To buy, or not to buy?

That is the question, but there is no easy answer that’s right for everyone

It’s an age-old question that still gets hotly debated, particularly by young adults who are determining where they are going to live: should I rent or should I buy?

It’s not an easy question to answer, and there are no clear right or wrong answers.

“One of the big things to contemplate is your time focus, because when you do buy a home, it is a long-term commitment. It does involve a five-year mortgage that’s amortized over 25 years,” said Tim Gensey, a market analyst with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) in Calgary. “On the other hand, renting allows you to be a lot more flexible. You have to really consider where you are in your life and what your needs are.

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Future leaders

Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies is developing tomorrow’s real estate professionals

While interest accruing on a mortgage balance is rarely a welcome sight, the growing interest in the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the University of Calgary is a different story.

Part of the Haskayne School of Business, the Westman Centre was founded in 2012 with $7.6 million in funding from the real estate industry, which included a $5 million endowment from Jay Westman. Its mission is to be a catalyst for the development of real estate professionals and a leading centre of excellence for real estate studies through its teaching, research and community engagement activities.

“Industry saw a need for a program where graduates would have a firm grasp of the real estate sector and the career opportunities it could offer,” said Jessica Abt, the centre’s director.

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A work in progress

Market sees modest inventory gains, but overall prices inch up 

Sales exhibited stable growth through the first half of the year in the Calgary housing market, but the number of transactions slowed slightly in July compared to last year.

Citywide sales totaled 1,637 units, six per cent below July 2016 levels. Year-to-date sales activity totaled 11,957 units, nine per cent above last year.

“Sales growth exceeded expectations so far this year. Clients were re-entering the market after delaying decisions until there were some signs of economic improvement,” said CREB® president David P. Brown.

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Affordable core

Joshua Smith achieved his ideal downtown lifestyle at the right price point with a new Beltline condo

Joshua Smith, a 31-year-old communications adviser, was living in the northeast community of Taradale with his brother, commuting close to two hours a day to his job in the downtown core and back. His goal was to save some money and purchase a condo in the inner city. He yearned for the downtown lifestyle, where he could be close to coffee shops, restaurants and workout facilities. He wanted to be able to walk to work, and to meet friends for dinner or drinks without having to worry about a lengthy drive or an expensive cab fare. He also required a home with a great view, and it had to be affordable.

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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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