became a little bit easier.

The Alberta Renovation Warranty Program empowers renovators and renovation companies that are part of a carefully screened builder group with the ability to offer their customers comprehensive insurance protection. The coverage combines up to $100,000 of deposit protection insurance with warranty insurance that covers materials and labour of up to $100,000. And the coverage spans from the initial engagement to two years after completion of the project.

The program is certainly a game changer. A homeowner can now be assured that there is coverage in place if a renovator defaults, doesn’t meet the standards or goes bankrupt.

Not every renovation company is covered.

It is crucial that homeowners ask if their renovator is part of the Alberta Renovation Warranty Program.

The program vets renovators and renovation companies using rigorous screening methods and high standards, with a focus on several elements from quality workmanship to financial stability and a solid management team.

The program has begun reaching out to current builder members of the Alberta New Home Warranty Program that have renovation divisions, generating excitement and interest.

Albi Renova, the renovation arm of Albi Homes, a Calgary-based luxury home-builder, has recently earned a string of accolades and awards for its excellent business management and stunning home design, including being named as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies.

The company has been renovating in Calgary for more than 27 years.

There is no doubt that home renovation and repair are big business. In Calgary alone, they accounted for $2.4 billion in investment value in 2013.

Albi Renova's goal was to bring a greater level of consumer protection to the market.

Toronto Developer Looks To Build Two-Tower Condo Project in East Village

Posted on May 3, 2015


Toronto developer Great Gulf is hoping to make its first foray into the Calgary residential real estate market with a proposed two-tower development in East Village, just east of the federal Harry Hays building.

The project, at 304 Macleod Trail S.E., would include 443 units in towers of 22 and 24 storeys.

A development permit application has been submitted to the city.

From a design perspective, the company wanted to bring something different to the marketplace. There are many local and Vancouver-based developers who are very active in Calgary condo development.

Calgary has a very dynamic downtown with respect to office and retail and recreation. However, the company think it is under-served residentially. Calgary is quite a big sprawling city but it’s historically not had a great deal of truly downtown residential development.

The company certainly seeing some good success with East Village and the Beltline has always performed quite well.

Toronto has had much success with residential towers close to the central business district and the company is quite excited about its potential development site in Calgary.

The company is working on a sales and marketing strategy and it hopes to enter the market in late fall of this year or early in 2016.

Housing Prices Holding Steady in Calgary's Surrounding Area

Posted on April 26, 2015

Housing markets in communities outside Calgary are following a similar pattern to the city, with sales down sharply and prices faring better.

The Calgary Real Estate Board says first-quarter MLS sales in surrounding areas were down 23 per cent from a year ago, at 911 transactions. The average sale price dropped by 0.1 per cent to $468,377. The median price was unchanged at $400,000.

In Calgary, sales were down 33 per cent in the first quarter, to 3,778. The average sale price was off 2.4 per cent to $467,468 while the median price dropped by 1.2 per cent to $420,000.

While city of Calgary prices have started to retract, on aggregate, surrounding area prices have remained relatively stable.

The report said improved supply in the city and surrounding areas will provide consumers with more choices in the second quarter.

The surrounding areas have not seen the same impact on pricing as in the city.

Re/MAX Predicts Two Per Cent Drop in Calgary Home Prices

Posted on April 19, 2015


Re/Max has pulled back its price outlook for the Calgary housing market, now anticipating a 2 per cent drop for the average residential property instead of the 3 per cent increase it originally forecast for 2015.

The realtor group’s Spring Market Trends Report, released Friday, predicts the average sale price will fall to $474,251 after sales declined in the first quarter.

The report said sales in Calgary should rise once buyers believe oil prices have stabilized and are showing signs of recovery. Decreased new home starts are also expected to stabilize growing inventory levels on the resale market, it said.

Office Tower Planned for Former Sally Ann Site

Posted on April 12, 2015


One of Calgary’s busiest downtown intersections is about to undergo a transformation that will make a bold statement through great design and space availability.

The former Salvation Army building at 5th Avenue and 1st Street S.E. is to make way for a gleaming 12-storey office tower that will tie in nicely to the adjacent 1914 red brick North-West Travellers Building and Firehall No. 1 at 6th Avenue.

Les Mabbott, an Edmonton developer with a 30-year track record of successful projects in that city as president, CEO and principal owner of LPI Corp., will build the project.

Mabbott said he is excited about his first Calgary office project that’s unique opportunity to offer top-quality space for companies with smaller needs.

Bow Professional Centre will be located across from the park space where the elegantly giant Family of Man statues resides. It’s a short walk to LRT stations and connected by the Plus-15 system to the Telus Building and Delta Bow Valley Hotel and its impressive neighbour, the Bow tower, on the west side.

Kasian Architects has designed the roughly 60,000-square-foot tower on a setback pedestal to improve the pedestrian realm, giving prominence and relief to the building entries and generally improving both pedestrian and vehicular safety on the bustling corner. It’s expected the main floor will attract a quality restaurant to make use of a patio area under the walkway to the Bow tower. The cut back will also provide a large outdoor patio onto 5th Avenue.

A gathering space for tenants and visitors — including a rooftop garden, landscaped with a pergola and bench seating — is also being considered.

The transparent, full-glass curtain wall surrounds three sides while the transition space to the North-West Travellers has a strong ground-to-top brick facade, in consideration of the City of Calgary heritage building.

Developer Wants To Build in S.W. Calgary Corner Before Ring Road Complete

Posted on April 05, 2015


Now that the province’s southwest ring road has kickstarted plans to build out Calgary’s deep southwest corner, a developer is bidding to begin home construction there before the highway is complete.

Residents below Fish Creek Park have long pleaded for an easier commute, with 37th Street, Macleod Trail and Highway 22X as their over-clogged escape routes.

They’ve applauded the Alberta government’s plans to complete the ring road, as soon as 2020.

But while people in communities like Bridlewood and Evergreen feel their existing roads can’t handle more cars, a land company believes a new suburban neighbourhood can start rising on empty fields to the west before the transportation network gets expanded.

After waiting years for a ring road deal to unlock their edge land’s development potential, Dream Development and Qualico have paid the city to launch an area structure plan for the 789-hectare swath known as Providence. It spans from the ring road corridor to 85th Street S.W., and from the Tsuu T’ina reserve boundary at 146th Avenue to 22X.

Most of the site needs massive water and sewage system extensions, and will likely have to wait until the ring highway’s completion. But the segment at the northeast corner can feed off existing pipes, said Dream Development.

Traffic projects show that 37th Street’s western turn-off south of Fish Creek can handle the initial phases. The ring road would massively add road capacity during build-out.

It’s unclear whether council will allow more fast-tracked edge development. In the last year, councillors agreed to open up lands in Calgary’s far northeast corner and above Coventry Hills because developers said they were running short of ready-to-build lots.

The city will show off early concepts for Providence at a public session Thursday evening at the South Fish Creek Recreation Centre.

There, officials are likely to hear plenty from southwest residents wary of adding even more cars or LRT passengers to their morning and squeezes.

There’s already a five- to 10-minute wait at traffic lights to get onto 37th, said Alia Vanzhov, who lives in Bridlewood and leads the community association.

Even adding show homes west of Evergreen will make life harder for residents, she said.

Developers have set aside their lands closest to the ring road corridor for office, retail and light development. Eventually, Providence will be home to 35,000 people — a “small kind of city” served by a bus-only transitway on 162nd Street S.W.

East Village No-Parking Condo Tower Passes First Hurdle

Posted on March 29, 2015


In the heart of notoriously car-loving Calgary, there could soon be a tower with 168 condo suites and not a single place for automobiles.

The tower would be located at 8th Avenue S.E. and 4th Street, near a future East Village supermarket and less than two blocks from the City Hall LRT. There would be ample bike parking, but no stalls for tenants or visitors.

Knightsbridge Homes, the developer, estimates the units will cost $75,000 less that condos that come with parking. There’s growing public demand, mostly among younger homebuyers.

The unprecedented East Village proposal still needs council approval — which is far from certain — but it won a unanimous OK at the Calgary Planning Commission on Thursday.

The condo tower will go next to council this spring for final zoning approval.

New Development for Attainable Homes Calgary

 Posted on March 22, 2015


Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation is partnering with Truman Homes to deliver 42 new attainable homes by the end of this year in a new development called Glenbrook Park in the city’s southwest.

The apartment condos range in size from 600 to 1,050 square feet with one, two and two-bedroom-plus-den units with a starting price of $256,500 to $325,000.

AHCC president said demand for attainable homes is steady in the city. The non-profit organization, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The City of Calgary, helps people get into home ownership by offering below-market prices on apartment condos and town houses with a $2,000 deposit requirement.

There is demand for service and homes because the vacancy rate in Calgary is low and the cost of renting remains high.

In the first quarter of this year, AHCC has sold 45 homes.

Also, 42 families moved into homes, more than 300 people completed the organization’s home education session and more than 1,000 people registered on its website.

The attainable homes at Glenbrook Park will be available for any qualifying buyers to purchase starting at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 28 at the AHCC sales centre downtown.

Canada's Most Affordable Housing Markets Revealed

Posted on March 15, 2015


 A recent slip in oil prices hasn’t bucked Alberta’s housing market from being one of the country’s most affordable, according to a report released by RBC Economic Research on Wednesday.

Economists attribute the province’s housing market buoyancy to factors including a strong energy-backed economy, rising incomes, and a population boom. And the results speak for themselves: home resales in Alberta increased by 0.9 per cent from last quarter, setting a new record high.

The report reveals the cost of an average detached bungalow in Alberta to be $405,700, a standard two-storey home slightly more at $410,200, and a condo at $242,800.

The province’s affordability reputation is drawing more and more prospective buyers. For example, housing demand in Calgary is outpacing supply despite new listings increasing 17 per cent in the second and third quarters.

It’s an effect that’s pushing the city's home prices up “at the fastest pace in Canada.”

As for affordability complaints, the report suggests they are “almost entirely” centered in Vancouver and Toronto’s competitive markets where dollars are “most stretched.”

Nationally, RBC’s affordability index eased slightly by 0.2 percentage points to 47.8 per cent for two-storey homes, decreased 0.3 percentage points to 27.1 per cent for condos, and increased by 0.1 percentage points to 42.6 per cent for detached condos.

The index calculates affordability by scoring the percentage of median household income (before taxes) needed to make mortgage, utility, and property tax payments.

For cash-strapped prospective homebuyers, RBC economists say condos continue to be the “more affordable ownership option” in nearly every market.

Street Towns’ Private Backyards A Huge Hit

Posted on March 8, 2015


Homes by Avi has swung the doors open on two new showhomes in its Sunset Ridge Street Towns in Cochrane.

Sales for the homes were launched last year and now Homes by Avi is giving customers the full Street Town experience.

Street Towns have redefined townhome living. It offers the benefit of having the entire package available to our buyers — the home, yard and garage — without the hassle of a condo board and condo fees.

A favourite with buyers has been the Street Towns’ private backyards. Customers really like their own, clearly defined space to use as they wish.

The Street Towns feature a number of floor plan options, ranging from 1,200 sq. ft. to 1,300 sq. ft., most with an open-concept main floor, 2.5 baths and spacious laundry room.

Buyers may choose a three-bedroom layout with ensuite and main bath on the upper level or two master bedrooms with ensuites.

All homes include laminate flooring, granite or quartz in the kitchen, stainless steel appliances, a rear garage and a private, landscaped backyard.

Calgary Remains One of the Most Affordable Big Cities in Canada

Posted on March 1, 2015


 The effects of slumping oil prices on housing affordability remained modest and largely isolated to Calgary during the fourth quarter of 2014, but “more substantial consequences are likely to emerge in the coming quarters,” says a new report released Tuesday by RBC Economics.

The latest Housing Trends and Affordability Report said affordability improved in Calgary from the previous quarter as homebuyers “exited the market en masse” in December with listings rising and major cutbacks in the oil industry contributed to a drop in housing market confidence.

That continued in the early part of 2015 as MLS sales in Calgary dropped more than 30 per cent year-over-year in both January and February.

RBC’s affordability measures for Calgary in the fourth quarter of 2014 fell 0.2 percentage points to 20.0 per cent for condos, by 0.4 percentage points to 33.9 per cent for two-storey homes and by 0.6 percentage points to 33.7 per cent for bungalows.

The RBC Housing Affordability measure captures the proportion of median pre-tax household income required to pay the cost of a mortgage on an existing housing unit at going market prices, including principal and interest, property taxes and utilities.

The report said RBC’s affordability measures for Alberta were stable for both two-storey homes (33.9 per cent) and condos (20.4), while the measure for detached bungalows eased by 0.4 percentage points to 32.4 per cent.

Nationally, affordability measures rose by 0.1 per cent for bungalows to 42.7 per cent and by 0.2 per cent for two-storey homes to 48.1 per cent. It was stable at 27.4 per cent for condos.

RBC’s housing affordability measure for the benchmark detached bungalow in Canada’s largest cities in the fourth quarter: Vancouver 82.4 (down 1.2 percentage points)); Toronto 56.8 (up 0.8 percentage points); Montreal 37.3 (unchanged); Ottawa 36.0 (up 0.2 percentage points); Calgary 33.7; and Edmonton 33.5 (up 0.1 percentage points).

"Calgary has remained an affordable city and that really hasn’t changed. We’re still one of the most affordable big cities next to Edmonton and that position hasn’t changed,” said the president of the Calgary Real Estate Board.

Calgary Resolve Campaign Helping Those In Need Of Affordable Housing

Posted on February 22, 2015


On Tuesday,  the Community Summit, hosted by the Calgary Homeless Foundation, will launch the updated plan to end homelessness in the city.

Eleven homebuilders in Calgary have stepped up to support the Resolve campaign, with a contribution of $1.4 million each for a total of $15.4 million. The builders who have contributed to the campaign, so far, are: Albi Homes, Brookfield Residential, Calbridge Homes, Cardel Lifestyles, Cedarglen Living, Homes by Avi, Hopewell Residential, Jayman Group of Companies, Morrison Homes, Qualico and Shane Homes.

Many Resolve partners have also received funding from the Government of Alberta. There are nine agencies partnering with the campaign — Accessible Housing, Bishop O’Byrne Housing, Calgary Alpha House Society, Calgary Homeless Foundation, Calgary John Howard Society, Horizon Housing Society, Silvera for Seniors, Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta and The Mustard Seed.

Each of Resolve’s nine partners meets a particular need within the community.

To date, the campaign has raised enough money to provide 915 individuals with a safe and affordable rental home. The funds raised and distributed through Resolve are used in a myriad of ways, such as paying off mortgages, building projects and purchasing land. Resolve tenants pay rent geared to their income, with rent being much lower than market value.

Currently, there are 42 buildings Resolve is supporting in various stages of development, totalling 1,763 units.

The Great Cities report by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce notes that half of the homeless people in Calgary are employed but cannot afford to house themselves.

“The greatest barrier to eliminating homelessness in Calgary is the housing crisis and lack of access to affordable housing,” according to the report. “Cities that lack affordable housing find it difficult to attract and retain labour in certain fields such as education and law enforcement.

Affordable housing boosts economic development by providing the labour force with reliable homes and increasing people’s disposable income, meaning households spend less of their monthly income on housing costs and more on goods and services that support the local economy.

This project will create greater opportunities for employment if people have a stable address, a stable home. They’re able to be more resilient and enter into the workforce in a more stable way. So, that supports businesses in terms of their needing more labour.

The Resolve campaign is a really, really good example of getting some of that non-profit or that affordable or subsidized housing . . . built. They’re showing community leadership, innovation and ownership of the issue. Because of the campaign, it will be able to house 3,000 vulnerable Calgarians in the next four years.

This type of project has never been done in Canada. Nine not-for-profits working together, fundraising together . . . This is the first of its kind in Canada.

CMHC Forecasting House Price Growth in Calgary
Posted on February 15, 2015


Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. expects Calgary region home prices to rise over the next two years, albeit at a slower pace than previously forecast.
In an updated outlook Friday, it said the average price locally will rise from $460,584 last year to $469,000 in 2015 and $479,000 in 2016.

CMHC forecasts price growth are now expected to be in line with inflation.

Given lower sales and the pronounced recent increases in new listings, market conditions in Calgary are expected to rebalance, easing the pressure on prices for 2015 and 2016.

Calgary Luxury Home Sales Decline in January

Posted on February 8, 2015


High-end home sales in January fell sharply from 2014’s record level.

Calgary Real Estate Board data show 24 homes sold for at least $1 million last month, a 43 per cent decline from a year ago. No homes sold for more than $1.75 million.

MLS sales of properties more than $1 million reached a record 854 transactions in 2014, up from 726 in 2013 and 544 in 2012.

January CREB data released Monday showed a 38.9 per cent year-over-year decline in overall sales, paired with a 37.2 per cent rise in new listings.

Listings are up substantially, as those who were stretched to the limit, the market speculators and those householders who want to try to time the market, all throw their properties up for sale. It will likely be two to three months before prices slide lower to reflect the changes.

Sellers become faced with the reality of having to lower prices to sell, strategic buyers begin to slowly enter the market looking for bargains.

Attainable Homes Calgary Expands Product Offering

Posted on February 1, 2015


Calgary-based Partners Development Group has offered 10 per cent of its upcoming multi-family developments in the city to Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation in a move to help more Calgarians into home ownership.

The Calgary builder’s newest development, ARRIVE at Skyview Ranch Arbours, includes 16 townhouses that AHCC will begin selling at the end of the month. Another 10 townhouses will be made available through the AHCC program later this year at ARRIVE at Evanston.

The project is located east of Metis Trail N.E., just south of Stoney Trail and north of Country Hills Boulevard.

Partners Development Group has already delivered 23 homes for AHCC in Redstone and Skyview Ranch, which qualifying home buyers purchased with a mortgage pre-approval and only $2,000 down.

AHCC and Partners Development Group are helping more middle-income Calgarians get into home ownership through this socially responsible program.

Affordable housing in Calgary continues to be one of the most important issues facing the city.

Qualifying buyers can purchase an apartment condo or townhouse with only $2,000 down.

The average sale price of an AHCC attainable home was $258,283 in 2014.

AHCC expects to sell about 220 units this year.

Calgary MLS Listings Soar While Sales Plunge
Posted on January 25, 2015


Amid a constant barrage of negative economic news these days, Calgary’s resale housing market is seeing some dramatic swings in listings and MLS sales so far in January.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board website, January MLS sales are down 34.8 per cent from the same period a year ago (from 842 to 549), while new listings have risen by 42.8 per cent to 2,262 and active listings are up by 75.2 per cent to 4,311.

That dynamic has affected the average sale price, which is down by 0.6 per cent to $457,853. The median price has dropped slightly as well by 0.3 per cent to $412,500.

Pending sales of 87 are down by 62.7 per cent.

Buyers who are expecting that there might be an opportunity to purchase a home for a discount over recent value. So they’re delaying transactions in the hope that they see some movement in prices.

Volatility is a natural reaction to the sharp and unexpected drop in the price of oil.

The impact to the overall resale housing market of increased listings is relative to what is happening in sales activity.

What could happen is if you have the listings rise it gives more choice in the market but because of that if the demand isn’t there that can impact obviously that balance in the market and could push it closer towards that buyer’s territory.

If that demand falls and that pace of fall continues, and you still have these listings and they don’t tend to ease off, it impacts the balance in the market and obviously influences pricing as well.

Real Estate Firm Predicts Calgary Housing Prices Will Rise

Posted on January 18, 2015


A national real estate firm is predicting prices in Calgary’s resale housing market, and across the country, will continue to increase in 2015 despite low oil prices.

In releasing its house price survey and market survey forecast Wednesday, Royal LePage said the average price in Calgary will climb  2.4 per cent from 2014 to $472,000 while the Canadian average price will see a 2.9 per cent hike to $419,318.

It said the recent drop in oil prices did not impact the overall real estate market in the fourth quarter of last year.

The Calgary market was one of the hottest in the country, with all three major housing categories seeing near double-digit price growth over this time last year.

There remains a structural imbalance between the availability of homes and number of eager homebuyers. This fundamental discrepancy between supply and demand explains why we’ve seen such aggressive price appreciation in 2014.

Inventory availability remains a major issue across the city, as frustrated buyers are chasing a limited number of homes. The one exception is condominiums, where new units are being built at a faster rate.

Nationally, the average price for bungalows rose by 6.7 per cent to $406,218. Two-storey homes were up six per cent to $443,379. Condos were also up by 4.5 per cent to $257,624.

Calgary Housing Starts Finish 2014 up 36%, But Expected to Cool this Year

Posted on January 11, 2015


Despite a dip in December, total housing starts in the Calgary region finished 2014 up 36.1 per cent from the previous year and hitting a record level.

According to data released Friday by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., there were 17,131 starts in the Calgary area in 2014. Multi-family starts rose by 72.1 per cent to 10,637 units while single-detached starts were up by 1.4 per cent to 6,494.

In December, total starts of 840 were off by 6.3 per cent from December 2013 mostly due to a decline in multi-family of 14.1 per cent to 413 units. The single-detached market rose during the month by 2.9 per cent to 427 units.

The CMHC said housing starts in the Calgary area were trending at 15,544 units in December compared to 18,555 in November. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally-adjusted annual rates of total housing starts.


In 2015, total starts are forecast to decline 16 per cent to 14,400 units with reductions expected in both the single-detached and multiples segments of the market.

Overall homebuilding activity continues to look well behaved in Canada. In Alberta, the slide in oil prices will likely cool activity notably in 2015.

Calgary Real Estate Market To See A Lot Of Changes in 2015

Posted on January 4, 2015


A number of things that occurred in 2014 will have an impact on Calgary’s housing market in 2015.

The New Home Buyer Protection Act gives more protection to the consumer and CHBA endorses this legislation completely. The number of housing starts this year is led by multi-family builders, who are responding to demand from first-time buyers and homeowners looking to downsize who are looking for more affordable, convenient, safe housing that meets their needs. At the same time, this form of housing creates more choice for more people in more places and aligns with the Municipal Development Plan.

One of the changes will be a lot count survey the city will be updating monthly that will identify how much land is available for development, making it easier for developers and the city to plan for future needs.

The Smarter Growth initiative is a collaboration between CHBA-CR and the Urban Development Institute that explores and explains the development process.

Going forward, the major challenges from last year — in particular, Calgary’s dramatic growth and low housing inventory, especially rental accommodation — will affect the market this year, as will a new one, one that is difficult to predict: The price of oil.

If (a low oil price) is prolonged and severe, it will impact consumer confidence which, of course, is a prime motivator for home buying.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has forecast a slowdown to more sustainable levels this year anyway, so a drop in housing starts isn’t unexpected. The challenge will be how low (oil prices) goes.

Some changes to legislation coming in or proposed will also affect the market. While the changes will protect consumers, it will mean some changes to the way homes are built and in turn, may mean some cost increases for builders.

First-time Home Buyers Look to the Web for Research

Posted on December 28, 2014


First-time home buyers (FTBs) are more tech-savvy than other mortgage consumers when it comes to researching mortgages, says the First-Time Home Buyers Survey, conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

The survey says 84% of FTBs went online to search out information about mortgage options and features, compared to 76% for other mortgage consumers (OMCs).

The FTBs were more likely to visit lenders sites (55%) than broker sites (33%), with about one in five saying they visited websites of both lenders and brokers.

FTBs undertook a variety of activities with 80% using a mortgage calculator (72% for OMCs), 63% completing a financial self-assessment (43% for OMCs), 42% either got pre-approved or filled an online form (24% and 23% respectively for OMCs) and 20% engaged in an online conversation (11% for OMCs).

Not surprisingly, the use of mobile devices to access mortgage-related information was more prominent among FTBs (23% vs. 14% among OMCs), however, at 90%, desktops are still the preference of FTBs.

The use of social media as a tool when looking for a mortgage is increasing and was much more prevalent among FTBs.

About one in five using social media posted a review or rating of either a broker or lender and 30% used social media to find a referral to use a specific professional, such as broker, lender, real estate agent or other professional.

November Starts Fall Year Over Year

Posted on December 21, 2014


Nearly 12,000 multi-family homes under construction

Not as many nails got ham- mered by new home builders in the Calgary region last month compared to November last year.

Builders started 1,078 new homes in November 2014, down from 1,693 in November 2013, according to the monthly report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).

The decrease in construction came in both the single- and multi-family sectors, with single-family starts at 541 homes, down from 595 last year and multi-family starts down from 1,098 units last year to 537 in November.

However, year over year, starts to the end of November this year, 16,291, are 4,603 units higher than to the end of November last year.

A different story exists in the multi-family sector, where 10,224 starts were recorded to the end of November, meaning builders should exceed CMHC’s prediction of 10,500 multi starts this year.

It’s a huge number, given the history of multi starts in the Calgary region, but a bigger number is units under construction.

As of the end of November, there were 11,884 multi-family homes under construction in the region, including 1,188 semi-detached homes, 2,111 row/townhomes and 8,585 apartments.

Inside Calgary city limits, units under construction included 1,010 semi-detached homes, 1,563 row/townhomes and 8,117 apartment condos.


The absorption rate (units taken possession of by owners) for apartments in November was 100% and the available inventory was zero.

In November, CMHC predicted 8,000 multi-family starts in 2015 — the agency doesn’t break out multi starts by type because the apartment sector is too volatile — but CMHC is reviewing its projections for 2015 and beyond.

Calgary House Prices Climb at Fastest Rate in Canada

Posted on December 14, 2014


Calgary again posted the country’s biggest annual price growth for repeat home sales in November, the latest Teranet-National Bank house price index shows.

It found prices in the city rose 9.2 per cent from a year ago, compared with the national average of 5.2 per cent from the 11 major centres surveyed. Dwellings that have been sold at least twice are considered in the calculation of the index.

Calgary Real Estate Board data, through Wednesday, show 533 MLS sales for December, a 7 per cent increase from the same 2013 period.

While home prices in Canada’s 11 major cities may have edged down slightly in November, they still remain quite elevated, hovering near record highs.  Moreover, while the decline was fairly broad based, prices in several key cities are well up from year-ago levels.

Going forward, solid momentum in the job market over the past few months, combined with an ultra-low interest rate environment should continue to support the housing market in the near term.

New Listings in November Jump 22%

Posted on December 7, 2014


After several years of declines, active MLS listings in the City of Calgary are on the rebound, according to the monthly report from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).

New listings in November outpaced sales, resulting in a 22% increase in active listings but, even with the gain, listings remain below long-term averages.

Over the past year, inventories have been low in the city, limiting some of the choice for consumers. While availability in specific segments and price ranges vary, on the whole, the recent rise in inventories will be welcome news for many buyers.

Year-to-date sales in November recorded double-digit gains in all property types, with the strongest increase coming in the condominium sector, including apartments and townhomes, with a combined growth of more than 19%, putting both housing types at record levels.

Tight market conditions earlier in the year caused significant aggregate price gains. It also resulted in a rise in new listings, supporting gains in inventory levels and a push towards more balanced levels. This has helped ease the upward growth pressure on prices.

While Calgary’s price gains have garnered a significant amount of national attention, several indicators are pointing toward more stable conditions, easing risk associated with an overheating market.

Multi-family Starts To Hit 10,500 By Year End

Posted on November 30, 2014


The Calgary area’s multi- family sector is at its highest level of production since the late 1970s, with more than 11,000 units under construction at the end of October.

The high level of units under construction includes more than 8,500 condominium apartments, most of them inside Calgary city limits and may raise fears of overbuilding, but numbers from CMHC say otherwise.

Migration to Alberta and Calgary was at record levels in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and the makeup of the migration supports the high level of construction in the multi-family sector.

Jobs are the main reason for the western migration.

As more multi-family homes are completed and inventory rises, CMHC says production will moderate in the Calgary region, with the agency predicting 8,000 multi starts in 2015 and 6,500 in 2016.

First Reaches Milestone In East Village

Posted on November 17, 2014


First, the inaugural building launched in East Village by developers FRAM+Slokker, has now grown its full height of 18 floors. To mark the occasion, the developers, contractors and architects involved in the construction gathered for a roof top ceremony on Tuesday. A ceremonial bucket of concrete was poured in a frame as a lasting mark. Roof top parties are traditionally held to celebrate the finishing of concrete work, in this case, by ITC Construction Group.

First is one of seven buildings FRAM+Slokker has land for in East Village. It is now selling its second building, Verve, an eye-catching design on the Riff, a pedestrian thoroughfare through the community.

The team of more than 150 workers currently working on the project enjoyed a catered lunch after the ceremony in the sheltered parking garage.

When complete, First will have 196 units within the 18 floor tower and its surrounding four-storey podium. It has commercial space on the ground level.

Residents will be able to enjoy that spectacular roof top view when they use their roof top lounge and outdoor patio. And they’ll be able to take an elevator there.

Most Successful Calgary Condo Launch Since Recession

Posted on November 17, 2014


Calgary’s newest condo launch is the city’s most successful grand opening since the recession as 252 units have sold at the Parkside development, part of the Waterfront project along the Bow River in the Eau Claire neighbourhood.

They sold in the span of three days late last week.

It’s another sign of the growing demand for inner-city condo ownership.

Parkside, directly adjacent to Sien Lok Park, will consist of four buildings of 17, nine, nine and six storeys with 302 units. Prices range from $289,900 to $2.3 million.

The company bought the current land just east of the Eau Claire Market in 2004 and started construction on the first building in 2007.

Construction on Parkside will begin in the spring 2015 and all four buildings will be built at once with spring/summer 2018 completion.

The downtown condo market is a segment of housing that never existed before in Calgary. The city’s skyline will be completely transformed in the coming years.

Calgary and Edmonton Top Investment Markets for Real Estate in Alberta

Posted on November 9, 2014


Calgary and Edmonton top the list of residential real estate investment markets in Alberta, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The new REIN (Real Estate Investment Network) Score measures each city or town on five different categories for a total of 50 points including: Economic Risk (possible 12 points); Yield Growth Potential (possible 12 points); Investors’ Insights (possible 10 points), Political Climate (possible 8 points), and Accessibility (possible 8 points).

Calgary and Edmonton topped the rankings with 50 points followed by Fort Saskatchewan (43), Airdrie (41), St. Albert (39), Red Deer (39), Lloydminster (38), Fort McMurray(36), Grande Prairie (36), and Leduc (34).

Calgary received 12 out of 12 in the economic risk category, 10 out of 12 in yield growth potential, six of eight in local politics conducive to business, eight of eight in access to transportation and nine of 10 in investor’s insights.

The report said the formula of job creation creating an influx of people, leading to higher housing values is evident in Calgary.

The report also noted that Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, will see the most residential growth in 2015, a trend that has been helped by more jobs becoming available in the West than in Central Canada, while Calgary and the Greater Toronto Area will hold the most potential for retail growth.

Calgary Resale Housing Market in Balanced Territory

Posted on November 2, 2014


Calgary’s resale housing market is in balanced territory, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

In a report released Friday, the board said the sales-to-new listings ratio in Calgary was 0.717 in September.

It said the seasonally-adjusted annual rate of MLS sales in the city was 34,752, down 2.3 per cent from the previous month but a hike of 8.6 per cent year-over-year.

The annual rate of new listings at 47,676 was down seven per cent month-over-month but up 11.4 per cent year-over-year.

In September, the board said the average sale price in Calgary of $466,425 represented a 0.5 per cent monthly gain and a 6.2 per cent annual gain.

The report also forecast that short-term year-over-year price growth in Calgary would be in the five per cent to 6.9 per cent range.

Calgary’s unemployment rate is the lowest of Canada’s major cities by a significant margin and people are moving to the city not only for the immediate job opportunities, but because they believe in the city’s long-term potential and lifestyle.

Population Growth Continues to Push Calgary Housing Demand

Posted on October 26, 2014


Population growth continues to push housing demand in the Calgary region.

A report released Tuesday described the city’s new housing market as “red hot.”

It said there were 9,294 housing starts in the first half of this year, an increase of 67 per cent over the first six months of 2013, and more than year-end totals for 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The average forecast is calling for 16,400 starts in the Calgary CMA for 2014, which would represent an increase over 2013 (12,600) and the 10-year average of 12,000.

Calgary prices have increased between three per cent and six per cent depending on the housing index from the end of 2013. The metropolitan area has appreciated at an average annual rate of approximately seven per cent to nine per cent over the past decade, notwithstanding the highly fluctuating market values in-between.

Cochrane Reaches All-time MLS Sales High
Posted on October 19, 2014


Cochrane has joined Airdrie and Chestermere for reaching an annual sales record in the resale housing market after just three quarters of the year.


MLS sales in Cochrane year-to-date until the end of September hit the 610 mark, up 38.32 per cent from the same period last year.


The annual peak for sales was established in 2013 with 554 transactions.


The average MLS sale price in Cochrane so far this year is $433,537, up 4.34 per cent from last year, while the median price has risen by 4.99 per cent to $426,250.

Calgary New Home Price Spike Tops Canada

Posted on October 12, 2014


Price gains in Calgary’s new home market are far outpacing what is being seen across the rest of the country.

Statistics Canada reported Thursday that the New Housing Price Index rose in August by 6.8 per cent on an annual basis and by 0.5 per cent on a monthly basis in the Calgary census metropolitan area. Both represented the biggest growth rates in Canada.

Builders reported that land development costs, as well as strong market conditions and increased demand, were the main reasons for the price gain.

Supply and demand has been a major factor in driving prices up in the industry as the city continues to have a buoyant economy supported by strong net migration gains over the past year.

Attainable Homes Calgary Reaches Milestone

Posted on October 5, 2014


Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation has reached a milestone with its 500th sale.

It has also acquired a building at 51 Oak by Truman Homes in the southeast lake community, Mahogany, where qualifying Calgarians can buy a brand new one- or two-bedroom apartment condo at 51 Oak with a deposit as low as $2,000 and a minimum mortgage amount of $201,400.

AHCC is a non-profit organization and wholly owned subsidiary of the City of Calgary that assists working Calgarians with moderate incomes achieve home ownership.

The organization helps people who can afford homeownership but struggle to save enough money for a down payment. Demand for attainable homes has been strong as rental vacancy rates remain low and home prices continue to rise. According to the CREB, the average MLS sale price of a condo apartment in the city was $326,264 in September, up 9.21 per cent from last year while it rose by 4.21 per cent to $352,813 for a condo townhouse.

September Another Record Month for Calgary Luxury Home Sales

Posted on September 28, 2014


Each month this year has established a record for luxury home sales in Calgary’s resale market.

September is the latest. A total of 61 MLS properties in the city have sold for $1 million or more, eclipsing the previous record of 59 for the month set last year.

The most expensive sale so far this month was for a home in Briar Hill at $4.6 million.

The neighborhoods of Altadore/River Park and Elbow Park/Glencoe lead the way in sales in September with six and five transactions respectively as of Thursday.

Calgary House Hunters Expect to Pay More Than They First Thought

Posted on September 21, 2014


A new survey says 47 per cent of Calgary house hunters now expect to spend 19 per cent more on a new home - an increase of $89,389 - from when they first started looking.

The BMO Fall Home-Buying Report, released Friday, said most expected to spend $568,458.

The survey, conducted by Pollara, revealed the main reasons for the higher price expectations: 86 per cent say housing prices have risen since they first started looking; 81 per cent have a better understanding of current prices; and 56 per cent were able to save more for a down payment.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, month-to-date until Thursday, the average MLS sale price in the city of $481,326 has risen by 5.82 per cent from last year.


In Alberta, the survey found that 44 per cent of house hunters now expect to spend 20 per cent more on a new home, or $82,291, up to $499,760.


At the national level, 43 per cent said they expect to spend 21 per cent more on a new home - an increase of $83,556 - from when they first started looking, an increase to $483,397.

Calgary Region Housing Starts Soar in August

Posted on September 14, 2014


A surge in multi-family new home construction helped spike overall housing starts in the Calgary region in August.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported Tuesday that total starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area rose by 65.7 per cent during the month from a year ago to 1,627 units. That was mainly due to a whopping 151 per cent hike in the multi-family sector to 1,032 units.

The single-detached market saw a jump of 4.2 per cent to 595 units.

Housing starts were trending at 18,963 in August compared with 18,322 in July, said the CMHC. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally-adjusted annual rates of total housing starts.

Condos Could Push 2014 Housing Starts to Record Heights

Posted on September 7, 2014


Stronger condo apartment starts are spurring Calgary total housing starts to a potential new record this year but some cooling is expected in 2015, says a new report by Altus Group.

The consulting firm’s housing forecast said total housing starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area are expected to reach 17,800 this year then drop to 15,900 in 2015.

The report said total housing starts in the Calgary region were 12,600 in 2013 and the annual average between 2003-2012 was 12,100.

The high was reached in 2006 with 17,046 starts.

Several factors have contributed to the boost in new condo construction.


Strong demand has led to accelerated new home price increases in Calgary and resale price increases remain above inflation.


Job growth is expected to remain strong this year and next.

Calgary Homebuilders Responding to High Level of New Construction

Posted on August 31, 2014


Calgary’s homebuilding industry is on pace to register its busiest year since 2006 while at the same time meeting the challenges of a labour shortage in the city.

Despite the high level of activity, combined with a current labour shortage, the industry is responding well to the increased housing demand.

A recent Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. report forecasts housing starts in the Calgary region to increase by 24 per cent this year to 15,600 which is the highest number of total starts since 2006 when there were 17,046. Homebuilders have been quite busy for the past three years. In 2012, there were 12,841 total starts followed by 12,584 total starts in 2013.

Absorptions, which are defined as when properties are completed and occupied, hit a recent high of 13,945 in 2003. There were 11,946 in 2013. Year-to-date until the end of July, the Calgary CMA had 7,723 absorptions, up from 6,606 for the same period last year.

Calgary Resale Condo Market Booming As Sales Soar

Posted on August 24, 2014


Calgary’s resale condo market is booming these days with the annual growth in transactions far outstripping the pace in the single-family sector.

That is also sparking what could be a record year for new construction in the multi-family segment of the housing market.

The market for Calgary condos has been strong through 2014. It’s up over 20 per cent year-over-year and we expect demand to continue as buyers and the inventory available becomes more sophisticated. More demand are expecting from local buyers who are increasingly aware of the benefits of the condo lifestyle: convenience, security, unique amenities and proximity to the city’s downtown.

The Calgary economy is also attracting professionals from cities like Vancouver and Toronto, who regard Calgary condos as affordable and attractive alternatives to the highly-developed condo markets they are coming from. At the same time, pre-sale condo developments like The Guardian are attracting buyers and investors not only locally, but from other major cities, as Calgary’s real estate market becomes renowned as a stable place to invest.

Calgary Resale Housing Market Experiences Highest Annual Price Growth

Posted on August 17, 2014


Calgary continues to far outstrip the rest of the country when it comes to annual price gains in the resale housing market.

The MLS Home Price Index, released Friday by the Canadian Real Estate Association, said prices in the Calgary area in July were up by a whopping 10.48 per cent compared with a year ago. Meanwhile, the national aggregate, comprising 11 centres, saw a year-over-year hike of 5.33 per cent as sales rose to their highest level since March 2010.

The closest centre to Calgary’s annual spike was Toronto which recorded a jump of 7.88 per cent.


Over the past three years, Calgary also has the highest rate of price growth at 25.01 per cent compared with 12.52 per cent nationally. And over five years, Calgary’s 28.89 per cent spike is second only to Toronto’s 40.48 per cent increase while it is 26.89 per cent across the country.

Immigration and population growth to begin to affect the resale and new housing markets. Also, a demand/supply imbalance has contributed to higher prices.

Value of Calgary Region Building Permits Soars

Posted on August 10, 2014


The value of building permits in the Calgary region ballooned in June to more than $800 million, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported Thursday that permits hit $811.7 million during the month in the Calgary census metropolitan area, an increase of 26.6 per cent from May and up by 51.3 per cent year-over-year.

The Calgary region was buoyed by the non-residential sector which saw permits of $478.5 million, up 135.3 per cent from May and an increase of 147.7 per cent from last year.

Calgary Inner-City Booming with New Home Construction

Posted on August 3, 2014


The inner-city area of Calgary is proving to be a hot market for the construction of new single-family homes this year.

According to data by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., year-to-date until the end of June, there were 204 single-detached starts in the city’s ‘centre’ zone this year, which has increased by 35.1 per cent compared with a year ago.

Since 1999, the highest ever yearly total for starts for single-family homes was in 2006 at 339 units. Last year, builders started 287 single detached homes in the inner-city area.


The attraction to inner-city building is quite simple. Location.

2.42 Homes for Every 100 People Being Built in Calgary

Posted on July 27, 2014


The Calgary region is one of the nation’s leaders when it comes to new home construction.

A report by BuzzBuzzHome, which researches new residential developments, said the Calgary census metropolitan area has by far the most construction relative to its size.

The region has 2.42 homes per 100 people under construction - the best rate in the country. The next highest is the Edmonton CMA at 1.56.

Calgary had the third highest number of homes under construction in the second quarter at 29,438 behind the Montreal CMA at 30,238 and the Toronto CMA at 81,061.

The increase in population is driving demand for housing. Low inventory on the resale market is also placing more demand for new home construction.

Record Activity in Housing Market Outside Calgary

Posted on July 20, 2014


The heat from Calgary’s sizzling resale housing market is reaching out to communities outside the city as Airdrie, Okotoks and Cochrane have experienced record MLS sales.

In a report released Wednesday, the Calgary Real Estate Board said housing activity in Calgary’s surrounding communities continued at a brisk pace with record-setting quarterly sales in those three centres.

Year-to-date, 2,938 units were sold in surrounding towns until the end of June, a 30.46 per cent increase over last year.

The convenience of living in a smaller town that has everything you need is quite appealing especially when people can get more of a house for their budget. The commute to different areas of Calgary is also so much easier with the expansion of the ring road and highway access. Families seem to be looking for more of a small town lifestyle with the convenience of a big city so close by.

Calgary Landlord Buying Land Near New Oilers Rink

Posted on July 14, 2014


While many Calgarians look on with envy as the Edmonton Oilers plan a magnificent new building to play in, landlord Bob Dhillon sees only the opportunity.

The president and chief executive of Calgary-based Mainstreet Equity Corp. has been actively consolidating property in the Arena District.

The area Dhillon has focused on is close to the downtown, between 124th Street to the west, 104th Avenue to the south, 101st Street to the east and 118th Avenue to the north.

It is an area near three post-secondary institutions, close to LRT expansion and the redevelopment along 124th Street and 104th Avenue.

Edmonton’s economy is rolling. In-migration numbers are strong. It’s a gateway to northern Alberta for heavy oil. It’s a port city without the port.

Record June for Calgary Resale Housing Market

Posted on July 6, 2014


Calgary’s resale housing market experienced a record month in June with the average MLS sale price reaching an all-time high and luxury home sales setting a new monthly peak.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, the average MLS sale price for residential properties in the city climbed to $491,928 during the month, eclipsing the previous high of $486,531 established in May.

Prices were up 5.48 per cent from a year ago.

Average sale price records were also set in the single-family category at $562,382 and the condo apartment sector at $350,712.

Previous records in those categories were $556,522 for single-family homes in March of this year and $332,731 for condo apartments in October 2007.

In June, there were 2,670 MLS sales, an increase of 15.78 per cent from a year ago while new listings rose by 27.22 per cent to 3,814.

Active listings at the end of the month were up 3.10 per cent from last year to 4,726.

Calgary’s luxury real estate market set a new all-time sales peak for the second straight month.

Massive Urban Village Planned for Eau Claire Lands

Posted on June 29, 2014

A massive urban village is planned for two city blocks in the southwest Eau Claire neighbourhood that will include about 1,100 residences, a hotel, a supermarket, restaurants, retail space and a public plaza.

A development permit has been submitted for the blocks, currently two surface parking lots, between 2nd Avenue to the south, Eau Claire Avenue to the north, 4th Street to the east, and 6th Street to the west.

The project is expected to break ground in 2015, subject to all necessary approvals, with the first residents in place in 2018. The entire project is expected to be completed over a five to seven year time frame, depending on market conditions.

GWL Realty Advisors Inc. is the advisor and development manager on behalf of bcIMC (British Columbia Investment Management Corporation) which owns the land for the Eau Claire Lands project - six residential towers ranging from 19 to 33 storeys, 30 two-storey ground-oriented townhomes mainly facing Eau Claire Avenue, a 350-room hotel, 65,000 square feet of retail space as well as a public plaza and pedestrian walkway.

Calgary Real Estate Market Recovering After Last Year’s Flood

Posted on June 22, 2014

Last year’s devastating flood had a huge impact on Calgary’s residential real estate market that lingers to this day.

Not so much on the overall city market, which has been one of the hottest in the country, but on the flood-affected areas where sales dropped after the natural disaster — as did house prices.

But now since the prices have gone down, there’s people wanting to buy.

Prices in flood-affected neighbourhoods dropped anywhere from 10 to 25 per cent post flood but a year later they have slowly climbed.

And people with means are also starting to look beyond river properties for luxury homes.

Flood-affected properties would not influence citywide aggregate figures. The prices were going up. Market conditions were outweighed by what happened in those areas. There has been some adjustments in those areas but it wasn’t a large portion. Not enough to alter anything on citywide numbers.

Potential Homebuyers To Sign Written Service Agreements

Posted on June 15, 2014


The Real Estate Council of Alberta is introducing a new regulation that will affect how consumers buy homes through a licenced real estate professional in the province.

Effective July 1, consumers who are buying or selling residential property and are clients of Alberta real estate professionals will be asked by their real estate professional to sign a written service agreement. While this has long been the standard practice for sellers of residential real estate, it will mark a significant change for buyers who have not often been asked to sign a Buyer Representation Agreement, said the council, which says the new rule will enhance consumer protection.

The written service agreement will define the relationship between the parties; explain the services to be provided by the brokerage; explain the obligations and responsibilities of the parties; provide consent for the collection, use and distribution of personal information of the client; and outline the method of calculation of renumeration or how the industry professional will be compensated.

Warm Weather Helping Recreational Property Sales

Posted on June 8, 2014


Sales activity in Canada’s recreational property market is beginning to pick up after a slow start to the year due to a harsh winter and delayed spring.


The 2014 Recreational Property Report said a long and severe winter delayed the traditional spring buying season, but the arrival of waterfront-friendly weather has increased interest, is generating higher inventory levels and is driving sales activity.


Economic factors such as a stable job market, inexpensive mortgage financing and steadily improving consumer confidence remain supportive for purchasers considering recreational properties. Many Canadians dream of owning a country retreat to get away from the pressures of life in the city and the daily grind.


Calgary Luxury Home Resale Market Sets All-Time Record

Posted on June 1, 2014


An all-time record has been set this month for the most sales ever for $1-million plus MLS properties in Calgary.

There have been 85 single-family homes and three condos sold at the luxury level this month.

The most expensive sale was at $4.85 million in the Bel-Aire neighbourhood.

The neighbourhoods of Altadore/River Park and Aspen Woods are leading the way with nine luxury sales each for the month.

The Calgary residential real estate market set an annual record last year for most sales ever at that price point and it is on pace this year to break that mark.

In 2013, there were 732 MLS luxury transactions, eclipsing the previous record of 544 in 2012.

Calgary Housing Market Positive For Next Two Years

Posted on May 25, 2014


Record net migration and the gains in employment over the last couple of years will contribute to increasing sales and prices for the Calgary region’s housing market in 2014 and 2015, says a new report by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

The Calgary region has experienced strong net migration in the last couple of years with 31,996 in 2012 and 45,168 in 2013. This year, migration is forecast to reach 33,400 and 28,500 in 2015.

Migration, along with other factors such as rising incomes and employment growth, has been a key contributor to the uptick in housing demand that Calgary has been experiencing.

Calgary House Price Growth Leading the Nation

Posted on May 18, 2014


When it comes to home price growth these days, Calgary is leading the pack.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association’s MLS Home Price Index, released Thursday, prices in Calgary in April grew by a nation-leading 9.52 per cent from last year.

The survey of 11 major centres said prices were up by 5.02 per cent across the country.

The index also showed that Calgary prices have spiked by 21.83 per cent over the last three years, which is also the highest rate of growth in the country. Nationally, prices have gone up by 12.19 per cent over that period of time.

Calgary could see the potential of a real strong spike in value increases over the next six months - more than what we have witnessed in the previous six months - unless a whole new wave of available, quality supply hits the market.

3 Eau Claire Project Making Proposal to Creditors
Posted on April 20, 2014

The developers of two connected downtown highrise towers have filed notice of their intent to make a proposal to dozens of creditors who claim they’re owed almost $38 million on the project that was to include residential condos and the new offices of Shaw Communications.

The insolvent company, 3 Eau Claire Developments Inc., filed the notice on April 11 and has 30 days to file a proposal with the official receiver or within any further extension of that period that may be granted by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, said Deloitte Restructuring Inc. in a letter to creditors. Deloitte is acting as official trustee under the proposal. All proceedings against the insolvent have been stayed.

Once a proposal has been filed, a meeting of creditors to consider the proposal will be held within 21 days.

The list of creditors includes Toronto-based ComputerShare Trust Co. of Canada ($20.6 million); Korean Exchange Bank ($8.5 million); Bosa Properties ($2 million) and a numbered Calgary company ($3.4 million).

Calgary a Magnet for New Hotel Development
Posted on April 20, 2014


Calgary is becoming a magnet these days for hotel operators - particularly unique and different brands on the market.

The latest addition is Aloft Calgary University, which will open its doors April 24 along Motel Village on Banff Trail N.W.

It is the first Aloft in Western Canada and only the third in the country, joining Aloft Vaughan Mills (in the Toronto area) and Aloft Montreal Airport as part of the Starwood Hotels and Resorts group of brands, which include the Sheraton, the Westin, and the Four Points.

The new hotel, located along the LRT line near the University of Calgary and McMahon Stadium, will have 143 guest rooms, 4,000 square feet of meeting space, a spin studio, a spa, an indoor pool, a restaurant and the W xyz bar featuring local musicians and DJs.

More Residential Units Planned for Currie Barracks Development

Posted on April 13, 2014


The formal submission to the City of Calgary for the massive mixed-use development of Currie Barracks is almost complete and developers are holding a public open house next week to present it to the public.

The new plan by Canada Lands Company and Embassy Bosa Inc. calls for 5,600 residential units on the site, up from 3,200 originally planned. There will eventually be 11,000 residents in the community which has increased from the 7,000 in the original plans.

The public open house is scheduled for Monday April 14 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Currie Barracks Sales Centre at 2953 Battleford Ave. S.W.

The third open house in the process and the developers hope to submit an application for land-use re-designation in mid-May.

Canada Lands is a Crown corporation that redevelops property no longer required by the federal government.

Buoyant Economy Fuelling Calgary Condo Growth

Posted on April 6, 2014

Calgary’s buoyant economy, healthy population growth and excellent affordability will keep sales of existing condominiums rising over the next few years, says a new housing report released Wednesday.

The latest Conference Board of Canada condo report, released by Genworth Canada, said good demand will also lift condo starts in the city following a pullback in 2013 that was at least partly due to flooding in the summer.

The Winter 2014 Metropolitan Condo Outlook forecast Calgary to see the best growth in prices this year, for eight cities studied, for the resale condo market with median prices rising by 3.2 per cent to $260,523.

The report said they will rise a further 3.4 per cent in 2015 to $269,508.

Affordability in Calgary is a factor. The city has the highest average household income among the report’s eight cities and Calgary’s apartments are not particularly expensive with a median price below Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Victoria and Vancouver.

No Fears of a Housing Bubble for Calgary Housing Market

Posted on March 30, 2014


There is not much cause for alarm about a housing bubble in Calgary despite the sharp growth in prices for the city’s resale market, says a new report released Monday by the Conference Board of Canada.

The board’s initial Housing Briefing: Bubble Fears Overblown report said improvements in energy markets have boosted sales in Calgary’s resale market, and the market is approaching sellers’ conditions. Sales have not fallen on a year-over-year basis since April 2011 and price growth accelerated sharply last year.


The report said that nationally, and in some local markets, Canadian house prices may be headed for a modest decline, but fears of a housing bubble are exaggerated.

Strong Consumer Demand Driving Calgary Housing Market

Posted on March 23, 2014


Although additional resale housing inventory is expected to hit the Calgary market in the spring, a new real estate report says it will be absorbed by strong consumer demand.

The report by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, released Tuesday, said the outlook for Calgary’s real estate market is positive based on key economic indicators and demand is being driven by low interest rates, tight rental and resale real estate markets and strong economic fundamentals.

Calgary’s marketplace demand is due to a number of factors including high incomes and strong net migration to the city.

New Home Prices in the Calgary Region Continue to Rise

Posted on March 16, 2014


The Calgary region experienced the highest annual growth rate in new home prices across the country in January.

The Statistics Canada said Thursday that the New Housing Price Index rose by seven per cent from January 2013 in the Calgary census metropolitan area - its highest annual rise since July 2007.

The NHPI was also up 1.3 per cent on a monthly basis.

Nationally, the NHPI rose 0.3 per cent in January - the largest since May 2012 and mainly the result of strong gains in the Prairie region. On an annual basis, it was up 1.5 per cent.

Calgary Region Housing Starts Soar in February

Posted on March 10, 2014


Housing starts in the Calgary region soared in February compared last year on the strength of a whopping increase in the multi-family sector, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

The agency reported Monday that total starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area was up by 41.7 per cent from a year ago to 1,270 units. The single-detached market rose by 15.0 per cent to 559 units while the multi-family market up by 73.4 per cent to 711 units.

The CMHC also added housing starts were trending at 14,993 units in February compared with 14,322 in January. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally-adjusted annual rates of total housing starts.

Calgary Set Record Highs For Average Home Sale Prices

Posted on March 2, 2014


A low inventory is continuing to drive resale housing prices upward with the city poised to set numerous all-time records from February MLS sales.

As the housing market comes to the end of another month, Calgary is on the verge of hitting new highs for average sale prices and median prices in both the overall city market and in the single-family sector.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, from February 1-26, the average MLS sale price for all city sales was $485,085, up 6.94 per cent from a year ago while the median price rose by 7.80 per cent to $425,000. Also, the single-family home market has seen the average price soar to $553,077, up 8.16 per cent from a year ago while the median price has risen by 10.98 per cent to $485,000.

Albertans Plan To Use Home Ownership As Primary Source Of Retirement Income

Posted on February 22, 2014

With house prices continuing to grow in Canada, a new survey shows nearly 26 per cent of Albertans intend to use their homes as their primary source of income after they leave the workforce.

The 2014 Sun Life Canadian Unretirement Index, released Wednesday, also found that 17 per cent do not know if their investment in their home will serve as their primary source of income during retirement.

The survey also found that 12 per cent of Albertans expect retirement income to come from home equity; 28 per cent to come from government plans; 29 per cent to come from personal savings; and 21 per cent to come from employer plans.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, month-to-date until Tuesday, the average MLS sale price in Calgary was $490,882, up 7.33 per cent from a year ago while the median price has risen by 7.68 per cent to $425,350. In the single-family home market, the average price has jumped by 7.33 per cent as well to $554,011 while the median price has increased by 8.83 per cent to $480,000.

Calgary Housing Market Remains Hot

Posted on February 15, 2014


Calgary’s sizzling resale housing market is showing no signs of cooling as the city recorded the highest year-over-year hike in prices across the country in January - and early indications show February is experiencing a continued escalation in what it costs to buy a home.

The Canadian Real Estate Association released its monthly MLS data on Friday and listed Calgary as the top center in the country for annual growth in the MLS Home Price Index at 8.98 per cent. Nationally, prices, in the 11 centres surveyed, up by 4.83 per cent.

A realtor with RE/MAX said the city’s housing market has started 2014 with a bang. The market has not slowed down at all from the healthy pace it set in 2013.

High Demand Lifting Calgary Housing Market

Posted on February 9, 2014


A high level of demand will continue to lift housing starts, MLS sales and average house prices this year in the Calgary region, according to a report released Thursday by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

The agency’s first quarter 2014 Housing Market Outlook said housing starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area will reach 14,100 units in 2014 before declining to 13,500 in 2015. They were at 12,584 last year.

The report said a record level of migration in 2013 will help lift MLS sales from 29,954 in 2013 to 31,300 units in 2014 and to 32,100 in 2015 and the high level of demand is expected to be met by more supply which will help lift the average price from $437,036 in 2013 to $449,000 in 2014 and to $460,000 in 2015.

The Calgary and Alberta housing markets will be buoyed in the coming years by strong net migration numbers. CMHC estimates net migration to the province in 2013 will be 103,000 people followed by forecasts of 71,000 in 2014 and 63,000 in 2015.

Calgary's New Condo Market Booming

Posted on February 2, 2014


Calgary’s new condo market boosts in 2013 with sales up by 30 per cent from the previous year and coming close to the peak of 2005 when prices were a lot less for a property, particularly in inner-city neighbourhoods.

A report by the Altus Group Limited says sales in the city reached 5,400 last year for new townhouse and apartment units. At its peak almost a decade ago, sales in the market hit 5,900.

The city’s condo boom is being fuelled by a strong economy, strong growth in employment and in-migration as well as a very low rental vacancy rate.

Calgary Ranks Fifth in Highrise Construction in North America

Posted on January 25, 2014


Calgary is ranked fifth overall in North America for the number of highrises and skyscrapers currently under construction.

A ranking gathered by Emporis, an international provider of building data, said Toronto is North America’s highrise boomtown with 130 projects on the go.

The report, released Tuesday, said New York City was second at 91, followed by Montreal (25), Vancouver (23) and Calgary (22).

Emporis said one aspect common to all the cities in the ranking with the exception of Houston is the majority of the highrises under construction are residential buildings.

It said New York remains the city with the most completed highrises in North America with 6,069.

Calgary Industrial Real Estate Market Continues To See Strong Demand

Posted on January 20, 2014


The high amount of leasing activity in 2013 in the Calgary industrial real estate market is a solid indicator of healthy demand which will continue to take vacant product, according to a new report by Colliers International.

Colliers said absorption - the change in occupied space - remained high at 1.2 million sq ft in the 4th quarter of 2013. This is a small growth over the 3rd quarter which saw just over one million sq ft of absorption.

It also said a shortage of land is expected to continue into this year(2014).

Record MLS sales for Cochrane and Okotoks
Posted on January 12, 2014


Cochrane and Okotoks both experienced record years in 2013 for MLS residential sales activity.

A new report by the CREB said there was strong sales activity in the final quarter of last year in Airdrie, Cochrane, and Okotoks and as the supply of single-family homes in Calgary decreased.

CREB said total sales in communities surrounding Calgary boosts to 4,440 units in 2013, a hike of nearly 12 per cent.

In the city, MLS sales rose by nearly 11 per cent to 23,489 transactions.

Booming Luxury Market Pushes Calgary House Prices to Records

Posted on January 5, 2014


A booming luxury market, and tight overall conditions with listings not keeping pace with demand, has pushed Calgary house prices to unparalleled levels.

Average sale and median prices hit all-time records for the city in 2013 for both single-family home and in the total MLS transactions category, according to data released Thursday by the CREB.

The average sale price for total MLS hit $456,703 for the year, up 6.54 per cent from 2012, while the single-family average price boosts by 7.61 per cent to $517,887.

The median sale price for total MLS was $401,000 and it was $450,000 for single-family homes. The median price up by 5.53 per cent from the previous year for total MLS and it was a 7.14 per cent hike in the single-family market.

Also, December capped a strong year for the residential real estate market with the highest-ever monthly average sale price at $527,764, eclipsing the previous record of $526,546 set in June 2013.

East Village Dream Becoming a Reality

Posted on December 28, 2013


The four cranes rise from the ground and reach skyward just east of Calgary’s downtown City Hall building.


They are an obvious sign of progress in the long-discussed East Village development on almost 20 hectares of land situated in a major spot near the heart of the city.

Another key measure of success in the past year was the large number of people who came down to East Village to visit and participate in activities.

Brown says the community hosted 148 days of events in 2013, attracting more than 50,000 people to everything from the typical festivals to Opera in the Village.

Alberta Expected To Outperform National Housing Markets
Posted on December 21, 2013


According to Global Real Estate Trends report released Friday by Scotiabank Economics, says Alberta may outperform national housing markets in 2014.

“Relatively firmer employment and income gains and strong population growth are expected to underpin modestly higher home sales and steady new construction, while tighter supply conditions lift prices,” said the report authored by Adrienne Warren, the bank’s senior economist and real estate specialist.

The report said Canada’s housing market in 2013 outperformed expectations. The end-year tally for national home resales will be largely on par with 2012 and in line with the average pace of the past decade, it said.

Buyer Enthusiasm Buoys Calgary Residential Real Estate Market

Posted on Dec 11, 2013


Demand for residential real estate in Calgary this year was at its peak level in years as decreasing inventory levels could not keep pace with buyer enthusiasm, driving the market into seller’s territory for the first time since 2007, says a new report by RE/MAX.

The Housing Market Outlook 2014, released Wednesday, said several offers made their return in 2013 amid growing competition particularly at the lower single-family price points, but the “frenetic climate of 2007 did not return with it.”

RE/MAX said the upper end of the market is anticipated to gain further traction next year, strengthened by employment and income growth and equity gains.

West Coast City Seeing More Sales from Albertans

Posted on December 6, 2013


The lure of a warmer and milder climate is attracting more and more homebuyers from Calgary and Alberta to Victoria.

Shelley Mann, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board, stated the residential market in the West coast city has been experiencing a definite increase in out-of-province homebuyers.

“A lot of them are buying them to come out here and spend the winter. It’s the snowbirds coming this way versus going down south. We’ve got a really good inventory of condos on the market right now and fairly competitively priced. People are looking at that. This is a good investment . . . And there’s a lot of new inventory coming onto the market.”

Canadian Investors Increasingly Looking Offshore

Posted on November 24, 2013

Weathering the global recession better than other developed economies and supproted by strong capital market conditions, Canada’s commercial real estate investors plan to continue to punch above their weight in offshore investing, says the 2014 Colliers International Investor Sentiment Survey.

The survey of more than 500 major institutional, REIT and private investors, with most of the largest players from Canada, revealed that Canadian investors are searching beyond the domestic market to get higher investment returns and diversify risk, said Colliers.

According to transaction data from Real Capital Analytics, Canadians are the largest foreign buyers of commercial property in the U.S. with closed and under-contract transaction volumes reaching $US8 billion. Investor activity in other foreign markets places CanadaaaS. ($US37.5) and Singapore ($US14.4 billion), it said.

Eau Claire Market Project Involves Huge Mixed-use Development
Posted November 11, 2013
Redevelopment plans for the Eau Claire Market include 5 towers, 1,000 residential units, 800,000 square feet of office space, and 550,000 square feet for retail.

The ambitious plans by Regina-based Harvard Devlopments Inc. would change the market into a more vibrant mixed-use area.

Its objective would be to start construction in the fall of 2014 and the entire phased project would take 7 to 10 years.

Rosanne Hill Blaisdell, managing director of Harvard Buildings Inc. and vice-president of leasing for Harvard Developments Inc., said the developer has been working with the city and different community groups over the last year to come forward with a design. It is gearing up for a land-use application to be submitted before the end of this year or early in 2014 with a development permit following soon after.

The current structure of Eau Claire Market will not come down until the project moves into its third phase in a few years and another structure will be built there to fit retail use.

Town Centre Concept Planned for Currie Barracks
Posted November 11, 2013


Canada Lands Company is partnering with Embassy Bosa Inc. to build a mixed-use town centre at the Currie Barracks in Calgary.

The vision is for the town center to turn into a main hub of activity for the residents of Currie and its neighborhood. Offering local retail shops and services, plus parks and other outdoor gathering places, the area will be completely revitalized into a unique urban community of its own near downtown Calgary.

Cassidy stated construction will take place in several phases with the retail component expected to be completed within 5 years.

Phase 1 of Currie Barracks is largely complete already with 250 homes. Phase 2 will have about 300 homes with that aspect of the project just beginning.

The town centre plan is being build with retail, office and multi-family components key elements.

Luxury Condo Sales Increase, Smashing Records in Calgary
Posted September 5, 2013


Luxury condominium sales are increasing in Calgary this year with MLS sales over $1 million currently putting an all-time yearly record.

Year-to-date, until Wednesday, there were 53 luxury condominium sales in the city compared to 21 for the same period last year, as reported by the Calgary Real Estate Board.

The interest in the luxury condo market is obvious in yearly sales profits over the past decade. In 2004, there have been only two sales at that cost and it jumped to six in 2005. But sales took a tremendous leap in 2006 with 29 transactions that year. Annual luxury condo sales for the past few years are: 30 in 2007; 27 in 2008 and 2009; 21 in 2010 and 26 in 2011.

The previous annual record for the majority of luxury condominium sales was 36 in 2012.

Calgary New Home Prices Continue to Increase
Posted July 1, 2013


Statistics Canada reported Calgary was the top contributor to the national advance in May of new home prices.

The federal agency stated Thursday that the New Housing Price Index inflated 0.1 per cent in May across the country thanks to a 0.9 per cent rise in the Calgary census metropolitan area.

It said builders in the Calgary area reported a growth in material and labour costs as the main reason for higher prices.

On an annual basis, prices in the Calgary region boost by 5.3 per cent. Nationally, they were up 1.8 per cent on a yearly basis.

Calgary Housing Starts Booms
Posted on June 20, 2013


Housing starts in the Calgary are on the upswing, said by the Conference Board of Canada.

A report released Wednesday suggests short-term expectations for the industry in the Calgary region are positive. But the board also stated long-term expectations are negative.

Short-term expectations are set on residential permits data while long-term expectations are based on demographic requirements.

The board said the seasonally-adjusted yearly rate of starts in the Calgary region in May was 12,534, up from 10,890 last year.

Calgary - Top Contributor in National Advance for New Home Prices

Posted on June 16, 2013


In April, Calgary was the top contributor in April to the national progress for new home prices for the third consecutive month.

Statistics Canada reported Thursday that Calgary's New Housing Price Index rose by 0.5 percent in Calgary for the month and by 0.2 percent across the country.

Builders noted that higher material and labor costs as well as market conditions were the primary reasons for higher prices in Calgary, said the national agency.

Across The Country, the index rose succeeding a 0.1 percent growth in March and similar gains over the last 12 months.

Calgary House Price Gain Best in Canada

Posted in June 14, 2013


In May, Calgary had the best monthly growth rate in house prices for repeat home sales across the country, according to a latest report released Wednesday.

The Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index stated prices in Calgary rose 2.3 percent from the previous month.

The May monthly gain was one percent or more in 7 of the 11 markets reviewed led by Calgary. They also included Edmonton (1.9 percent), Hamilton (1.4 percent), Montreal and Winnipeg (1.2 percent), Ottawa-Gatineau (1.1 percent) and Toronto (1.0 percent). Lesser monthly gains were listed in Quebec City (0.8 percent) and Vancouver (0.7 percent). Prices were fixed in Halifax and down from the month before in Victoria (0.8 percent).

The index is predicted by tracking marked or registered home prices over time using data acquired from public land registries. All homes that have been sold at least twice are considered in the computation of the index.

On a yearly basis, prices in Calgary were up by 5.8 percent — the second highest in the country behind Quebec City’s 6.5 percent.

In Canada, the price growth over the 12 months ending in May surpass the cross-country average in 7 of the 11 markets surveyed for the national total index. Besides Calgary and Quebec City, prices boost in Hamilton (5.8 percent), Winnipeg (4.6 percent), Edmonton (4.0 percent), Toronto (3.9 percent) and Halifax (2.3 percent). The 12-month increase matched the average in Ottawa-Gatineau (2.0 percent) and slowed it in Montreal (1.9 percent). Prices were down from a year earlier in Victoria (4.1 percent) and Vancouver (3.2 percent). For Vancouver, it was the 10th straight month of 12-month fall.

New Home Construction Boosts in Alberta

Posted on June 12, 2013


New home construction elevate in the Calgary region in May with Alberta’s level at a five-year high.

It’s an indication that the housing market is increasing.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported Monday that total starts in the Calgary census metro area extent 1,078 units during the month, which was a growth from 949 in May 2012.

Multi-family starts grew to 519 in May from 466 a year ago while the single-detached market saw starts rose to 559 from 483 last year.

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

The recent Labour Force Survey, released last week, points to a rise in the labour force, which has up by 59,400, or 2.6 percent, over the last 12 months.

Work Alternatives Acquire Big Benefits for Telus
Posted on June 9, 2013


Producing a flexible work environment has seen huge progress in employee work rate and levels of engagement for Telus as well as a corresponding important savings in real estate costs.

The company commence on its alternative workplace idea, Work Styles, in 2006 and is planning to have more employees working outside a traditional office.

Between 2009 and 2012, Telus has cut its real estate footprint by over one million square feet and is looking at a reduction of another 400,000 square feet in the succeeding years. Between 2009 and 2016, it will reduce its office space from 4.8 million sq. ft. to 3.4 million sq. ft. By the end of 2016, the target is to reduce annual rent costs by $50 million. It leases a total of $160 million of office and call center space every year.

By 2015, the aim is to have 70 percent of its 40,000 people working from home or on a mobile basis at least part-time. Today, 47 percent, or 5,000 people, on a given day work outside the office.

Calgary Building Permits Boost in April

Posted on June 7, 2013


The economic value of building permits in the Calgary region leaped to $772.7 million in April, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported Wednesday that permits were up 40.6 per cent from March and increased by 12.9 per cent year-over-year.

The gains in Calgary were driven by higher construction intentions for commercial buildings, added the federal agency.

Across Canada, building permits worth $7 billion were issued in April, up 10.5 per cent from March. The advance in April was the fourth consecutive monthly increase. The recent upswing came after a downward trend in the total value of building permits that began in the fall of 2012, said Statistics Canada.

Development Permit may be in works for South Block of The Bow Project

Posted on June 5, 2013


A new development permit for the south block of The Bow project could be filed this year as owners of the property across the street from the tower continue to discuss possibilities for the site.

Original plans for the project included a smaller office building housing office, retail and arts and cultural space in about 200,000 square feet. It was to be a seven-storey complex to be built where the historic York Hotel formerly existed and the complex was to be built using bricks taken from the demolished hotel.

In 2009, plans for the smaller tower were shelved due to tough economic times. But they were revived again in early January 2011 after the city received a development permit application for a 12-storey building to be called 600 Centre.

Development on the site is in a holding pattern.

Jack Matthews, president of Matthews Development which was in charge of constructing The Bow, said potential development on the south block site could take about two years to be built.

More Calgarians Plan to Buy Condos in the Next Five Years: BMO

Posted on June 3, 2013


More Calgarians are planning to buy a condo in the next five years, says a new BMO Bank of Montreal report released on Thursday.

The survey, conducted by Pollara, found that in Calgary prospects for condos among homebuyers has developed eight points from the fall (33 per cent versus 25 per cent), while intent to buy a traditional home has dropped from 71 per cent in the fall to 58 per cent.

For other major cities, the survey showed: 31 per cent of potential buyers in Toronto plan to purchase a condo in the next five years, up 11 points from the fall; intent to buy condos in Vancouver has dipped by five points, from 33 per cent in the fall to 28 per cent; and 24 per cent of buyers in Montreal will be preferring for condo living, down three points.

U.S. Retailers to Shape Future of Canadian Shopping

Posted on June 1, 2013


The continuous flow of U.S. retailers into Canada is expected to have a lasting impact on Canadian retailers and consumers, according to Colliers International’s 2013 Spring Retail Report released Wednesday.

The report said the entrance of U.S. retailers is already one of the drivers behind the retail building boom Canada has experienced in recent years, with an average of 11.5 million square feet of leasable shopping area added annually and tens of millions of square feet currently under construction.

This addition of shopping space to the national inventory, while very large, is not likely to lead to a market bubble, provided Canada continues to demonstrate strong economic and population growth.

Calgary - One of More Affordable Housing Markets in Canada

Posted on May 29, 2013


Calgary’s housing market renaissance has not been a steady process, as the overall improving trend in resale activity was inconsistent last year, says a report released today by RBC Economics Research.


But the city remains one of the more affordable housing markets in Canada.


The latest Housing Trends and Affordability Report said recent statistics, however, show that resales in the area stabilized in the first quarter of 2013 and that month-to-month gains were registered during the February to April period.


Calgary-area buyers continue to benefit from a strong provincial economy, accelerating population growth and attractive housing affordability in Canada.

Alberta Homeowners Most Successful at Debt Reduction

Posted on May 27, 2013


Alberta homeowners report the most success in the country in year-over-year debt reduction.

A Manulife Bank of Canada survey has found that 60 per cent of homeowners in the province said they have less debt than they did a year ago.

Across Canada, 55 per cent of homeowners were in that situation.

The survey said just 20 per cent of Canadian homeowners report having more debt than they did a year ago, with the balance reporting no change in their debt level (16 per cent) or being debt-free over the past 12 months (nine per cent).

Regionally, homeowners in Alberta (60 per cent) and Ontario (58 per cent) are most likely to feel confident they’ll be debt-free when they reach retirement, while those in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (53 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (50 per cent) are least likely to be confident, according to the survey.

Across the country, 56 per cent of homeowners are confident they’ll be debt-free at retirement.

Almost Half of Albertans Planning Major Home Renovations

Posted on May 25, 2013


Forty-six per cent of Albertans are planning to make significant home renovations in the next two years – second after Atlantic Canadians (47%) and two per cent above the national average, says a new survey by Scotiabank.

The Scotiabank Mortgage Landscape Study also found that Albertans are more likely to use a line of credit to pay for renovations (37%), which is well ahead of the other regions of the country and the national average (29%).

While dipping into their cash savings to pay for renos is common among Canadians (62%), Albertans are the least likely among the regions to do so (50%), according to the study.

Canadian homeowners say they would most like to renovate their kitchen (33 per cent), followed by their bathroom (16%) and their basement (16%).

Calgary Retail Space To Expand This Year
Posted on May 22, 2013


Calgary has been a highly sought after destination for retailers testing the waters in Canada,report says by CBRE Limited.

Over the last couple of years, several high-profile international retailers have set up shop in the city due to its strong economy and healthy retail sales growth.

That has also led to a demand for more space in the retail market.

The CBRE report says about 1.5 million square feet of new supply is projected to be added to the Calgary market this year, up 1.1 million square feet from 358,495 square feet in 2012.

At the national level, CBRE is forecasting about 5.4 million square feet of new supply this year, trending above the 10-year annual average of 5.2 million square feet.

Canadian Recreational Property Market Boost by Low Interest Rates

Posted on May 16, 2013


Continued low interest rates are having a positive impact on the Canadian recreational real estate market, says a survey by Royal LePage.

The survey, which polled Canadians across the country who either currently own or think to buy a recreational property within the next five years, found that 82 per cent say interest rates will influence their decision to purchase a recreational property — and 58 per cent feel added urgency to buy a recreational property while interest rates are low.

The survey also revealed that 50 per cent suggested that prices will increase and 32 per cent said they will stay the same.

Increasing Momentum for Calgary Retail Market

Posted on May 16, 2013


This year has so far proven to be one of increasing momentum for the city’s retail market, according to a new report by Colliers International in Calgary.

Market vacancy continues considerably unchanged at 2.14 per cent in the spring, up slightly from 1.99 per cent last fall, adding that opportunities for retailers in Calgary’s premier shopping centres remain nearly non-existent and landlords have the option to be very selective in their choice of tenancies to fill upcoming vacancies.

The report said retailer demand for new space in Calgary has reached an all-time high. Low unemployment, exceptional incomes and reasonable costs of living are all contributing to the strength of Alberta’s retail sales which on a per capita basis exceeds the national average by about 34 per cent.

Calgary Region Building Permits Continue to Grow

Posted on May 8, 2013

Contractors took out building permits worth $553.9 million in the Calgary region in March, up 7.1 per cent from February, reported by Statistics Canada.


The federal agency reported Monday that the construction value was also an increase of 21.3 per cent year-over-year.

Alberta saw permits of $1.7 billion for March, up 22.3 per cent on a monthly basis and an increase of 38.2 per cent from a year ago. The residential sector climbed to $821.8 million which represented a 15.9 per cent increase from February and a 16.2 per cent jump from March 2012. The non-residential sector was $856.7 million, up 29.1 per cent month-over-month and 69.0 per cent year-over-year.


At the national level, contractors took out building permits worth $6.5 billion in March, up 8.6 per cent from February and the third consecutive monthly advance. The March increase came mostly from the non-residential sector in Ontario and Alberta, said Statistics Canada.

Smaller Towns Top the Big City in Region's Home sales
Posted on May 4, 2013


MLS residential sales activity in towns outside Calgary improved at a faster pace than the city in April.

The Calgary Real Estate Board’s statistics for the month indicate sales in towns outside the city increased by 12.24 per cent to 431 compared with a year ago.

Within city limits, sales were up 8.28 per cent to 2,381 for the month.

In April, the average sale price in the towns market increased by 2.89 per cent to $365,877 and the benchmark price, which tracks typical properties sold, was up 6.48 per cent to $339,900.

A Luxury Mount Royal Estate Home for Sale Just Under $4 million

Posted on April 30, 2013



A Mount Royal estate home, a three-storey brick home built in 1912, was once owned by the legendary Burns family group of companies, is for sale for just under $4 million.


The property once encompassed all the block on Prospect Avenue S.W. in the prestigious Mount Royal neighbourhood.

It includes about 6,000 feet with the basement and a third storey guest suite which is really rare. It also has a Japanese pagoda in the backyard.


The house, which has undergone renovations, is on sale for $3.99 million.

First Look from Top Floors of The Bow Caps Off a Magnificent Building

Posted on April 28, 2013



It’s like the icing on the cake.


The 54th floor of The Bow, with its breathtaking Sky Garden, caps off what many have described as a magnificent building — one that was recently listed as one of the most dazzling corporate structures in the world.


The Sky Garden floor boasts a state-of-the art 250-seat auditorium on the east side and a huge multi-purpose room with a mountain view on the west. The distance between the two — punctuated with panoramic views of the city, tons of natural light, soft seating and trees — is about one city block in length.


Plans for the tower were announced in October 2006. It was initially owned by Encana but later sold to H&R Real Estate Investment Trust. Energy giants Encana and Cenovus — with more than 4,000 employees between them — are the building’s main tenants.

Calgary Industrial Real Estate Market Active

Posted on April 23, 2013

All signs are indicating that the Calgary industrial real estate market will continue to boom and grow this year, says a new report by Cushman & Wakefield.

The company said overall vacancy in the sector was 6.6 per cent in the first quarter of this year, grows from 6.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2012. Net asking rents have jumped to $8.63 per square foot per year from $7.89 last year.

The report also said leasing activity in the first quarter of close to 1.4 million square feet is up from just over 921,000 square feet for the same period last year.

Calgary One of Canada’s Most Robust Luxury Home Markets

Posted on April 21, 2013


Calgary is one of Canada’s most robust markets for luxury homes and the baseline entry point for a luxury single-family home is $2 million, which is in line with that of Toronto, says a report by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

The Top Tier Trends Report: A Comparative Survey of Canada’s Luxury Real Estate Market said the features and amenities in Calgary reflect a distinctive western Canadian lifestyle.

As Calgary’s market for top-tier homes continues to outpace most of Canada, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada survey findings reveal that demand is predominantly driven by younger buyers, largely in the 35 to 40 year old range who have a skew in preference towards inner-city and Beltline living.

Buyers of top-tier homes in Canada are more likely to pay in cash and to use mortgages as part of an overall investment strategy, said the report, adding buyers are more likely to own a secondary, vacation and/or investment property that is often used part time as a vacation property in a ski or sun destination.

The strongest foreign buying influences include China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Calgary Investment in Commercial Building Construction On The Rise

Posted on April 19, 2013


Investment in non-residential building construction in the Calgary region was on the rise in the first quarter of this year, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported Thursday that investment in the Calgary census metropolitan area reached $913 million, 3.2 per cent growth from last year.

The commercial sector saw investment increase by 4.9 per cent to $742.6 million while the industrial sector experienced a rise of 85.4 per cent to $58.4 million.

In the institutional category, investment was down by 22.8 per cent to $112 million.

Calgary’s Bow Tower One of the World’s Most Spectacular Corporate Buildings

Posted on April 16, 2013


The Bow tower is the tallest building in Calgary.

The 59-storey, 1.9-million-square-foot, $1.4 billion tower was announced in October 2006. It was initially owned by Encana but later sold to H&R Real Estate Investment Trust. Energy giants Encana and Cenovus are the skyscraper’s main tenants at Centre Street and 5th and 6th Avenues S.E.

The Bow has six floors of underground parking connecting under 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue with nearly 1,400 parking stalls and just over 400 spots for bicycles. The structure has 42 elevators. The total square footage of the skyscraper is equal to 48 Saddledomes. There are three Sky Gardens in the structure.

The design architect on the Bow was world-renowned Foster + Partners.

New Bridgeland Condo Aims to Change Architectural Landscape

Posted on April 13, 2013


A new inner-city condo development is being launched in the Bridgeland community.

STEPS Bridgeland is designed by award-winning Calgary architect Jeremy Sturgess and is described as a one-of-a-kind real estate development that will change the architectural landscape of Bridgeland.

It will be a six storey, concrete, condominium development featuring 122 contemporary homes consisting of studios, one and two bedroom apartments, town houses and penthouses.

Besides Sturgess, the development team includes Giustini Bridges Inc., Scott Construction, and Square Foot Real Estate.

The project is located at 918 McPherson Place N.E. and the sales centre, located at 921 1st Ave. N.E., officially opens on Saturday.

Construction is expected to begin in the fall of this year with prices starting from the $180,000s.

Alberta First-time Homebuyers Expect to Spend $406,000

Posted on April 10, 2013



First-time buyers in Alberta expect to spend $406,000 on a home, the highest average in the country, as reported released Tuesday by BMO.

The First-Time Home Buyer’s report said the average amount Canadians planning to buy their first home in the next five years plan to spend is approximately $300,000, with an average down payment amount of $48,000 (16 per cent).

First-time buyers in B.C. expect to spend on average $384,000 and it was $326,000 in Ontario.

The report also found: on average, first-time home buyers expect to be mortgage free in 20 years, with 20 per cent estimating it will take between 10-19 years; those planning to enter the real estate market for the first time are twice as likely to take a fixed rate over a variable rate mortgage (46 per cent versus 20 per cent); and first-timers who expect interest rates to stay the same or decrease over the next five years still prefer fixed rate over variable rate mortgages (39 per cent versus 23 per cent).

Tight Market Gets Home Prices Higher
Posted on April 4, 2013


A tighter market for resale homes led to faster sales as prices set new all-time highs in March, reported by Calgary Real Estate Board.

In Calgary, average housing unit prices including condos and townhouses were up nine per cent to $460,800 from $422,400 in March 2012. That’s more expensive than the record $457,100 in February, which upset the past high mark of $452,600 set in July 2007.

Single-family homes sold in the city averaged $518,400, up by nearly 10 per cent over March 2012, while condos were up nearly 11 per cent at $300,900 and townhouses were up 13.5 per cent at $355,500.

Calgary Leads Country in Hotel Value Growth
Posted on April 2, 2013

Hotel investment across Canada reached nearly $1.2 billion last year with 30 of the 116 total sales taking place in Alberta.

The 2013 Canadian Hotel Investment report released this week by Colliers International Hotels said the 116 hotel sales was a 17 per cent increase over 2011 and the third-highest number in the past 10 years. Alberta’s 30 hotel sales totalled $391 million.

Ontario was tops with 50 sales accounting for $460 million.

Leading sales in Alberta were Edmonton ($121 million), Calgary ($80 million) and Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie ($56 million each), said Colliers.

The Colliers report said Calgary should lead the country in hotel sales value growth this year, at about eight per cent.

Real estate companies came out as the leading investor group in 2012, it said, accounting for 43 per cent of total acquisitions, primarily for redevelopment.

Calgary Resale Housing Market Seeing Price Growth

Posted on March 31, 2013


Calgary is one of only a handful of markets across Canada that has seen seven per cent and more year-over-year price growth for residential real estate, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

In a resale housing survey of markets across the country for February, released Thursday, the board said the city, along with Regina, Saskatoon, Thunder Bay, Halifax and Newfoundland, experienced year-over-year price growth of seven per cent or more for the latest three months.

On a seasonally-adjusted annual rate, sales in Calgary of 25,416 are up 2.0 per cent in February from last year while listings have dropped by 5.1 per cent to 40,308.

The average sale price in Calgary was $438,412, up 6.1 per cent from February 2012.

Sublet Vacant Space Boosts in Downtown Calgary
Posted on March 25, 2013


A significant change has taken place in Calgary’s downtown office market with a whopping increase of sublet space in the first quarter of this year.

In Calgary, the sublet percentage of vacant space in the downtown market rose to 43.3 per cent this quarter from 8.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2012.

Nationally, there is 11.3 million square feet of office construction in downtown markets. The national vacancy rate is 6.2 per cent, up from 6.1 per cent in the previous quarter.

Toronto has the lowest downtown vacancy rate in the country at 4.7 per cent followed by Vancouver at 4.1 per cent.

In Calgary, the average Class A rent for downtown space was $40.53 per square foot, down from $40.58 in the last quarter. However, it was still higher than the $35.51 average rent in the first quarter of 2012.

Alberta Manufacturing Sales Boom

Posted on March 21, 2013


While Canada got a decline in manufacturing sales in January, Alberta saw the sector inflated, hitting $6.3 billion and increase of 6.3 per cent, corresponding to Statistics Canada.

According to a report Tuesday by the federal agency, that sales in the province were the largest growth since November 2011. They also topped the nation in development.

Year-after-year, sales in the province remained flat.

Nationally, manufacturing sales dropped 0.2 per cent in January to $48.0 billion, the fourth decline in five months. Sales in January were down in the transportation equipment industry as well as the oil and coal product industry. Overall, seven of 21 industries posted lower sales in January, representing about 52 per cent of the manufacturing sector.

Calgary New Home Prices on the Rise
Posted on March 17, 2013


New home prices in the Calgary region were on the rise in January.

According to a report Thursday by Statistics Canada that its New Housing Price Index for the Calgary census metropolitan area was up 3.3 per cent from a year ago and it had also grew by 0.5 per cent from December.

Nationally, the NHPI climbed by 2.2 per cent on an annual basis and by 0.1 per cent month-over-month.

Calgary listed as an “out-performer” in Canadian Real Estate Market

Posted on March 15, 2013

Canada is anticipated to experience a gradual, modest, downward housing market adjustment over the next 3 years with a “measly” two per cent annual price gain over the next decade, says a study released Monday by TD Economics.

But the bank has also listed Calgary as an “out-performer” in Canada for the long-run rate of return on Canadian real estate. Compared with the national picture, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto were also listed as out-performers for the future.

Calgary Housing Starts Drop in February
Posted on March 12, 2013


Total housing starts in the Calgary region fell by 33.4 per cent in February compared from a year ago, reported by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

The agency reported Friday that starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area were 896 for the month.

Single-detached starts of 486 were off by 0.8 per cent while multi-family starts of 410 dropped by 52 per cent compared with February 2012.

Year-to-date, total starts in the region of 1,615 are down 24.2 per cent from the same period in 2012. That’s a result of the multi-family sector being off by 32 per cent (888 units). However, the single-detached market is up 12.2 per cent to 927 starts this year.

Calgary to Escape Downturn in Condo Apartment Construction

Posted on March 9, 2013


The apartment sector will be driving most of the overall moderation in housing starts in 2013 across the country with only Calgary forecast to escape the downturn, says a new report by Altus Group.

Altus Group said apartment starts in Calgary were 4,000 in 2012 and are forecast to boost to 4,100 in 2013 before falling slightly in 2014 to 3,600.

The report said that at the end of December there were 4,424 new condo apartment units under construction, up from 3,837 in 2011. Sales rose from 2,482 in 2011 to 2,825 in 2012. And the number of completed but unabsorbed units fell from 285 in 2011 to 254 in 2012.

In the resale housing market, condo apartment sales year-to-date until the end of February are up 13.65 per cent compared from last year, rising from 425 MLS transactions in 2012 to 483 this year.

The average sale price has also jumped by 4.75 per cent from $271,658 to $284,551.

Canadian Housing Prices Overvalued by 20%: Fitch Ratings
Posted on March 7, 2013


American-based agency Fitch says house prices are overvalued by approximately 20 per cent in real terms across Canada, with regional variations.

But in releasing its ratings on Monday, it said Alberta’s market is overvalued by 15 per cent.

Fitch said rises in prices have remained with small corrections since 1996, and specifically since 2008 have risen when underlying fundamentals suggest that growth is unsupportable.

It said the Ontario market is overvalued by 21 per cent, Alberta by 15 per cent, British Columbia by 26 per cent and Quebec by 26 per cent.

The Fitch Ratings “exposure draft” details a “new loan-level model for estimating losses on prime Canadian residential mortgage pools.”

Prices in Calgary’s resale housing market continue to rise as an all-time average sale price record was set in February, dominating the mark which has stood since the boom in July 2007.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, the average MLS sale price for a single-family home during the month was $518,452, up 10.30 per cent from last year while the average price for overall MLS sales in the city was $457,120, up 7.46 per cent year-over-year.

The previous single-family home record high for average sale price was $506,671 in July 2007 and it was $452,589 in July 2007 as well for overall MLS sales in the city.

Calgary Resale Housing Market Sets All-time Record for Average Sale Price

Posted on March 5, 2013


According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, the average MLS sale price for a single-family home during the month was $518,452, up 10.30 per cent from last year while the average price for overall MLS sales in the city was $457,120, up 7.46 per cent year-over-year.

The past single-family home record high for average sale price was $506,671 in July 2007 and it was $452,589 in July 2007 as well for overall MLS sales in the city.

Total Calgary MLS sales of 1,711 in February were down 1.21 per cent from a year ago while single-family home sales drop by 5.62 per cent to 1,209.

In the condo apartment category, sales boost by 13.41 per cent to 279 but the average sale price dipped by 0.40 per cent to $287,830.

And in the condo townhouse sector, sales were up 8.78 per cent to 223 and the average sale price increased by 8.50 per cent to $336,406.

Benchmark prices, which CREB reports as typical properties sold, rose in all housing categories: total residential, 8.25 per cent, $396,100; single-family, 9.31 per cent, $442,500; condo apartment, 5.95 per cent, $252,900; and condo townhouse, 4.62 per cent, $283,000.

Prices during the month were buoyed by very strong activity in the luxury home market.

According to Mike Fotiou, associate broker with First Place Realty in Calgary, there were 63 properties that sold for $1 million or more during the month, a 50 per cent hike from last year, and a record amount for a February.

The month also had the $10.35 million sale of a home in Aspen Woods which set the all-time record for an MLS sale in the city.

Calgary home sets MLS record sale at $10.35 million

 Posted on March 2, 2013

On Wednesday, a luxurious home described as a ‘French castle’ has set a record for the highest ever MLS sale price in Calgary as the property in Aspen Woods sold for $10.35 million.

The two-storey home, listed by realtor Corinne Poffenroth, was built in 2010 and had a list price of $11.495 million.

It was originally listed in July 2011 at $12 million.

The sale dominates the previous record high of $10.3 million in August 2009 when the two-storey home, in Elbow Park/Glencoe, of former Calgary Flames goaltender Mike Vernon was sold.

The buyers of the French castle are Larry and Kristi Lindholm. Larry is an oil industry executive in Calgary.

The luxury home market has been exceptionally strong in the past year or so with sales placing a yearly record in 2012 and activity continuing at a healthy pace so far this year.

The continued strength of the luxury market is an indicator of business confidence growing in the city, said Don Campbell, senior analyst and founding partner of the Real Estate Investment Network.

Calgary Housing Market Experiencing Positive Momentum

Posted on February 17, 2013


Calgary’s housing market is having positive momentum and is a “lone shining star” in the Western Canadian real estate market, according to a report by TD Economics.

TD called Calgary’s situation ideal in comparison to what’s happening in Vancouver with the resale housing market seeing sales decrease there by 26 per cent in 2012. Calgary was the only one among its peers to register positive sales growth in 2012 at 14.3 per cent.

TD said average home prices will rise from $411,927 in 2012 to $423,400 this year and then to $431,400 in 2014. Those include all residential homes in Calgary and surrounding neighborhood.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is predicting MLS sales in the Calgary CMA to rise by 1.37 per cent this year followed by another 2.59 per cent in 2014.

The average sale price is expected to boost by 2.59 per cent this year to $423,000 and by another 2.6 per cent in 2014 to $434,000.

Calgary Commercial Real Estate Market Accelerated in 2012

Posted on February 14, 2013



The Greater Calgary real estate market accelerated its recovery from 2009, rising by 81 per cent in terms of overall investment dollar volume in 2012 from the previous year, says a report by RealNet Canada.

The real estate data services company said there were 445 transactions over $1 million during the year totalling $4.84 billion.

RealNet said every commercial real estate sector, with the exception of hotels, saw year-over-year increases.

The office market gained by 45 per cent to $1.6 billion followed by residential land with a huge 349 per cent hike to $770.7 million and retail which grew by 61 per cent to $724.3 million.

Other sectors with their dollar volume and percentage change from the year before were: industrial, $611.4 million, 36 per cent; apartment, $468.4 million, 254 per cent; industrial land, $564.7 million, 108 per cent.

The hotel sector dropped by one per cent to $83.7 million.

The investment market peaked in 2007 with sales totalling just over $5 billion.

As global demand for natural resources continues to increase, Calgary is expected to be further transformed into an international market, according to a 2012 report by CBRE Limited.

Recently, Calgary’s commercial real estate market was listed as the best one in Canada for total annual return on investment.

A report by the Real Property Association of Canada and Investment Property Databank Canada said Calgary had a return of 19.0 per cent in 2012 followed by Edmonton at 17.5 per cent and Winnipeg at 16.8 per cent. Total return for Canada was 14.1 per cent.

Affordable Housing Markets in Calgary

Posted on February 9, 2013



Calgary experienced a housing market renaissance in 2012, reaping the benefits of strong provincial GDP and in-migration, which propelled home resales in the area, reported by RBC Economics Research on Monday.

The latest Housing Trends and Affordability Report listed Calgary as one of the more affordable housing markets in Canada.

The RBC housing affordability measures capture the pre-tax household income needed to service the costs of owning a home at market values.

In Calgary, the average price of a detached bungalow in the fourth  quarter of 2012 was $440,600 and the affordability measure was 38.1 per cent. The typical price for a standard two-storey home was $434,700 with a measure of 38.6 per cent and for a standard condo the average price was $250,100 with a measure of 22.2 per cent.

RBC said Alberta’s housing market stayed vibrant in the final quarter of 2012, buoyed by attractive affordability levels, accelerating population growth, a healthy labor market and a strong provincial economy. Although the pace of home resales slowed in the closing months of 2012, the housing market tightened up as fewer properties were listed for sale, it said.

The RBC housing affordability measures for the province fell across all 3 housing types tracked by RBC. RBC’s measures for the benchmark detached bungalow and the standard two-storey fell by 0.2 percentage points to 32.1 per cent and 34.7 per cent, respectively. The measure for condominium apartments fell by 0.1 percentage points to 19.7 per cent. Average prices were: bungalow, $357,900; two-storey, $378,800; and condo, $213,300.

Across the country, affordability measures dropped by 0.2 percentage points for both bungalows (42.1 per cent) and condos (28.0 per cent) and by 0.3 percentage points for two-storey homes (47.8 per cent). Average prices in Canada in the fourth quarter of 2012 were: bungalow, $363,400; two-storey, $410,600; and condos, $237,600.

Calgary housing market sales growth best in Canada

Posted on February 7, 2013


While Canadian home sales dipped in January, specially in major centers like Toronto and Vancouver, Calgary’s housing market remained strong and posted the best year-over-year growth in the country for MLS transactions.

The Canadian Real Estate Association reported Friday that Calgary MLS sales during the month were 1,572, up 20.2% from January 2012 while sales across the nation were down by 5.2% to 23,579 transactions.

The average sale price in Calgary rose by 9.5 per cent to $418,938 while in Canada it was up 2.0 per cent to $354,754.

Alberta had the best sales growth of any province in Canada in January with MLS transactions 12.1% higher than last year at 3,486. The average sale price also grew by 5.5 percent to $361,524.

And Calgary’s housing market is showing no signs of slowing down in February. Month-to-date from February 1-14, total MLS sales in the city of 847 are 11.01 per cent higher than for the same period last year and the average sale price has increased by 8.33 per cent to $455,386, reported by Calgary Real Estate Board.

Calgary’s housing market has experienced the profit of an overall healthy economy in the past year.

January Record Set for the Average Sale Price in Calgary's Housing Market

Posted on February 5, 2013



Both housing prices and sales went up during January this year with the average selling price up by 12.74 % over last January's figures. The average sales price for a Calgary single-family home was $496,579.

In the single-family Calgary real estate market, this was the 5th highest price ever seen in any month. In July 2007 the peak was hit with a price tag for single-family homes sitting at $506,670.

There was moderate growth in pricing in Calgary last year as Alberta as a whole showed that it's the province that’s rich in commodities that can hold its own in the real estate market. It's important to remember, still, that in the luxury market a record number of homes were sold last year that were selling for $1 million or more. This definitely had some effect on the average pricing number for homes sold.

January sales for condominium apartments

There was a 13.97% hike in the number of condo apartment sales during January this year when compared with last year's sales with a total of 204 passing hands. The average price for a condo went up to $280,273 which was a rise of 13.09% over last January.

Taking a look at the townhouse category

According to the CREB, total sales figures for the MLS listings in Calgary in January were up 15.17% to 1,230 when compared to last January's sales. The average sale price for these MLS units rose to $439,671 which was a 12.34% growth. The highest average selling price for the MLS listings during any January was $413,271, which was found back in 2008.

While it is looked that Calgary will see modest growth during 2013 both in the city and on the outskirts, there are a number of different factors that may affect the real estate market. It's possible that 2013 will surpass expectations for growth, but even if things remain modest, the market is expected to remain positive for the upcoming year.

Smaller Towns Saw More Growth in Home Sales Last Year than Calgary

Posted on February 4, 2013


Last year was an amazing time for the smaller towns and cities on the outskirts of Calgary. In fact, sales were up 21% last year in the housing market, which outpaced even Calgary's sales growth. Cochrane, Okotoks and Airdrie each saw a sales growth in the double digits during the 4th quarter of last year.

The CREB released its figures showing sales increases in Okotoks and Cochrane when compared to the numbers seen in 2011 during the same time period. For Airdrie, however, the numbers decreased by 3% due to a 30% drop in listings. This listings decrease was definitely a limitation for the sales growth potential for Airdrie.

People are heading to the country for the atmosphere and the lower prices. The least expensive homes can be found in Airdrie at a price of $337,067 with Cochrane having the highest price of these three towns with a single-family typical home having a benchmark price of $440,436.The cost of an Airdrie home is almost 21% less than what you'd have to pay for a common home in the city.

According to the chief economist at CREB, Ann-Marie Lurie, homebuyers are doing their due diligence and looking for the most affordable homes possible in the area. As well, she added that you can get more home for your money in these smaller surrounding towns then you would in Calgary.

Homes in the surrounding communities are less expensive for the most part and are becoming increasingly appealing to people as the supply tightens in Calgary for single-family homes.

All of these communities have their own spirit and are worth looking at if you're planning a move to Calgary or are already a resident and are looking for an upgrade. These communities are only going to flourish over the following years and now is the best time to grab yourself a property while the interest rates keep to remain so low.

Saving for Retirement - How Much You'll Need to Spend Your Golden Years in Style
Posted on February 3, 2013



You have certain things that you want to do and accomplish once you hit retirement and in order to get them done you're going to need to have enough money by your side. It seems so vague, though, to try to understand how much money you'll really need once you have taken inflation and other factors into account.

If you sit down with a financial advisor you'll often be told that you'll need at least 60% up to 70% of the income that you're earning annually before retirement to live comfortably. This can get a little scary for most Canadian since 70% of the employed here in Canada don't actually have an employer plan for retirement setup. As well, there are only about 33% that are making use of RRSPs every year.

When you retire you don't have the same types of expenses to worry about like raising children, saving for your retirement, mortgage payments and expenses related to employment. When you take these costs out of the equation you'll actually only need about half of your earnings to live on.

As long as you can retire without carrying along a lot of debt baggage you’ll be fine with about 50% of your income since these expenses won't need to be a part of your budget any longer.

If you take a look at what these authors are saying, and they do raise some excellent points, it may make sense for the average Canadian to start paying off more of their debt and investing less in their retirement fund. If you can work towards becoming debt-free while at the same time being able to save for retirement, this would be the ideal setting to reach for.

This also assumes that there will be no major economic changes in the future such as charging for healthcare. As long as that remains stable across the Canadian nation, and there are no major hits in taxes or other financial areas, the average Canadian may not need as much for his retirement as he first believed.

Last Few Days with the Penny in Calgary

Posted on February 2, 2013



Do you remember when your mother used to tell you "Every penny saved is a dollar earned?” What are we going to tell our children as they grow up without this penny that has signified how essential it is to save even small amounts to make them grow into larger ones?

On Monday the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa is going to stop the distribution of pennies completely. This leaves merchants in the Calgary area scrambling to change their pricing structure to keep up with the changing times. No longer will items be priced at $7.99 or $99.99. No, prices will either need to be rounded up or rounded down to the closest 5 cents.

According to the mint's website, the Canadian government is adopting this guideline for rounding that is being used in other countries successfully.

In general, current pricing will be rounded down if it ends in 1, 2, 6 or 7 cents while rounding up will occur for items that end in 3, 4, 8 or 9 cents. When you consider that a lot of items you purchase do end with .98 or .99 cents, as a customer are going to be paying extra for the items that need to be rounded up. It's common to see a bottle of shampoo selling for $6.99 but it's rare to find the same bottle selling anywhere for $6.92.

If you really take a good look at the situation, most merchants are going to be ahead of the game while the average consumer will end up paying more. While it's not a lot of money, it still adds up. Remember the saying?

Giving to a good cause

CBC Calgary is holding a penny drive to put those used pennies you have to a good cause. You can drop off your pennies at CBC Calgary located at 1724 Westmount Blvd. NW up until February 8, between 6 AM to 8 PM.

You can also donate your pennies at BMO branches located in:

- Kensington
- Aspen Landing
- Royal Oak
- Brentwood

There will be a sign in the branches for "penny love" and you can just drop all of your pennies in and they will automatically be counted for you. You will be given a receipt that you need to drop into the donation box when you made your donation. All proceeds will be given to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Shopping Is A Lot Easier In Calgary!

Posted on February 1, 2013



If you're like most people you want to help out area producers, farmers and suppliers as much as possible. Now, thanks to a new program in Calgary, you can do your part to help back up the people and companies that are working quietly in the background to put food on your table.

The founder and CEO of Localize, Meghan Dear, has started a new project here in Calgary that will show you what produce and other food items have been supplied locally. These products will be coming from Alberta and other parts of Western Canada and will be visibly recognizable on the market shelves next month.

There will be 24 Cooperative stores in the area participating in this new project including the ones in High River, Airdrie and Strathmore. There will be more than 400 various products highlighted with this campaign and as the project progresses it is expected that more supermarkets and suppliers will get involved.

It's easy now to find the products you need that are being supplied locally. There will be labels, bright orange in color, attached to the shelves underneath the food product. This is a unique and innovative project that will help consumers with their food choices to help support local companies and producers.

Shopping locally has become a trend not only here in Calgary but across Canada. People from coast to coast are considering this new trend as a way to support the local economy. It really makes a lot of sense considering it's a win-win situation for both parties involved: the producer get more business and the consumer ends up with fresher produce.

New GIS Planning Website in the Works to Help Attract Business to Calgary

Posted on January 30, 2013



GIS Planning along with the Calgary Regional Partnership is making it easier for businesses around the world to find out all of the research information they need to make an informed decision about relocating to the city or investing in real estate here. Calgary's been on the radar for a lot of investors and companies in many different countries around the world that are exploring for a good opportunity. Now they can access information at the touch of a button to see more about this city and what it offers.

This website is the first step towards providing this data so that further planning can occur. Requests for information can be responded to in real time to keep the progress moving forward without any unnecessary slowdowns.

Regional Partnership has been helping to manage growth in Calgary communities since 1999, focusing on making life as good as it can be for future generations. It works with 14 regional municipalities to ensure sustainable growth on a long-term basis. Now, it is also making sure that decision-makers will have access to the critical business information that they need via this website.

Why Wait Too Long To Buy A Calgary Home?
Posted on January 28, 2013



Too many people put off buying their Calgary home due to market fluctuations. They want to make sure that the timing is absolutely perfect before going ahead and making their purchase. They may also be analyzing such things like interest rates and putting off making a decision until the timing is perfect.

One thing that you can bet on is that inflation is always going to rise no matter what is happening with the real estate market here in Calgary. This means that the value of each and every dollar that you have in your pocket right now it's only going to go down. There's no escaping that. It's a fact of life.

All of the banking giants are not concerned about a real estate crash and neither should you be. Real estate rates are unbelievably low right now and the Calgary market is as close to perfect for taking a purchase as it could be. It's not the right time to sit on the fence anymore trying to analyze the situation. It's time to act and to get a home so that you can start building up equity in it.

If you're worried about the interest rates approaching in the near future you should go ahead and get pre-approved for a mortgage at a rate that can be locked in for 120 days. Then you can start shopping with a real estate agent to help you find the perfect place.

Don't put off buying a property any longer. The longer you wait the more inflation is going to rise and there may be some point in the future where home ownership will no longer be a real possibility for you.

When It's Time To Sell The Family Home
Posted on January 27, 2013


There usually comes a time to decide whether to sell the family home or not and quite often it can be a very difficult choice to make. Children have been raised in this home and there are a lot of memories that seem to be built right into the walls of the home both literally and figuratively. The memories are there every time you walk into a room and in some homes you'll actually see evidence of children's growing charts set on the walls.

How do you walk away from a home that has become such a memory?

In some cases it's a decision that's made not by choice but by necessity. As parents start to age they are looking for something a little easier to take care of and possibly something that offers more freedom.

The memories carry forward

If you are in a position where you need to decide whether it's time to sell the family home or not, one thing you need to realize is that the home is actually not the memories. You are going to be moving into a new place and taking along all of the memories with you.

A fresh new start

If you have plans for retiring soon you'll enjoy the freedom that a smaller place will give you. Sometimes it's just time to move on and embrace a new lifestyle, just like your older children did when they moved out.

While selling the family home can be a very difficult thing to face, there is a new future to look forward to that can't be ignored. You’ll have the chance to make positive changes that further embrace your goals for retirement.

More Women are Buying Condos

Posted on January 26, 2013


The Globe and Mail has released a new report showing that more women are buying condos than ever before. In some cities the statistics are up as much as 1/3 and developers are taking note. New units are being tailored for both the male and the female population of condo dwellers.

Developers are now focusing more of their attention on the following features that are the most important to the average woman.

Safe location - They like the thought of having a concierge that is overlooking a building that is situated in a safe part of town.

Fitness center - A lot of women are looking for a condo building that includes a gym as an amenity.

Enough storage space - Walk-in closets are a big feature for many women that don't want to have to store their clothes and other personal items in a cramped closet space.

Single young women are taking up more and more of the condo buying population these days. According to the report, safety is even more important than the square footage of the condo itself.

The Fairview Neighborhood in Calgary

Posted on January 25, 2013


Welcome to the Fairview neighborhood located here in the southeast corner of Calgary. Situated between Blackfoot, Glenmore and Macleod Trails, this is the perfect neighborhood for anyone that wants a place that is well hooked up to the other 3 quadrants of the city. Homes in Fairview are just a hop, skip and a jump to the LRT station and with the Deerfoot Trail to the east it's easy to get to the airport or downtown in minutes.

Most of the houses in the area consist of single family homes along with some semi-detached residences scattered throughout the neighborhood. Parking can be found easily in this neighborhood and the lots are quite generous. Growing families will love this area since it has everything you'd need close by while keeping the rest of Calgary available.

This is a community with a lot of spunk and spirit. The Fairview Community Association runs a number of events that are tailored to meet the needs of both young and old. These events include sports programs, community gatherings and local events. The association also runs the Seniors Snow Shoveling Program, Block Watch as well as many others.

Many of the homes in the neighborhood have been upgraded and modernized while respecting their authentic charm. This is a perfect neighborhood for anyone with the Chinook Centre, Ikea and Costco within a few blocks of the community.

Tips to Help You Have a Winter Getaway on a Budget

Posted on January 23, 2013

If you're planning on taking some time off after the hectic holiday excitement then you'll enjoy these traveling tips on a budget.  There are certain ways you can save some money when you’re on a holiday to get the most out of it. In some events you'll even get much more out of your trip by keeping your cash in your pocket.

Avoid the tours - Sometimes the tours can be extremely overpriced and often they can be boring as well!

Take a longer vacation - Staying somewhere for two weeks will cost a lot less than taking two separate weeklong vacations in a year.

Eat in the city - Don't stay limited to hotel restaurant food since it can be extremely overpriced. Head out for a brisk morning walk to get your breakfast at a local diner.

As you begin to get connected with the locals they'll let you know where the best dining spots are in town and if you're lucky you may even get invited for a home-cooked meal at someone's house.

Calgary's Levels for International Investment Remain Strong

Posted on January 22, 2013


The Conference Board of Canada is predicting an economic development rate of growth equal to 4.1% for the years 2013 and 2016. Developers will be placing their focus on the retail market and adding needed space while investors will be keeping their eyes on office and multi-residential buildings.

Calgary's investment activity is starting out strong for 2013 and is anticipated to flourish even more as the year goes on. With a slow recovery anticipated for Europe's economic recovery, it is expected that international investors will be taking a better look at Alberta, and Calgary in particular, for new opportunities.

Calgary has unquestionably made its way into the global spotlight according to the chief executive and president of Calgary Economic Development, Bruce Graham. According to Mr. Graham, this is most evident in investment real estate as well as in gas and oil projects.

Surviving Calgary's Cold Snap

Posted on January 20, 2013


It's definitely cold outside and while you're busy wrapping yourself and your kids in layers to keep the cold out and the warmth in, you may need to give your house some proper attention as well. Here is an emergency guide you can follow if the cold has set in and your home has been affected by it.

1. Leaving town - If you're planning on leaving town for a few days don't turn the heat down too low. The temperature in your home should be set at 65° and there should be somebody checking on your home daily to make sure that everything looks good.

2. Broken furnace - If your furnace should happen to break down all of a sudden your first step is to call your service provider immediately.

3. Pipes frozen - If your pipes are frozen cover them with wet hot towels. If the pipes are frozen underneath your sink, open up the doors to the cupboard to get warm air circling around the pipes.

4. Bursting pipes - Make a call to a plumber immediately and turn off the main water valve.

Remember – when it’s cold outside your house may need a bit of extra care as well. The biggest problem in the cold is bursting pipes so act as soon as you see any sign of a problem with your pipes.

Present Your Home Properly : Winter "Landscaping"

Posted on January 19, 2013


You know about the importance of landscaping your home before putting it on the market. Keep your home looking its finest for possible buyers that are coming to view your home and this includes not only the inside but the outside as well. In order to keep your home "landscaped" for viewing during the winter, you can follow the recommended tips below.

1. Keep the driveway and walkway shoveled - Don't let any snow accumulate when your home is listed - keep the driveway and walkway cleared as much as possible. This helps to present your house as a neat and tidy home.

2. Get rid of any ice patches - Keep salt handy so that you can get rid of any ice patches that have formed and salt any areas that start to accumulate ice. After the ice has melted sweep away the salt so that it doesn't get carried into your home.

3. Keep the porch and stairs clear - Take off any clutter that may have gathered on your stairs and porch. Don't forget to clear all of the snow and ice off these areas.

4. Invest in a good mat - Invest in a mat that you can wipe your boots on to clear away as much debris as possible before stepping inside.

Just because it's winter there is no excuse to ignore the exterior presentation of your home. It's critical to show your house as a clean and tidy home during all of the seasons of the year!

How Internet is Influencing Home Sales

 Posted on January 18, 2013

According to the report, 90% of the people buying a new home used the Internet to browse through the properties in their home search. With more and more people using their computer in order to hunt down the house of their dreams, the number of related searches raised 253% over the last 4 years on

Potential buyers are heading online to not only search for homes but to read through online reviews as well. A lot of people have found that YouTube and other videos also helped with their home searching project.

Searchers were particularly interested in gathering information about specific segments in the housing market such as foreclosures and senior housing available. Also popular on the search were tips for first-time buyers.

Looking for a home has never been easier than it is now.

Are You Driving with All-Season Tires or Winter Tires?

 Posted on January 17, 2013

Most people really don't understand the difference between all-season tires and winter ones. With the cold and snow that we get here in Calgary, it's worth your while to find out more about the difference between the two and whether you should really take the time, energy and money to invest in a good pair of winter tires.

Today, all-seasons are automatically put in on almost all new vehicles. Most people just keep them on and don't switch over to winter tires when the snow arrives. This brings on the question of whether you should be making the switch or whether you are just as safe driving with all-season tires as you are with winter ones.

A test was conducted in Baudette, Minnesota using one all-wheel drive and one front wheel drive vehicle. After testing the tires in both snow and icy conditions the results were conclusive. The winter tires performed better, by 5% during braking and 20% when turning corners.

While all-season tires may provide enough wintertime traction for drivers in areas of the country that only have occasional light snow, there isn't a possible alternative to dedicated winter / snow tires if drivers expect to encounter deep or frequent slush, snow or ice.

Tires are often the difference between wintertime gripping and white knuckle slipping, and only matched sets of four will do!

Calgary's Nose Hill Park - Paradise Within the City Limits

 Posted on January 16, 2013

Nose Hill Park is one of the hidden treasures in Calgary. It's only about 15 minutes away from downtown and within the city limits. It is one of the only places in Calgary that you can visit to get away from it all without having to leave the city.

When you're ready to leave the hustle and bustle of city life for a while you can savor approximately 1,200 acres of pristine wilderness here overlooking Calgary with awesome views. Be sure to bring your camera since once you're on top of the hill you'll want to get some great shots. Discover the best view of downtown at the top or turn your head to the east to see the airport. You'll literally be able to see the planes taking off and landing!

A lot of Calgarians head to Nose Hill Park for the challenge of walking, climbing or even jogging up the hill. It's a must-see for anyone that lives here as well as being a favorite tourist attraction. It's a great place to walk around and experience nature at its finest without having to travel miles outside of the city to enjoy nature in the raw.

Be Informed Before Getting a Mortgage

Posted on January 15, 2013



The Canadian Real Estate Association chief economist, Gregory Klump, agrees that the Canadian government is trying to get consumers to take a second look at the reality of getting a mortgage. This is especially true for first-time home buyers that tend to apply for mortgages with a high ratio. A high ratio mortgage is one with a down payment that is lower than 20%. With this type of mortgage the borrower must take out default insurance according to federal law.

As a result, Canadian consumers are getting more informed and doing more research about home purchases than they ever have been before. First-time buyers are taking the time to ask questions and read through information, especially on the Internet, about the responsibilities and implications that go along with a mortgage and home ownership.

Is this is a good thing? While many people think that the government is just stepping on toes again and putting in provisions that are limiting homebuyers from stepping into the real estate world, others take a look at what has happened in the United States lately and know that Ottawa is merely trying to protect Canadian real estate the best means it knows how.

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