That light we see in Calgary’s housing market tunnel is, unfortunately, not the end of the tunnel.
It’s yet another train, but it’s slowing down, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board’s (CREB) Q2 2020 Quarterly Update Report.
“Calgary housing sales slowed by 35 percent compared to the previous year,” says the CREB report. “This is better than original expectations, thanks to June figures that were far stronger than initial estimates. The pullback in new listings in the second quarter caused inventories to trend down, preventing a more significant decline in prices. The second-quarter benchmark price trended down compared to the first quarter and eased by 2.3 percent compared to last year, just slightly above initial forecasted levels.”
So, yes, that’s still a train a-coming, but, “the extent of the impact may not be as severe as estimates from three months ago. Those original estimates of unemployment levels and job losses have been revised. Job losses and high unemployment rates are still expected, but the magnitude of the decline has eased,” says CREB.
“Furthermore, since May, oil prices have improved. This is not enough to change capital spending plans, but with West Texas Intermediate prices back in the $40 range, the situation has improved significantly from the low levels recorded in May.
“While the situation may look brighter than it did a few months ago, it is also important to note that challenges remain. Our local economy is still facing record-high unemployment rates, with significant job loss occurring not only in areas associated with the shutdown (e.g., accommodation and food, retail trade) but in our professional, scientific and technical services sector. Some of the jobs in areas impacted by closures will start to return as our economy re-opens, but the challenges weighing on the energy sector will likely have a lingering effect on employment.”
Any kind of market weakness and uncertainties are obviously going to pose downside risks to housing demand, especially in the upper end of the market, says CREB.
“Recovery for higher-paid positions will likely take longer than recovery in other areas of the economy. This will cause some persistent challenges for the upper end of the housing market, having a greater impact on those higher-priced homes versus product in the lower price ranges,” says the report. “Overall, we continue to expect city-wide benchmark home prices to ease by just under three percent this year and sales activity will remain weak compared to the already low levels recorded last year.”
Despite the wide range of expectations on home prices, CREB does not expect a stronger price decline in 2020 for several reasons:
• Adjustment in supply. Demand has fallen, but so have new listings and inventory levels. This is preventing significant gains in the months of supply slowing the downward price pressure.
• Support provided by lenders and government is expected to cushion the blow from COVID-19, preventing a more significant price drop this year.
“As we move into the second half of this year and into 2021, there remains significant downside risk. If jobs do not return as anticipated and the support from lenders and government ends, we could start to see a faster rise in supply relative to demand. This may cause stronger price declines in the market entering 2021.”
Calgary’s housing market cooled slightly in July from the previous month’s activity, but June was an unexpected and pleasant surprise, says Jesse Davies, founder and realtor of the Jesse Davies team at Century 21 Elevate Real Estate.
“June surpassed a lot of people’s expectations with the detached market seeing a decrease of 21 percent in active listings from this time last year, which in turn has made for a slim-pickings type of market for buyers eager to take advantage of suppressed pricing and low interest rates,” says Davies, adding there was an incentive to buy before the end of June. “The new lending rules implemented by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation on insured mortgages also contributed to the better-than-expected June stats, as buyers rushed to purchase before the July 1 deadline.
“July is trending very similar to June with total sales volume up around five percent compared to last year. The balance of the summer and fall should see similar results and a lot will depend on interest rates staying unchanged, if we experience a second wave of the virus and what unemployment levels taper off at.
“One thing to consider is the net migration and immigration to Calgary, basically coming to a standstill for the last quarter due to travel restrictions from COVID and what type of short- and long-term ramifications this will have on demand and pricing.”
Here are Calgary market stats, comparing July to June this year and July to July last year (based on figures current as of July 27 each year, courtesy of CREB).
July 27, 2020
July 27, 2019
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020
WE Charity laying off staff, looking to sell real estate in Toronto – Kamloops This Week
OTTAWA — WE Charity is scaling back its operations, making dozens of layoffs in Canada and the United Kingdom and looking to sell some of its real estate holdings in Toronto.
The charity has been embroiled in a political controversy since the Trudeau government chose it to run a now-abandoned youth volunteer program.
WE Charity says its financial position has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and “recent events,” prompting a need to shift programming and reduce staff.
At its global headquarters in Toronto, 22 full-time employees will be laid off and another 59 employees working on fixed-term contracts with the charity won’t have their contracts renewed when they expire at the end of the month.
WE Charity’s U.K. operations will be centralized in Canada, which means 19 full-time and contract employees in London will be laid off.
In addition, a number of buildings on a block near Moss Park in Toronto acquired by the charity as part of a 25th anniversary plan to create a youth campus will be assessed by the organization to determine which ones could be sold.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 13, 2020.
Sale of Private Residential Estate Breaks Quebec Real Estate Record – GlobeNewswire
Montreal, Quebec, Aug. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sotheby’s International Realty Canada today announced the sale of a private estate in Montreal that has set a new benchmark as the highest recorded residential property sale through the MLS® (Multiple Listing Service) system in Quebec’s history.
Listed at $20 million, the sale closes as Montreal’s real estate market soars following the resumption of real estate brokerage activities in May.
“Situated on almost 30,000 square feet of beautifully landscaped grounds, this estate provided a rare opportunity to own one of the most prestigious properties in Montreal,” said Liza Kaufman, listing agent with the Kaufman Group of Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec, who represented the sellers and the buyers in the transaction.
“By marketing the property across Sotheby’s International Realty’s exclusive media network, we generated strong local and international demand and several offers. This sale reflects how confident luxury buyers are in the long-term fundamentals of Montreal. It also reveals a consumer trend that is emerging with the pandemic – more than ever, people are seeking security and a desirable lifestyle by investing in their homes,” Kaufman said.
Built in 1924, the six bedroom home, with six full bathrooms, two powder rooms and one powder room in the pool cabana, has been fully restored to merge classic European architecture with stylish contemporary designs, bespoke furnishings and world-class comforts, including a 14-car garage and saltwater pool.
The main kitchen is equipped with a Lacanche Cote d’Or, nine-burner gas stove with double ovens, large Miele Refrigerator, large Miele freezer, Miele dishwasher, compactor, double sink, garburator and pot filler. A grand centre marble island seats four with an adjacent breakfast table with seating for six. An additional pair of writing desks and an abundance of hidden storage make the kitchen a central hub for the home.
The imposing entry opens to a grand centre hall paneled in rich wood, offering exquisite moldings and a gas fireplace. The cross hall plan is perfect for entertaining. The light-filled living room features large windows overlooking the city and a beautiful marble antique mantle piece. The adjacent dining room is available for intimate dinners or lavish entertaining, and it is serviced by a caterer’s kitchen featuring a Wolf oven, Subzero refrigerator, gas stove, dishwasher, microwave and wine refrigerator.
French doors open to a spectacular multi-level backyard which feature the pool and stone terraces large enough to host a wedding party and other large events. A custom stone fire pit, pool cabana with change room and powder room, tree house and children’s play area, make this an outdoor paradise.
“Montreal’s residential real estate market has been strong across the conventional and luxury real estate market, and across every residential property type this summer,” says Daniel Dagenais, Managing Broker of Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec. “In fact, according to the latest statistics released for the Montreal Census Metropolitan area by our real estate board, residential sales surged 46% year-over-year from July of last year and set a new record for a month of July.”
The transaction demonstrates a resurging demand for luxury Canadian properties.
“The Montreal real estate market, as well as major metropolitan markets such as Toronto and Vancouver, saw significant gains in the first months of 2020 before COVID-19 disrupted their momentum,” says Don Kottick, President and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. “We’re now seeing pent-up consumer demand surge into new activity. In addition, global uncertainty is firing up new demand for real estate in key Canadian markets including Montreal, not only amongst locals, but from buyers from the U.S. and overseas who are seeking sanctuary and a secure financial investment.”
According to Kottick, favourable mortgage lending conditions and continued volatility in the stock market are also positioning Canadian real estate as a desirable and secure investment.
Further details of the sale of this estate remain private.
About Sotheby’s International Realty Canada
Combining the world’s most prestigious real estate brand with local market knowledge and specialized marketing expertise, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada is the leading real estate sales and marketing company for the country’s most exceptional properties. With offices in over 32 residential and resort markets nationwide, our professional associates provide the highest caliber of real estate service, unrivalled local and international marketing solutions and a global affiliate sales network of approximately 1,000 offices in 71+ countries and territories to manage the real estate portfolios of discerning clients from around the world. For further information, visit www.sothebysrealty.ca.
Media Contact Victoria Levy Talk Shop firstname.lastname@example.org 604-738-2220
Edmonton-area real estate market hot despite COVID-19 pandemic – Global News
According to the Realtors Association of Edmonton, even though concerns remain over the coronavirus pandemic, residential sales in the city and surrounding areas are up this summer.
In the first few months of the pandemic, sales were down more than 35 per cent from March to April. But they’ve since rebounded and then continued to grow.
In May, the housing market shot up more than 54 per cent compared to April, and in June they rose again, up more than 77 per cent. Those sales held steady, increasing slightly in July.
Residential home sales were up nearly 14 per cent in July 2020 compared to last July.
Homes are also selling faster. On average, a single-family home is selling in 49 days — eight days faster than this time last year.
Reema Kaushik is a top-ranking mortgage advisor for CIBC.
“We were quite worried in March when the pandemic started. We thought that people would be scared to buy a home,” she said, joking that she thought she’d have time to try out new recipes on YouTube.
But instead, she’s busier than ever.
“I think one of the biggest reasons is the competitive rates that every lender is offering. We’ve never seen such great rates — ever,” Kaushik said.
She also points to an incentive by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for getting new buyers into the market.
“It allows first-time home buyers, within a certain eligibility criteria, to borrow five per cent for existing homes and 10 per cent down payment for new construction homes.”
New construction mortgages are Kaushik’s specialty.
“I was talking to one of my builder partners when they told me they’re completely out of existing home inventory, which means there’s no quick possession left.”
This summer has also been a whirlwind for YEG Pro Realtor Reanna Bowden.
“It’s extremely busy,” she said. “I’ve been a realtor in Edmonton for 15 years and by far this is the busiest June [and] July I ever saw.
“It’s 16-hour days — non-stop — to get my clients to where they want to be.”
As for Bowden’s take on the sudden jump in home sales?
“I think our spring buyers that were maybe on the fence, not buying in the spring, just jumped on top of our June [and] July buyers, so it was a frenzy.”
In a single month, Bowden said her clients found themselves in multiple-offer situations four times.
One of those clients was Hana Price. She was one of five people to place an offer on a particular house in west Edmonton in June.
“I thought that the real estate market was not going to be that hot, especially with COVID(-19),” she laughed.
Price said her boyfriend’s house sold pre-pandemic, but they weren’t comfortable shopping when COVID-19 hit.
“There’s uncertainty with employment at that time,” she explained.
“And just kind of not really wanting to leave your house and go into somebody else’s house.”
Price ended up getting the house she wanted, but had to pay $25,000 over the asking price.
She said if you’re interested in buying, she has some advice.
“Move quick. Don’t think about it for too long, because you might lose out.”
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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