Archive for the ‘Resale’ Category

Home Upgrades- Are They Worth Your Time?

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Home Upgrades – Are They Worth Your Time?

There are always a few questions that enter the minds of those homeowners thinking about selling their home… Will the improvements deliver the comfort you’re looking for? Would it make more sense to move homes over upgrading yours? Will the renovations provide you with the return you are seeking when you decide to sell your home?

The table below will help you find the answer to some of these questions. In the future this should help you in the future so you know which rooms to focus on with your renovations and which can offer you the greatest return on your investment.

Keep in mind the time it takes between when the upgrades happened and the sale, as we well as proper maintenance and changing styles, should be factored-in when reviewing the chart and the potential return.



Approximate   Cost

% Recovered On   Resale

Kitchen $10,000+ 75% to 100%
Bathroom $10,000+ 75% to 100%
Roof Shingle Replacement $2.50 – $10 50% to 80%
High-Efficiency Furnace $3,500 – $7,000 50% to 80%
Windows Replacement $40 – $120 / Sq. Ft 50% to 75%
Deck $25 – $500/ Sq. Ft 50% to 75%
Hardwood Flooring $5 – $15 / Sq. Ft 50% to 75%
Central Air Conditioning $3,000 + 50% to 75%
Finished Basement $20 – $35/ Sq. Ft 50% to 75%
In ground Pool $20,000 – $40,000 10% to 40%
Skylights $3,000 + 0% to 25%

For more Home Selling Tips from the Home Sweet Home Team please visit Selling a Calgary Property or contact us today for Your Free Calgary Home Evaluation.

Calgary Home Sales and Prices Spike Higher in 2012

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Calgary’s real estate market has been very active this year.



CALGARY — Rising population numbers drove Calgary housing sales higher and brought average prices within a hair of the record set in 2007, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board.

On Wednesday it announced that 15 per cent more residential real estate sales were completed in the city of Calgary in 2012 than in 2011 and that average prices were up five per cent.

“Calgary’s housing market has finally started to recover,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist, in a news release. “While prices remain shy of the highs recorded in 2007, this is a move in the right direction.”

There were 21,207 residential property sales in 2012, up from 18,496 in 2011.

The news comes as ATB Financial economist Will van’t Veld reported that Alberta likely welcomed more new Albertans in 2012 than in its boom years a decade ago.

“This isn’t surprising, as the labour market here has been the best in the country and housing costs are relatively affordable,” he wrote in a report.

“The stage is set for the trend to continue in 2013 and beyond.”

Through the first three quarters of 2012, almost 56,000 more individuals came to Alberta than left the province, ATB noted, adding that’s 6,000 more than in 2006, the year Alberta saw its largest in-migration, and 16,000 more than in 2005, the second highest in-migration year.

“The last time Alberta welcomed so many newcomers there wasn’t enough housing to shelter everyone and that sparked the housing boom,” said van’t Veld in a report.

“In the early 2000s, housing starts in Alberta weren’t strong and there was little surplus inventory, so the mid-decade influx of migrants put pressure on existing housing stock. The jump in real estate prices caused a building boom, which is why there is no major shortage today.”

Lurie attributed the recent growth in Calgary’s real estate sales to the energy sector.

“There is no question employment and migration growth has supported housing demand, a trend that is expected to continue this year, albeit at a slower pace,” she said.

CREB figures show that single-family sales rose by 15 per cent in 2012 compared to 2011 but new listings fell by seven per cent, significantly reducing the inventory and pushing prices higher.

“Consumers in the market were looking for value, and, if a home was priced right based on a longer term view of their housing needs, they were buying,” said CREB president Bob Jablonski.

The unadjusted average price of a single-family house in Calgary was $497,000 for the month of December, nine per cent higher than $455,000 in the same month of 2011.

For the year, average single-family prices were up three per cent to $481,000.

CREB said its “benchmark” or typical single family house sold for $434,800 in 2012, two per cent below peak pricing in 2007.

Sales in the apartment and townhouse sector recorded annual increases of 12 and 16 per cent, respectively, while listings declined in both sectors

Condominium apartment average prices totalled 304,000 in December, a 13 per cent increase over December 2011 but CREB cautioned that there were several multimillion-dollar condominium sales in 2012 that skewed figures higher.

Townhouses posted an average price of $306,000 in December, up 4.5 per cent from $293,000 a year earlier.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Monthly housing starts make big jump in Calgary: survey

Monday, March 8th, 2010
Total housing starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area are up by an incredible amount in February compared with a year ago — an indication of how far the economy had fallen at the beginning of 2009.

Total housing starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area are up by an incredible amount in February compared with a year ago — an indication of how far the economy had fallen at the beginning of 2009.

CALGARY – Total housing starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area are up by an incredible amount in February compared with a year ago — an indication of how far the economy had fallen at the beginning of 2009.

According to preliminary figures released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., total starts reached 743 units last month in the Calgary CMA, up substantially from 206 units in the previous year.

Single-detached starts jumped to 545 units compared with 184 a year ago while multi-family starts hit 198 in February, rising from a meagre 22 in February 2009.

“The year-over-year rise in production (in the single-detached sector) was a bit pronounced as housing starts in the beginning of 2009 were unusually low due to elevated inventories and uncertain economic conditions,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for the CMHC. “With the economy stabilizing, new construction activity is returning to more historical norms with February’s numbers slightly above the 10-year average of 535 units.”

In Alberta’s seven largest centres, there were a total of 1,562 units started in February, compared to 574 units a year earlier.

Read more:

Calgary to face ‘very active’ spring housing market as economy improves

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

CALGARY – Calgary will experience a “very active” spring housing market as an improved economic outlook combined with record low interest rates and affordable housing are “fuelling recovery” in residential real estate sales, says a report released today by Re/Max.

“The supply of detached homes is beginning to tighten, with multiple offers becoming more prevalent in hot pockets throughout the city, particularly well-priced, entry-level product,” said the Re/Max Market Trends Report 2010.

“First-time buyers continue to drive the market, looking to take advantage of greater affordability before the window of opportunity closes.”

The report said that while the average price is still off peak 2007 levels it continues its ascent rising seven per cent in the single-family category to $441,217 and four per cent in the condo category to $282,639 over January 2009 levels.

“There has been a notable push by purchasers to get in before predicted interest rate hikes and tighter lending criteria,” said the report. “To that end, buyers are being more cautious in their pursuits, deliberately choosing not to max out debt service ratios, with a trend towards more modest pursuits that can be afforded. The market is picking up at all levels, with move-up buyers increasingly active.”

The Re/Max report, which looked at 16 markets across the country, noticed a sharp decline in active listings. A lack of inventory will be the greatest challenge facing housing markets across Canada this spring, it said.

That, combined with the threat of higher interest rates, tighter lending criteria, and in British Columbia and Ontario the introduction of the new Harmonized Sales Tax, have clearly served to kick-start real estate activity “prompting an unprecedented influx of purchasers.”

“Affordability is the catalyst for the vast majority of purchasers in today’s housing market,” said Elton Ash, regional executive vice president for Re/Max of Western Canada. “While homeownership is still within reach in many major centres, levels are slipping. There is a growing sense, on both sides of the fence, that the time to act is now.”

Ash said the real estate market has experienced a 180-degree turnaround from this time last year.

“It’s clear that real estate from coast to coast has roared back to life and markets are once again firing on all cylinders,” said Ash. “The vast majority of markets are now recovered.”

Calgary’s economy to rebound, lead Canada in 2011

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

CALGARY – Calgary’s economy will rebound nicely this year and go on to lead the country starting in 2011, the Conference Board of Canada said Wednesday.

In its annual outlook for the cities, the board forecast Calgary’s economy will grow three per cent this year. That comes after a 2.3 per cent decline in 2009, the first drop in two decades.

“Fortunately, the initial stages of an economic recovery are starting to take hold,” the board said in its winter outlook.

“Both housing demand and prices are on the rebound, whil overall consumer confidence is gaining some upward momentum.”

Retail sales are expected to jump 4.2 per cent this year, the forecast said.

In 2010, Calgary’s economic growth will put it in the middle of the pack at 10th place. Vancouver is expected to lead the group at 4.5 per cent, boosted by the Olympic Games that begin next month.

A full recovery in the oilpatch should help propel Calgary’s economic growth to 4.4 per cent in 2010, the strongest among the provinces, the report noted.

Last Call for Home Reno Tax Credit

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

It’s not too late to renovate and get the Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) … if you don’t mind long lines at your local home-improvement store. But you only have exactly one week to do so.

Know What Qualifies (and What Doesn’t)

It might be a good idea to check out all the details at the Canada Revenue Agency website. (Apparently, the Post Office is also handing out the Canada Revenue Agency General Income Tax and Benefit Guide for 2009.)

Basically, the rule of thumb is anything that stays with your property counts for the HRTC. Here are a few items that do qualify that you may not have thought of:

  • A new hot water tank
  • Blinds or shutters 
  • Paint (interior and exterior)
  • Re-shingling a roof

Even if you spend as little as $1,000 (but no less) you can get 15% off in tax credits when you file; just be sure you keep all your receipts.

There are rumblings about the federal government extending the deadline for the HRTC – or adding a new one later in 2010 but given how transient ruling governments can be (especially in a minority government!) it might be best to race towards this month’s deadline since it is a sure thing (even if you live in a condo).

And remember, you can “double-dip” on your renovation spendings if the products and/or services relate to energy-efficiency, thus qualifying for the HRTC and ecoEnergy Retrofit grants from Natural Resources Canada (and matched by your province in most cases).

How is your renovation spending going? Are you trying to get government money for the HRTC tax credit and/or ecoEnergy retrofit grant money?

For More information Please call the Home Sweet Home Team

Calgary resale home prices to simmer in ’10

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

cf253380-54fa-405c-8e46-47bba163ada9CALGARY – In two years, Calgary’s resale real estate market has gone from “sizzle to fizzle to simmer,” incoming Calgary Real Estate Board president Diane Scott said Wednesday.

Aff ordability and low interest rates will keep the pot slowly boiling this year, creating modest growth in sales and prices, she predicted as the board hosted its annual forecast conference.

A panel of economists mostly concurred with the board’s projection of a continuation of the gradual recovery experienced in the second half of 2009, faltering later this year as low interest rates rise to more normal levels.

Scott told about 1,000 real estate agents in attendance a recovery in Calgary’s market is highly dependent on prices for oil and gas.

“Calgary and Alberta remain tied to global energy markets and, ultimately, the outlook for oil and gas will play a big role in employment and migration to Calgary,” she said. “The good news is we have the energy to recover.

“The road will be a little bumpy, but there is light on the horizon.”

The board estimates Calgary-region single-family home sales will climb to 17,000 from 14,440 in 2009 and 7,000 condominium units will change hands, versus 6,328 last year.

In 2007, single-family sales added up to 18,438 and there were 8,236 condos sold. In 2008, the numbers were 13,455 and 5,661, respectively, with the single-family number the lowest since 1996.

The board predicts the average price for a single-family home in Calgary in 2010 will jump six per cent to $470,000 from $442,327 last year and the average condo price will rise 4.3 per cent to $296,000 from $283,734 in 2009.

The average single-family home price peaked at $505,920 in July 2007 and condo prices hit a record $332,237 in May 2007.

Surrounding towns are expected to experience 14 per cent higher sales and 3.2 per cent growth in average prices.

The downtown apartment condo market is expected to be particularly slow this year, while smaller, single-family homes and lower-priced segments will lead in sales and price growth.

Scott noted that younger people buying starter homes have fuelled the market’s recovery so far. Better afford-ability will help encourage 15,000 people to relocate to Calgary this year, the board predicts.

The low level of listings in the market at year-end is expected to grow throughout 2010, giving buyers more options.

“We will not likely tip to a seller’s market until the end of 2010 and into 2011,” said Scott, describing the current market as “balanced.”

Panellist Adam Legge, chief economist for Calgary Economic Development, said he doesn’t think the pace of the recovery in the city in the second half of 2009 is sustainable because the recovery in the larger economy is largely based on stimulus spending and inventory replacement.

He said news Tuesday that the ConocoPhillips and Total plan to expand production at the Surmont in situ oilsands discovery near Fort McMurray, while encouraging, won’t necessarily help create jobs and confidence in Calgary.

“We’re going to see probably a number of years of very, very tepid growth in Calgary,” he said. “There’s not going to be any zooming to the nearly eight per cent GDP growth we saw in 2006.”

Warren Jestin, chief economist for Scotiabank, said he’s not a “double-dipper” — a proponent of a quick return to recession — but he does predict better-than-expected growth in the national economy in early 2010 to slow down in the second half of the year as the Bank of Canada raises its trendsetting interest rate by as much as 200 basis points.

He said the economy, after bumping along the bottom in the first half of 2009, is in a “good news” phase now, but that’s only because there’s less frequent bad news (such as Wednesday’s stock market sell-off).

Two real estate agents questioned panellist Richard Cho, Calgary market analyst for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., about whether the federal government will increase the minimum allowable down payment for first-time homebuyers above the existing five per cent.

Cho said the government is looking at it as an option, to prevent homebuyers from taking on too much debt, but added that the change wouldn’t have a great impact on the housing market because not many people use it.


© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Coventry Hills Townhouse – $299,900

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

This unit shows 10 /10! This very well maintained original owner, non-animal, non-smoker’s house is in the desired Community of Coventry Hills. The main floor offers an open plan with upgraded kitchen that includes stainless steel appliance, maple cabinets & breakfast bar. The main floor also offer a 2 piece bath, a large living/dining room area with patio doors that lead out onto a green space. The upstairs offers 2 spacious bedrooms with walk in closets and a large 4 piece bathroom. The basement is undeveloped and ready for your creative touch. This unit also offers hardwood floors, ceramic tile back splash, built in sound system, roughed in wiring for a security system,single attached garage , upgraded maple railings and a park view. This property is in a great location close to major road ways, public transit, schools, playgrounds, shopping, restaurants, golf, Cardel Place Recreational Center & Movie theater. All appliances are included. This unit is in mint condition, don’t miss this opportunity.


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


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.


The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.