Condo conundrum

A closer look at the numbers behind Calgary’s apartment-style housing market

Statistics Canada recently released an interesting piece of information regarding Calgary’s residential real estate market that went relatively unnoticed.

According to the government agency, the share of households in the Calgary census metropolitan area living in condominiums was 21.8 per cent in 2016. That represented the second highest percentage in the country, behind only Vancouver at 30.6 per cent, and was much higher than the national average of 13.3 per cent.

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Targeting tenants

Challenges continue for Calgary’s rental market

“Very cautious optimism” is how Gerry Baxter, executive director of the Calgary Residential Rental Association, describes the industry’s view of Calgary’s current rental landscape.

While Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) pegged Calgary’s rental vacancy rate at seven per cent last fall – the highest it’s been in more than 25 years – Baxter says he thinks residential vacancies in the city are actually closer to the eight-to-10-per-cent range.

“There’s been some slight improvement in the rental market over the last few weeks, but it’s still a challenge to rent,” said Baxter, attributing the slack rental market to the economic downturn that started in late 2014 and early 2015.

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Trickle-down effect

How economic indicators actually drive the housing market

What do unemployment, migration and oil prices have in common? Apart from being touchy subjects at a party, they all influence the Calgary housing market to some extent. Understanding how and why that happens could provide an advantage when planning a home sale or purchase.

“In many cases the impact is indirect,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist for CREB®.

One part of that impact relates to demand.

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The affordability equation

New mortgage rules plus cost factors equal big decisions for today’s home buyer

Brad Ridler sounds like many first-time homebuyers, anxious to move into his just purchased condo and start putting “a lot of good things in motion.”

But when the 32-year-old Ridler and his fiancée Courtney Boyce started their home search more than a year ago, the marketing professional was acutely aware of all the obstacles, including certain financial requirements associated with new mortgage rules.

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