The many faces of rec

Out-of-town property market continues to evolve

Canada’s recreational property market continues to transform itself, most recently the beneficiary of record-low interest rates, a new wave of retiring baby boomers and a favourable exchange rate, according to a recent survey.

The 2016 RE/MAX Recreational Property Report, which surveyed RE/MAX agents and brokers, noted the low Canadian dollar is having a positive effect on the country’s recreational property markets. Canadians, mainly boomers, who bought properties in the U.S. when U.S. real estate prices were comparably low are selling them at a profit and investing in Canadian recreational markets, it said.

The RE/MAX survey signaled out Canmore and Sylvan Lake as two of Canada’s top recreational property destinations. It noted retirees seeking an active lifestyle continue to be an important driver of demand in Canmore, where the median price (May 2015 to April 2016) was $533,090.

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Ready to take flight

YYC’s expansion could help city’s real estate market soar

Foreign investment in the city’s real estate market is poised to take flight.

And it’s in no small part thanks to the ambitious expansion of the Calgary International Airport. From the recent opening of its new runway—the longest commercial airstrip in Canada—to its $1.4-billion new international terminal opening this fall, Calgary’s bigger, better international airport dramatically increases the number of travellers from overseas.

While it’s undoubtedly a shot in the arm to the city’s struggling economy, it’s not a leap in logic to assume more foreign business and pleasure travellers could provide a boost to its real estate sector, says Eric Horvath, vice president of investment sales at Colliers International.

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New housing construction down in Alberta

Provincial decline led the country

Spending on new residential construction in Alberta totalled $738.3 million in April, down from the $1.025 billion seen the previous April, according to the latest numbers from Statistics Canada.

The 28 per cent decline was the largest fall of any of the provinces, with decreased investment occurring in all dwelling types – although the decline was mainly due to lower spending on single-family dwellings.

In total, spending on new housing construction decreased in five provinces in April. Alberta was followed by Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

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Calgary vacancy rates to rise, rents to decrease: report

CMHC expects renters to benefit from soft economic conditions

Rental vacancy rates in Calgary will rise to seven per cent by this fall, up from 5.3 per cent during the same time last year, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).

In its semi-annual housing market outlook released today, CMHC said two-bedroom rents are forecast to average $1,270 in October 2016, compared to $1,332 in October 2015.

“A rise in the purpose-built rental vacancy rate along will additional options in the secondary rental market will put downward pressure on rents this year,” said the report. “Although incentives will continue to be offered, some landlords will also lower rents to attract tenants.”

By the fall of 2017, CMHC expects the vacancy rate in the city to decline back to 5.5 per cent. The two-bedroom rent, meanwhile, is forecast to average $1,260.

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‘Suite’ opportunities in detached sector?

Regulation changes could make investment market more attractive

Recent changes to secondary suite regulations could spell good news for investors looking for opportunities in Calgary’s detached housing sector.

In late November, city council voted to relax the regulations on lot size and increase the amount of floor space allowed in the suites.

Under the new rules, homes zoned R-C1Ls, R-C1s and R-1s will have the minimum lot width removed altogether, while homes zoned R-C1N, R-C2, R-1N and R-2 l will see the minimum lot width reduced to nine metres.

The changes will also increase the maximum size on basement suites from 75 to 100 square metres.

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