Compare and contrast

How Calgary’s housing market stacks up against other major centres

When it comes to the housing market and the availability of affordable options, people often lose sight of the big picture. Instead of obsessing over the minute details of the market in any one particular city, it can be helpful to take a step back and examine things in a broader context to provide points of comparison. This dose of perspective helps one to remember that while $400,000 might seem like a lot to ask for a detached home in one city, in another major metropolitan area, people might be hard pressed to find a home for less than twice that amount. (more…)

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’Tis the season

Debt might be a fact of life this time of year, but experts warn of long-term impacts

With the holiday shopping season shifting into high gear, many Calgarians will be reaching for their credit cards.

But those decisions about taking on debt to put smiles on faces can be the unwelcome gift that keeps on giving, putting the squeeze on your ability to qualify for your first — or next — mortgage, say experts.

“Where people sometimes make a big mistake is they don’t realize how much of an impact their debt has,” said mortgage broker Joe Jacobs, president of Mortgage Connection Inc. in Calgary.

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‘Wave of the future’

New housing collective seeks group approach to affordability issues

Billed as the first of its kind in Alberta, Calgary’s Community Housing Affordability Collective (CHAC) launched earlier this month as a collaborative engine for improving housing affordability in the city.

While a number of local organizations already exist to address barriers to shelter, CHAC is unique is its collaborative approach, said Kim O’Brien, executive director of Horizon Housing Society and co-chair of the CHAC steering community.

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Stuck in the middle

Calgary’s aging sandwich communities seek their place in shifting housing landscape

What’s old is new again. It’s an apt description of homebuyers’ newfound interest in Calgary’s sandwich communities – those not-quite-inner-city neighbourhoods that long outgrown their suburban roots.

Built along what was then the city’s outskirts starting in the late 1950s, these detached-heavy communities such as Thorncliffe, Huntington Hills, Ogden, Winston Heights, Albert Park, Fairview and Kingsland represented optimism and prosperity synonymous with the post-Second World War era.

Fast-forward several generations later and upwardly mobile generation-Xers and millennials are returning to their birth places, attracted by location, ample amenities and familiarity.

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Housing affordability in Calgary contrasts with national picture

RBC releases new housing trends, affordability report

Despite signs of a modest recovery in home resale activity, Calgary’s housing market continued to struggle amid plentiful supply of homes available for sale, declining prices and softening demographics fundamentals, according to RBC Economics’ recent Housing Trends and Affordability report.

RBC said its cost-of-ownership measure for Calgary rose by 0.3 percentage points in the second quarter to 33 per cent of a typical family’s pre-tax income, still well below the long-term average of 40.4 per cent for the area.

Both the single-detached and condo segments registered small improvements.

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