Blog

Tuesday, January 21, 2020   /   by Sergey Korostensky

Canada’s Non-Bank Mortgage Industry More Than Triples Its Business

Canadian real estate sales and development soared, and so have mortgage credit needs. New data from Statistics Canada (Stat Can) shows non-bank credit intermediaries (NBCI) have seen explosive growth. Over the past decade, NBCI dealing with mortgages have more than tripled their assets.
Mortgages: NBCIs, MFCs, And MICs
Today we’re looking at NBCIs, something not well known outside of real estate. More specifically, we’re breaking down two segments – MFCs and MICs. Mortgage Finance Companies (MFCs) originate, package, and sell mortgages to regulated financial institutions. MFCs largely rely on banks to fund their operating capital. They also generate a significant amount of regulated bank mortgages. This makes them both a partner, and competition for banks.
Mortgage investment corporations (MICs) have a longer history as big business. These mortgage lenders sell shares or debt to investors, to finance operations. They typically provide short-term loans, se ...

Read More

Monday, January 20, 2020   /   by Sergey Korostensky

CREB and CMHC train their sights on 2020

Over the last six years, every time a light appeared at the end of the tunnel, it turned into another train.
The Calgary Real Estate Board’s (CREB) annual forecast breakfast presentation earlier this week was along the lines of ‘the potential for a light at the end of the tunnel is there,’ but not as bright as it once was.
The presentation recapped the city’s housing market and a look down the road into 2020, with stability being the theme for the year.
Obviously, since oil prices plummeted in late 2014, coupled with aggressive and unfriendly federal government policies related to the energy sector plus restrictive housing policies, Calgary’s housing market sales have declined dramatically, leading to excess supply and city-wide price declines averaging more than 10 percent.
CREB’s main points to ponder for 2020 are:
• A new normal in the market: Supply adjusting to slower sales activity, providing conditions that are more supportive to a s ...

Read More

Monday, January 20, 2020   /   by Sergey Korostensky

Don't be surprised if the West Village lies dormant for another 20 years

With no new Flames arena to spark development, questions remain about future of proposed urban village
Remember CalgaryNext? The Calgary Flames' proposal for a mega arena/stadium was pitched as a catalyst to clean up and revitalize downtown's west side.
The idea was ultimately rejected, but questions remain about this neglected piece of the city.


CalgaryNext on life support as council votes unanimously in favour of 'Plan B' near Saddledome



Does West Village just lie fallow for 25-plus years, like East Village did?
Do we really need to transform West Village into an urban village when we have several half-finished urban villages already?
And who's going to pay to clean up all the creosote-contaminated soil?

As it stands, the city is indemnified from any cleanup costs as long as it doesn't develop the site, according to Marcia Andreychuk, a planner with the city's real estate and development services department.
She described the status of the contamination as on ...

Read More

Monday, January 20, 2020   /   by Sergey Korostensky

Calgary Real Estate Prices Slip Further

Calgary real estate prices experienced a bump in its road to price recovery. December saw prices fall 0.61% from the month before, bringing prices down 0.94% from a year before. Prices are now down 6.24% from the peak reached all the way back in October 2014. The size of declines had been shrinking since June, but have abruptly changed course.
Calgary Real Estate Price Change

The 12 month percent change of real estate prices in Calgary, according to the TNB HPI.

Read More

Sunday, January 12, 2020   /   by Sergey Korostensky

How to save energy but stay warm during Alberta’s first cold snap of 2020

As Albertans plunge into the first stretch of frigid temperatures this winter season, higher energy bills should also be expected.
Furnaces will be working overtime to keep homes heated, and with more people hunkering down inside, electricity use will also be up.
ENMAX says for every 10 degrees below zero, a typical Alberta home will use 8% more electricity and 40% more natural gas
Every time the temperature dips by 10 degrees, we use eight per cent more electricity and 40 per cent more natural gas, according to ENMAX.
Aside from turning your thermostat up, here are few activities that may cause higher electricity usage during colder weather:


Using an electric heater to keep warm
Turning on more lights due to less natural light
Plugging in your car to keep your engine block warm



Last year, Calgary recorded its coldest February in 83 years, and that resulted in a huge surge in energy consumption.
ENMAX data shows it went up by more t ...

Read More