Renters’ paradise

Over-supply, fewer newcomers behind increasing vacancy rates

Vacancy rates in Calgary have spiked so far this year and are expected to rise for the foreseeable future, say industry insiders.

And with few signs of significant changes in the economy on the horizon, renters will enjoy plenty of choice and price flexibility, while landlords will need to get aggressive.

“Vacancy started rising pretty rapidly after the spring of last year and it’s still been rising,” said Gerry Baxter, executive director of the Calgary Residential Rental Association, which has about 850 members, representing between 65,000 and 70,000 rental units. There are more than 700 landlords in the association.

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Kelowna continues to capitalize

Alberta’s out-of-province playground still drawing buyers

Kelowna’s healthy economy and population growth are driving resale home transactions up and fuelling higher levels of new home construction, suggesting a sellers’ market, according to housing industry figures.

And the lure of the valley continues to draw buyers from Alberta despite the province’s economic downturn.

The largest city in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Kelowna has recorded nearly 3,600 sales for the first half of this year compared with slightly more than 2,700 a year ago, according to figures from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).

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Housing market correction fears exaggerated: report

Stability fears have no support, says Fortress

According to a new report from Fortress Real Developments, some “hot button” threats to housing market stability in Canada — including foreign investors, mortgage fraud and over leveraged buyers — have “no comprehensive statistical support.”

“No government agency or private entity publishes data on international homebuyers or their source of funds,” said Ben Myers, senior vice-president of market research and analytics at Fortress, and author of the report.

“It is impossible to fully assess the impact of foreign buyers, inappropriate mortgage activity or the extent to which Canadians are responsible borrowers based on the currently available data. With the limited information out there, and our own survey research, we feel the fears of a major house price correction are overblown.”

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