Renters’ market

Economic conditions create ideal situation for renters, challenges for landlords

In the most volatile economy in the country, it is no big surprise Calgary landlords endured 2016 with the highest rental housing vacancy rate in a quarter of a century.

“It is a free market economy, with all the ups and downs, and in the middle of (this downturn), you just hope many will survive it,” said Gerry Baxter, executive director of the Calgary Residential Rental Association (CRRA) of Calgary’s current seven per cent vacancy rate.

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Future of housing

Stakeholders say Alberta can’t be overlooked when creating national strategy

As the federal government moves closer toward a national strategy on housing, key Alberta stakeholder groups say recognition of different local and regional challenges is critical to any policy changes.

“We are encouraged the federal government is doing this, but we are hoping its actions will be localized,” said Kevin McNichol, vice-president of strategy for the Calgary Homeless Foundation, leader of the city’s plan to end homelessness.

“In Calgary, we have the highest median income in the country, so it might be easy to overlook us. But we also have the lowest rate of affordable housing in Canada.”

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Canmore tackles affordability

Three companies to submit RFPs for Moustache Lands

The “moustache” that lies at the entrance to Canmore from Calgary will soon boast a residential development designed to alleviate the mountain resort town’s lack of affordable, available housing.

The four-acre (1.6 hectare) site — known as the Moustache Lands because the property is composed of loops created by the interchanges off the TransCanada Highway — is owned by the municipality, which has now shortlisted three potential developers to respond to a Request for Proposal (RFP).

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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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55 Years of Real Estate: 2014 CREB® president Bill Kirk

Signs of economic hardship started to reveal themselves by the end of 2014, recalled then-CREB® president Bill Kirk 

While the true severity of the economic slump currently dominating headlines had yet to been felt in 2014, Bill Kirk said the writing was already on the wall by the end of his tenure as CREB® president.

Oil production in the Middle East had just started to ramp up, prices for a barrel had started to fall and jobs in Calgary were suddenly in question, he recalled.

“By the end of 2014, there was talk of an oil glut,” said Kirk. “We knew there would be fallout … (but) no one knew what would happen.

“We were all surprised at how slowly through 2015 the bad news hit.”

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