CALGARY — Calgary is one of only a handful of markets across Canada that has seen seven per cent and more year-over-year price growth for residential real estate, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

In a resale housing survey of markets across the country for February, released Thursday, the board said the city, along with Regina, Saskatoon, Thunder Bay, Halifax and Newfoundland, experienced year-over-year price growth of seven per cent or more for the latest three months.

On a seasonally-adjusted annual rate, sales in Calgary of 25,416 are up 2.0 per cent in February from last year while listings have dropped by 5.1 per cent to 40,308.

The average sale price in Calgary was $438,412, up 6.1 per cent from February 2012.



CALGARY — A major twin tower residential condo project is planned for the west end of Calgary’s downtown.

Grosvenor and Cressey Development Group are proposing to build 24-storey and 18-storey towers, comprising 319 units, at the corner of 5th Avenue and 10th Street S.W.

Michael Ward, vice-president of Grosvenor in Calgary, said sales for the project will be launched in the coming weeks for the Avenue development.

The developers are hoping to start construction either late this year or in early 2014 with possible first occupancy in 2016.

“In developing one of the final parcels of land in this established downtown Calgary neighbourhood we set out to create a best in class development,” said Ward. “Grosvenor and Cressey’s proven track record of superior design and long-standing history of building quality homes will bring a truly unique product to the area.”

Ward said he is seeing a strong demand for the condo market.

Grosvenor is also building the Drake tower in the Beltline neighbourhood, at 15th Avenue and 7th Street S.W. Drake is 17 storeys and 135 units. Construction will be completed there in October.

“Watching Drake and watching the sales there it’s been quite good,” said Ward. “This past weekend alone on Drake on Saturday and Sunday we sold five units which is a great weekend. That project is almost sold out now and that sort of gave us the confidence to move with the next project which is Avenue.”

The Avenue partnership between Grosvenor, a privately-owned property investment and development group and Cressey, a residential and commercial development company, will redevelop the corner of 5th Avenue and 10th Street S.W. into what it calls a “landmark development” that will add two contemporary towers to the downtown skyline.

It is designed by architect James Cheng.

Ward said the development will be located on one of the few remaining parcels of land in Calgary’s west end.

Drake has also started plans on Smith, a new multi-family project located adjacent to Drake.

On Tuesday, Qualex Landmark, the developers of MARK on 10th, held a ground breaking ceremony for the new project.

MARK on 10th will be a 35-storey building at 10th Avenue and 8th Street S.W.


CALGARY — Calgary led the country in February with the best annual price growth in the MLS Home Price Index released by the Canadian Real Estate Association on Friday.

But the Calgary market followed a national trend of declining MLS sales in February.

However it was at a much lower pace. Nationally, sales were off nearly 16 per cent from a year ago but they were down only two per cent in Calgary.

The association also on Friday released an updated forecast in which both sales in Canada and Alberta were revised downward for this year from its previous forecast of December 2012.

CREA said price growth in Calgary was 8.0 per cent year-over-year “marking some of the strongest price growth that city has seen since the spring of 2010.”

In the seven markets surveyed for the HPI, the national aggregate was 2.69 per cent year-over-year price growth. Regina was second to Calgary at 5.93 per cent.

Real estate boards believe the HPI provides a more accurate measurement of pricing trends by comparing the price of properties with similar attributes while averages can distort price changes as sales volumes vary in different price categories.

Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with the Calgary Real Estate Board, said Calgary’s housing prices have been supported by improved economic conditions and a tighter market with less listings than a year ago.

“Particularly in the single-family market. Because it’s much tighter, that’s supporting some of these price gains that we’ve seen,” said Lurie. “And a lot of those price gains have been occurring in the single-family sector. We’re just starting to see a pickup in the condos as well.”

CREA reported that MLS sales in Calgary of 2,071 for February were down 2.0 per cent from a year ago while sales across Canada dipped by 15.8 per cent to 31,123.

Lurie said it’s important to keep in mind that last year was a leap year, with one extra day, and if that day was taken out of the comparison single-family sales were the same this year as last year and condo sales were actually higher.

She said very strong migration, a low unemployment rate combined with continued job creation, and a tight rental market have buoyed house sales in the city.

Diana Petramala, economist with TD Economics, said it is becoming clearer that the Canadian housing market has hit a soft landing with existing home sales continuing a downward trek that began in April 2012.

“Much of the weakness seen over the last eight months can be chalked up to the change in mortgage insurance rules implemented on July 9, 2012, which had the same impact on housing affordability as a one per cent increase in interest rates,” she said. “Changes to mortgage insurance rules tend to weigh on growth in home sales for up to three-quarters, and as such, the impact is expected to wane in the coming months.

“Nonetheless, the Canadian housing market appears to have gone through what many having been calling a soft landing. The good news is that sales are now at levels that we feel are well supported by underlying employment and population growth. In turn, existing home sales are likely to stabilize in the coming months. Prices are expected to continue to weaken as demand for Canadian housing remains modest.”

She said the Calgary housing market already went through its correction in 2009 and firmer prices and sales are likely to be supported by an above average labour market performance and strong in migration flows.

According to CREA, the average sale price in Calgary in February jumped by 8.2 per cent to $438,755 but across the country it fell by 1.0 per cent to $368,895.

Alberta was the only province in the country to experience year-over-year sales growth as there were 4,512 MLS transactions during the month, up 0.8 per cent from last year. The average sale price rose by 5.3 per cent to $378,685.

Also on Friday CREA released a forecast for the next two years and it predicted Alberta would have the best annual price growth in Canada in 2013 and 2014.

Average sale prices are expected to rise 3.6 per cent this year to $376,400 and by 3.9 per cent next year to $390,900 in the province.

In Canada, the forecast is for a 0.2 per cent drop this year to $362,600 but an increase of 1.7 per cent next year to $368,700.

As for sales in Alberta, CREA predicted an increase of 0.4 per cent this year to 60,600 units and another hike of 3.5 per cent in 2014 to 62,700 transactions in the province.

In Canada, the forecast is for sales to decline by 2.9 per cent this year to 441,500 but rebound with a rise of 4.5 per cent in 2014 to 461,200.

“Mortgage rules are expected to remain as they are, so sales should be less volatile than they have been in recent years,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist. “Interest rates are also expected to remain low as the economy grows and adds jobs, which is supportive for the resale housing market.”



CALGARY — Almost half of Albertans would choose a fixed-rate mortgage over a variable rate, according to a new survey released Thursday by CIBC.

The poll, conducted by Harris/Decima, said 47 per cent of people in this province would select a fixed-rate mortgage if they were to acquire, refinance or renew a mortgage today with 26 per cent favouring a variable rate.

Nationally, 45 per cent of Canadians favour a fixed-rate mortgage and 26 per cent would prefer a variable rate.

The poll also revealed that 47 per cent of Albertans believe mortgage rates will be the same 12 months from now while 46 per cent of Canadians felt that way.

“Deciding between a fixed or variable rate mortgage is one of the most important decisions in finding a mortgage that is right for you,” said Colette Delaney, Executive Vice President of Mortgage, Lending, Insurance and Deposit Products, CIBC.

“Our poll suggests that some Canadians are growing accustomed to the low rates we are experiencing, however it’s important to take a long-term view when deciding which mortgage is right for you. You need to plan ahead for your next mortgage term and consider the impact to your budget if you renew at higher rates a few years down the road.”



CALGARY — New home prices in the Calgary region were on the rise in January.

Statistics Canada reported Thursday that its New Housing Price Index for the Calgary census metropolitan area was up 3.3 per cent from a year ago and it had also increased by 0.5 per cent from December.

Nationally, the NHPI rose by 2.2 per cent on an annual basis and by 0.1 per cent month-over-month.

“The combined metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa, as well as the region of Calgary, were the top contributors to the advance. Builders indicated that market conditions were the primary reason for higher prices in Toronto and Oshawa, while increased material and labour costs contributed to higher prices in Calgary,” said the federal agency.

The largest monthly price advance in January occurred in Charlottetown at one per cent.

In Winnipeg, where the pace of the annual increases has been accelerating over the last several months, year-over-year prices were up 5.9 per cent in January, which was the biggest increase in the country, said Statistics Canada.


Man alive am I ever seeing a massive amount of action below the $375,000.00 range. Houses are up and then pending sometimes in mere hours. As well as condos, my listing in McKenzie Towne has a non stop stream of showings. Two offers coming in tonight on it. Spring market is here early although today's weather would state otherwise!


I have listed a new property at 2204 4975 130 AVE SE in CALGARY.
Here is your opportunity to own a wonderful 2 bedroom condo with TWO TITLED UNDERGOUND PARKING STALLS!! in very desirable McKenzie Towne. This condo boasts a great kitchen with lots of cupboard space. A big living room with a corner gas fireplace and sliding glass doors to your private balcony! The dining area capable of accommodating great family dinners. A laundry room with in suite laundry. The master bedroom has lots of room for your bedroom suite a really generous closet a ceiling fan and a private ensuite! Bedroom 2 is very workable with lots of natural light. Mckenzie Towne is loaded with all kinds of shopping, restaurants and Calgary Transit all within walking distance!

I would like to take a moment here on my blog to thank all of my clients, each and every one of you. I have been fortunate and blessed to earn a new award for for my Real Estate services in 2012. 

Having the honour that you have contacted myself to assist you with your new home purchase and or sale of your existing home in the first place speaks immense volumes to me, that in return is truly reward enough! Knowing that you have put your trust and confidence in me is...  well...  quite humbling and I thank you.


I LOVE my career and take it very seriously, I spend hours and sometimes day's working and fighting to get the best deal for you. When I go "into battle" for you, sometimes I come out bloodied and not so liked from the other side and whether we win or lose that particular battle I want you to know that I'm fighting for you and I would gladly do it over and over again because you hired and put your trust into me, I am dedicated to you.


The greatest reward is knowing that I have given you everything I possibly can to make sure your happy and when I get a call from your family and friends that you have referred my services to them well that is one of the greatest gifts I could ever receive. 


Thank you everyone,

All my love and gratitude.


Roland "Rolly" Darel




CALGARY — The value of building permits in the Calgary region neared $400 million in January, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported Thursday that permits in the Calgary census metropolitan area reached $392.3 million for the month, down 0.4 per cent from December but an increase of 29.4 per cent from January 2012.

In Alberta, total building permits of $1.2 billion were down 5.5 per cent on a monthly basis but up 24.3 per cent year over year.

The residential sector in the province saw building permits reach $713.8 million which was an increase of 6.7 per cent from the previous month and a hike of 20.4 per cent from last year.

The non-residential sector in the province saw building permits reach $458.1 million, down 19.7 per cent from December but up 30.9 per cent from January 2012.

Statistics Canada said municipalities across the country issued building permits worth $5.8 billion in January, up 1.7 per cent from December. But year-over-year it was down 4.3 per cent.

In the residential sector, the value of permits increased 17.6 per cent to $3.8 billion in January, following six consecutive months of decline. However, that sector was off 8.9 per cent compared with a year ago.

Construction intentions in the non-residential sector fell 19.2 per cent to $2 billion. Year-over-year, it increased by 5.9 per cent.



CALGARY — Calgary’s housing market is experiencing positive momentum and is a “lone shining star” in the Western Canadian real estate market, according to a report by TD Economics.

In the first edition of its Metro Beat, reviewing economic trends on a quarterly basis, TD called Calgary’s situation ideal in comparison to what’s happening in Vancouver with the resale housing market seeing sales decrease there by 26 per cent in 2012.

“(Calgary) was the only one among its peers to register positive sales growth in 2012 at 14.3 per cent,” said the report. “Calgary is also benefiting from a double digit increase in new housing starts (38.2 per cent), a sharp rebound from 2011. Residential building permits were up as well in the region, signalling more projects to come over the near term.”

TD said average home prices will rise from $411,927 in 2012 to $423,400 this year and then to $431,400 next year. Those include all residential homes in Calgary and surrounding region.

Last year there were 27,212 total MLS residential sales under the Calgary Real Estate Board’s jurisdiction — a hike of 18.84 per cent from the year before. TD said sales this year will rise to 27,700 followed by a slight dip to 27,500 in 2014.

Sonya Gulati, senior economist with TD Economics, said the economic growth overall in Calgary is quite strong.

“We’re seeing that in the housing figures. We’re seeing that in the employment figures,” said Gulati. “And that’s partly because the province is doing quite well from an economic point of view and Calgary tends to get the spillover there.”

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is forecasting MLS sales in the Calgary CMA to grow by 1.37 per cent this year followed by another 2.59 per cent in 2014.

The average sale price is expected to rise by 2.59 per cent this year to $423,000 and by another 2.6 per cent in 2014 to $434,000.

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