Simply irresistible

Stunning scenery and affordable homes make Cochrane a perfect fit for discerning homebuyers

As the warm spring sun crests the eastern horizon, its dazzling rays cast a purple light on the foothills circling Cochrane’s western fringe. Below this stunning backdrop, the Bow River sparkles, as it winds its way through the town’s core.

The beauty of this quaint town of 30,000 people is one of the things that attracted South African expats Heidi and Allan Lester-Olivier. The couple has lived all over the world, but Canada has always called out to them. In 2012, after spending two years in Houston, they made the trek north to Calgary with three young children in tow, settling in Tuscany.

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Lending conditions weigh on housing demand

May sales activity continued to ease, with the largest declines occurring in the detached sector. Additional gains in new listings continued to increase inventory levels.

Citywide sales activity in May totalled 1,726 units, 19 per cent below last year’s levels and 24 per cent below longer-term averages. Sales activity in the detached sector declined to levels not seen in over a decade.

“The impact of rising lending rates and stricter qualification levels is causing demand to ease across all product types,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

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Soft sales continue in April

Prices steady, but struggles in Alberta economy weigh on housing

Changes to the lending industry and a challenging economic recovery are weighing on sales activity in Calgary’s housing market.

Supply levels have not adjusted to the weaker demand environment, and that is preventing price recovery.

“Slower sales do not come as a surprise, given the economy has not yet improved enough to offset the impact of changes in the lending industry,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“While the rising inventories are being monitored, prices have remained relatively flat as gains in some areas of the city have been offset by declines in other areas.”

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Housing market inventory on the rise

Prices remain stable compared to last year

As expected, slow sales this quarter have persisted through March in the City of Calgary. This is not a surprise, after stronger growth in sales at the end of last year following the announced changes to the lending market.

First quarter sales totaled 3,423 units, nearly 18 per cent below last year’s levels and 24 per cent below long-term averages. Easing sales and modest gains in new listings caused inventories to rise and months of supply to remain above four months.

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House hunting

Sheila Darragh is searching for her next home, after a quick sale left her scrambling

Sheila Darragh is a woman in transition. Her husband recently passed away, and, finding herself alone in a big home, she knew it was time for a change. She placed her single-family, bi-level home on the market and it quickly sold, leaving her scrambling for a new home in an area with a strong sense of community. Over several weeks, she looked around the city, toured several neighbourhoods, compared home styles and visited showhomes. Nothing felt quite right, until she visited a friend in Cochrane. She fell in love with the quaint feel of the town. But with a rapidly approaching possession date, allowing her little time to suss out a new home purchase, she’s decided to rent in Cochrane while exploring the market. (more…)

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