Sergey Korostensky | Blog

Saturday, November 09, 2019   /   by Sergey Korostensky

Under-$500,000 homes driving Calgary's real estate market

Calgary area sales rose for the fourth month in a row in October, moving the market closer toward balance, according to the latest data gathered by the city’s realtor association.
The Calgary Real Estate Board released earlier this month its market data from October showing year over year sales growth, largely driven by brisk activity in the under-$500,000 segment, says the board’s chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
“That’s where all of the growth has been, and we’re really seeing that make a difference in the market overall.”
Lurie adds falling inventories have also nudged the market more toward balance between buyers and sellers.
“Yet with the over $500,000 homes, sales still struggle to grow and inventories remain high.”
Overall home sales jumped in October by about 10 per cent from the same month the previous year.
More than 1,440 homes changed hands last month, compared with 1,320 in 2018. Yet on a year to date basis, however, sa ...

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Saturday, November 09, 2019   /   by Sergey Korostensky

Calgary housing market still vulnerable due to overbuilding: CMHC

Calgary's housing market remains "moderately" vulnerable due to evidence of overbuilding, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said Thursday.
Calgary’s housing market remains “moderately” vulnerable due to evidence of overbuilding, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Thursday.
In its quarterly housing market assessment, a report that identifies the level of housing market stability in Canadian cities, the CMHC said Calgary’s inventory of completed and unsold housing units increased in the second quarter of 2019. In addition, absorption of new housing units has been slowing compared to 2018, which has contributed to the oversupply.
The CMHC said Calgary remains a buyers’ market, and home prices are staying in line with market fundamentals. Apartment units continue to make up the largest proportion of overall housing inventory in Calgary, though the largest increase from the previous quarter was in single-detached units.
The CMHC rep ...

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Saturday, November 09, 2019   /   by Sergey Korostensky

Calgary couple are selling their home for bitcoin rather than dollars

Calgary real estate's new asking price? Cryptocurrency
Calgary's Jennifer Blachette and her husband Martin Kanka are putting their house on the market.
The asking price? 27.1.
Not dollars, however. Bitcoin. (On Nov. 8, one bitcoin was selling for a little over US$9,000).
Kanka says it's because he's more bullish on cryptocurrency than Calgary real estate.
“Quite frankly I’m very certain that the value of those houses will deteriorate or go lower in five to 10 years,”Kanka says, “Whereas I’m certain that bitcoin two years out, five to 10 years out, is going to be astronomically higher.”
The couple says they’re not interested in cash, and will only sell for cryptocurrency.
“I’ve been defrauded through banks,” says Blanchette, “I’ve had stuff happen, (and) I’ve had my purse stolen. This is totally different.”
Bitcoin is a digital currency, free from bank and state regulations.
It’s less than ...

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Saturday, November 09, 2019   /   by Sergey Korostensky

A hike in property tax could be good for home values, says analyst

THE SOURCE IS "Calgary Herald" 
Calgary homeowners could be facing a higher property tax bill in the coming years, and that’s not entirely a bad thing for property values, according to market analyst behind a recent report.

“I don’t think there is an appetite for drastic moves if that shift happens in Calgary,” says Kyle Fletcher,
executive vice-president of property tax Canada, Prairie region at Altus Group.
But he notes city council is considering the move to ease the burden on commercial rate-payers who have seen bills rise significantly in recent years because of the downturn in the economy.
Indeed Altus’s most recent 2019 Canadian Property Tax Rate Benchmark Report shows Calgary’s commercial-to-residential tax ratio saw the largest increase in Canada — at more than eight per cent. The ratio is 3.31, meaning the commercial rate is essentially three percentage points higher than the residential rate.
Altus Group’s also rep ...

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Saturday, November 09, 2019   /   by Sergey Korostensky

MLS sales increase but supply remains high

Sales on the Calgary MLS System in October were up six percent from September and up 10 percent from October 2018, according to the monthly report from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).
New listings continued to decline, from 2,715 in September to 2,375 last month, contributing to a reduction in inventory to 6,493 homes in October, down from 6,912 in September.
The sales increase was driven primarily by apartments and attached homes, but not enough to take a meaningful bite out of Calgary’s oversupply problem, resulting in prices remaining below last year’s levels.
A change in job descriptions and lower wages has led to a majority of sales being homes priced at less than $500,000, says Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist.
“Employment has shifted in the city, with job growth occurring in our non-traditional sectors and often at a different pay scale. This is consistent with the shift to more affordable housing product,” says Lurie. “Howeve ...

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