Archive for June, 2009

Canada Day Celebrations – Princes Island Park & Olympic Plaza

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Come and celebrate with us July 1, 2009. It’s a great way to spend a summer day with friends and family.

Celebrate Canada’s 142nd birthday with family and friends on Princes Island Park Wednesday, July 1st, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Island will be alive with music, live entertainment, food, and festivities. Three stages will be jam packed with live music and entertainment for all ages and interests.

But the festivities don’t end there. Join us in the evening at Olympic Plaza as we keep the party going with more food, entertainment and fireworks — a great ending to another fantastic birthday celebration!

2009 Canada Day Program

Enmax Main Stage at the Island
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Citizenship & Opening Ceremonies
12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m.    Black Powder Dancers & Drummers with Quickdraw Animation
1:15 p.m. – 2 p.m.      JR Shore & the Jury
2:15 p.m. – 3 p.m.      Billy Manzik Band
3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m.      Carolyn Mark
4:15 p.m. – 5 p.m.      Souljah Fyah

Global Calgary Stage at the Island
12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.  Magnolia Buckskin
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.    Robin Hunter & the Six Foot Bullies
2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.    The Fast Romantics
3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.    Highway 3 Roots Review: John Wort Hannam, Dave McCann  and Leeroy Stagger

Family Stage at the Island
12 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.     Sandbox Theatre
1 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.         Gustavo the Impossiblist
2 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.         Wagonstage Children’s Theatre
3 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.         Gustavo the Impossiblist
4 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.         Malcolm Russell – Magic!

Olympic Plaza Stage
7:30 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.      Opening Ceremonies
7:45 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.      Black Powder Dancers & Drummers with Quickdraw Animation
8:15 p.m. – 9 p.m.           Greg Cockerill Band
9:15 p.m. – 10 p.m.         The Love Bullies
10:15 p.m. – 10:45 p.m.  Little Miss Higgins
10:45 p.m.– 11 p.m.        Fireworks (weather dependent)
11 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.       Little Miss Higgins

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Housing market blossoms in spring

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

There’s little mystery why Canada’s housing market has seen a rebound in sales this spring.

“Record-low mortgage rates have unleashed pent-up demand that accumulated last year when previously soaring prices closed the door on first-time buyers,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist with BMO Capital Markets, in a research report released Friday.

“After a harsh winter, spring has come surprisingly early to Canada’s housing market. Sales have rebounded from a lengthy slumber and prices have firmed,” he said.

“While it’s doubtful that the housing train has left the station without a recovery on board, the data support our long-held view that the Canadian market is merely correcting, not busting.”

In Calgary last month, historic low mortgage rates combined with less expensive homes compared with a year ago sparked activity in the local real estate market. May witnessed the first year-over-year gain in single-family MLS sales since September and since April 2007 for condos.

“We need to be cautious about declaring a firm bottom is at hand, but the improvement in recent months is an encouraging shift,” said Bonnie Wegerich, president of the Calgary Real Estate Board, when the May numbers were released. “All signs indicate we are moving to a balanced and stable market. Consumer confidence is improving, prices are holding steady and inventory is trending downward.

“I think some buyers are trying to predict the bottom of the market. The reality is if you spend too much time trying to anticipate the bottom, you miss out on choice and selection.”

There were 1,584 single-family home sales last month, up 15.8 per cent from May 2008, while the condo market saw 653 sales, representing a 13.2 per cent hike from a year ago.

The average sale price for a single family home in May was $436,427, while for a condo it was $275,212, compared with $426,311 for a singlefamily home and$277,491 for a condo in April.

The prices are off from year-ago levels when the average was$479,564 for single-family homes and $311,816 for condos. Single-family prices are off by nine per cent, while condo prices are down by nearly 12 per cent from last year.

At the national level, Guatieri said despite massive job losses, demand has firmed for housing, even in Ontario and British Columbia and, to a lesser extent, in “boom-bust” Alberta.

“The surprising upturn in sales, coupled with fewer listings, has tilted the market back towards balance from the buyers’ haven of last year,” he said.

By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary HeraldJune 13, 2009

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Now is the time for prospective homebuyers!

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

The latest round of statistics released from the Calgary Real Estate Board show May was another strong month in our city.

Single-family home sales in metro Calgary were up 23% from April 2009, according to the MLS sales activity, with 1,584 properties exchanging hands.

Better yet, May 2009 single-family homes sales were an increase of 16% from May 2008.

“We are seeing the first year-over-year gain in single family homes sales since last September,” says Bonnie Wegerich, President of the Calgary Real Estate Board. “A pent up demand has been building — with many first-time home buyers now taking advantage of affordable prices, record low interest rates and federal government housing incentives.”

And first time buyers are coming out in droves. In the Calgary metro area, homes priced at $400,000 or less accounted for nearly 70% of all home re-sales in the month of May.

While reduced interest rates make payments an easier pill to swallow for those making the transition from tenant to homeowner, lower house prices are assisting those who might have previously been priced out of the market as well.

The average price of a single family home in metro Calgary in May 2009 was $436,427, an increase of 2% from April pricing, but a substantial 9% decrease from May 2008’s average house price of $479,564.

The increased market activity is also lowering the gap between supply and demand, which was driving prices down at the end of last year.

“Since December we have seen five consecutive months of increases in home sales, while our inventory continues to trend lower. The gap has narrowed and prices are stabilizing” Wegerich says.

Wegerich went on to say that “all signs indicated we are moving to a balanced and stable market. Consumer confidence is improving, prices are holding steady and inventory is trending downward.”

While inventory is heading down fixed interest rates took a jump recently due to increasing pressure from the raising bond rates. Some lenders increased rates as much as 30 points in one day with hints of additional increases on the horizon.

For those that have been sitting on the fence waiting to take advantage of the current market conditions the window of opportunity may be starting to close on historic low interest rates.

Prospective buyers could protect themselves by securing a pre-approval rate hold, typically available with most lenders for 90 — 120 days, or by ensuring that any pre-approval already in place does not lapse.

It is important to recognize that if you do have a pre-approval in place which is allowed to expire, the slightly increased interest rates available today could lower your maximum purchase price. This is because higher interest rates drive up monthly payments, which translates into a larger payment to factor into your total debt ratio.

Contact an experienced mortgage expert today to determine your best course of action, ensuring you are positioned to take advantage of all the market conditions available to those willing to take action right now, including low interest rates. Nothing can last forever.

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