Wed, 30 Mar by Georgina Burkholder

If you are wondering if owning a home is a worthwhile investment, take a moment to read this:

The real estate meltdown in the United States has a lot of homeowners questioning the age old assumption that a house always appreciated in value.  Take heart.  According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC), Canadian housing prices have risen 22 percent from the lows in the fall of the 2008, and we are now 7 percent above pre-recession levels.  In fact, CMHC economist Ted Tsiakopoulos says that over a span of 30 or 40 years, the typical home appreciates by an average of six percent each year  – a much better prospect than stocks or bonds.  “You’re able to earn attractive returns at a fraction of the risk,”  he says.  And on top of that the Appraisal Institute of Canada says that with that six percent appreciation, home renovations continue to increase decent returns.

Now keeping in mind that housing prices in most of Canada are now 7% above pre-recession levels, Calgary can’t be far behind making up so of those losses since 2007-2008 highs.  The time to buy in now.   Currently there are 4071 Single Family listings and 1941 Condo listings.  The average sale price over the past 30 days has been $458,655 for single family and $278,118 for condos.

This has been a very active month for sales.

Your Realtor,


Fri, 11 Mar by Georgina Burkholder

New home builders have been experiencing good dales and volume resulting in a stabilization of their pricing  and prospects for some  increase.

I have been showing condo complexes recently and the sales reps have told me they have had strong sales  – many projects nearly sold out.

I found this article in the Calgary Herald, March 10, 2011.

CALGARY – New home prices in the Calgary census metropolitan area rose slightly in January, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported Wednesday that prices were up 0.3 per cent from December and up by 0.8 per cent from January 2010.

David Hooge, president of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association-Calgary Region, said new home prices have remained stable here.

“We certainly haven’t decreased,” said Hooge. “We’re expecting there to be some minor increases of perhaps 2.5 to three per cent increase over the year. Nothing outrageous for sure. It all depends on what sort of absorption we see and what kind of traction we see going through the spring. But at this point that’s kind of what we’re banking on.”

Richard Cho, senior market analyst for Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., said the house only component for the New Housing Price Index rose by 0.3 per cent on a monthly basis but fell by 0.1 per cent year-over-year in the Calgary region. The land only component was up 0.1 per cent from the previous month and by 2.5 per cent from last year.

“New home prices have started to stabilize towards the end of 2009 and in the beginning of 2010. This trend is expected to continue as the year progresses,” he said.

“On a year-over-year basis, the gains in home prices can be attributed to the land component as the house component has remained relatively flat. With fewer homes under construction from the previous year, down 27 per cent, pressure on labour and material costs has been modest.”

Nationally, Statistics Canada said the NHPI rose 0.2 per cent in January following a 0.1 per cent advance in December. Prices were up 1.9 per cent from a year ago.

The house only component was up 0.3 per cent from the previous month and by 2.2 per cent from a year ago. The land only component rose by 0.1 per cent on a monthly basis and by 0.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

Between December and January, prices increased the most in Winnipeg (0.7 per cent), followed by Québec City (0.5 per cent), Toronto and Oshawa, and Montréal (0.4 per cent).

Price decreases were recorded in the Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton metropolitan regions aggregation, as well as in Hamilton (0.2 per cent) and Edmonton (0.1 per cent).

For the third month in a row, the largest year-over-year increase was recorded in St. John’s (6.2 per cent). Compared with January 2010, contractors’ selling prices were also higher in Regina (6.0 per cent) and Winnipeg (5.9 per cent), added the federal agency.

Among the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed, five registered 12-month declines in January: Windsor (3.7 per cent), Charlottetown (1.9 per cent), Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay (1.1 per cent), Victoria (1.0 per cent) and St. Catharines-Niagara (0.8 per cent).

Meanwhile a report released Wednesday by the Conference Board of Canada said Canadian builders can expect a third consecutive year of lower profits in 2011 as spending on new homes declines.

The Canadian Industrial Outlook: Canada’s Residential Construction Industry – Winter 2011 said new mortgage lending rules, elevated levels of consumer debt, and anticipated mortgage rate increases are some of the factors restricting new home sales this year.

But the Conference Board said demand will begin to pick up next year as the effects of lending policy changes fade. Housing starts are not expected to return to pre-recession levels of more than 220,000 units per year.

The report said housing starts are expected to average 175,000 units this year, down from 190,000 in 2010. With starts not expected to return their pre-recession levels, renovations and repairs will account for a growing share of industry revenues. Growth in renovations and repairs spending is expected to outpace new home expenditures over the next four years.

Containing costs will continue to be an issue for the industry. Prices for building materials are on the rise and skilled trades shortages are expected to lead to above-average wage growth. Industry costs will dip by 2.3 per cent this year because of slower pace of building, but they will rise steadily beyond 2011.

Pre-tax profits are expected to fall by 5.3 per cent to $1.8 billion in 2011, their lowest annual level since 2004. Industry profitability will steadily improve beginning in 2012, but costs and competitive pressures are expected to keep margins tight over the next four years.


© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Calgary+region+home+prices+rise+slightly+January/4408779/story.html#ixzz1GJUpHtLO


Thu, 10 Mar by Georgina Burkholder

It’s all about affordability as the most active segment of the single family home sales this year has been houses priced between $200,000-$500,000, accounting for 64% of single family home sales in Calgary.  The highest percentage of sales were in the $300,000-$400,000 range, at 37%.

For condos, it’s a similar picture with properties between $200,000-$300,000 accounting for 40% of the condo sales.    77% of the condo sales were between $100,000-$350,000.  Price is where its at!



Wed, 09 Mar by Georgina Burkholder

According to CREB statistics, in February of 2011, there were 1,169 single family home sales, up from the 791 sales reported in January, a 48% increase.  Comparing to February of 2010, there were 1,035 single family home sales.

The condominium market reported 468 condo sales in February, up from the 302 sales recorded in January.  However in February 2010, there were 536 condo sales.

Remember that the second half of 2010 saw a decrease in real estate prices for all types of property, making single family homes more affordable – and the buyers have jumped at the opportunity, expressing a preference for a single family homes over a condo.



Mon, 07 Mar by Georgina Burkholder

The real estate market has been quite strong for this time of year – directly attributable to the “rush” to buy and get mortgage approval before the change to mortgage amortization rules that come into effect on March 18, 2011. ( reduces mortgage amortization from 35 years to maximum of 30 years)  Once this buyer group is done, the market may slow down for a period of time, particularly at the stater home end.

Georgina Burkholder


Thu, 03 Mar by Georgina Burkholder

First time home buyers are more actively trying to find their “perfect house” in order to get their mortgage approved before the March 18th, 2011 deadline.  After this date, all mortgages must be amortized over 30 years or less.  Many buyers have used the 35 year amortization option to either qualify for a more expensive property or to lower monthly mortgage payments to allow for discretionary budgeting.  If this applies to you  –  it’s time to make the commitment!!!

Your Realtor,

Georgina Burkholder

Calgary Real Estate Board Stats Feb 2011

Thu, 03 Mar by Georgina Burkholder


The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.