CREB 2013 Market Forecast

Wed, 23 Jan by Georgina Burkholder

See below for a brief summary of the recent CREB 2013 Housing Market forecast.  If you would like a copy of the full report, please send me an email at  with “CREB 2013 Forecast Report” in the subject line.


Calgary, Jan. 16, 2013 – The resale housing market in Calgary and area will see moderate sales and house price growth in 2013, CREB® said today at its annual forecast.

Sales growth in the city is expected to ease to 2.2 per cent this year, with house prices rising by 2.9 per cent.

“Slower growth trends in employment combined with lower migration estimates will impact sales growth across all resale sectors, and, as listings continue to decline, this will further dampen sales growth, particularly in the single-family market,” Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB®’s chief economist, said at the 2013 CREB® Forecast Conference & Tradeshow. “However, as the overall market remains well supplied, prices will continue to grow but not at the levels seen in 2012.”

In 2012, Calgary’s single-family market recorded sales growth of nearly 15 per cent. With a decline in the level of new single-family listings, that is expected to ease to 1.8 per cent this year. Prices are estimated to rise by three per cent.

Becky Walters, president of CREB®’s 2013 board of directors, said the city and surrounding areas are seeing good resale activity.

“We have a nice, balanced market, and it’s expected to see some growth this year,” Walters said. “Although some big markets in Canada are stumbling, Calgary is hot on the heels of a year of recovery, with the forecast saying the market is going to stay in positive territory.”

In the condominium market, sales are expected to increase by three per cent, with a moderate price appreciation of 2.4 per cent for condo apartments and 2.8 per cent for condo townhouses.

Although the prediction is for a “balanced” resale housing market, Lurie said there are numerous risks in the market.

“The largest risk in our market is related to concerns in the oil sector,” she said. “They are facing pipeline constraints and lack of access to more diverse markets, impacting the price they receive for their oil. If the discounts on our oil persist, this clearly could impact the job sector and, ultimately, the housing market.”


Tue, 08 Jan by Georgina Burkholder

Every time I show a home with aluminum wiring questions are raised about how safe it is and what kind of problems a buyer should be looking for.  This is an excellent article that both buyers and sellers should read.

Dealing with aluminum wiring

Jan 2, 2013  (Article from REM

Bryan FreemanBy Bryan Freeman

Aluminum wiring was used extensively in the residential market from 1965 to 1976, but is no longer a popular wiring material for branch circuits. Problems have been reported from the overheating and failure of aluminum wiring terminations. Symptoms of this include receptacle discolouration, flickering lights, the smell of hot plastic insulation and sometimes an electrical-induced static noise on the radio and/or television.

Aluminum wiring in a home will operate as safely as any other type of wiring if the proper materials are used and it is installed to the manufacturer’s instructions and the Electric Safety Code of the jurisdiction where you live.

If you are trying to sell a home with aluminum wiring, one of the biggest obstacles will be when the potential buyers try to obtain insurance. The insurance underwriter often insists on having the electrical system inspected by a licensed electrician who has experience in inspecting and repairing aluminum wiring.

Your home inspector should strongly recommend that you hire a qualified electrical contractor experienced in repairing aluminum wiring to do a thorough inspection of the electrical system, even if the insurance company does not request one.

The inspection should include the following:

1. Visually check terminations at devices without removing or disturbing the devices.

2. Cut back any damaged aluminum conductors and join these to a copper tail using an approved connector for use with aluminum. These connectors are brown or purple depending on the manufacturer.

3. The copper tail is then terminated at the terminal screws of an approved ordinary device.

4. Sometimes the damaged section can be cut back, removing the damaged aluminum conductors and re-terminated at a new device bearing the marking CO/ALR.

5. Only devices bearing this CO/ALR marking are currently approved for use with aluminum wiring.

6.  Panel board terminations should be checked for signs of overheating.

7. Fuses installed for heavy loads should be temperature sensitive Type D or Type P.

8. Circuits should never be overloaded or over fused regardless of wiring type.

Someone who has not examined the wiring in your house cannot reliably assure you about the condition that this wiring is in. Yet, in response to inquiry by owners or buyers of homes containing aluminum electrical branch wiring, there have been reports that some individuals in the field say the aluminum wiring in your house is not likely to be a problem.

The condition of aluminum electrical wiring connections vary greatly from house to house and even from branch circuit to branch circuit within a particular house. It is possible for very unsafe conditions to be present, but not visible, in any house with aluminum branch circuit wiring.

It is inaccurate and even dangerous for anyone to make any representation about the condition of aluminum wiring in a specific property without an on-site inspection.

Are the connections to the aluminum wire in any branch circuit safe? Without determining what types of connections are in the system and how they were made, nobody can answer the question definitively.

Are the receptacles “push-in” or “screw-terminal” type? If screw-terminal wired, how is the wire placed under the screw? (Does the wire go straight in or is it wrapped around the connector)? Are the screws steel or brass? Are the screws plated with zinc on the neutral side? What kind of splicing connectors exist in the system? If they are twist-on connectors (“wire nuts”), are they the live spring or restrained spring type? Did the installer clean the aluminum wire to remove the oxide before making the connection?

Were the spliced wires pre-twisted together? Was a proper corrosion inhibitor used on all connections?

Only after having the answers to all of these questions (from direct observations), can an evaluation of the relative safety of the wiring system be made.

These types of questions cannot be answered by a visual home inspection. Consequently, when a house contains any branch aluminum wire circuits, the client is strongly advised to have the electrical system thoroughly inspected by a qualified, licensed electrical contractor familiar with aluminum wiring.

 Bryan Freeman operates CanInspect HRM Home Inspection Service in Halifax.; Email


Wed, 02 Jan by Georgina Burkholder


Calgary ends the year with improved sales numbers!!    Expect a good year for real estate sales in 2013.

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.