Downtown Calgary Office Space Boom
Things continue to point to a turnaround in the Calgary economy and by default the local housing market in the near future based on the latest downtown office space leasing numbers. The average amount of absorption in the core over the past 15 years has hovered around 750,000 square feet annually, this year there has been a record setting 2.2 million square feet of office space scooped up.
The energy sector is obviously the biggest player in the office boom as they ramp up for their forecasted real estate needs over the next 6-24 months and are banking space to ensure they do not end up in a compromising space scenario.
It will be interesting to see what the effect timeline will be in the local housing market as companies start filling their shiny new offices with desks and employees.
For more about the record-setting statistics as well the additional implications and information, click on the link below to read the full Calgary Herald article.
CALGARY HERALD ARTICLE
CIR wins Calgary Herald's Readers' Choice Award!
New Home Inspection Regulations Take Effect
For anyone who may have forgotten, September 1st marks the first day of the new Alberta licensing requirement for resale home inspectors. The guidelines, announced in May, include minimum levels of education and insurance as well as specific inspection criteria.
There have long been appeals from all sides of the issue; homebuyers, inspectors and Realtors, to introduce regulations as the property inspection industry has essentially operated without any official government guidelines.
For more information, click on the links below to for more information about the new regulations and licensing standards and what it means for the industry and the individual homebuyer.
GOVERNMENT OF ALBERTA NEWS RELEASE
Calgary Ranks as 5th Most Liveable City in the World.
The annual list ranking the liveability of 140 cities across the globe was just released and once again Calgary has cracked the top 5. This year Vancouver was knocked out of the top position for the first time in almost a decade as the coastal city fell to the number three spot ousted by Melbourne, Australia. Vienna, Austria took the second place spot followed by the three Canadian cities, Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary, to round out the top 5.
The rankings are based on the criteria of stability, education, healthcare, infrastructure and culture-environment. Calgary scored perfect 100’s for education, healthcare and stability and ranked in the 90’s for all categories aside from culture-environment with a score of 89.1. As subjective as an international ranking process may be, it is certainly never a bad thing to near the top of the list.
The continuation of our high global ranking by a respected international source helps solidify Calgary’s international appeal as a desired place to live and work and certainly can’t hurt our immigration rate, which in turn has a direct effect on the local real estate market.
Congratulations cowtown and to all of the other great Canadian cities that made the grade. Let’s continue to build Calgary into the cultural, economic and quality metropolitan area we all envision and hopefully Melbourne will be looking up at us in the years to come.
For more information click on the link below to view the EIU's Liveability & Overview Summary.
June 2011 Real Estate Newsletter
Rate Increases on the Horizon, the Question is When?
In a widely anticipated move earlier this week, the Bank of Canada left its overnight lending rate at the current level of 1%. As the economy continues its gradual recovery and economic indicators begin to solidify across the country it appears that experts are somewhat split in their forecasts for when the inevitable rate increases will occur.
The Financial Post recently reported that in a survey of 12 banks that deal directly with the Bank of Canada, three predicted the first interest rate hike will occur in July while six others forecast a September increase. So given the survey respone, 75% of the big banks anticipate a rate hike within the next 4 months.
So what does it all mean? The overwhelming consensus from the big banks and financial experts across the country is that the end of historically low interest rates is coming; the million dollar question is when? I personally do not possess the powers of Carnac to pick the exact date, but following along the lines of the banking survey, I strongly believe you can bet on some sort of increase before the calendar turns to 2012.
If you are currently looking for a new home or plan to start your search in the next three months it certainly wouldn’t hurt to pay your mortgage broker or specialist a visit and lock in a rate now. You may not find your new home within the locked-in period but it will provide you with a modicum of security if the rates do actually head north earlier than widely expected this July.
Housing Starts Expected to Rise in 2012
New Home Levy Could Increase Prices for Local Buyers
New homes in Calgary’s newest outlying communities may get more expensive in the immediate future as City Council approved a five-year deal that will see local developers cover an increased portion of the cost of infrastructure development.
The new levy agreement will more than double the $7,000 per home fee that developers currently pay by adding another approximately $8,000 to the fee. Neither side has claimed a victory in the negotiation and final agreement as some industry members claim they are now saddled with too heavy a burden while Mayor Naheed Nenshi was quoted as saying “I think we could have got a better deal...I think we could have been a little more aggressive.”
The spinoff effect for local new home buyers remains to be seen. Some developers have said the increase will be passed on 100% to buyers in the form of higher prices however it would be hard to imagine that an immediate $8,000 increase will be the norm across the board.
For more information and additional insights and commentary on the new levy agreement, click on the links below to the related Calgary Herald and canada.com articles.
Alberta Governemnt to Regulate Home Inspections
More protection is on the way for homebuyers in Calgary and across the province as the Alberta Government has passed new rules requiring resale home inspectors to be licensed by the province.
There have long been appeals from all sides of the issue to introduce regulations as the property inspection industry has essentially operated without any official government guidelines. The new rules will encompass resale inspections only and will cover, among other items, minimum inspection criteria and education requirements.
The new rules, which come into effect this September, should be widely accepted and welcomed as the they stand to benefit all parties involved; homebuyers, inspectors and Realtors. Inspection services and companies that do quality work will now be recognized for their diligence and the risk of a fly-by-night outfit, completing shoddy work or offering unqualified inspectors, tarnishing the industry’s image will be greatly reduced.