May 2021 - HOUSING TRUTH ~ Calgary housing market from Mark Kolke
WELCOME from editor/publisher, and agent,

Mark Kolke; Agent/Realtor, under contract to MaxWell Capital Realty ...
+ April 2021
+ March 2021
+ February 2021
+ January 2021
+ December 2020
+ November 2020
+ October 2020
+ September 2020
OPENING remarks from Mark:
Title: the market is hot, or not, depending on where you and your property sit in the mix …
Everyone buys or sells for their own reasons – it’s not a ‘collective thought process’, but buyers and sellers are smart, they recognize reality when a market is going up, or going down … and right now, things in Calgary are feeling buoyant.

Month over month, things keep getting better in all major markets – you’ve probably read lots of headlines about how prices are crazy in Toronto and Vancouver. Calgary’s not immune to a fast pace of sales on new listings, multiple competing offers and – as risky as it is: some people are making offers without due diligence conditions for inspection, appraisal, financing approval. Those stories are not all with dire consequences, but risky, to be sure.

So, who is making this market?

I’m not hearing about any increased in-migration beyond normal levels, and new home builders are busy, so what is the cause of the activity?

It’s simple, really – many people ‘wishing to sell’ clients are sitting this one out because the perception of waiting on the sidelines equates to comfort for them. In some cases, it’s a concern they’ll sell quickly and then not be able to find what they want quickly enough. We have a process to guard against having our clients getting caught in a squeeze.

Certainly, local economic and oil patch volatility make most Calgarians wary at the best of times – but we aren’t beating last year’s numbers, we’re beating the year before and the year before that, so whether you call it a COVID-bounce-back or genuine organic growth, properties are selling faster than usual for good prices and the market has a strong appetite for more supply.

That’s the crux of the market dynamic right now is more demand than supply – it’s really that simple. It’s getting better as more properties come to market, and as sales in the condominium space have been improving in terms of volume and price. The big action is mid-market detached single-family homes in good condition in good neighbourhoods.
Are prices going to continue to rise?

If people keep buying as they are, that looks likely. Having said that there are an ample number of foreclosure and judicial properties on the market, so not everyone is smiling.

See you again at the end of June with the next issue of Housing Truth newsletter. Meanwhile, if we can help you buy, sell, figure things out or just discuss your property and plans over a cup of coffee, give me a call, or a Zoom call invite …
Mark Kolke
P.S.: I apologize for this May-end report being late – I had hoped to get it out last weekend, but a technology glitch held me up.

SCROLL down - see great listings / virtual tours 
+ Green Homes Grant program; up to $5,000/homeowner launched by Ottawa, will help up to 700,000 homeowners – login to apply; now they just have to find 2,000 auditors to tick their boxes …
+ smart home devices are the future – and energy saving too!
+ 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
+ if you are on a condo board, or used to be, how long do you need to keep old records? The current situation in Alberta, so far as I’ve been able to determine – is ‘check Schedule 2 of the Condominium Property Regulation where the time-to-keep detail for each type of document should be detailed. Best to confirm before feeding your shredder …
+ now that COVID restrictions are easing, many condominium boards are resuming in-person annual meetings to do their annual duties, and to catch up on shelved business items that require a properly called quorum vote; we’ve been lots of questions about proxy issues, whether they are valid or not. Nothing can stop anyone from soliciting proxies; the question is whether they will be valid. Best to consult with your condo board, provisions in by-laws … and of course, someone running the meeting should verify/validate the proxies in advance of the meeting. If all else fails, consult the condominium corporation’s lawyer.
+ stay tuned for this new feature, watch for new listings – scroll to bottom …
+ contractor listing wanted; contact
+ link to Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy … (extended till June/2021)
+ link to Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
+ link to Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
+ link to Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
+ link to Business Credit Availability Program   … (extended till June/2021)
+ aside from being an essential part of nearly every real estate transaction, the regulatory landscape for agents remains tricky in terms of compliance with federal government FINTRAC regulations, which are evolving again. This body of regulation was originally designed to make life tougher for fraud artists and money launderers – to the chagrin of agents how have to manage the paperwork. It’s not so much an invasion of privacy as a need to ‘know our client’ and to be able to prove the money trail in compliance with government rules. This involves ‘when to gather the information’, ‘how to identify people/entities’ and ‘how agents/brokerages are required to keep track of it’ it isn’t done to take the joy out of the moment when you buy a home, but it is a necessary requirement for your agent on every purchase/sale transaction
+ if you love design, check out this photo array from the Best of the National Pavilions at the 2021 Venice Architectural Biennale
+ given the pace of sales in a resurgent market, tight time frames for condition waivers puts pressure on financing conditions, and few things put pressure on that like getting a home inspection done in a timely fashion – so it’s best to have someone lined up before making offers; here’s some thoughtful advice to agents worth passing along to buyers too: from RECA,’s Mortgage Broker Compliance Advisor … and another from RECA’s Regulatory Compliance Advisor
+ smoked detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are really important to have, but they don’t do much good if they are not in good working order, wired in or with fresh batteries installed; and, not all devices are created equally. Health Canada warns to check if you’ve got good ones, and to avoid ones that have been recalled …
+ well, City Council approved it (the vote was 8-6) – soon, you can keep hens in your backyard, or maybe your neighbour will; just imagine the freshest eggs and home-grown drumsticks. You’ll need to get training and buy a license to keep this new variety of pets, Calgary isn’t alone – Edmonton and Hamilton are already in the grow-your-own-breakfast business. Seriously, I thought we’ve all been cooped up too long already … so I’ll buy free-range chicken myself. The new program comes into effect in 2022.
+ sign up CLICK HERE for FACILITYCalgary – a weekly e-NEWSLETTER of news, commentary & perspective – financings, deals – commercial real estate, infrastructure, oil & gas; archived issues and archived interviews
+ CMHC published its 2020 Annual Report – The Sanctuary of a Home
+ June 1st – things change; the calculations for insured mortgage financing have been tightened by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions; some say it’s to prevent people from getting into trouble with too large a mortgage commitment, and some skeptics say it’s the government’s way of cooling the market before it gets over-heated – and the answer is YES
+ Fish Creek Provincial Park trails – are getting a re-look, the trails master plan is being tweaked and user input is invited: overview, take the survey(closes June 14th)
+ I live near Fish Creek Park – so I’m walking in the park daily, as the growing season is in full force the drab last year’s growth of grasses has been overtaken by fresh green – birds everywhere!
+ 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 – and lots of volunteer opportunities too
+ 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 an osprey pair nest there. The nest is huge, as are the birds who love fishing for trout in the Bow River.
+ map of the park
a sampling of SOME CURRENT LISTINGS available in Eau Claire 
+ 3 bedroom /3 bathroom / 2-storey unit  [ take the walking tour by photo ] - 2,884 sq. ft. high rise condo in Eau Claire Estates; one of Calgary’s finest icons, concierge services, 24/7 onsite security - email me to see great properties like this one ...
+ 3 bedroom /2 bathroom unit [ 50 photo viritual tour ]- 1,870 sq. ft. - substantially original; great value / well-kept high rise condo in Eau Claire Estates; one of Calgary’s finest icons, concierge services, 24/7 onsite security - email me to see great properties like this one ...
+ 2 bedroom / 3 bathroom extraordinary multi-level unit [ fantastic photo array- 4,258 sq. ft. - spectacular for entertaining, penthouse condo in Eau Claire Estates; one of Calgary’s finest icons, concierge services, 24/7 onsite security - email me to see great properties like this one ...
+ 2 bedroom / 2 bathroom condo suite in Prince's Island Estates - light/bright feel to this 993 sq. ft. unit. [ 25 photo virtual tour ]- email me to see great properties like this one ...
+ we've can show you lots of great options in Eau Claire - just give us a call!
+ upgraded 2-bedroom unit 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 ...
HOME SEARCH APP - shop all MLS via this phone APP
+ 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. 
+ Calgary home sales for May – Monthly Stats for May
+ Calgary region stats for May  – Monthly Stats for May
+ CMHC published its Housing Marketing Outlook – 67 page PDF download
+ Canada-wide housing market statistics housing prices moderated in April compared to March …
+ new home builders work with agents; that’s not news, but a lot of buyers think it’s an either-or situation; the willingness of builders to work with agents has ebbed and flowed over the years, but most builders really welcome buyers working with an agent – they generally see it as more useful to secure a deal than working in competition with agents …  
+ increases in lumber prices are putting pressures on builders, and in turn on buyers who sometimes find they cannot afford quite as much house as they wanted …
+ new home prices on the rise in Alberta
+ OPEN HOUSES are allowed again – Stage 2 Open For Summer Plan – with COVID-19 showing guidelines applying, and homeowner permissions of course … so don’t expect to see a lot of them soon, but they are back
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
REALLY ri-ˈmär-kə-bəl  HOUSES in other places
+ see how Henry Ford lived; 42 acre estate in the Hamptons …
+ the house Schlitz beer built; Herman Uihlein Californai mansion; US$6.95 million
+ CAUTION, some watchers might find parts of this video offensive; comedian Ron White gives you a 16-minute video tour of his Beverly Hills home
+ 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:
+ by now you should have your 2021 Tax Bill; taxes not paid by June 30th are subject to a penalty; if you pay installments to the City of Calgary through their TIFF program or as part of IPT blended payment to your mortgage lender, probably no need to worry – but it’s a good idea to look at your tax bill(s) carefully. Condo owners should take care to check all your bills (i.e., separate billings for your condo unit and your parking stall are common) – for information, start at:
+ 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:
+ Alberta’s new $370.0 million job creation initiative
+ Apple employees not so keen to return to the office
+ back-to-office plans unfolding in the marketplace: here’s the Google and KPMG take
+ burnout is building at a high rate in survey results
+ COVID rules – on and off the clock
+ COVID-19 changing the rules on employee misconduct
+ drained, digital fatigue …
+ drivers of employee engagement – pushing the right buttons
+ helping lonely employees
+ just 1 in 5 want to get back to the office full time
+ long-haulers; 70% are taking leave from work
+ pushing the right buttons – 2021 Employee Experience Trends Report
+ strategies for workplace diversity and inclusion
+ the right to disconnect; a remedy for working from home stress …
+ WeWork CEO says ‘least engaged’ staff prefer working from home; great PR strategy? Huh?
+ when it comes to burnout concerns, 47% of employers care – so what about the 53% who don’t?
+ working 6 days a week? … the danger of unpaid overtime
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CONTRACTOR DIRECTORY - we'll be populating this section in the coming months; if you are contractor, please contact us. If you have someone you would recommend, please let us know!
Fences and decks:
General Contractors:
Handyman services:
Renovation contractors:
Roofing contractors:
Waste removal:
Yard maintenance:
+ contractor listing wanted; contact for details and rates
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:

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Mailing address is: c/o Mark Kolke, 6204B Burbank Road SE, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2H 2C2

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