Q&A with CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie

CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie has seen a bit of everything in 2016. From buyers’ conditions to migrational changes, Calgary’s housing market has taken industry observers like herself on a wild ride over the past 12 months.

CREB®Now recently had the chance to sit down with Lurie and reflect on 2016. Here’s what she had to say:

CREB®Now: Did 2016 play out the way you expected?

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Healthy homes, healthier people

Pilot planning initiative puts public health front and centre of new community development

A stretch of Nose Creek that straddles Calgary’s northwest and northeast quadrants may now be only home to scenic, rolling grassy hills.

But soon enough, about 9,000 city residents could being calling it home sweet home, along with 21,000 jobs, as planning is underway to develop a community with residential, commercial and industrial opportunities.

Most notably, however, is this community, once built, will be one of city’s healthiest places to live, work and play.

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The future of infills

City revisiting inner-city development

Almost 15 years ago, Naz Virani made the shift from chef to homebuilder and developer. Since then, he has been one of a handful of builders at the fore of Calgary’s gentrification.

In the early 2000s, Virani founded Sarina Homes, and began what he describes as a journey to transform the inner-city, one infill home at a time.

“A lot has changed since we started the business,” he recalled. “We started out building single-family homes, then moved into semi-detached and then fourplex designs.”

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The why of walkability

Experts tout prevalence in today’s homebuying decisions

Walkability has evolved from a buzzword to an influential part of home purchasing decisions in Calgary, say real estate experts.

And to meet growing demand for improved accessibility, developers and planners need to start now by designing communities of tomorrow through a more pedestrian-friendly lens.

“(Walkability) is important to our customers,” said Brookfield Residential development manager Tara Steell. “We’re hearing from them and using best practices to create communities with master-planned communities. We have the ability to influence that and try to get people out of their cars.”

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Story in the making

Over the past five decades, Calgary’s real estate industry has been bare to it all – from double-digit interest rates to densification. Starting today, CREB®Now will weave together an incredible narrative of how the local housing industry has evolved through the unique perspectives of CREB®’s 30 remaining past presidents.

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Change can be hard.

It can be messy.

It can be painful.

But it can also be necessary.

And with perspective, it can be the best thing that ever happens.

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