CALGARY - Alberta officially became the most affordable province in the country for home ownership in the fourth quarter of 2010 and affordability in Calgary is now the best it's been in almost six years, says a new report released Thursday by RBC.
The Housing Trends and Affordability report said a gradual but steady recovery in housing demand in the past half-year has just begun to bolster market conditions in the Calgary area by drawing the prolonged slump since 2007 closer to an end.
In Calgary on a seasonally-adjusted basis, home resales increased appreciably since the June 2010 lows, and this "helped to reduce the market slack significantly by the end of last year that kept buyers in the driver's seat.
"Nonetheless, the return to more balanced market conditions in Calgary did not succeed in reversing the tide in the fourth quarter of 2010, because home prices continued to weaken for the most part," said the report by senior economist Robert Hogue.
"This, however, contributed to further material improvement in affordability-the RBC Measures for Calgary, again, fell the most among Canada's largest urban markets, by declining by 0.9 to 3.1 percentage points (on a quarterly basis).
"Affordability in the area is now the best in almost six years. We believe that attractive affordability will support further increases in demand as the local economy picks up steam in the year ahead."
The report said the Alberta market is the only provincial market showing year-over-year home price declines, reflecting soft market conditions.
In the fourth quarter of 2010, the RBC measures in Alberta fell once again by 1.0 to 2.4 percentage points in the province, extending their long strings of declines since late 2007, said the report.
"In addition to the lower mortgage rates, the further depreciation of home prices contributed to lowering the cost of home ownership in the fourth quarter. Property values were negatively affected by a substantial downswing in demand in the spring and early summer, which put buyers in the driver's seat," said RBC.
"The significant improvement in affordability is near the end of its line, however. Demand has shown more vigour in recent months-alongside a provincial economy that is gaining more traction-and the Albert market has become better balanced."
The RBC Housing Affordability Measure has been compiled since 1985. The higher the reading, the more costly it is to afford a home. For example, an affordability reading of 50 per cent means that home ownership costs, including mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes, take up 50 per cent of a typical household's monthly pre-tax income.
In Calgary, the affordability measure for a detached bungalow was 34.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010, down 4.8 per cent from the previous year. For a standard two-storey home, it was 37.0 per cent, down 5.0 per cent from last year and for a standard condominium the measure was 22.4 per cent which represented a 2.7 per cent decline from a year ago.
For Alberta, the affordability measures and their year-over-year declines were: detached bungalow, 30.9 per cent (- 3.3 per cent); standard two-storey, 34.4 per cent (- 4.1 per cent); and standard condominium, 20.3 per cent (- 2.6 per cent).
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
Thursday Feb 24th, 2011
Calgary in top 5 world's most livable cities: survey
Calgary made it into the top five list of the world's most livable cities, while Melbourne claimed second place from Vienna and Australian and Canadian cities dominated the list's top 10 spots.
In the annual survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the Canadian West Coast city and 2010 Winter Olympics host scored 98 per cent on a combination of stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure -a score unchanged from last year.
It has topped the list from 2007. Although Melbourne since the Austrian capital for a silver medal, there was no other major change near the top of the list of 140 cities worldwide. Auckland, N.Z., came in 10th.
"Mid-sized cities in developed countries with relatively low population densities tend to score well by having all the cultural and infrastructural benefits on offer with fewer problems related to crime or congestion," Jon Copestake, editor of the report, said in a statement.
Pittsburgh was the top U.S. city with 29th place -just ahead of Honolulu -while Los Angeles moved up three places to 44th and New York held onto the 56th spot. London moved up one place to 53rd while Paris came in at No. 16.
The top Asian city was Osaka at No. 12, tying Geneva, Switzerland, and beating out the Japanese capital of Tokyo, which came in at 18.
Beijing, capital of the world's most populous nation and No. 2 economy, straggled in at 72.
Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, once again claimed the worst position with a rating of 37.5 per cent, narrowing beating out the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka.
The Economist Intelligence Unit survey ranks cities based on 30 factors such as health care, culture and environment, and education and personal safety.
© Copyright (c) Reuters.
1. Vancouver, Canada
2. Melbourne, Australia
3. Vienna, Austria
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Calgary, Canada
6. Helsinki, Finland
7. Sydney, Australia
8. Perth, Australia
8. Adelaide, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand
The bottom 10 cities were:
1. Harare, Zimbabwe
2. Dhaka , Bangladesh
3. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
4. Lagos, Nigeria
5. Algiers , Algeria
6. Karachi, Pakistan
7. Douala, Cameroon
8. Tehran, Iran
9. Dakar, Senegal
10. Colombo, Sri Lanka
Relocating or Moving to Calgary
Whether your new family home needs to be close to your work or perhaps close to a School for your children or even if you need to live in a specific community in Calgary.
Keep in mind while looking: where you live will depend on where you work, whether you want to commute and the lifestyle you and your family desire
Relocating to Calgary can be made much easier if you have the help, and the relief of the stress of knowing that you have a Realtor working for you.
I am familiar with Calgary and the more than 180 communities, I can help make the move to Calgary more pleasant and less stressful for you.
Calgary is a growing city and has many New communities being developed with New homes being built, contact me for more information. I will get back to you by email or mobile. you can reach me 24/7 through this website. Don't hesitate to call.
Why Isn’t My House Selling?!
So you’re in agony because your house has languished on the market for weeks (maybe even months) and still no bites. Here are 4 reasons that may be keeping the buyers away:
1. Your Home is Overpriced
Sorry, but this is the number one reason houses don’t sell in a timely manner. The truth is that buyers set the value of your home; if they’re not making offers anywhere near the list price (or perhaps not making offers at all) then it’s overpriced.
When you ask an unrealistic price for your property it can set into motion a process that will work against you, let me explain.
There is a “honeymoon period” when it comes to listing real estate for sale; it’s a 2-3 week period when everybody looking in that price range will want to see your house. If it’s overpriced by even as little as 5% it will be duly noted and interest in your property will wane.
For example: if you’ve got a house that really should be priced at $300,000 and it’s listed at $350,000 you’ve committed a number of errors. Firstly you’re trying to compete against houses that actually are worth $350,000 and your house isn’t going to compete well. Secondly you’ve priced out buyers who might have qualified for financing at a more reasonable price. And thirdly even if you manage to find a buyer at your inflated asking price, the property may not appraise at that figure and the financing will fall apart.
2. Your Home Doesn’t ‘Show’ Well
Your home is competing against shiny new houses with their attractive prices, incentives and community amenities; and in Calgary where they seem to build a new house every 15 minutes this is especially so.
Face it: Even the best old house needs a makeover if it hopes to attract a qualified buyer.
The good news is most of the work is cosmetic and relatively inexpensive (if it’s not cosmetic and repairs are needed, they must be done before you list the house anyway). At the very least go through the house and pack away all non-essentials (anything personal or “stuff” that is taking up space). A new coat of paint is the least expensive way to make everything shine and a thorough cleaning of the floors and carpets should be done as well.
3. You’re In a Bad Location
As a real estate agent it pains me to say this but “they’re out there.” Realtors® who mislead, misfire and misbehave. Their bad advice can cost you plenty in time, money and the sheer hassle of keeping your house show-ready all the time.
Don’t let an agent with a high list price talk you into the impossible. As stated before, if it’s overpriced it aint gonna sell! Be realistic about pricing but also ask questions about your agent’s marketing approach.
There may be other factors like market conditions and rapid market changes that can affect the sale of your Calgary property. However, a good listing agent should be on top of these and be talking with you regularly to strategize on ways to combat them. If you're Realtor® isn't communicating with on a weekly basis at minimum you're not getting the service you deserve.