Archive for the ‘Statistics’ Category

RE/MAX Realtors Outperform the Market

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

RE/MAX International

My Dad and I are RE/MAX Realty Professionals; I’ve been with RE/MAX throughout my entire career. They’re a great agency with which to be aligned, the number one real estate organization in the country, and our stats confirm that.

Calgary’s real estate market is slowing down a bit, although nothing dire: year-over-year numbers are down, yes, but last year was record-breaking, so that was kind of inevitable. The economic slowdown in the province has certainly cooled our jets, but prices are still going up over last year.

Still, what I thought I’d mention is the performance of RE/MAX realtors last month. Residential home sales went down about 28 percent year-over-year last month, yet RE/MAX Realty Professionals sales numbers went down only eight percent in the same time frame. And our sales actually increased by 11 percent from March to April; despite making up less that two percent of all Realtors in Calgary, RE/MAX Realty Professionals sold nearly seven percent of the homes and condos.

I’m proud to be a RE/MAX Realty Professional; the organization drives and supports its Realtors to provide the best possible representation to our clients, and gives us the tools to outperform the market. To learn more about the RE/MAX story, check this out.

Looking to buy or sell, and want me on your team? Contact me today!

Sticking With the Starter Home

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Rising house prices

A short article in the latest edition of CREBNow points out that, with house prices continuing to increase each month (Calgary’s growing faster than anyone), it’s becoming more difficult for young families to follow the traditional middle-class progression of graduation-marriage-first home-family-bigger home. Starter homes are selling for far beyond what a dream home might have cost in our parents’ day and, especially when interest rates inevitably increase, it can be difficult to ‘move up’ without a big boost in salary.

So what to do about this? How about picking the right starter home so that it can grow with your family over several years rather than seeming poorly suited for your family situation after just a year or two. With the right planning and a little vision, you can find that ideal property and plan to develop it as your family grows.

When shopping for that first home, look for a solid, well built and well-kept property with potential. Can an unfinished basement be finished to add a third bedroom and play area? Is there space to build a garage with a loft for storage? How about knocking out a wall to increase the size of the kitchen, or adding a sunroom-style mudroom to the back entrance to hold winter coats and boots. These types of upgrades, while far from free, can be a lot more cost-effective than shopping for a new home with comparable amenities. And by smartly investing in your current property, you’re boosting the resale value and socking away equity for when you really are in a position to move.

Beyond the property itself, carefully consider your neighbourhood – and consult with a professional familiar with the demographics of the area. If you are starting a family, is the home you’re considering located in a family-friendly area, with respected day homes and preschools nearby, plenty of park space, and kids riding their bikes in the evenings? How about grocery stores and restaurants? Is the commute to work reasonable, with transit options? Is this a place you could see yourself calling home ten years from now?

The days of buying a home with the intention of moving up in a couple of years are, for many people, coming to a close. But with the right advice and some careful thought, stretching that first home’s usefulness can really put you ahead in the long run.


This coming weekend is the Calgary Home + Design show; if you plan on attending and would like 50 percent off your ticket price (who wouldn’t?), use this link and enter promo code SHOWWEEK on checkout. Enjoy the show!


Balance is Coming

Friday, September 5th, 2014

paper house car and family - Small

You may have read recently that an increase in listings has started to soften Calgary’s market a bit. This is true – there are nearly 20 percent more homes currently for sale than there were a year ago. This is a good thing, as single-family home prices were up more than ten percent, year-over-year, in August, and that kind of increase is obviously not sustainable. Eventually we’ll move away from current market conditions, heavily favouring sellers, to a more balanced situation.

This is a good thing. More families are moving toward condos than detached homes right now because of the affordability factor. As those families grow and start looking for larger residences, a balanced market means they’re more likely to find them at a price they can afford. This doesn’t mean your home’s value will necessarily start dropping, just that its valuation won’t continue to jump at the same speed. You’ll be thankful for this when your property tax bill shows up.

I like a balanced market. Sure, when things are hot, homes move quickly and for high prices, and there’s a certain excitement to the industry. The downside shows up when a family I’m working with loses out on the property of their dreams because of a bidding war, or when a seller must scramble to find a new home after his current place sold quicker than expected. In slightly slower – but not slow – times, buyers can take a breath and really evaluate the home they’ll be paying for over the next 25 years, sellers can start shopping while their home’s on the market, and I get to eat dinner with my kids more often. Wins all around.

The Calgary Home + Design Show is just two weeks away – save four dollars with the promo code SAVEFOUR when you buy your tickets online before September 12!

Alberta’s Hot, and Not Just in Terms of the Weather

Saturday, August 9th, 2014


We all know Alberta’s economy is leading the country growth-wise, but you might be surprised to find out our growth rate is nearly double the national average, and is a fair sight ahead of what was accomplished last year. No wonder, then, that the period from April 2013-2014 reportedly saw Calgary’s population increase more than ever before in the city’s history. Nearly 39,000 people became Calgarians, either through immigration or by being born, which is about 25 percent more than in 2012-2013. Alberta is the Land of Opportunity, with more than four million residents and counting.

That opportunity is certainly being seized by home builders: there were more new homes started between January and April of this year than in all of 2013.

Despite higher land costs and increased home prices, it’s still a seller’s market because demand is outdoing the supply. That may level off slightly in the coming year or so, but there’s not really any reason to think a major economic cool down is on the horizon; people will continue to flock to the home of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

More on the Market

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

more on market

Not at all unsurprisingly, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board’s most recent statistics the tide is starting to turn with regard to supply and demand in the city’s market. More specifically, June 2014 saw nearly 30 percent more new listings added than one year earlier. As homeowners see their neighbours’ properties selling in days for above asking price, it’s only natural that they’d think about listing themselves.

Interestingly, however, Calgary’s surrounding towns are also seeing a boom. Cochrane and Okotoks are becoming prime locations for commuters looking to stretch their home buying dollar by a few percent; sales in Airdrie are up a whopping 40 percent year-over-year.

Add these communities’ properties to our own market, and there are more and more homes for buyers to choose from, which will inevitably cause prices to plateau at some point. I highly doubt we’ll see any significant downward pressure on prices – with Calgary’s population growing by more than 4 percent every year, we’ll have plenty of people looking to buy for the foreseeable future – but if the growth dials down a bit, it might be a little easier for those looking to sell and move up to calculate what they’ll be able to afford.

Prepare for Battle

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Bidding warIt’s a (bidding) war zone out there right now. There are nearly twenty percent fewer homes on the market than there were a year ago, yet sales are up just over three percent; well-priced, attractively located homes are being snatched up as quickly as hours after hitting MLS, according to the Herald. While this doesn’t mean people should be overpricing their homes, it does mean that sales for above-asking price are possible for savvy sellers.

Before you list, make sure you discuss with your Realtor (hey, I’m available!) which features of your home are the most appealing, and maybe put a little money into enhancing those areas as applicable. Then, when your home hits the market, your Realtor can ensure the right people are coming to take a look.

For buyers, there’s never been a more important time than now to ensure you have all your proverbial ducks in a row before diving into the market. For the love of Pete, get pre-qualified on your mortgage before doing anything else. Discuss with your spouse and any other stakeholders what the absolute must-haves of your next home are, and decide what you might be willing to sacrifice to obtain those features. Research the neighbourhoods at the top of your list to find out what kind of home you can expect to find there in your price range. Then, when the time comes to go shopping, bear in mind that you may need to move quickly to get an offer in before another buyer.

While it’s not a market for the timid, the right Realtor can reassure and guide you throughout the process so that you can find the right home, at the right price, for you and your family without too many sleepless nights.

Cheers for Condos

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

802, 281 Cougar Ridge Dr SW

I talk a lot about the detached home market in Calgary, and how remarkably well its doing, but our city’s condo market is also on fire right now. The Herald reported recently that new condo sales are near the records set in 2005 – when prices were significantly lower – as people look to live closer to the action of our downtown core.

Condos have a lot of great benefits for the right homebuyer. First, you get the financial advantages of owning a home with a lot of the mitigated responsibilities (for things like shoveling snow, replacing the roof, and so on) that go along with renting. Second, singles may feel a greater sense of security living in a highrise condo building, surrounded by helpful neighbours and with a monitored entrance, rather than in a big suburban home. Third, a major element of the condo lifestyle is living with less stuff: you just plain don’t have the room to store a pile of collectables, and so you learn to live with less.

It’s not for everyone, of course, and it does have risks: a poorly managed condo board can leave maintenance undone, for example, leading to major repairs paid for out of residents’ pockets. For those who do their research and know what they’re getting into, though, condos hold a lot of value and appeal. If you think you might like getting into the condo market, give me a call or visit my web page to view those I currently have listed.

Very Merry Christmas

Friday, December 20th, 2013

gingerbread house

What a year 2013 has been for Calgary’s real estate market. We saw a return to a sellers’ market, with multiple offers on hot properties (i.e. anything under $500,000), and well-appointed two-storeys selling in days. Prices hit record highs as inventories dropped, and predictions for 2014 are to see these trends continue, with more people looking to move up while interest rates remain low.

All of this has led to me having one of my busiest years ever, and I extend my heartfelt appreciation to all of my clients who trusted me to help them find their prized new home. As I enjoy a bit of respite during the holidays, sharing meals and gifts with family and friends, I find I am looking forward to all of the new clients I’ll get to meet and work with in the coming months. Next year’s going to be a good one, I can feel it.

Take some time, amongst all of the season’s hustle and bustle, to reflect on your past year, the successes and learning opportunities, and to appreciate all that we have in this great province. I know I certainly have much to be thankful for, starting with my supportive, adorable family.

All the best to you and yours throughout this holiday season, and I wish nothing but good fortune for you in the New Year. Stay safe, take care, and I’ll hope to see you in 2014.

Safe Secondary Suites

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

secondary suites

City council has been debating what I expect will be a hot topic in upcoming civic elections: secondary suites, where they can be, and how easy they should be to add to the market. Mayor Nenshi was pushing for major revisions to laws around the suites, but the majority of council preferred small, incremental changes: secondary suites damaged in the flood that had been grandfathered in, for example, can be rebuilt without rezoning, for example, much to the relief of the overwhelmed rental market. And a pilot project has been launched to inspect secondary suites for safety and adherence to code, which should come as a relief to tenants looking at their single window and wondering if they could actually crawl out of it in a fire.

So, good stuff, if perhaps not particularly groundbreaking. With the sales market in Calgary as hot as it is, with prices up more than eleven percent over last year, though, there are bound to be more residents looking to rental properties as a stopgap until deposits can be saved up – and plenty of investors will want to be capitalizing on their property holdings by adding basement suites for additional income. Surely once debates begin in the aldermanic races, lines are going to be drawn showing where each candidate stands on increasing our city’s stock of secondary sites, and that could seriously affect outcomes in ridings popular with, say, university students. This is a topic to watch.

The Lap of Luxury

Saturday, September 7th, 2013


Here’s a record I didn’t expect to see made: a week ago this last Friday, twelve homes sold for more than a million dollars each, at the end of a month that saw 67 percent more luxury homes change hands than in any previous month, ever. Even in the standard market, some are reporting homes selling for $100,000 over list price. Yep, it’s a seller’s market alright.

If you’re considering getting in on the fun as a buyer, I can’t recommend strongly enough that you secure a pre-approved mortgage before going shopping. When competing offers are involved, potential buyers without pre-approval are at a serious disadvantage, so a trip to your lender is a half hour well spent.

Those of you looking to sell, work with your Realtor (I’m available) to come up with an appropriate price for your neighbourhood and you should have no problems getting your home sold.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.