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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Aging in place

Major renovations and minor modifications to make any home more accessible and livable for seniors

As Canada’s population continues to skew older, more and more seniors want to remain in their homes rather than move into a retirement residence or long-term care facility. This preference for “aging in place” has increased the popularity of several home renovations and modifications that make the home more accessible, and easier to navigate, for older individuals. Here are some of the top aging-in-place renovations. (more…)

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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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Home improvement

Alberta’s most popular renovation projects

Canadians spent nearly $53 billion on renovations throughout 2016, according to Statistics Canada. And throughout the first quarter of this year, Canadians have already spent more than $12 billion on renovations.

According to ATB Financial’s Economics and Research Team, home renovations in Alberta alone hit “a record high” of $1.78 billion during the first three months of 2017.

So, just where are Canadians – and Albertans, specifically – spending their renovation dollars?

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Alberta sees increase in home renovation spending during first quarter of 2017

The number of Albertans spending money on renovations for their existing homes and recreational properties is on the rise.

According to Statistics Canada, investment in home renovations in the first quarter of 2017 hit a record high of $1.78 billion. A release from ATB Financial’s Economics and Research Team says this is close to double the spending a decade ago.

Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial, says he was surprised by the data for the first three months of this year.

“The increase that we saw in late 2016 and the first quarter of this year can be attributed to the rebuild in Fort McMurray (from last year’s wildfires) because not every house was destroyed, which we tend to focus on.” he said. “There were also many, many homes that needed to be renovated.”

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