Up in the air

Impact of new mortgage rules on Calgary housing market remains uncertain entering 2018

A new Canada-wide stress test for people applying for uninsured mortgages is leading to uncertainty among experts about the possible effects on the Calgary real estate market in 2018.

The federal government’s new B-20 guidelines, introduced on Jan. 1, set out a new minimum qualifying rate or “stress test” for mortgages. Borrowers must qualify using the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada, or the contractual mortgage rate plus two per cent – whichever is greater.

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The Amazon effect

New HQ or not, e-commerce giant’s impact is already being felt

Let’s call it the “Amazon effect”: the cascading economic stimulation that comes from one of the world’s largest corporations taking up residence in your market.

It is an effect already being felt in the Calgary region after the announcement that the e-commerce giant will be opening a 600,000-square-foot distribution centre in Balzac – employing 750 full-time workers, and an additional 450 part-time or seasonally, by the end of 2018.

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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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