For several months we’ve seen a tempering of market activity – across North America and all major Canadian cities. Still, the Calgary market remains undersupplied, so the softening here has been much less than elsewhere. However, the mix of central bank interest rate hikes in Canada, the U.S., and Europe are unsettling when taken together with high inflation in the prices of nearly everything we buy. So, what the market will do is, as it always is, difficult to predict.
But here’s what distinguishes any market – supply vs. demand – is always a factor; the Calgary market continues to have inadequate supply to meet the demand. That’s good news for sellers, but not so much for properties priced too high because overpriced properties tend to languish.
Yes, higher interest rates alter what buyers can afford, hitting first-time buyers, which explains the recent buoyancy in semi-detached and condominium categories. Not to oversimplify or sound corny – buyers need a home, and sellers want to sell theirs. We are still seeing multiple offers, but not as much. We are still seeing rapid interest in showing when a new listing comes on the market – and many speedily written offers. Not as much or as fast as we’ve seen in the last year, but not a fragile market at all. We’re seeing a real tamping down of the market in Vancouver and Toronto markets, but Calgary remains robust.
And if you look back 25 years, mortgage rates were 7.0%, and the average house price in Calgary was $165,000.00.
Outlook for the next quarter – continued steady demand and inadequate supply. Commercial markets are strong on the investment side, with retail and industrial vacancy rates falling. Office vacancy in Calgary remains very high – and that’s going to take several years for the market to absorb that vacancy; some older buildings are being converted to residential with the help of government subsidization, but not enough to move the needle very far.
In closing, it’s mid-summer, fantastic weather here and a very successful Calgary Stampede this year.
+ Alberta Land Titles continue to struggle with staffing up after the pandemic and the large volume of sales, so they continue to be far behind in registering changes to titles and new mortgages (currently, they are running 14 weeks behind), continuing to challenge lawyers and lenders with documentation; a by-product of this is delaying with city tax rolls for property tax bills. If you’ve purchased in the last six months, be sure to check with the municipality to ensure they are sending mail and tax bills to the new/current owner …
+ it is rare that all 10 real estate boards in Alberta can agree on something, but they have. There has been a rule change (AREA and RECA) around reporting Pending Sale status on MLS listings; the discretion of seller/agent to ‘not disclose’ that a property is under contract for a conditional sale has been changed. Now, all properties going under contract must have the status updated to ‘pending’. Showing can continue at the seller’s discretion. Sellers and agents MAY continue marketing the property through advertising in various forms – effective January 3, 2022, pending sales, must be disclosed.
+ 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.
+ closets = storage; and how they look, make an impression – best to make a good one!
+ storage capacity matters to home buyers, which means ‘photograph lots of empty storage’ rather than overstuffed displays of disorder – and remember, 90% of buyers will have done a virtual tour of your home online before they come to see it, and though it is cliché to say it, we only get one chance to make a first impression
PROPERTY LINES - now a quarterly report
+ sign up CLICK HERE for PROPERTYlines quarterly 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 - Q2 2022 Report coming soon
REAL ESTATE LICENSING and regulatory news
+ regulation and control of licensing in real estate in Alberta are 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 on September 30th every year; you can find your agents/confirm licensing under the Find A Professional tab
+ the Government of Alberta amended the Real Estate Act [Real Estate Amendment Act 2020] and made significant changes to the role of RECA; the new legislation was proclaimed and went into effect December 1, 2020
+ condominium project managers have come under the RECA regulatory umbrella; they came under the Real Estate Act on December 1, 2021 – and new programs of education are being implemented for RECA by the Residential Property Manager Industry council, and all licensed condominium managers must complete their mandatory education requirement by November 30, 2022
+ licensing education for real estate agents in Alberta shifted from a RECA-only to RECA and private providers, and will now be a NON-RECA-providers-only regime; what this means in practical terms is that RECA offer and administer licensing examinations and license renewals. RECA’s Education department has been renamed RECA Credentialling Services – so anyone looking to enter the industry can make contact and/or review licensing requirements at: https://www.reca.ca/licensees-learners/licensing-renewals/getting-licensed/
+ 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