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Living in Calgary

Calgary house sales surge in March? 

Your trusted source for Calgary Real EstateCalgary Herald headline (April 2/12) read "Calgary house sales surge in March". Great tagline, the story goes on to describe how Calgary home sales showed a "stunning" growth when compared with a year ago (read full article here).

While all of this is fact, these numbers are all relative to those they're being compared to. We'd like to offer another perspective on the market, and allow readers make up their own minds.

According to WEBSTERS, Surge (verb) = "to rise suddenly to an excessive or abnormal value"

Not convinced that "surge" was the best way to describe last month's sales numbers, I checked the Calgary Real Estate Board's (CREB's) database for March sales in each of the past 10 years:

 

March 2012 Calgary Home Sales

While the graph

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RBC Housing Affordability Measures - November 2011Lately the news has been flooded with articles about the affordable housing market in Alberta. All this excitement was the result of the release of the RBC November report on Housing Trends & Affordability.

You may have heard Alberta had the lowest affordability measures of all the provinces in Canada:

  • Detached bungalow: 32.8%
  • Standard two-storey: 36.0%
  • Standard condominium: 21.3%

Calgary housing affordability was slightly higher than the provincial numbers but "continues to be one of the most affordable major cities in the country": 

  • Detached Calgary bungalow: 37.6%
  • Standard Calgary two-storey: 38.2%
  • Standard Calgary condominium: 23.2%

This sounds great, but what exactly does it all mean? Where do these numbers come

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2011 Distribution of Calgary Luxury Property Sales

Where Do Calgary's Wealthy buy Homes?

 Distribution of Calgary Real Estate Luxury Sales - November 2011

Where do Calgarian's with high net-worth buy property in the city? Overwhelmingly it seems in Southwest Calgary Neighbourhoods:

  • two-thirds (68%) of Calgary luxury sales are in SW Calgary
  • one-quarter (24%) of Calgary luxury sales are in NW Calgary
  • one-tenth (9%) of Calgary luxury sales are in SE Calgary
  • Notably, there have been no million dollar+ sales in NE Calgary year-to-date

There have been 417 "million dollar+ sales" year to date in metro Calgary. This number represents the highest percentage of luxury sales to total metro sales recorded in any of the past 5 years:

  • 2011: 417 luxury sales out of a total 16,922 metro sales = 2.46% *year-to-date*
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Calgary Real Estate Market Growth

 "Pay attention. Something's happening here" is what Don R Campbell, well known Vancouver author & president of the Real Estate Investment Network says about the Calgary real estate market.

Campbell is paying attention to the reports coming out showing positive economic news for Alberta and Calgary. Good economic growth. In-migration levels rising. And employment growth leading the way in Canada.

Campbell has long held the view that real estate booms are preceded by predicable market cycles. Initially a market sees GDP & job growth, followed by an inflow of population. This is followed by increased rental demand coupled with decreased vacancies & rising rents, and ultimately rising purchase demand for home & condos and increased property prices. 

"A

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Calgary Real Estate: October 2011 Market Review

Calgary Real Estate Market Stats - October 2010

  •  SF Calgary MLS® sales for the month of October 2011 showed an 11.5% increase over October 2010.
  • Average sale price for Calgary homes was $455,247, a 2.3% increase over Oct 2010.
  • Median sale price for Calgary homes was $395,000, a 1.5% increase over Oct 2010.
  • Average days on market (DOM) for SF Calgary home sales in October was 52 days
  • Calgary MLS® condo sales also were much stronger, with 20.2% more condo units selling last month vs October 2010.
  • Average sale price for Calgary condos was $282,743, a 1.8% decrease over from Oct 2010
  • Median sale price for Calgary condos rose 2.0% from the October 2010 level
  • Average days on market (DOM) for Calgary condos was 57 days

 Calgary Real Estate

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2 out of 3 Calgary homes sell for less than Calgary assessed tax value

 You're considering selling your Calgary home, and after speaking with your neighbours you decide to check the city of Calgary's Property Assessement webpage. You're pleased by the results - they confirm what you thought your property is worth.

What if I told you that more often than not, the assessed value that the City of Calgary has you paying taxes on is higher, occasionally by as much as 20% or more than the current market value of your Calgary home?

I randomly chose 15 Calgary properties that have sold this month (October 2011) in all price ranges and compared their sale prices to the posted assessed values on the city's website. The results are shown in the table below. Due to privacy laws I'm not allowed to display house number - instead

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Calgary Real Estate: September 2011 Market Review

Calgary Real Estate Market Stats - Sept 2010

  •  SF Calgary MLS® sales for the month of Sept 2011 showed a 10.7% increase over Sept 2010.
  • Average sale price for Calgary homes was $466,167, a 1.3% increase over Sept 2010.
  • Median sale price for Calgary homes was $400,000, a 2.6% increase over Sept 2010.
  • Average days on market (DOM) for SF Calgary homes was 48 days
  • Calgary MLS® condo sales also were much stronger, with 16.9% more units selling last month vs Sept 2010.
  • Average sale price for Calgary condos was $299,315, a 5.4% increase over the same month last year.
  • Median sale price for Calgary condos actually fell 1.9% from the Sept 2010 level.
  • Average days on market (DOM) for Calgary condos was 58 days

 Calgary Real Estate Prices:

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What are Calgary’s Most Expensive Communities?

Calgary's Most Expensive Communities Do you live in one of Calgary’s seven most expensive communities?

We thought it would be fun to share the seven Calgary communities with the highest median single family real estate assessments (averaged for the entire community).

All seven communities are located in SW Calgary:

 

#7: Britannia

Britannia Real Estate Coming seventh on the list this year is Britannia; Median community assessed value of $1,185,000 (down 0.8% from last year).

#6: Elbow Park:

Elbow Park Luxury Property

In sixth place is Elbow Park; Median assessed value of $1,220,000 (up over 18% from last year).
Elbow Park also is home to Calgary’s current all-time most expensive home sale ($10,300,000).

#5: Roxboro:

Roxboro Luxury Property In fifth spot is Roxboro; Median assessed single family value…
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Seasonal Blip or Calgary Market Recovery?

Calgary Real Estate Market Stats - Sept 2010  MLS sales for metro Calgary in September 2010 improved slightly over August numbers but continued to reflect buyer's general lack of confidence in the global economic recovery. Canadians are increasingly worried that the U.S. economy is poised to sink back into a "double dip" recessionary period. I attribute the increase in Calgary real estate sales to normal September buyers returning to the market.  Metro Calgary property sales for September totaled 1,231, a 7.6% increase from last month and a 28% drop from last September (combined SF Calgary homes and condos):

  • SF (metro houses) Calgary sales totaled 958, a drop of 23.8% vs Sep 2009: (1,257 SF sales in Sep 2009)
  • Metro Calgary condo sales totaled 366, a
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Sluggish Pace of Calgary MLS Sales Continues

Calgary Real Estate Market Stats Aug 2010 Calgary MLS sales for the month of August showed a continuation of the sluggish trend we’ve been experiencing since May of this year. Metro Calgary real estate sales totaled 1,231, a 6.1% decline from July 2010 and a 37% drop from last August (combined SF Calgary homes and condos):

  • SF (metro houses) Calgary sales totaled 867, a drop of 32% vs Aug 2009: (1,277 SF sales in Aug 2009)
  • Metro Calgary condo sales totaled 364, a drop of 42% vs Aug 2009: (632 condo sales in Aug 2009)

Calgary Home Prices Soften

August sale prices for SF homes in Calgary averaged $445,617 a 4.1% decrease from July 2010 and a 1.9% drop from last August. The median sale price for Calgary metro SF homes also fell

  • SF Calgary median
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