Diane Richardson


Office Location:
CIR Realty Calgary
130, 703 - 64th Ave. S.E.

Calgary, AB
T2H 2C3


Diane Richardson 

Cell: 403.397.3706

403-397-3706 Email Diane




Resale pace increases

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Most major cities to see housing 'correction;' Alberta cities to come out as winners



OTTAWA — The Canadian housing market in 2012 will be a "tug-of-war," with low interest rates hauling hard on one end of the rope, and economic uncertainty joining forces with slow income and employment growth to pull back on the other, according to a report from TD Economics.

The suggests Calgary and Edmonton will come out on the winning side, while price corrections will sap the strength of the powerhouse markets in Toronto and Vancouver.

Housing sales grew in 2011 by 2.2 per cent, according to the report by economist Sonya Gulati, and prices rose by an estimated 7.5 per cent — though once the overheated condo markets in Vancouver and Toronto were removed from the equation the overall price gains were much more muted.

"Looking ahead, we anticipate a tug-of-war action to take hold in the Canadian real estate market," Gulati said in the report. "At one end of the rope is the magnetism of low interest rates; at the other are subdued prospects for economic, income and employment growth. Ultimately, we expect the economic side of the equation to win out over the near-term."

Economic factors will be influenced in the first half of 2012 at least by continuing global financial turbulence, and while that's expected to die down in the second half of the year, renewed economic strength in 2013 will likely come with higher interest rates, which will reduce housing affordability.

Accordingly, sales are expected to fall by 2.4 per cent next year and 3.5 per cent in 2013, while prices will suffer average declines of 1.9 per cent in 2012 and 3.6 per cent in 2013, Gulati says.

TD estimates prices are over-valued 10 to 15 per cent, though that is expected to drop over the forecast period.

"Economic, income and employment drivers no longer support the pace of activity and price gains we witnessed in the early phases of the recovery," the report said. "Our current forecast points to a gradual unwinding of over-valuation, but more turbulence in Europe, the U.S., or even here at home, may speed up the period over which the excesses are evaporated."

The report breaks down the housing price, sales and starts forecasts for 12 cities across the country.

"Among the 12 major markets profiled in this report, Calgary and Edmonton ought to lead the pack," Gulati writes. "Solid economic fundamentals and the absence of a recent run-up in prices support our call. Toronto and Vancouver do not appear to be as lucky — we have them experiencing a greater-than-average correction in both sales and prices over the next two years."

Surprisingly, Saint John, which will record its fourth consecutive year of sales declines in 2011, is expected to see the best overall outcome for the period.

"Slightly better lumber prices and an increase in U.S. consumer demand support an improved job climate," Gulati said. "As a result, the employment growth rebound on tap for 2012 and 2013 within Saint John, and the unemployment rate once again dropping as a result, should allow the region to be the only one on our short list to avoid a correction over our forecast period" with sales increases of 2.3 per cent in 2012 and 1.1 per cent in 2013.

Postmedia News





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Calgary Luxury home market booming Increase in upper-end condo, single-family sales


DECEMBER 9, 2011


CALGARY — Calgary’s luxury home market has seen a spike in demand this year with sales in the upper-end approaching the record levels of 2007.

Brendan Hughes, a realtor with RE/MAX Real Estate (Central) in Calgary, said sales in the upper-end market are a sign of a good economy in the city.

“It’s vibrant and it’s growing. Jobs are being created. People are moving here,” said Hughes.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, so far this year from January to November there have been 25 MLS condo sales over $1 million compared with 19 for the same period in 2010.

Year-to-date, there have been 406 single-family sales at that price point, up from 326 a year ago.

The record number of luxury home sales in the Calgary market took place in 2007 with 431 single-family sales over $1 million and 30 condo sales in that price bracket.

Sano Stante, president of the Calgary Real Estate Board, said there is a lot of confidence in the local real estate market these days.

He said many oilpatch executives are showing confidence because of what they see coming up for the future with projects in the energy sector.

“Those are the people that are buying these properties. So there’s confidence in that realm,” said Stante.

“There’s a fair bit of inventory out there available in that upper range as well. The people who are buying them now are being selective in the upper-end, in the luxury market. There’s a lot of good product to choose from and they’re selecting only the best deals. So homes in the luxury range have to be priced right to sell in a reasonable amount of time.”

According to CREB, the top sale prices for single-family homes in Calgary this year have been $4.525 million in Rideau Park, $3.995 million in Elbow Park-Glencoe and $3.8 million in Aspen Woods.

Top selling condos this year have been $4.1 million in Eau Claire, $2.935 million in Eau Claire and $2.05 million in Victoria Park.

Hughes said one factor in the demand for upper-end product is executives who have been relocated to Calgary.

“They like the high-end condo market,” said Hughes. “We’re also seeing these young professionals — the investment bankers, the lawyers, whatever they might be doing — they work really hard ... They’re looking at that high end.

“And then there’s that investment side of it too. Some people shudder when you mention a million-dollar condo but compared to a lot of other markets what you get here for $1 million, $2 million, is a lot more than you’re getting in some of the other markets. And people see that.”

Hughes said there are people who are also buying these upper-end condos and renting them out to executives in the oilpatch.




© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald



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Bus-only lanes coming to Inglewood’s 9th Ave.


The city is creating bus-only lanes on Inglewood’s 9th Avenue S.E., one of the city’s busiest transit corridors.

Later this month, parking will be banned on the westbound side of the avenue during the morning peak, and in the eastbound lane during the afternoon peak. During those times, only buses and bicycles will be permitted in those curbside lanes.


The transit-friendly rule change through Inglewood’s core is part of a long-term plan to create a rapid-transit corridor towards Forest Lawn. Ninth Avenue S.E. handles many of Calgary’s busiest bus routes — 1, 302 and 305.

The rules will change within a few weeks, depending on when the weather permits sign installation, a city spokeswoman said.





DECEMBER 1, 2011


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