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Finding That Affordable Home in Calgary

by Stu Lowe & Lora Greco

For many people owning a home is still a dream, and finding an affordable home these days is even more of a dream!. You will need a good team behind you, you can get most information on the internet, but you can’t get experience!

With today’s changing mortgage requirements and the down payment you will need buying is becoming more difficult, even with interest rates low. As a new buyer you may have to compromise, here are a few things we can suggest.

  • The Price is the biggest sacrifice you can make. It is always good to consider buying a home that is 15-20% less than your mortgage person tells you that you can afford.  The impact that will have on your monthly outgoings will be huge.
  • Build Up Your Spare Cash.  Ok this has a huge positive impact on affordability for you. Cut out lots of things you just don’t need and force yourself to save a good down payment.  It means lower monthly payments, a lower interest rate, and it could avoid any private mortgage insurance.
  • The Community.  With your favorite community you may need to give up a little.  We could help you look for a home that is just outside your ideal community. Near public transportation and with schools within a short walk or drive. If you want to have easy access to work you might have to stay out of the communities where home prices are higher, i.e. Central South West if you work Downtown.
  • Home Styles.  This can make a big difference when you buy. If you don’t want to compromise on the location, but the single family homes are too much of a financial stretch, maybe consider a condo townhouse, but keep your options open. These housing types make finding an affordable home easier, and may still put you in the right community.
  • Square Feet.  Look out for a good floor plan that can make a home look a lot bigger. Most homes in Calgary are priced on square footage, so a smaller home with a great layout can be really good on price.
  • All You Have To Do Is Move In. Sometimes it is good to look for homes that need a little TLC, and if you are not afraid of work, why not consider improving the home yourself after move-in, over a period of time. Everything doesn’t have to be done as soon as you move in.
  • Get the Right Amount Of Bedrooms. Try not to buy what you don’t really need,  look for extra space maybe in the basement. An undeveloped basement in a home can really bring the price down, but maybe you can develop it further down the road.
  • Outdoor Space: This can make a great home and enhance your pleasure, and make it feel a lot bigger. Big lots cost more though so consider compromising with a deck or patio. Homes backing onto green space and usually more expensive.
  • Setting up The Mortgage: We like to give you Mortgage options with one of our experts who can really help our clients and talk them through it. Usually a bank Mortgage person can only offer what the bank offers!  But we like Mortgage experts who have the ability to compare the best rates, giving you more options and advice. If you need help in this area, just ask.

​​Stu: 403,850.0669

Lora: 403.512.1316

stewartjlowe@gmail.com

Loramgreco@gmail.com

 

 

 

Andrew Galler - Mortgage Alliance

by Stu Lowe & Lora Greco

The Bank of Canada left its trendsetting overnight rate unchanged at 1.25%. There are many names for this rate including the benchmark rate and key interest rate, so it can be confusing. Whatever it is called, this rate influences bank prime rates upon which variable rate mortgages and lines of credit are priced.

Bank governor, Stephen Poloz, announced the rate would be unchanged citing uncertainly over trade further stoked by this week’s U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. While broad strength in Canada and the global economy may have justified a rate increase, caution over a potential trade war warranted a wait-and-see approach.

Existing borrowers with variable rate mortgage and lines of credit have a reprieve and new applicants are seeing significant discounts for variable rate mortgages as lenders compete for business.

Andrew Galler

Mortgage Associate
Cell: 403-771-0134

Andrew@gallermortgages.com

A Bumpy Road to Recovery - Creb March 01, 2018

by Stu Lowe & Lora Greco

Calgary housing market prices hold, but sales fall


 

City of Calgary, March 1, 2018 –

Residential home sales declined in February, but a decline in new listings helped keep prices steady this month.

Sales totaled 1.094 units in February, 18 per cent below last year’s activity. Easing sales occurred across all property types this month, which outpaced the sales growth that occurred in January. After the first two months of the year, sales activity remains well below longer-term averages.

“Housing market conditions are still adjusting to rising lending rates and changes in lending requirements. This process is expected to be bumpy, with demand adjustments leading the changes,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“However, it is important to remember that it is early in the process and the impact on prices will ultimately be dependent on the supply response.”

A decline in new listings was not enough to prevent further gains in inventory levels, but it offset some of the impact of slower sales activity. In the detached sector, one of the largest declines in sales occurred in the $600,000 - $999,999 range, while this price range also recorded gains in new listings.  

“This is a market where the fundamentals of a sound pricing strategy need to be understood by Home selling guide. At the same time, savvy buyers typically have a clear understanding of how much of a mortgage they can get,” said CREB® president Tom Westcott.

“With all the recent changes, potential purchasers should be obtaining pre-approvals so they understand exactly what they can afford prior to making an offer on a home. It also provides them flexibility in this market.”

Citywide benchmark prices totaled $434,300 in February, which is just above levels recovered last month, but comparable to levels recorded last year. While year-over-year price growth remained relatively stable in both the detached and attached markets, apartment prices remained three per cent below last year’s levels. 

Creb Calgary region monthly stats package.​

Creb City of Calgary monthly stats package.

 

#calgarydreamhomes

COMING SOON - 224 & 226 6A STREET, BRIDGELAND

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

December sales activity rises again, but so does supply

Sales activity for all product types improved in December and pushed monthly sales to long-term averages for the second month in a row.

However, new listings also rose, keeping inventory elevated compared to typical levels for December. With more supply remaining compared to sales, benchmark prices edged down for the fifth consecutive month.

“Many of the economic indicators continue to post modest improvements, including improving sales. However, demand gains have not outpaced the additional supply coming into the housing market. This is creating some of the bumpiness in terms of price recovery,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie, who added that prices have stayed comparable to last year.

The gap between detached supply and demand closed in the first half of 2017 and supported early price growth. As prices improved, this was perceived as a signal for many who delayed selling their home, and caused a late rise in inventory that limited price growth.

Overall, the detached benchmark price in 2017 averaged $504,867, 0.63 per cent above last year’s levels.

Challenges continue to face the apartment sector, with elevated supply in the resale market. The new-home and rental markets weighed on this sector. The excess supply caused average annual benchmark prices to decline by four per cent this year. This is a total annual adjustment of nearly 12 per cent since the start of the recession.

In the attached sector, the first half of the year saw an improvement in sales relative to inventory levels. This supported stronger price gains in the second and third quarter. However, a late rise in inventory levels took some of the momentum away from price growth. On an annual basis, attached prices totalled $332,325, comparable to last year’s levels.

“This year, we saw a rise in the number of consumers willing to purchase in the market with the expectation that the economy had already shifted. There were also many who waited to list their property until prices showed more stability,” said CREB® president David P. Brown.

“Those who acted were typically driven by long-term plans that best suit their current lifestyle. We are ending the year with stronger sales in the last quarter, but supply levels are holding back price gains. The year played out as expected, with a transition from price declines to general price stability in most sectors of the market.”

For more information on the 2017 housing market, CREB®’s 2018 Forecast Conference & Tradeshow (crebforecast.com) will be on Jan. 31.

 

Watch CREB® president David P. Brown as he recaps sales activity and the key influencers that shaped September’s housing market.

 

#calgarydreamhomes.com

Creb: Mid-Year market update shows stability

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates


 

CREB® forecasts a process of recovery for the remainder of 2017

The first-half of 2017 marked a shift in Alberta's economy from recession to recovery, with conditions supporting stability rather than expansion.

"Economic challenges continue to exist, as high unemployment rates, weak migration levels and more stringent lending conditions are weighing on the housing market," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. 

"This will continue to cause some adjustments in the housing market for the remainder of this year. However, this is not expected to offset earlier gains supporting general stability in 2017." 

Resale sales activity is expected to total 18,401 units in 2017, a 3.3 per cent improvement over last year. The pace of growth is slightly faster than originally anticipated, due to the stronger growth that occurred in the first half of the year.  

"We saw many of those consumers who delayed any purchasing decisions willing to re-enter the market as concerns regarding the economy eased," said CREB® president David P. Brown. 

"More potential buyers on the market helped move some of the product in inventory and started to create some price stability." 

Improvements in the supply demand balance, primarily in the detached and attached sector, caused prices to start to trend up. Demand growth through the remainder of the year is expected to ease relative to inventory levels. This should prevent further substantial shifts in pricing. Overall, annual city wide prices are expected to remain at levels comparable to last year.

Despite generally improving trends, difficulties continue to exist in the condo-apartment ownership market. Rising sales cannot keep pace with the growth in new listings, keeping supply levels high and placing continued downward pressure on prices. This area of the housing market will likely continue to face challenges well into next year, as it will take time to absorb additional inventory in the resale, new and rental markets. 

"Improvements in the labour market are supporting the shift in the housing market this year. However, activity over the past two years was amongst the weakest we have seen since the financial crisis," said Lurie.

"While the shift is welcome news for many, we continue to expect that process of recovery will be slow and dependent on the property type and location within the market." 

For more information, please refer to the CREB®'s 2017 Economic Outlook & Regional Housing Market Mid-Year Update below

Creb Calgary : A transition in the making

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

Detached sales activity boosts February housing market

After the first two months of the year, Calgary's detached sector continues to drive a slow transition in the housing market. February sales totaled 1,342 units, which is still 19 per cent below long-term averages, but an improvement over the past two years.

As sales kept trending upward, detached inventory levels continued to ease in February. These conditions caused months of supply to fall to 2.4 months, putting less downward pressure on pricing. Unadjusted detached benchmark prices totaled $501,900 in February, which is one per cent lower than prices recorded last year, but slightly higher than January figures.

"There seems to be a new sense of optimism these days," said CREB® president David P. Brown. "Some Home selling guide are feeling upbeat about the changing landscape and the improved chances of selling their home. Other people are looking at the spring market with caution and wondering if we're going to see a higher than expected surge of listings. While there's less product on the market right now, sellers still need to be realistic with their pricing."

The amount of excess inventory eased in the overall market in February, setting the stage for a transition to a more stable market this year. Months of supply totaled 3.4 months, down from five months over last February. At the same time, the sales-to-new-listings ratio trended from a near record February low of 39 per cent last year to 55 per cent this February.

With sales improving and new listings and inventories contracting—two key measures of market balance, there's good evidence to show that the housing market has started a trend toward more balanced conditions.

 "The transition in the housing market appears to be underway," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lure. "However, it is important to note that this change is primarily being driven by improvements in the detached market and stability in the labour market."

"It will take some time for these conditions to translate into all housing segments and achieve price recovery," said Lurie. "But all indicators continue to point toward a slow transition from a contracting market toward one that is stabilizing at lower levels."Lurie. "But all indicators continue to point toward a slow transition from a contracting market toward one that is stabilizing at lower levels."

Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package. 

The full Calgary region monthly stats package will be available later today on creb.com

Calgary home sales rise for second consecutive month- NOV 2016

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

REID SOUTHWICK- Calgary HERALD

NOVEMBER 1 2016

Calgary’s real estate market surged in October as home sales reached pre-recession levels for the first time in two years.

Sales increased from year-ago levels for the second straight month, with more than 1,600 housing units sold in October, a nearly 16% spike from 2015 levels.

Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with the Calgary Real Estate Board, said the lift in sales may be linked to mortgage rule changes, falling prices and availability of homes with lower price ranges.

Lurie said sales growth was unexpectedly high, but she remained cautious about whether it signalled a trend or simply a blip in an otherwise depressed market.

“Not just did it increase, but it rose to levels that were really consistent with what we’ve seen in normal conditions,” she said. “It is just one month to see that level of activity, so it is something I want to continue to monitor.”

 

Jesse Davies, a Calgary real estate agent, said he closed six sales last month, a big boost from the two or three deals he has been inking monthly in the past two recession-riddled years.

“People are trying to time the bottom of the market, and I think people kind of think the bottom may be here and want to catch it before the upswing,” he said. 

The increase in sales helped put a dent in the number of homes on the market, as inventory fell 3.5 % from a year ago, marking the first decline in at least 21 months.

Average home prices rose slightly, up one per cent to $462,279, but that likely indicates more higher-end homes selling rather than an increase in home values; the median price was down two per cent.

Benchmark prices for single detached homes — the price of a “typical” Calgary home — fell 3.2 % in October, while benchmark prices for apartments faced a steep decline of 6.3 %, the real estate board said.

Sales were up across all housing categories, the board said, with the largest gains in detached homes.

Sales were also heavily concentrated in lower-priced homes. Among single detached homes, the greatest amount of sales growth occurred in houses priced $300,000 to $400,000.

Despite lower prices, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said in its most recent housing report there continues to be moderate evidence of over-pricing in Calgary’s real estate market.

The indicator means current prices are not supported by the economic reality in a city dealing with a protracted downturn and high unemployment.

Still, Canada Mortgage and Housing analyst Richard Cho said there have been improvements in the past year.

“We have seen prices adjust and start to get closer to the current economic environment,” Cho said. “We do expect to see the market gradually shift from a buyer’s market to more of a balanced market as we move into 2017.” 

rsouthwick@postmedia.com

 

 

 

 

Overall sales activity was down again in August, totalling 1,567. However, this figure does not reflect the big differences in activity between the detached sector, versus the high density apartment and attached segments of the market.

“While overall sales have eased for detached homes, so too has the amount of new listings on the market preventing inventories from reaching previous highs and limiting the downward pressure on pricing,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “This is not the case in both the attached and apartment sectors which have recorded inventory levels near August highs.”

The detached benchmark price totaled $503,200 in August, 3.3 % below last year, but similar to levels recorded last month. Meanwhile, condominium apartment prices continue to decline totaling $274,900 in August, 7% below last year and are at levels comparable to figures reported at the end of 2013.

Price declines were higher in the apartment sectors, due to the more pronounced imbalance between supply and demand. On average, apartment inventories rose to levels well above historical norms. At the same time, sales are at their weakest level since 2003 causing months of supply to average over 6 months so far this year.

“It is very important for both buyers and Home selling guide to pay close attention to the data in their particular area, segment, and price point,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “We are clearly seeing a significant difference in the performance between our detached, and our attached and apartment segments of the market, making it very difficult to use city-wide housing data for decision making purposes in today’s market.”

Trends in the attached segment of the market tend to resemble the apartment sector. However, the extent of the pullback was not as severe in the attached sector mostly due to the semi-detached product within this segment. On average, this year benchmark prices declined by 2.6% for semi-detached product compared to the 5.7 % decline in row style properties.

Source: Creb

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 39

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Photo of Stu Lowe & Lora Greco Real Estate
Stu Lowe & Lora Greco
Real Estate Professionals Inc
202 5403 Crowchild Trail
Calgary AB T3B 4Z1
Direct: 403-850-0669
403.512.1316
Fax: (403) 476-7608

Presented by Stu Lowe & Lora Greco. Licensed Realtors at Real Estate Professionals Inc