Dec. 6, 2018

Calgary Real Estate Market Update - December 2018

Challenging Economy Continues to Affect the Resale Market

Sales in Calgary for November came to 1,171 units, which is lower than long-term averages.

So far this year sales have reached 15,349 units, which is a 14% decline over 2017 figures and nearly 20% lower than long-term averages.

Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® chief economist said, “Consumer confidence has waned over the last month due to the challenges facing the energy sector. When you combine that with weak employment and lending rates that continue to grow, it’s not surprising that ownership demand has softened.”

New listings in November eased by 7% compared to this time last year. The downturn in new listings does help to prevent further gains in inventory. There are currently 6,501 total units in inventory, however this is far more than the 5,683 units that were in inventory at this time last year and 32% higher than normal levels for the month of November.

Lurie added, “With more supply and weaker sales a buyer’s market continues in Calgary, which just causes prices to decline even more.”

In November the benchmark price across the city was $422,600, which is almost 1% lower than October’s and more than 3% lower than last year at this time.

Sales have slowed in all price ranges year-to-date, except for homes priced under $200,000, which currently makes up 6% of all sales. The largest sales decline is being experienced in the $600,000 to $999,999 price range.

Tom Westcott, CREB® president said, “In any market, you need an affordable product if you expect steady sales.”

He added, “The good news is that buyers may be able to buy a home that they could never have imagined affording in the past. Sellers must stay up-to-date on what is actually selling, in their own neighbourhood as well as in surrounding areas.”


Detached Homes

·  Sales for detached homes in November were down across all districts. Sales in all of Calgary were 679 units, a 21% decrease in activity compared to a typical November.

·  The number of new listings went down 3% when compared to this time last year. Declines in the North, North East and South East districts were what pulled the figures down for the most part. New listings year-to-date in 2018 have gone up in all districts, except the East and North East.

·  The detached home sector inventories totalled 3,491, which is 26% higher than 2018 levels at this time. There has been five months of supply at this point, far more than the three-month usual for the month of November.

·  Benchmark prices in November for detached homes came to $486,000, which is 1% less than October’s figures and 3% lower than this time in 2017. This comes to almost 7% lower than the monthly highs on record for October 2014. 

·  The detached home sector inventories totalled 3,491, which is 26% higher than 2018 levels at this time. There has been five months of supply at this point, far more than the three-month usual for the month of November.

·  Benchmark prices in November for detached homes came to $486,000, which is 1% less than October’s figures and 3% lower than this time in 2017. This comes to almost 7% lower than the monthly highs on record for October 2014. 

·  Prices have softened clear across Calgary in November. Year-to-date, the largest declines have been in the North and North East Districts. This has very likely been caused by the competition created by the new-home sector. The South and North West are the two districts furthest from any kind of price recovery.

Condominiums & Apartments

·  Despite November’s year-over-year gains, condominium and apartment sales citywide have only come to 2,557 units up until now. This is 5% below last year’s figures and 21% lower than long-term averages.

·  Most of the condominium activity is in the City Centre and makes up 48% of all sales.

·  After years of oversupply, new listings for apartments continues to soften, which helps prevent additional large gains in inventory levels and even helps reduce inventories in the East, North East and South districts.

·  Despite some fluctuation in inventory levels, most districts still grapple with oversupply, leading to price declines, which have ranged this year from almost 6% in the East district down to just 2% in both the North West and City Centre districts.

Attached Homes

·  Sales of attached homes came to 3,344 units year-to-date, which is a 16% decline over 2017 and 14% lower than long-term averages. Across most of Calgary there was a softening of sales activity, apart from the North East district where sales continued to be relatively steady due to improved row activity.

·  For the most part, the rise in new listings continues to push inventory levels higher and these gains are mostly in semi-detached homes.

·  The oversupply situation has depressed prices. The benchmark price for semi-detached homes in November came to $400,700. This represents a 0.67% monthly decline and a 3.3% year-over-year decline. Recent declines in price have eliminated any gains that occurred in this sector last year. Year-to-year prices compare closely with figures in 2017.

·  Row prices are also inching down, but not as quickly as the prices of semi-detached homes. Row prices in November were $292,900, which is a 0.2% decline from October and a little more than 3% lower than 2017 levels. For the most part, year-to-date prices are still almost 2% lower than last year’s prices and almost 10% lower than previous highs.



·  The housing market in Airdrie is still declining in sales, while inventory continues to rise. The perpetual oversupply has caused a decline in benchmark prices for detached homes. 

·  Sales activity so far this year in Airdrie has gone down by 142 units year-over-year, with sales currently at 1,101 units. New listings so far in 2018 compare to 2017, but are still higher than recorded long-term averages.

·  So far this year the average inventory is nearly 18% higher than at this time last year, maintaining the average months of oversupply at approximately six months. The persistent pressure has caused house prices to decline, with the benchmark value year-to-date of detached homes now at $342,773, representing a decline year-over-year of almost 2%.


·  Sales of residential homes in Cochrane year-to-date have gone down 58 units, making the total units sold so far this year 573. These levels compare to other similar times in the past several years and are actually represent an increase in long-term averages.

·  New listings keep on reaching historical highs for each period so far this year. New Listing levels in 2018 so far are 308 units, which actually represents an increase in long-term averages. Average inventory levels so far this year are 14% higher than at the same time last year.

·  Despite recent declines, benchmark prices for detached homes year-to-date have remained steady when you compare them with last year’s prices.  


·  Sales of residential homes year-to-date have declined to just 449 units, which is similar to 2010 levels.

·  New listings are still a bit higher than in 2017. Oversupply continues in Okotoks, with average inventories so far this year at 53 units higher than at this time last year.

·  Despite weak sales and increased supply, prices for detached homes in Okotoks show slight increases. The average benchmark price for detached homes year-to-date came to $436,091, which is 1.5% higher than 2017.




Posted in Market Update
Nov. 5, 2018

Calgary Real Estate Market Update - November 2018

Calgary’s Struggle with Oversupply Causes Home Prices to Soften

Prices are softening in Calgary’s housing market due to an elevated inventory when compared to sales.

Benchmark prices across the city in October came to $426,300, which indicates a downward trend for the fifth straight month. The year-over-year result shows a 2.9% decline. 

Anne-Marie Lurie, chief economist for CREB® said, “Job growth in Calgary is still a worry, as the level of unemployment is still far higher than anyone expected for 2018. The rising cost of home ownership continues to have a detrimental effect on housing demand.”

“Simultaneously, supply levels haven’t adapted quickly enough to these conditions, which has caused prices to soften.”

Inventories totalled 7,345 in October, whereas sales came to just 1,322. The result is months of supply at 5.6, which is not at all typical for October. Although some softening in the growth of new listings will prevent more supply gains, inventory levels for October remained at near record highs for this month of the year. 

Tom Westcott, president of CREB® said, “Under these market conditions, a lot of potential homebuyers should have a good chance of finding the home they want in their price range if the homes are priced right.” He added that, “Sellers need to have realistic expectations and have up-to-date data from the correct sources so that they know what’s selling and what isn’t in their neighbourhood.”

In each property type, sales have improved if you look at homes priced in the lower ranges, which means that most of those segments are in relative balance. However, in the upper price ranges there have been huge gains in supply when compared to demand. This is bound to have a stronger impact on prices in the upper ranges.


Detached Homes

·  In October sales of detached homes totalled 829 units, indicating an 8.6% decline, which means a 15% year-to-date decline. This shows that detached sales are moving at the slowest level since the late 1990s.

·  Year-to-date, the strongest sales decline was in the $600,000 to $999,999 price range, which reflects a low demand from buyers moving up.

·  For two months in a row now, there has been a softening of new listings, which does prevent additional gains in inventory. However, since this segment is still oversupplied, the downward trend in prices will continue.

·  Benchmark prices in October for detached homes totalled $490,000. This is lower than last month and 3% lower than levels this time last year. Year-to-date, prices are 1% lower than levels this time last year.

·  Year-over-year prices as of October have softened across all districts, but the strongest declines are in the South, South East, North East and North West districts. This is probably the result of the new-home sector creating some competition.

Condominiums & Apartments

·  Year-to-date sales of apartments totalled 2,316 units, which is almost 7% lower than this time last year. New listings have softened by 6%, which does help to lower inventory levels in the market.

·  Despite inventory softening, the months of oversupply remains too high at 7 months.  

·  Year-to-date prices of condominiums and apartments have softened by 2.8% and are still 14% lower than 2014 highs. Prices declined across all districts, with the strongest declines in the South, East and North East districts.

Attached Homes

·  Year-to-date sales of attached homes were at 3,098 in October. This is 15% lower than this time last year and 14% lower than long-term averages.

·  In the meantime, despite the recent slowing in new listings, inventories for October were at the highest level ever recorded.

·  The oversupply is having a detrimental affect on the semi-detached as well as the row sectors. Both have experienced a downward trend in prices over the last 5 months.

·  Year-to-date benchmark prices for the row sector are averaging $298,140, which is almost 2% lower than last year at this time and 9% lower than previous highs. But, prices have stayed relatively flat in the North West and City Centre districts.

·  Prices for semi-detached homes in October were at $403,400, which is 1% below last month and almost 3% below this time last year. Despite recent price declines, year-to-date prices citywide stayed comparatively flat when you consider last year. This was primarily due to the gains in the North East, East and City Centre districts, which offset the declines occurring in the South, South East and North West.



·  In comparison with last year, the housing market in Airdrie continues to suffer from declines in sales and increases in inventory. Oversupply has led to the softening of benchmark prices in the detached-home sector.

·  Year-to-date sales for residential homes now totals 1,032 units, which is 11% lower than levels this time last year. New listings year-to-date have stayed relatively stable, but are still substantially more than long-term averages.

·  Average inventory levels year-to-date are 19% higher than this time last year. This has resulted in months of elevated oversupply that now stands at 6 months, causing relentless pressure on the benchmark price. The year-to-date of homes in the detached sector is now at $370,888, a year-over-year decline of almost 2%.


·  Sales of residential homes year-to-date have declined by 10%, with just 530 residential homes sold thus far in 2018. This is similar to other times in the past several years, but it is more than long-term averages.

·  New listings were at 1,164 in October, which is historically a peak for this time of year and well more than long-term averages. Inventory levels this year in Cochrane have continued to be elevated and are nearly 17% above this time last year.

·  This has begun to soften prices. But, year-to-date benchmark prices for detached homes have stayed relatively stable at $424,900 as compared to 2017.  


·  Year-to-date sales of residential homes have dropped to 428 units this far in 2018, which compare to 2011 levels and are far lower than long-term averages.

·  New listings were at 936 in October, which is 8% higher than this time last year and comparable to long-term averages. October inventory levels stayed elevated at 232 units.

·  Despite supply gains when compared to sales, the prices for detached homes in Okotoks have shown modest gains. Benchmark prices year-to-date for detached homes totalled $436,660, which is 1.25% higher than this time last year.


Posted in Market Update
Oct. 16, 2018

Things I wish I knew: Sellers Edition


Whеn уоu dесіdе to ѕеll уоur home, уоu nееd tо know thаt thеrе іѕ mоrе tо іt than ѕіmрlу рlаntіng a "For Sаlе" sign оn your lаwn. Yоu'll need tо соnѕіdеr all thе factors thаt wіll hеlр to еnѕurе thаt уоu have a ѕuссеѕѕful sale. Thе thought of ѕеllіng thе home yourself might ѕоund арреаlіng whеn уоu think оf thе savings thаt you саn make, but you nееd tо determine if thіѕ іѕ thе bеѕt dесіѕіоn.

Whеn beginning thе рrосеѕѕ of selling уоur home, normal ԛuеѕtіоnѕ like how tо gеt thе bеѕt price for mу рrореrtу and whеthеr оr not tо uѕе a real еѕtаtе agent іmmеdіаtеlу come to mind fоr most ѕеllеrѕ. Whеthеr you're a first tіmе home seller or a ѕеаѕоnеd hоmе selling veteran, thе process of ѕеllіng a hоmе will inevitably bе сhаllеngіng аnd complex. However, the bеѕt рlаn fоr аnу home seller іѕ tо рrераrе a home ѕеllіng ѕtrаtеgу bеfоrе рuttіng a hоmе оn the mаrkеt. There are thіngѕ to соnѕіdеr when making this important dесіѕіоn.

1) Whаt аrе thе current conditions оf the local market?

The mаrkеt is іn a constant ѕtаtе оf сhаngе. Things аrе always еіthеr hеаtіng uр оr cooling оff. Thіѕ fluctuation іѕ саuѕеd bу economic factors, ѕеаѕоnаl changes, and supply v/ѕ dеmаnd. I lіkе tо uѕе a thеоrу knоwn аѕ thе "slightly less/slightly mоrе" pricing ѕtrаtеgу. When thіngѕ are in a ѕtаtе оf dесlіnе, your рrісе must bе bеttеr thаn thе соmреtіtіоn. When things аrе grоwіng, уоu may bе able to sell your hоmе at ѕlіghtlу mоrе than оthеr rесеnt transactions.

2) How mаnу other properties wіll уоur hоmе be іn соmреtіtіоn аgаіnѕt?

If you can find the same home dоwn thе street, what аrе you оffеrіng thаt the оthеrѕ are nоt? Every home іn уоur neighbourhood іѕ іn соmреtіtіоn against thе rеѕt. Whеn уоu аrе priced bеlоw the соmреtіtіоn аnd the newest оn the mаrkеt, you hаvе thе greatest chance оf selling уоur hоmе ԛuісklу. Whеn tіmе іѕ not a сrіtісаl factor, уоu mау bе аblе tо set the home аt a dіffеrеnt price knоwіng that уоu аrе prepared tо wаіt until thе rіght buуеr соmеѕ with the right оffеr.

3) Dо уоu have аnу known рrоblеmѕ in thе home?

Knоwn problems should аlwауѕ bе rеѕоlvеd as soon as роѕѕіblе. Nоt оnlу will they become an іѕѕuе for you whеn thе іnѕресtіоn іѕ done but these іѕѕuеѕ соuld get wоrѕе and ultіmаtеlу соѕt уоu mоrе mоnеу. Knоwn іѕѕuеѕ іn thе hоmе ѕuсh as ѕtruсturаl рrоblеmѕ, leaks in the roof, еtс... muѕt bе dіѕсlоѕеd оn thе disclosure ѕtаtеmеnt if thеу аrе асtіvе problems. Get these things fіxеd today.

4) Is your home рrераrеd fоr a vіѕіt оn аn hоur'ѕ notice?

Gеt іntо thе hаbіt of leaving уоur home in vіѕіt rеаdу соndіtіоn еvеrуdау. Vіѕіt rеаdу wоuld іnсludе beds bеіng mаdе, carpets vacuumed, dіѕhеѕ сlеаnеd аnd рut away, lаwn іn оrdеr, blіndѕ opened, сlоthеѕ рut away, еtс... However, trу nоt tо worry about еvеrу little dеtаіl. On thе first visit tо a hоmе most buуеrѕ аrе juѕt lооkіng fоr gеnеrаl things ѕuсh as flооrрlаnѕ, еxtеrіоr features and gеnеrаl condition. Whеn a buуеr wants to dо a ѕесоnd wаlk thrоugh, the hоmе must bе іn іtѕ best possible соndіtіоn. Buуеrѕ wіll analyze every роѕѕіblе dеtаіl ѕіnсе thеу hаvе nоw become very іntеrеѕtеd іn роѕѕіblу рurсhаѕіng уоur hоmе. Tурісаllу, уоu wіll hаvе a lоngеr аdvаnсеd nоtісе fоr a ѕесоnd visit. Mаkе іt соunt.

5) Make a hоmе selling plan beforehand:

Prior tо rераіrіng and ѕtаgіng your home fоr ѕаlе оr making a ѕсhеdulе fоr аn ореn hоuѕе, іt wоuld bе a ѕmаrt dесіѕіоn to create a hоmе selling plan bеfоrеhаnd. Just lіkе іn buying a home, selling your property саn bе an оvеrwhеlmіng mоmеnt fоr аnу реrѕоn thеrеfоrе it is important thаt уоu сrеаtе a well-planned selling ѕtrаtеgу to make ѕurе that уоu gеt thе mоѕt from your property.


Thеѕе are juѕt some оf the major thіngѕ уоu оught tо know or bе thіnkіng about when рlаnnіng to sell your house.  For more information you can check out our Ultimate Marketing Plan or just give us a call and we can answer all your questions. 

Oct. 5, 2018

Sluggish Economy and Housing Oversupply Lead to Buyer’s Market


With no discernable changes in the economic picture, the sales in Calgary for September came to 1,272 units, which is 13% less than 2017, and far below the years-long averages. Across all housing types, there was a distinct pullback, especially in the detached market.

Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® chief economist noted Calgary is still struggling with unemployment, which was up 8% in September. Concerns about the continued unemployment, higher interest rates and a lack of economic confidence are depressing the housing market.

“While unemployment continues to be a problem, supply levels remain high, causing an ongoing oversupply and declining prices.”

Inventories reached 7,941 units, which means the months of oversupply is now at 6.25. The longer this goes on the more the oversupply will depress prices. The unadjusted benchmark price citywide came to $428,700 in September. This figure is almost 1% lower than August and 3% lower than this time last year.

Tom Westcott, CREB® president said, “This has become the new normal for real estate in Calgary.”

“A number of potential buyers may be motivated to take advantage of the current market conditions, but they will no doubt confront difficulties when they try putting their existing home on the market at a price they would accept. In most cases, unless homeowners can sell the home they currently live in they won’t be able to purchase a new one.” 

Sales in September were down, but third-quarter numbers seem to indicate a slower sales decline and fewer new listings. Even so, these factors were not enough to affect inventory levels this past quarter.

While the economy in Calgary struggles, there are some indications that the rental market is improving and this could contribute to a slow decrease in the housing supply overall.


Detached Homes

·  Year-to-date sales limped to 7,945 units, which was 20% lower than the 10-year average. Sales were soft across all price ranges, but not for properties that sold for less than $300,000, which showed a modest gain.

·  Soft sales met up with some new listing adjustments in September. Unfortunately, inventories are still too high and in most districts the oversupply is more than long-term averages.

·  Months of oversupply reached 5.5 months in September and this factor causes a softening of housing prices across all districts.

·  Benchmark prices for detached homes came to $493,100 in September. This amounts to a decline of 0.8% over the previous month and 3% below 2017.

·  Prices inched downward in most districts in September. However, when you look at year-to-date figures, benchmark prices are still higher than last year in the West districts and City Centre.

Condominiums & Apartments

·  The condominium and apartment sector has experienced the slowest sales decline at 6% so far in 2018. Similar to the detached sector, sales remain more than 20% below long-term averages at a total of 2,103 units.

·  For four months running, new listings have been inching lower than these months last year. This has reduced inventory in this market somewhat compared to 2017.

·  However, even with inventory a bit lower, this is still a buyer’s market when you consider the lower sales numbers.

·  When there is more supply than demand, which was the case in the condominium and apartment sector, benchmark prices softened in September, with a decline of 0.4% over the previous month and 2.7% when compared to 2017.

Attached Homes

·  The year-to-date sales recorded for the attached sector came in at 2,814 units. This figure is 15% lower than 2017 and 14% lower than long-term averages.

·  With no real lowering of new listings, inventory continued to be elevated, leading to more than 7 months of oversupply.  

·  Elevated supply when compared to demand continued to be the case in both row and semi-detached homes. Like every other sector, the oversupply has softened prices across all districts, save for North East, East and the City Centre.

·  While the benchmark prices softened in September for semi-detached homes, year-to-date prices were still higher than 2017 levels. The oversupply in recent months has eroded some of the progress made towards price recovery in 2017.

·  Benchmark prices for row homes have been at an average of $298,667 so far this year, which is nearly 2% below 2017 and 9% lower than previous highs. Despite the pullback across the city, row prices have stayed relatively stable in the South East and North West districts and the City Centre.



·  The housing market in Airdrie has so far this year been in a buyer’s market. This can be attributed to a weak economy, which has hindered any growth in demand. This won’t help to alleviate the oversupply and has led to a softening of benchmark prices in the detached home sector.

·  Residential sales year-to-date in Airdrie have gone down when compared to 2017 and remain at levels similar to those in 2012. In the meantime, new listings have stayed elevated, which in turn caused inventories for September to reach new highs.

·  Months of oversupply have continued to soften prices. The benchmark price year-to-date for detached homes averaged $371,244, which shows a 1.7% decline from last year and is 5% lower than previous highs.


·  Due to a similarly weak economy, the Cochrane housing market has been experiencing a slight supply-side imbalance.

·  Year-to-date sales in Cochrane were 477 units, which was 59 units lower than last year. Growth in sales has been decreasing for most of this year. However, 2018 levels are still higher than in 2015 and 2016.

·  New listings have been continuing to grow in Cochrane for most of 2018 and year-to-date numbers show 269 units more than long-term averages. Inventories have reached a new high for September, peaking at 360 units, which only leads to months more of elevated supply.

·  Due to the persistent oversupply, prices are softening in the third quarter. However, not enough to wipe out earlier gains. This leaves benchmark prices year-to-date a little higher than last year’s levels. So far in 2018, prices for detached homes remain 4% lower than recent highs.


·  Okotoks is also undergoing supply pressures due to slow sales and an increase in new listings.

·  Despite the oversupply, benchmark prices in the third quarter have remained relatively stable when compared to last quarter. The year-to-date benchmark price for detached homes is at $436.422, which is almost 1% higher than 2017, but still 3% lower than previous highs.




Posted in Market Update
Sept. 5, 2018

Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Sept 2018

High Rate of Unemployment is Slowing Recovery in Housing Market

CALGARY – The city’s housing market continues to suffer from oversupply due to an uptick in new listings and an easing in sales. These factors continue to be a drag on the housing market recovery.

Persistently high inventory levels in the Calgary market continued to pull prices down in August. Benchmark prices across the city dropped 0.8% over previous months, which mean they are 2.4% lower than last year’s price levels.

Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® chief economist said, “The unemployment rate in Calgary has been persistently high at 7.9%, plus the city has recently been suffering an increase in the loss of full-time jobs. Unemployment is just one of the factors affecting the local housing market.”

“Other factors include stricter lending conditions, the energy sector being slow to recover, and the competition being faced by the new home sector.”

Sales across the city in August totalled 1,490 units, which was nearly 7% down from this time last year and 14% lower than long-term trends.

Declines in sales and prices were inconsistent across all housing types and districts. Prices have been going down recently across most areas of the city when you examine year-to-date numbers, but remained similar to last year’s prices in the West districts and the City Centre.

Tom Westcott, CREB® president said, “Buyers and sellers alike must be realistic about the situation and their objectives. Buyers have to understand that price changes will depend on what type of home it is and its location. Just because sales have been declining, you cannot assume that prices will go down across the board.”

“If sellers expect to compete they must be well informed. They need to know what’s been selling in their neighbourhood and how well their home and property compares to those that have sold.”


Detached Homes

·  Year-to-date sales of detached homes slowed down in each district. Inventory levels remained high for nearly five months by August, which continued to drag down prices in all districts.

·  Benchmark prices for detached homes reached $497,000 in August. This represents a 0.74% decline over July, which is 2.6% lower than in 2017.

·  Across all districts prices trended down in August, but when you examine year-to-date figures they remain higher than 2017 in both West districts and City Centre.

·  Average benchmark prices year-to-date for detached homes have gone down 0.56% over last year, which reduces some of last year’s price recovery.

Condominiums & Apartments

·  Sales year-to-date came to 1,892 units, which is 7% lower than 2017. However this was not prevalent across all districts. In fact, North East and North West district sales were a bit higher than sales levels were last year.  

·  New listings slowed down in the apartment sector compared to 2017, which prevented higher gains in supply. However, inventory levels persistently remain high in this sector, which just leads to more declines in price.

·  Citywide prices have gone down by nearly 3% year-to-date, with the most significant declines occurring in the South, East and North East districts. All in all, prices are now almost 14% lower than the highs of 2014.

Attached Homes

·  Sales have also slowed down in the attached sector. However, there is some good news in that year-to-date sales in the West and North West districts for row houses and semi-detached homes have improved.

·  Sales of row houses have remained fairly consistent in the East and North East districts.

·  The semi-detached sector has been suffering from oversupply, which has pushed prices downward this year, but the average benchmark price year-to-date is still higher than 2017 in the City Centre, East and North East districts. These gains proved enough to offset the declining prices in other areas of the city. Overall, prices for semi-detached homes were 1% higher year-to-date than last year.  

·  Year-to-date prices for row homes are down 1.5% over 2017. However, prices have not been moving consistently across the city. Prices have been fairly stable in the North West and City Centre while declining nearly 7% in the North East district.



·  Sales in Airdrie have continued to soften when compared to 2017, with just 851 units being sold so far in 2018.

·  While there have been fewer new listings in recent months, new listings so far this year remain slightly above last year’s, with inventories at 597 units.  

·  The perpetual oversupply in the housing market has started to bring home prices down. Average prices for detached homes were $366,990, which is 0.7% lower than last month and 3.4% lower than last year. The benchmark average price year-to-date is 1.5% lower than last year’s levels.


·  Home sales year-to-date in Cochrane are at 431 units, which represents a decline over last year. However, sales activity does compare to recorded sales activity over the last five years. This shows that Cochrane has not experienced the same reduction in demand that other areas are experiencing.

·  The challenge facing Cochrane is the continuous rise in inventory. New listings are on the rise and at a level that is above normal for the area. Inventories are at new highs and supply just continues to rise.

·  The continued oversupply is now starting to have an adverse affect prices. Benchmark prices for detached homes dipped down to $426,100 in August, which was lower than in July. Despite the recent softening, prices in Cochrane overall remain comparable to average prices year-to-date in 2017 and for the month of August.


·  Inventory levels have risen to 280 units in Okotoks due to a softening in sales and an increase in new listings. 

·  The recent increases in inventory, along with fewer sales have begun to adversely affect prices in the area. Despite these factors, the softening was not enough to bring year-to-date prices below 2017 levels.

·  Average benchmark prices for detached homes are $436,350 year-to-date, which is slightly higher than 2017 levels. 

Posted in Market Update
Aug. 8, 2018

3 Ways a School Division Can Influence Your Resale Value

Welcome to Awesome August!

When you purchased your home, you had a list of things you wanted. Maybe it was the backyard, perhaps the kitchen. For almost 90% of potential homebuyers, school divisions play a large role in their decision.

For those that have children, it goes without saying that you want a good school for them. But for those that don’t, the decision to buy in a good school division is often tied to the resale value. Often the quality of the school changes over the course of 10 to 15 years, and if you don’t have daily interaction with the school, you may not even realize the impact it could have on selling your home.

Here are three ways a school division can influence your resale value:

1: Increased Spending Habits

A good school division may be an indication of other positive things in the area, including the efficiency of local government and spending. The National Bureau of Economic Research discovered that “for every dollar spent on public schools, home values increased by $20.” Increased home values are beneficial for everyone in the area.

2: Positive School Ratings

A 2013 survey of nearly 1,000 prospective home buyers showed that 91% said school boundaries were an important factor in their home search. Statistics also show that the more affluence there is in a community, the higher the test scores will be in that same community, thus making the location more desirable.

3: Bigger Homes

Interestingly, higher-scoring schools tend to be in areas with bigger houses. Homes in higher-scoring school zones tend to have about 1.5 more rooms than homes in nearby lower-scoring schools. While more rooms can certainly increase home values, 1 in 5 home buyers are willing to sacrifice space, bedrooms, and garages to buy a house in a good school division.

But before you get too caught up on test scores, school rankings, and bedrooms there are a few additional things to take into consideration when buying or selling a home:

• Overall, buyers are willing to pay more for a home in a good school division

• 1 in 5 said they would pay between 6 to 10% more for a home in a good division

• 1 in 10 said they’d pay up to 20% more for a home in their desired school division

Don’t get overwhelmed with all the numbers and statistics. Together, we can do some research to determine the appeal of your school division and how it may affect the sale of your home.

If you would like to learn how your school division affects your specific home value, and benefit you financially, call me at 403-919-2247 to schedule a time to talk. 

Aug. 3, 2018

August 2018 Calgary Market Update

It Will Take Time for the Housing Market in Calgary to Fully Recover

With the recent rise in interest rates and a continually soft job market, potential homebuyers seem to be holding off on the decision to move forward with a purchase.  

In July, 1,547 units were sold in Calgary, which was nearly 5% lower than July of 2017. There were a total of 2,964 new listings in July, bringing the inventory to 8,450 units on the market. Clearly, supply is outpacing demand, so prices are inching down, with the average across the city at $435,200. This comes to a month-over-month decline in prices of 0.30%, which brings the year-over-year decline to 1.89%.

Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® chief economist, said, “Despite the upward momentum in some industries, our job market is continuing to struggle. Although there has been some relief in the past two to three months, unemployment rates are still too high.”

“Furthermore, in July the Bank of Canada decided to raise interest rates. Rising costs on top of a sluggish economic recovery are easing the demand in Calgary for resale homes. Supply continues to be high, which has caused the market to be oversupplied.”

Across the city the inventory has been going up for months now in all property types. For nearly five consecutive months the supply has risen in the detached sector and now for seven months running it’s gone up in the apartment sector.

Benchmark prices for detached homes in July came to $501,300, which was 0.4% lower than in June, but more than 2% higher than July 2017. In the detached home sector, benchmark year-to-date average prices remained slightly below last year’s levels. 

We continue to see the sharpest declines in the apartment ownership sector, with the year-to-date average benchmark prices at $257,343, which is 3% below July 2017 and nearly 14% lower than the 2014 highs.

Tom Westcott, CREB® president, said, “When you’re in a buyers’ market, both buyers and sellers must have the most recent information in order to make the smartest decisions.”

"A highly qualified REALTOR® can be very helpful in determining what price to list a home for. When they’re representing buyers, an experienced REALTOR® will know whether a home is priced too high.”


Detached Homes

·  Benchmark prices in City Centre are averaging $693,243, which is almost 3% lower than previous highs. Prices for detached homes in most districts continue to be more than 4% lower than previous highs.

·  City Centre and areas in West Calgary year-to-date are recording higher prices than this time last year, which means they are moving in the direction of a price recovery. In the West, benchmark prices are averaging $733,329, which is in the range of previous highs.

·  Unfortunately, oversupply is still a problem in each district of Calgary when you compare it to 2017. But, the truth is that in 2016 conditions were worse in both City Centre and West districts.


Condominiums & Apartments

·  Supply in the condominium/apartment sector is higher when compared to sales, which has caused year-to-date prices to be 3% lower than 2017 levels and almost 14% lower than previous highs.

·  A slowdown in new listings has stalled any additional gains in terms of inventory.

·  Inventory across Calgary is still slightly below 2017 levels. July inventories inched down in the South, East, North, North East and North West areas of Calgary compared to 2017 levels.

·  When you look at historical figures, levels remain high, but any decreases in inventory will certainly help lower the oversupply.

Attached Homes

·  More new listings cause an increase in inventory and months of oversupply compared to 2017.

·  Sales of attached homes, similar to other sectors, have slowed down this year. There have been 2,225 sales in 2018, which represents a 15% decline from 2017.

·  Across the city, year-to-date prices for semi-detached homes have eased by almost 1% when compared to 2017. Changes in benchmark prices have ranged from 3% lower in North West Calgary to 6% higher in South Calgary.

·  Even though there was an annual gain in 2018 in South Calgary, prices for semi-detached homes remain nearly 5% below the district’s peak.

·  Benchmark row prices year-to-date have been on the upswing citywide, due to gains in North and North West Calgary as well as City Centre. This annual gain indicates that a recovery is underway. However, row prices are still far below previous highs across the entire city.



·  Residential sales in Airdrie so far this year have come to 732 units, which is 11% below last year’s sales at this time. In fact, home sales in Airdrie are at their lowest over the last six years for the same time period.

·  New listings year-to-date are still slightly more than 2018 levels, coming to 1,600 units, which is a new high when you compare it to previous years for the same time period. Inventories in Airdrie are averaging 544 units so far this year, which is about 100 units more than in 2017 over the same time period.

·  With inventory rising and sales easing, there has been 5.2 months of oversupply on average, for the year, which affects prices.

·  Benchmark prices for detached homes are averaging $372,386 in 2018 so far, which is 1.29% lower than this time last year.


·  Sales for residential homes year-to-date in Cochrane are now 380 units, which is lower than last year at this time. However, the total number of sales is still more than long-term averages and the 2015-16 levels.

·  New listings for residential units continue to be strong and in fact are at historical highs, reaching 862. This has caused year-to-date inventory averages to reach 390 units monthly, which has resulted in an average of 6 months oversupply for the year.

·  Benchmark prices for detached homes in Cochrane continue to be relatively stable, despite all the gains in supply. Prices for detached homes are averaging $425,714 year-to-date, which is slightly more than 2017, but these figures are still nearly 4% lower than peak levels.


·  In Okotoks, so far this year sales of residential homes have reached 320 units, which is lower than last year at this time and lower than long-term trends. 

·  New listings are still higher than this time in the past few years, which is keeping inventories way too high. Average levels year-to-date are at 248 units.

·  So far this year there has been an oversupply averaging 5.4 months, which is more than historical standards. Interestingly, even though levels are high, this has not prevented a slight recovery in prices. Benchmark prices overall year-to-date for detached homes are averaging $436,786 so far this year, which is slightly above 2017, but nearly 3% lower than peak levels.




Posted in Market Update
July 15, 2018

Calgary Market Update - Mid Year 2018

Mid-Year Housing Market Update: Still Sluggish Due to Economic Conditions

Higher interest rates, stricter lending requirements and a lagging economy have slowed demand throughout the first six months of 2018.  

The result is fewer sales than originally forecasted.

Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® chief economist, said, “Soft sales along with increased inventories has resulted in an oversupply for all types of housing. This includes apartments and condominiums, detached and semi-detached homes, as well as row houses, which can’t help but affect prices.”

Prices overall are expected to go down by more than 1% across Calgary. Declines are likely to range from just under 1% for detached homes to 2.5% for apartments and condominiums.

“No one really expected prices to go up this year, however, the demand has been weaker than expected and the supply simply has not adjusted quickly enough. This has led us to revise our estimates down from what we had estimated earlier.”

We do expect the economy to gain more traction in the second half of the year. This should slow down the lessening in demand, but probably not enough to make up for the declines suffered in the first six months of the year.

Sales throughout Calgary are expected to go down by 9.7%, which translates to 17,047 units, which is now our forecast after revising our estimates.

This softening in sales continues to be met with more new listings, which just serves to keep inventories high. Conditions in the second half of 2018 are expected to improve slightly, which should reduce some of the oversupply. However, it’s unlikely that the oversupply situation will subside enough this year to maintain prices. A slight easing in prices is expected for most types of housing.

“All we can do is be patient during this recovery,” said Tom Westcott, president of CREB®.

“In this type of market, sellers need a solid pricing strategy in order to make their home more appealing,” said Westcott. “Buyers need to compare local market trends with long-term value in order to make informed decisions on how much to offer on a property.”

What is causing the housing market to struggle so much to recover?   

·  Stricter requirements for borrowing and higher interest rates are keeping many potential first-time buyers from becoming homeowners. These factors are also affecting existing homeowners who would otherwise be moving up to a more expensive home.

·  Although there is an improving economy, we are still recovering from the recession since the economy still has not reached pre-recession levels of activity.

·  There has been a shift in the types of jobs experiencing growth, as employment gains are not happening in traditional industries.

·  Consumer confidence is still lagging due to concerns about the prospects in Alberta. How this could continue to affect housing prices is a concern, especially now with so much inventory.




Posted in Market Update
July 3, 2018

July 2018 Calgary Market Update

Home Sales Limping Along in Calgary and Other Energy-Related Cities

Many energy-related cities in Canada located in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan have been experiencing a struggling housing market in the last few years, which has caused a decline in prices.

Higher interest rates and the recently enacted changes in mortgage rules are causing lower demand, which is affecting prices in these areas.

Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® chief economist, said, “Although the recession is over, unemployment remains high and there are worries about long-term growth. These factors, along with higher interest rates and stricter requirements are all affecting the demand for housing.”

“New listings are starting to lag for certain types of property, but not enough to keep the supply from growing and, in the end, cause an oversupply in the housing market.”

Calgary has been experiencing weak sales and this trend has continued on in June. Sales of residential homes in June came to a total of 1,896 units. This figure is 11% lower than June of 2017 and 12% lower than long-term averages.

Higher inventories as compared to sales have resulted in a buyers’ market and this is fairly widespread. This in turn has caused prices to go down. The benchmark price in Calgary for June came to $436,500, which was lower than May’s and 1.13% lower than 2017 levels.

The market for detached homes accounted for more than 60% of overall sales and contributes to more than 54% of the housing inventory of 4,817 units in June. With sales slowing down and inventory rising in most every price range, inventory for homes listed for less than $500,000 is still far lower than peak levels. 

Tom Westcott, CREB® president, said, “Whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, it’s vital that you be well informed. You need to know what the process is for getting a pre-approval on a mortgage and have the latest information on how property is priced in the neighbourhood you are selling or hoping to buy in.”




Posted in Market Update
June 15, 2018

5 Projects to Do Yourself and Increase your Home's Value

Maybe it's the popularity of Pinterest, but the trend of Do-it-Yourself (DIY) projects is going strong. There are so many people trying new things both to personalize their homes and to save money while doing it.

The increase of the value of your home will vary by location and project, but you’ll see the most significant increase in the kitchen, bathrooms, and the outside.

Before a home can be sold there are usually some upgrades and small improvements to make to increase the value and the rate at which it sells. Here are five DIY projects you could easily tackle this year.

Beautify the Yard

The first thing potential buyers (and guests) are going to see is your yard. Consider the appeal of a beautifully manicured lawn and then strive for that. Maintain your yard, including pulling weeds, raking leaves, and making sure plants are thriving. Green is the colour you are aiming for. Consider some mulch beds with flowers that are low maintenance so they will maintain their appeal with little work.

You can quickly increase the value of your home by 2 to 5% by spending some time outside working on curb appeal.

Add Some Colour

The idea of painting may scare you, but it is a very doable DIY. A fresh coat of paint speaks volumes and can completely change the feel of a room. Neutral colours are a must here, and you may even look at some accent walls or stencils.

Painting doesn’t have to be expensive or time intensive and can increase your home value by up to 3%.

Update the Bathrooms

Bathrooms, like kitchens, can make or break a deal on selling a house. Just like kitchens, make sure that the faucets and fixtures are up-to-date and working well. Upgrade knobs, consider a tile backsplash and consider a fresh coat of paint.

A bathroom refresh can easily be done in a weekend and can increase your home's value in a short amount of time.

Declutter and Stage the House

One important thing when working to increase your home’s value is to make it feel like potential buyers can live there.

The first step to this is to declutter. Go room by room and get rid of things that you don’t need. This will also help you prepare for your move!

Rearrange some furniture, add curtains, flowers, or some pops of colour with accent rugs. Borrow from friends if you can, to save your budget.

Modernize the Kitchen

Updating and modernizing your kitchen is going to be the most significant undertaking, but the one with the most reward. Most kitchen upgrades will return 3 to 7% on your investment. More than half of real estate agents agree that the kitchen is one of the most important rooms to have in great shape before selling.

But not everyone is going to share the same taste in kitchen style, so focus on those minor repairs, making sure everything is working and looks good. Examples include leaking faucets, loose light fixtures, and countertops.

There are so many options to increase your home’s value, some of which you may want to do even if you aren’t looking to sell right now. By spacing out these projects, you’ll make them even more affordable and get to enjoy them yourself! Here are a few more ideas.

  • Add a simple island table to the kitchen

  • Instead of replacing cabinets, repaint them

  • Use peel and stick covering to make your appliances look like stainless steel

  • Put some floating shelves up

  • Paint the front door a bold colour

  • Add a fence to the backyard

  • Paint the garage floor to make it easier to keep clean

If you’re on a mission to increase the value of your house to sell it, let me know so we can prioritize your projects together. Give my office a call at 403-919-2247 and set up an appointment today!