What’s Happening with the Real Estate Market?

It is hard to believe we are already into the third week of February and the winter Olympics are almost over. What a great hockey game that was this morning between the Canadian and American women's hockey teams. I thought we were done and would have to settle for the silver, but I kept a little bit of faith and continued watching until Canada scored with about 3 minutes left in the 3rd period. Anyway if you missed it, we tied it up with about a minute or so to go and then went on to win in overtime - great game.

Anyway, I was going to talk about Calgary real estate so here goes. We're in a seller's market with very low levels of inventory. As of today, February 20th, there are only 1015 condos on the market which includes all apartment style condos and townhouses. As for single family homes which includes detached houses and duplexes, there are 1839 homes for sale. So, if you have a good home to sell and price it reasonably, it will sell quickly and possibly with multiple offers. Prices have now recovered or even exceeded the record highs we saw in the last boom in 2006 and 2007.

I spoke to Carmen Paradis of RE/MAX real estate central about some strategies you can use to buy a home in this market. She said the most important thing is to have your financing ready to go and know exactly what you want in a home. You have to be ready to pounce before someone else makes an offer. It is the biggest purchase you will likely ever make but if you find a place that you love, do not wait a few days to think about it. Don't wait until the weekend to go see the new listings, that is when everyone else will be out as well and those people will be making offers. Paradis says go during the week and make an offer as soon as you find your dream home. Chances are that if you love the house, so will a lot of other people and it will likely be gone by the time you pull the trigger on the weekend.

Don't expect things to change any time soon as mortgage rates are still very low, and people are still moving to Calgary in droves. Rental vacancies are very low and monthly rents are very high because of the insatiable demand. As long as the oil industry continues to do well, the real estate market will be active. Prices are increasing, but don't expect huge price increases because people have long memories and remember what happened after the last boom and during the recession. House prices declined significantly and have only recently recovered to their highest levels.

So it is full steam ahead for Calgary's property market for the foreseeable future.