The upside of carbon tax

New programs could see homeowners coming out ahead

milesIf you’ve been paying attention, you’re aware that, starting Jan. 1, we’ll be paying $1.01 more per gigajoule for natural gas to heat our homes and a few extra cents a litre to fuel our cars.

It’s the provincial carbon levy, and it’s inevitable.

If you’re like me, you want to know what the government is going to do with the revenue.

For starters, it’s setting up an agency whose goal is to reduce our utility bills, decrease emissions and save energy in general.

(more…)

Read More

Charting a new course

Homebuilding officials warn proposed governmental power shift could impact homebuyers in a big way

Before Calgarians step into a voting booth to elect a new city council a year from now, there could be a whole new ball game of city governance over everything from land assessments to affordable housing and even new taxing powers.

New city charters originally proposed in 2014, and only recently made available for public feedback, are intended to give new powers and responsibilities to Alberta’s two largest municipalities. They may affect Calgarians on everything from residential speed limits and fines, environmental protection, integration of land-use and transportation strategies and investment to civic administrative efficiencies that stretch from council roles to establishment of bylaw tribunals.

And there will almost certainly be changes that impact the homebuilding industry, and ultimately homebuyers.

(more…)

Read More

Alta. housing sales to finish strong, face challenges: report

CREA expects sales to struggle to maintain traction in 20016-17

MLS® sales in Alberta are expected to increase for the balance of the year due to better-than-expected activity during the second quarter and health levels heading into the third quarter, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) in its revised 2016 forecast.

The national REALTOR® agency added, however, that the current economic climate suggests Alberta sales may struggle to maintain traction over the remainder of 2016 and into 2017.

Alberta sales activity is expected to finish the year down 8.8 per cent to 51,500 transactions – the largest decline in the country as the province’s economy struggles with a sluggish energy industry.

Nationally, sales activity is forecast to rise by six per cent to 535,900 units in 2016, which is little changed from CREA’s previously predicted sales increase of 6.1 per cent to 536,400 units this year. This represents a new record for annual sales.

(more…)

Read More