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May 2013

Found 15 blog entries for May 2013.

Interest Rate Rumours

Just a fare warning to all; I heard from a couple really credible sources yesterday and today that there is a very good chance interest rates in Canada will be going up in the near future!

I know that the Bank of Canada did in fact leave it's benchmark interest rate unchanged for a 32nd month on Wednesday only two days ago, but I am just passing along what I have heard as it could potentially save you some coin in the future. As well the Bank of Canada has maintained its warning that it will eventually hike interest rates and Mark Carney has also repeatedly told Canadian households to start paying down their record levels of debt before interest rates move higher, which would increase the cost of servicing that debt. 

So for

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If you're wondering whether a move to Calgary is potentially the best choice you ever made, you'll be glad to hear most would agree with you. No matter where your from in the world, you'll appreciate the high quality of new and resale housing and the positive/stable employment picture.

The Alberta energy sector is still doing astonishingly well, so it is a good time to make the big move to Canada.

What makes Calgary such an exciting place to live? The quality of life in this city is very high compared to most Canadian cities. Many would claim that Vancouver is Canada's best city, but in most surveys, Calgary is very close behind and ranked as one of the world's most inviting/healthy places to live.

A low crime rate, lots of urban park space, plenty

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The only thing hotter than condo apartments these days are condo townhouses. The market in Calgary region was up 27.24% from April 2012 to April 2013. The number of new listings shot up to 452 in April The average selling price in April was $337,118.

Condo townhouses are a popular choice for their convenience and sometimes for their location. The downside is the maintenance and condo fees, but as an alternative to a purchase of a single family home, they may be ideal. The average number of days townhouse condos are on the Calgary MLS® is 48, down from 53 days. Everything is selling faster in Calgary because of a shortage in supply in resale housing.

The average price for a townhouse condo in April 2013 was up 5%. There are almost 100 fewer listings

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Who Has the Best Mortgage Rates in Calgary?

Currently, it looks like Royal Bank overall has the best rates. It's a lot like the price of gas at the pumps, they're pretty well the same. I would also check with a Mortgage broker (tell them I said to take good care of you!) to see what kind of deals they can swing.  It's your hard earned money you're paying out, so get the best deal you can.

Fixed Rate 6 month 1 Year Closed 2 Year Closed 3 Year Closed 5 Year Closed 10 Year Closed 5 Year Closed Variable
RBC 4.0% 3.0% 3.04% 3.55% 5.14% 6.75% 3.0%
TD Bank 4.0% 3.0% 3.04% 3.55% 5.14% 6.75% 3.2%
Scotia 6.4% 3.75% 3.89% 3.99% 4.99% 6.29% 3.10%
BMO 6.3% 3.0% 3.04% 3.55% 5.14%
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Posing as a real estate agent has to be considered a serious offense given the level of trust that homebuyers and home sellers have in our profession. Apparently, the courts have decided it's just a $15,000 offense. People really want to know that the person they're meeting and about to make a huge transaction with is not a con-artist.

The man, a businessman in Calgary who works out of his home in Southeast Calgary, tried to sell homes on websites. This guy actually rented a property in Woodbine without the bank even knowing about it.  He listed properties and advertised them at a price lower than what they were being sold for. The matter hasn't been taken up by the police as yet.

Real estate and mortgage crimes are a real problem and can be quite a

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Let's take a look at the stats from the last 13 months to see what's happened across Northwest Calgary.

If you look at April to April comparisons, you can see price is up about $34,000 and average days to sell is one full week less. That's significant enough right there. Inventory is way less during December yet prices don't seem to fall much during the winter. They were higher than during last April. Given this data, we might expect prices to jump considerably during May tend to be the peak time people want to buy and sell a home in Calgary.

Month Inventory Sales Added Avg Sales Median $ Avg DOM
April, 2012 1277 582 833 $475,719 $435,000 36
May, 2012 1431 627 1024 $502,892 $460,000 38
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Calgary condo apartment sales rose an astonishing 22% from April this year compared to last April. Average prices rose 7.35% to $261,300.

What's behind the change this year? Price.  With average single family homes selling at an $452,900, many homebuyers are only able to afford a condo apartment.  Still others can't qualify for a mortgage of that size. With real estate investment cash flowing in from China and the Middle East, some of it is finding its way into the condo rental apartment market

Having someone else pay the mortgage is a pretty powerful benefit. Some investors buy up these properties in bulk.  Investing in Calgary real estate is a reasonably safe investment so we'll see more investment in condo apartment properties.

The condo and

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It's incredible that homelessness is still a problem in Canada, especially here in Calgary, yet it is.  There are estimates that over 3500 people in Calgary are classified as homeless. A unsettling number of those are young people who could be exploited on the streets and turn to drug use.  There doesn't appear to be any political resolve to deal with the problem. Instead politicians tend to prefer to sweep the issue under the carpet.

The Calgary Homeless Foundation was setup in 1998 to try to deal with the problem. The late Mr. Art Smith, a Calgary entrepreneur, politician and philanthropist, founded the CHF in order to create a unified front to fight homelessness. As of 2008, the Foundation received a new mandate: to end homelessness in Calgary within

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Record Number of Luxury Homes in April in Calgary

Consistent with the trend to the growth in higher priced properties,Calgary had one of its best months ever in luxury home sales. This is on the heels of the record year in 2012 where 544 luxury homes were sold. 65 luxury properties were sold in April, which as up 38% from April 2012 but was down from March’s record of 74 properties. Calgary’s luxury home market performed better than any other major city in Canada with an incredible 50% increase during the first quarter of 2013. Million dollar homes are considered a solid investment for foreign investors looking to buy homes here.

Sales Up but Availability Becoming an Issue - In the overall Calgary area home market of all price levels, sales rose to

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Could be prospective homebuyers are getting serious about paying down debt in order to qualify for a home loan. A new report by BMO Nesbitt Burns suggests more than half Canadians who will receive a refund will either pay down household debt or invest that money. Hopefully, this will give the Calgary real estate market a little boost this year.

Source: via CanadianMortgagesinc on Pinterest


Amazingly, the report says 8 out of 10 Canadians will get a tax refund this year. Almost 8.8 million returns out of the 13.1 million filed were eligible for a refund. CRA has issued almost $14 Billion in tax refunds. The average return was for $1,585.

Those who anticipate a refund plan to spend it on:

  • Home bills, credit card
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