What’s going on in the market – and why are prices so high?
Across many markets, we are seeing what is happening in Calgary even more dramatically in others like Toronto and Vancouver. Most large U.S. population centres are having the same situation – lots of activity, lots of action on new listings and pricing that makes your eyes roll when people bid against each other and pay well above the list price. Many media commentators are saying it’s because interest rates are at record lows and shortage of inventory is the cause of this …
They are partly right, but markets are made by people who are active in the market. Buyers and sellers quickly grasp the pricing realities of the prevailing market. That’s true, in good times and in tough times. Most of all though, people want certainty. People want to be clear. Right now, with COVID still dominating everyone’s landscape, the market splits into three groups. Group 1, people who are actively buying and selling – some motivated by opportunity, some by need. Group 2, greed – there are plenty of people sitting this one out, keeping their powder dry and waiting for what they see will be an inevitable downturn. I’m not sure about ‘inevitable’, but I understand the motivation. Group 3, fear – those sitting on the sidelines, neither buying nor selling because they aren’t clear, and lack of clarity brings fear. In most markets that’s because people don’t fully understand market trends, understand the value of their real estate and don’t have a plan to get where they are going …
If you would like to get clear, to better understand this very fluid market and where your property fits in, give me a call – let’s coffee at a safe distance, or a Zoom-coffee call.
+ the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is reviewing its criteria for Stress Test measures around mortgage lending. The concern, across the lending marketplaces, is that recent robust activity is pushing competitive markets – and sales well above list prices, may see two things happening. The first is that people will be entering contracts to pay the winning price to get their home, but it won’t appraise out at that value – in which case they won’t get their house even if they qualify for the mortgage amount. The second concern is that a push up in prices right now may be followed by rises in interest rates, in which case buyers might not be able to afford the payments when their mortgage renews in 2, or 3 or 5 years.
+ the Mortgage Pros Annual State of the Residential Housing Market in Canada – Year-End 2020 report
+ the Royal Bank did a poll on Canadian expectations of owning their dream home
FISH CREEK PARK
+ I live near Fish Creek Park – so I’m walking in the park daily. I saw coyotes and pheasants the other day – and too many birds to count. I’m watching for the return of Osprey to their nesting perch …
+ if you use the park, consider joining/supporting the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society – they do great work and have fantastic programs for children of all ages to learn about nature
+ the Osprey are back; if you enter from the Bannister Road entry (by McInnis and Holloway) you see the constructed perch and platform it looks like a landing on the tallest telephone pole you’ve ever seen; each winter park staff clear if off – and each spring a pair will nest there. The nest is huge, as are the birds who love fishing for trout in the Bow River.
+ map of the park
recently SOLD - Calgary downtown - Eau Claire Estates
+ 2 bedroom condo in Eau Claire Estates; 1,740 sq. ft. in one of Calgary’s finest icons, concierge services, 24/7 onsite security - email me to see great properties like this one ... email@example.com
+ we've can show you lots of great options in Eau Claire - just give us a call!
FORECLOSURES AND INSOLVENCY
+ a new report by MNP suggests a dangerously high number of Canadians are at risk of financial insolvency – a five-year high …
+ a cool tool: something more binge-worthy than some Netflix offerings - try our on-your-phone MLS search tool. Drive-by any sign, or find properties anywhere surfing from your phone, check it out – contact for more information or to book a showing. Get it here. By the way, you don’t have to drive – do your ‘virtual searching’ from the comfort of your easy-chair, check out listings in Calgary and anywhere your fingers want to wander - with quick links to get further information or to set up a showing.
+ a lot of customers in the housing market think their real estate agent can only help with the re-sale market; what many don’t realize is that dealing with New Home Builders is often easier when aided by an agent responsible to look out for the interests of and negotiate for the buyer. While I can’t say ‘all builders at all times in all markets’ deal warmly with agents, but most of them do. The ones that do, happily pay agents fees and recognize that ‘getting the deal done’ is easier when the buyer is working with an agent – especially with first-time buyers …
+ congratulations to Harmony (Bordeaux Developments) – they won the BILD Award for Community of the Year, Calgary Region
+ getting ready to sell is no simple exercise; and as wide-spectrum as reasons for selling may be, there are issues every prudent seller needs to consider. When thinking about selling, for most people the first things that come to mind are ‘market values’, and maintenance items that should be taken care of between ‘thinking about listing’ and closing to mend those broken things. Sooner is always better!
+ in this section, each month I will discuss an element of the preparing-to-sell process – this month: de-cluttering and staging
+ if you want an easy way to ‘get the point’ about home-staging and decluttering, have a look at a few listings on MLS.ca – you’ll quickly see photo arrays and virtual tours at each end of the quality spectrum. Remember, people aren’t buying furniture, knick-knacks, or your taste – they are buying your home. Anything that helps a buyer ‘see themselves in your home improves the marketability of your home. Lighting is key also. While most agents use professional photography, it’s not too hard to see which ones don’t because the virtual tour doesn’t enhance your interest in the property. And the staging, whether it’s just decluttering or using professional help, it does make a difference … + next month, I’ll discuss yard maintenance and it impacts marketing … stay tuned
PROPERTY LINES - monthly news
+ sign up CLICK HERE for PROPERTYlines monthly newsletter focused on commercial real estate both locally and across Canada in industrial, commercial, investment, multi-family, hospitality, and infrastructure real estate; April issue; archived issues
REAL ESTATE LICENSING and regulatory news
+ regulation and control of licensing in real estate in Alberta is handled by the Real Estate Council of Alberta(RECA), an NGO delegated by the Government of Alberta to enforce the Real Estate Act and regulations; in the course of renewing licenses, all agents are required to renew their errors and omissions insurance (E&OE) which is handled by REIX – which means, in practical terms, your agent cannot renew his/her license without having their ongoing educational requirements in place AND having their professional insurance in place. Licensing for brokerages and agents they employ is renewed at September 30th every year; you can find your agents/confirm licensing under the Find A Professional tab
+ RECA held elections pursuant to the new act: elected and appointed Board and Industry Councils members announced
+ the Government of Alberta amended the Real Estate Act [Real Estate Amendment Act 2020] and made significant changes to the role of RECA, and installation of new officers and board members following an external review and industry consultation; the new legislation has been proclaimed and went into effect December 1, 2020
+ expected in the coming year: condominium project managers, not currently regulated by RECA, might be. Government, RECA and industry-wide discussions are ongoing …
+ Condominium managers are scheduled to be licensed under the Real Estate Act on December 1, 2021 – and new programs of education are being developed for RECA by the Residential Property Manager Industry council
+ would you like to try a career in real estate, were you born to be an agent? Check out this doll house recruitment video from the Canadian Real Estate Association
+ security systems are common – nearly everyone has a system, a secure video/doorbell, or they are thinking about getting one. BUT, how does that help with the parcels left on the doorstep? Parcel theft is becoming a very large concern. Someone’s been thinking about that. Check out this solution from Parcel Secure, both a chair and bench model are available at Home Depot, Wayfair and Amazon. First, it’s really good-looking outdoor furniture with a secure storage component. Second, and this is great – this is a Calgary company making news with a great innovation!
TAX ASSESSMENT ISSUES ...
+ you probably got your tax assessment notice recently; that value is the opinion of the assessor of your property value July 1, 2020 – not based on a site-specific assessment, but from the city running its programs to adjust for fluctuations in the market; for more information on assessments and the appeal process, go to: https://www.calgary.ca/pda/assessment.html
+ we are happy to evaluate your home; whether or not you wish to sell in this current market – we are always happy to help owners evaluate the market value of their home and to get a sense of where it is positioned in the market – call me or email me for a no-obligation chat: 403-444-6939 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In my work in this industry, and in this publication, my communication with clients and customers is predicated on the notion that more information is better than less information, and answers are important. A lot of the time people aren’t sure what questions to ask --- so hopefully, this publication will fill some gaps.
In my experience, both buyers and sellers want information and transparency; I can’t remember anyone saying they wanted to best salesman. In fact, industry surveys show the number one complaint buyers and sellers have about agents is that they don't return phone calls promptly! Who knew? ... we all do, and right now we are more aware than ever that staying in touch and working together, being on the same page in our desire for the best outcome, is to work together.
People tend to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Buying or selling a home is, for most people, their most valuable asset and there are plenty of emotions attached to every decision. In our 2020 environment, those emotions seem to be cranked up a couple of notches for everyone …
If you would like to discuss your next move - buying or selling, please give me a call - I'm happy to meet with you in person, by phone, or by ZOOM ...
~ call me to discuss your requirements: Mark Kolke, 403-444-6939
~ or email me: email@example.com