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Too soon to see impact flood will have on resale statistics

The monthly statistics package is available here.

Sales activity in June exceeded growth expectations.

City of Calgary monthly residential sales totaled 2,317, a six per cent increase over June 2012 figures, and nearly five per cent higher than levels recorded in the first half of 2012. However, the impact of recent flooding is expected to trickle into the housing statistics over coming months.

“While sales and prices continue to show improvement, the city and residents of communities impacted by the recent flooding will face significant remediation challenges over the coming months,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® chief economist. “Until the extent of the damage is known, it is difficult to accurately assess the full impact this will have on the city’s housing market.”

The level of new listings totaled 3,003 units in the city, a nine per cent drop over the previous year. The rise in sales, combined with the drop in listings, is keeping overall market balance in favour of the seller.

Active listings totalled 4,584 units in June, of which more than 660 units are listed in flood-affected areas. Active listings are nearly 20 per cent less than last year.

“In the coming months, flood victims, particularly those who were planning on selling their homes, will have some big decisions to make,” said Becky Walters, CREB® President. “Will they take a discounted price? Or will they stay and fully remediate the property? Either way, in the short term, housing supply will likely be relatively tight.”

Condominium sales growth outpaced gains in the single family sector, as less availability of single-family homes priced at less than $500,000 have improved the demand for the relatively affordable condominium market.

After the first six months of the year, condominium apartment sales totalled 2,034 units a 9.5 per cent increase over 2012. Meanwhile, year-to-date condominium townhouse sales amounted to 1,672 units, up from 1,374 sales recorded in the first half of 2012.

“The tighter market conditions are placing upward pressure on pricing in all city sectors,” said Lurie. “While the areas affected by the flood may face some short-term impacts on pricing, any adjustments occurring are unlikely to outweigh the impacts on the overall city wide price growth.”

The benchmark price for condominium apartments and townhouses were a respective $264,000 and $295,000 for the month of June 2013. Condominium prices have increased by more than six per cent on a year-over-year basis, but remain below unadjusted peak levels.

Single-family sales activity totaled 1,638 units in June, a two per cent increase over 2012. However, after the first two quarters, single-family sales totaled 8,573 units, a one per cent increase over last year.

The single-family market moved into seller’s territory ahead of the condominium market, supporting stronger price growth. As of June the single-family benchmark price reached $459,700, a 6.7 per cent increase over the previous year.

“Prior to the events of the flood, our market was demonstrating tight supply levels, particularly for lower price product,” said Lurie.

Meanwhile economic indicators supported the growing demand in the city. Both the economic fallout and housing impact are yet to be seen. However, long-term economic prospects remain favourable for Calgary.

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View my June 2013 E-Newsletter Ecozine Issue #4 with tips for the spring season like killing weeds, getting rid of those pesky pests like ants and mosquitos (the safe and natural way of course!), housing stats, and some interesting news and tips!


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High prices in Calgary housing market driving the trend


CALGARY — With prices in Calgary’s real estate market continuing to rise, a growing trend is emerging in the popularity of attainable housing initiatives in the city.


Attainable Homes Calgary and McPherson Place — two separate projects — have seen an explosion of interest by Calgarians who want to get into home ownership.


“What we’re trying to do is provide home ownership to moderately income Calgarians and we do that by way of a forgivable down payment essentially . . . The majority of our customers are renters who never thought they’d ever be able to own a home in Calgary because of the gap that’s growing between the cost of housing and wage increases over the last number of years,” said David Watson, president and chief executive of Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation.


According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, in January the average MLS sale price for residential property in the city was $439,671, up 12.34 per cent from January 2012.


“The increase in home prices and home costs outpace income considerably. In certain cities, especially Calgary, where we’re having economic good times, the increase in housing values far outpaces the increase in salary for the average individual. As that happens, rental prices also increase,” said Dan Van Leeuwen, president and chief executive of New Urban Consulting which developed and built the McPherson Place condo project in Bridgeland.


Attainable Homes Calgary and McPherson Place work in fairly similar ways.


Attainable Homes Calgary is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the city with an independent board.


“In the last two years, we’ve put 200 families into homes and these are people who thought they’d never own a home. Our goal is to probably get that up to about 200 a year,” said Watson.


To purchase a home with Attainable Homes Calgary, households are required to meet the following criteria: annual household income no greater than $80,000; total assets valued no greater than $100,000; qualify for a mortgage; provide minimum $2,000 down payment.


“The way it’s sustainable is that people share the equity and after a three-year period if they choose to sell it, they have every right to sell it at any time, they take 75 per cent of whatever the equity uplift is and we get 25 per cent back. That helps keep this sustainable going into the future,” said Watson.


The home owner’s share of the property’s appreciation is zero per cent if they live in the home for under one year; 25 per cent if they live in the home between one to two years; and 50 per cent if they live there for two to three years.


About 6,000 people have expressed interest by registering on the organization’s website. Current prices for homes range from $156,000 to $270,000.


Heather Loeppky recently purchased a townhome in SkyView Ranch that is being built and ready for occupancy in August.


“For me it’s a pretty big success,” said Loeppky. “I’m a single parent of a little two-and-a-half year old girl. I’m solely responsible for her. So trying to afford Calgary’s rental market as well as the incredible cost of care, being able to really save for that down payment is such a faraway goal, almost unreachable. So what little savings I do obtain it would just take forever to do it on my own.”


The 160-unit McPherson Place is sold out with a waiting list of at least 60 people. Occupancy is now in place with the building to be totally occupied by March 15.


“We could probably fill that building a few times over with the demand we’ve had,” said Van Leeuwen.

The average market price for a one-bedroom unit there is $263,000. The purchaser gets qualified on a mortgage based on about 65 per cent of the price. It’s a shared equity program. The purchaser does not pay a down payment but shares in the ownership of the unit with the developer New Urban, INHOUSE Attainable Housing Society and the City of Calgary. When the unit is sold, the purchaser retains the 65 per cent equity share. McPherson Place has qualified purchasers earning between $30,000 and $67,000.


INHOUSE is a not-for-profit organization that will operate the building.


There is a 10-year restricted covenant period. After 10 years, the unit can be sold to the open market. If a purchaser wants to sell prior to that, they would receive 65 per cent of the market value and the developer and the city would then take their shared equity and provide that to the next purchaser as their down payment. After 10 years, anyone can buy the property.


“We’re prepared to take the 10-year risk because we believe in inflation,” said Van Leeuwen.

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Attainable+homes+initiatives+gaining+popularity/7981419/story.html#ixzz2NcnVl0tf

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"One of the most amazing things about living in the East Village has been watching an abandoned area of town blossom into an exciting new community in the heart of the city. The love and attention that had been missing in our neighborhood for so long has finally starting to shine through. In the last couple of years the East Village Action Committee has not only made huge improvements to the area by making wider, more pedestrian friendly sidewalks and beautiful cobblestone street, they have launched exciting events and activities that invite the residents of the community and its supporters to come together to enjoy all that we have to offer. My favorite is the East Village Street Fair that happens right outside the Orange Lofts every Canada Day. They close off all the streets to create a walking mall right down 8thavenue. There are amazing bands, street performers, craft tents, delicious food vendors and big exhibition of antique cars just a few steps away at Fort Calgary. Last summer they also had free weekly outdoor yoga classes and a Sled Island East Village Block Party with more live performances, a skateboard competition and tons of food trucks. Since it’s walking distance to the Stampede, Inglewood, Downtown and the gorgeous new River Walk that leads to Princess Island and the Calgary Zoo there is never a shortage of fun things to do right in your own backyard."


Stay tuned to view more listing details when it comes on the market...

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Data supplied by CREB®’s MLS® System. CREB® is the owner of the copyright in its MLS® System. The Listing data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by CREB®.
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