New normal

Calgary’s industrial sector showing signs of strain

Calgary’s industrial market continues to hiccup along in a weakened economy as vacancy rates have risen over each of the last four quarters and are likely heading toward the bottom of the cycle, said a second-quarter market report by Cushman & Wakefield.

“One positive is that the amount of space under construction has been cut substantially; helping to prevent future jumps in the vacancy rate,” read the report.

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Five things about CREB®’s Mid-Year Forecast

Breaking it down by the numbers

Earlier this year, CREB®Now published a feature on five things you needed to know about CREB®’s 2016 Economic Outlook & Regional Housing Market Forecast. With the REALTOR® organization recently updating the document, we revisit those insights on what’s to come:

17,321

After originally forecasting 18,416 sales in 2016, CREB® is now predicting Calgary’s activity to fall to 17,321, a 3.8 per cent drop from last year. By sector, revised estimated peg detached to decline by five per cent, while attached and apartment will be down by eight and 19 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie said the year began by favouring buyers, but is exhibiting more balanced conditions in areas such as the detached sector.

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The next step

Move-up homes driving construction activity, community development, say local housing officials

The head of Calgary’s new home industry believes move-up products have become the go-to sector within Calgary’s residential construction industry, and will be the backbone of new communities moving forward.

Allan Klassen, who is the newly minted chair of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Urban Development Institute Calgary Region, said buyers’ focus over the last several years has been increasingly focused on detached product priced over $500,000.

“It is the prominent driver in terms of overall growth of new construction,” said Klassen, who is also senior vice-president of Calgary housing for Brookfield Residential, which is behind the mixed-use Seton development in the southeast and the recently announced Livingston community in the city’s north.

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House rules

New national standards for home inspections will benefit consumers, industry says

Calgary home inspector Alan Fisher has heard his share of horror stories from homeowners who received less-than-optimal inspections prior to buying their homes.

Sadly, he said these tales of domestic woe are largely preventable given most stem from the unfortunate reality that not all home inspectors are equal when it comes to ferreting out potential issues.

“There are people out there offering a seven-day course where you write the test and you’re certified,” said Fisher, who owns Calgary-based Integra Home Inspection Services.

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Dissecting housing demand indicators

CREB® chief economist walks through often-overlooked housing statistics

Months of supply is a statistic that often gets lost in today’s housing market, yet it is an important indicator of the relationship between supply and demand, says CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“It gives us one indication of balance in the market,” she said of months of supply, which is the amount of time it would take to sell current inventory.

“If the number is really high – so you have a higher level of months-of-supply – that essentially just means that there’s more supply than demand in the market and it generally correlates with declining prices in the market.

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