Targeting tenants

Challenges continue for Calgary’s rental market

“Very cautious optimism” is how Gerry Baxter, executive director of the Calgary Residential Rental Association, describes the industry’s view of Calgary’s current rental landscape.

While Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) pegged Calgary’s rental vacancy rate at seven per cent last fall – the highest it’s been in more than 25 years – Baxter says he thinks residential vacancies in the city are actually closer to the eight-to-10-per-cent range.

“There’s been some slight improvement in the rental market over the last few weeks, but it’s still a challenge to rent,” said Baxter, attributing the slack rental market to the economic downturn that started in late 2014 and early 2015.

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Generational divide

The complicated relationship between millennials and the housing market

When Juliet Burgess, 29, bought her 110-year-old home in Inglewood for the above-list price of $350,000, she says she became the first among her circle of millennial friends to become a homeowner.

“I personally don’t know anyone in my age group who owns property,” said Burgess, who works in the not-for-profit sector. “We’re super lucky to be able to afford to buy.

“I’ve been saving my whole life, since I was 14. Even with that, my partner’s savings and our parents giving us a little bit, we could only put down the minimum for a down payment.”

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Home improvement

Alberta’s most popular renovation projects

Canadians spent nearly $53 billion on renovations throughout 2016, according to Statistics Canada. And throughout the first quarter of this year, Canadians have already spent more than $12 billion on renovations.

According to ATB Financial’s Economics and Research Team, home renovations in Alberta alone hit “a record high” of $1.78 billion during the first three months of 2017.

So, just where are Canadians – and Albertans, specifically – spending their renovation dollars?

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Hole in one

Golf course communities offer homeowners space, privacy and a slice of the action

David Roberts and his wife moved to the northwest community of Valley Ridge in search of open spaces. “We liked the idea of backing on to green space, one way or another,” he said.

Valley Ridge, which borders the western edge of Calgary, is one of many communities in the city that features a golf course within its boundaries. That course now provides the green space Roberts and his family were seeking – they live behind the course’s first green.

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