Welcome to my Calgary Real Estate website
I have been adding some search functions, to make it somewhat easier for you to find your new Calgary Home.
You can now search for SE Calgary Bungalows for Sale, SW Calgary Bungalows for Sale & NW Calgary Bungalows for Sale. I have also created a search that helps you find Calgary Homes with Walk-Out and Fully Finished basement.
SW Calgary Homes for Sale with Walk-Out, SE Calgary Homes for Sale with Walk-Out. As well as those searches you are able to search by price starting at $200,000 and going all the way up to over $2,000,000. You are able to search for Calgary Homes for Sale by Calgary Community.I have added Bearspaw Real Estate Listings if you are looking for a Luxury Home minutes from Calgary possibly an Acreage. There is also a search for Homes for Sale in Okotoks, and also Homes for Sale in Airdrie.
I hope that you find these additions helpful. If you would like to contact me in regards to a specific Calgary Home for Sale or Listing your home for Sale. Please, Contact me @ 403.397.3706 or leave a message with my CHAT at the right side of the page.
Thank you Diane Richardson.,
Boom in resale housing market just outside Calgary
Towns see nearly 40% hike in MLS sales
BY MARIO TONEGUZZI, CALGARY HERALD
CALGARY — The resale housing market in towns just outside the City of Calgary has seen a boom in sales this year.
According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, year-to-date MLS sales in the surrounding communities market has ballooned to 4,878 up to the end of November, a hike of 39.05 per cent compared with the same period in 2011.
In comparison, year-to-date sales of 20,128 in the City of Calgary are up 15.21 per cent compared with last year.
“I think what’s happening is the buyers can’t find necessarily what they want in the city,” said Bob Jablonski, CREB’s president. “There’s less product to look at here in Calgary. And they’re finding they can find what they’re looking for in surrounding towns for the price points and getting a bigger bang for their bucks. So they don’t mind the commute.”
In the towns market, so far this year the average MLS sale price has dipped by 0.18 per cent to $354,897 while in the city it has risen by 3.16 per cent to $428,208.
According to CREB, in the country residential (acreage) market, sales so far this year are 842 with an average sale price of $793,707.
Last year there were 689 sales with an average sale price of $807,764 for the same time period.
Don Campbell, president of the Real Estate Investment Network in Canada, said places like Airdrie and Okotoks experience what’s called the Doppler effect in the real estate industry.
“It’s where a centre booms and then the smaller centres around it follow either a year or a year and a half later,” said Campbell.
“But the thing that’s really affected Okotoks, and now especially Airdrie, is the transportation change. The Ring Road (Stoney Trail). For Okotoks, of course, it was the expansion of Highway 2 a few years ago that really started to drive and bring to everyone’s attention Okotoks. Because nobody really went south of Calgary. Everybody went between Edmonton and Calgary and always knew that Airdrie was there. Okotoks is now on the radar.”
With any real estate market, it’s about affordability, said Campbell, and markets like Airdrie and Okotoks, for example, were driven by potential homebuyers who felt that they couldn’t afford to live in Calgary.
Stoney Trail has had huge impact on the Airdrie market, said Campbell. Also, many new jobs have been created in the northeast part of Calgary.
“So rather than live in the northeast, people are living in Airdrie which is almost the exact length of time to get to work,” he said.
Calgary top real estate investment market in Canada
Edmonton ranked as second
CALGARY — Calgary has been ranked as the top real estate investment market in the country followed by Edmonton by the Real Estate Investment Network Ltd.(
In its Top Alberta Investment Towns report, REIN said that Alberta’s economy has come out on top after a few years of economic turbulence.
The report identifies towns and regions poised to outperform other regions of the province over the next three to five years.
And none is better than Calgary.
“After a couple of roller-coaster years, Calgary is back on a roll. The return of jobs to the city, as well as greatly reduced office vacancy rates show us that the city’s short slump has come to an end,” said the report. “Recording a GDP growth of three per cent in 2011, and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, it’s no wonder Calgary is sitting as one of the top places in North America for property investors. When you combine the economic fundamentals, the population growth, and a burgeoning provincial economy, it is easy to see why so many businesses and people have come to call the city home.
“The market is hot. With the pressure on the resale housing market, there is similar pressure on the rental market. Inventory has dropped for rental accommodations while monthly rents have increased. Real estate investors and real estate agents are reporting that rental listings are being pounced on. Savvy investors purchasing units and advertising them for rent upon close are receiving calls from anxious tenants wanting to see the unit before the investor has possession and/or has done any improvements to the property. Rental sites are reporting difficulty in compiling statistics become some communities have nothing for rent.”
REIN said housing affordability will begin to be an issue in Calgary, with rents increasing and a high average sale price. But when you look at that price versus average income it shows that other cities in Canada have a much larger problem on their hands.
“Calgary has the long-term economics to support long-term market strength while other cities do not,” said REIN.
The report said Airdrie has been one of the fastest growing communities in the province.
“Its proximity to the economic engine of Calgary and the growth of the surrounding economy will push the physical and economic growth limits of the city in the next decade,” said REIN.
“With increasingly easy access to many areas of Calgary via the ring road as well as the growth of job centres in and around the city, Airdrie property owners should continue to feel upward pressure on both rents as well as home prices. As affordable housing becomes a growing problem in Calgary, Airdrie will benefit from lower average house prices. As the office centre of the west, Calgary may offer employment opportunities that Airdrie does not, but much of the labour force will turn to Airdrie as a place to call home.”
REIN’s top Canadian investment cities ranked in order are: Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Surrey, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, Airdrie, Kitchener and Cambridge, Red Deer, St. Albert, Waterloo, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Halifax.
According to a research note by Scotia Economics, Alberta remains a key economic engine for Canada, with the highest provincial real GDP growth rate forecast for 2012 and 2013 at 3.4 per cent and 3.0 per cent respectively.
“The economy is growing strongly with contributions from consumer spending, business investment, particularly in the oilsands, and exports, which is encouraging given the strong Canadian dollar and soft global demand,” it said. “Provincial government spending also will continue to support growth, albeit at a slower pace than over the decade prior to the recession.”
In the second quarter of 2012, Alberta had a year-over-year population growth rate of 2.5 per cnet, the highest in the country.
“At this juncture, the federal government’s recent tightening of mortgage and home equity financing standards appears to have had a limited impact on Alberta’s housing market,” said Scotia Economics. “It continues to be supported by strong employment growth, significant wage gains and ongoing resource development.”
Okotoks to seek water from other sources to accommodate growth
Town shifts gears after lifting population cap
By Eva Ferguson, Calgary Herald
CALGARY — The Town of Okotoks will have to be even more aggressive in its pursuit of finding more water for residents now that a long-term cap on population growth has been lifted.
After purchasing three new water licences along the Sheep River over the past two years, the latest for as much as $1 million, the town can supply water to all of its 25,000 residents.
But Okotoks Mayor Bill Robertson hopes to purchase even more licences in an effort to provide water supply to as many as 60,000 residents in the future.
The burgeoning town just south of Calgary has for years fought to stay small under a 30,000-resident population cap enacted in 1998. But town council voted this week to lift the ban in frustration over development growth that continues to go up haphazardly around the town’s borders.
“Our backs are against the wall,” Robertson said.
“We keep seeing the M.D. of Foothills allowing all of this intense growth on our doorstep, but we’re not getting any of those revenues.”
Robertson and others who voted five to two in favour of eliminating the cap argue if they allow growth within their town’s borders at least they can control it and benefit from those revenues.
Coun. Matt Rockley agreed: “If we can plan the development, we can ensure it is more compact, it uses less land . . . and it can be serviced with transit, and with water.”
Historically, the town’s challenge has been accessing water services from the surrounding Sheep River, its nearest and only existing water resource.
In 2006, the province issued a final moratorium on allowing any new water licences from the South Saskatchewan River basin, which feeds into the Sheep.
But the Town of Okotoks has been able to buy up existing licences from private landowners or oil companies who have used the water for underground extraction.
Another option might be to build a dam upstream along the Sheep River, collect spring run off in a separate reservoir and use that for Okotoks’ needs.
The town is also looking to enact policies and guidelines that would make it easier for residents to conserve water on their own property, reducing their own rates and keeping existing supplies up.
Homes could be refitted to store dish water, rain water and other light waste waters in a holding tank to use for watering their property or even flushing toilets. Residents are already being asked to conserve water through a bylaw that only allows outdoor watering two days a week.
Robertson added how much Okotoks ends up paying for water will also depend on future weather conditions and how dry farmland in southern Alberta will be in future years.
As global warming becomes more of an issue, and depending how severe future droughts are, water markets can become very volatile in the near future, the mayor said.
“It just is what it is,” Robertson said. “We’ve got all these challenges, and we’ll have to deal with them head on.”
While other towns like Airdrie, Chestermere and Strathmore all benefit from water service from the City of Calgary, Robertson fears building a pipeline and paying for water from the big city might be too expensive.
“Going to the city is one of our options, but we’re not really looking at it right now,” he said.
But Paul Fesko, manager of strategic services for the City of Calgary’s water resources, said pumping city water into Okotoks is completely feasible.
He explained the Town of Okotoks would have to fund construction of a pipeline which could be built over two years, and then any increased costs would be built into the town’s water rates.
Fesko couldn’t say whether those increased costs would be more or less than having to keep purchasing water licences on the Sheep River.
“It’s all about what is the cheapest way to get a glass of water on the table in Okotoks,” he said.
Okotoks is nestled in the Sheep River Valley of the Alberta Foothills, 20 kms south of Calgary on Highway 2/2A. Okotoks has centrally located access to a number of destinations, including downtown Calgary or the Calgary International Airport (40 minutes), Banff National Park (2 hours), Lethbridge (2 hours), Radium/Invermere (3 hours), and Waterton National Park (2.5 hours).
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Survey of Okotoks residents reveals acceptance of growth as inevitable
OKOTOKS — Already feeling the strain on their collective waistband, more than three-quarters of Okotoks residents believe further growth of the town is inevitable despite a cap on growth, a new Ipsos Reid survey reveals.
The survey results offer insight to town councillors as they prepare to make a decision in the more than decade-long debate over how to manage development in the bedroom community just south of Calgary.
“Nobody is really denying that growth is going to happen,” Jamie Duncan, vice-president of Ipsos Reid, told the Herald on Monday. “What they’re looking for is clear direction on how it’s going to happen and what role the town is actually going to take in terms of managing that.”
Over the past five years, Okotoks has seen growth of 42.9 per cent, from a population of 17,150 in 2006 to 24,511 last year, according to 2011 census data.
In 1998 the town placed a 30,000 cap on its population. The Sheep River, the community’s water source, can only serve a maximum of 32,000.
On Sept. 24, town council will vote on whether to keep the cap or lift it and instead bid to annex enough land outside the town’s existing boundary to accommodate growth for the next 30 years. Lifting the cap will require the town to explore outside water options, including connecting to a regional water pipeline from Calgary.
The vote, originally planned for June 25, was postponed to allow councillors more time to consider their decision.
In late April the town commissioned the Ipsos survey, in paper and online, the results of which were discussed during Monday’s council meeting.
Of the survey respondents, 74 per cent are concerned about population growth. Of those, 33 per cent are “very concerned” and 41 per cent are “somewhat concerned” about growth.
Eighty-five per cent of survey respondents are concerned about the town’s water supply.
Driving many residents’ trepidation are concerns that Okotoks will lose its “small town feel,” a sentiment shared by resident Mary Ellen Goslin, who said she doesn’t want to see the population cap lifted.
“I like the small town atmosphere,” said Goslin, who has lived in Okotoks for six years. “You get to know people. . . . That’s why I live here, and not in Calgary.”
Of the survey respondents, 86 per cent say it’s important the town maintain its close-knit community atmosphere, including Monika McLachlan, owner of the Okotoks Candy Shoppe.
McLachlan said the small town appeal is what draws customers to her store.
“It’s a destination place, not just a bedroom community for Calgary,” she said.
Rather than have respondents choose future growth options, the survey gauged residents’ feelings about the quality of life, rate of growth, concerns about growth and confidence in town council to make the right decision.
“It certainly wasn’t a plebiscite question,” said Coun. Matt Rockley, who put forth the motion in March for the town to vote on the issue. “It wasn’t intended that this survey will make the decision for us. It was intended that we would receive information to help us determine . . . the best way forward.”
Sixty-six per cent of respondents are confident town councillors will make the best decision for the community.
“To me, that’s a great indication that people feel that council will make the right decision,” said Rockley. “They aren’t looking for a plebiscite to decide this issue.
Coun. Florence Christophers said council now needs to digest the survey results and decide on the best course of action.
“We have three months to get our game on,” Christophers said. “It’s our job. It’s our responsibility.”
Mayor Bill Robertson agreed. Debate on the population cap has been ongoing for years, and the vote has been postponed numerous times.
“I would be very disappointed if we didn’t make a decision on Sept. 24,” he told council.