Calgary top-rated market for overall real estate prospects

­ Calgary top-rated market for overall real estate prospects

This is great news for buyers … you are buying a home and a great investment – not the case for other provinces.

As we have always been saying … Alberta’s in-bound migration and strong job market will support home prices.

Did you know that Alberta is short 25,000 jobs in the oil field right now? That is going to continue for the medium term! – Mark Herman 

Strong economic and employment growth forecast

CALGARY – For the second year in a row, Calgary is the top-rated market in Canada for overall real estate prospects, according to a survey of industry experts.

Calgary kept the top spot with the highest ratings for prospects in three categories – investment, development and homebuilding, said the Emerging Trends in Real Estate report by PwC and the Urban Land Institute.

“The Calgary economy continues to post solid gains, despite the disruption caused by summer flooding,” said the report. “The energy industry, primarily oil, remains strong and will continue to benefit from economic growth around the world.

“Locally, energy and energy service companies have dominated office demand. Economic activity is being supported by growth in both the goods and services sectors. Manufacturing and construction will lead the goods sector, and personal services and transportation and warehousing are the key drivers on the service side.”

The report is based on a survey of over 1,000 industry experts including investors, fund managers, developers, property companies, lenders, brokers, advisers and consultants.

The ratings of other Canadian cities in order following Calgary are: Edmonton, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Halifax and Montreal.

The report said economic activity in Calgary is projected to grow at a 3.3 per cent rate in 2013 and a 3.4 per cent rate in 2014. Employment growth is expected to slow but remain good through the end of this year and into 2014, growing at 2.4 per cent and 2.8 per cent, respectively.

Prospective homebuyers in Alberta confident in the market


22% are first-time purchasers in the next two years

CALGARY — A national survey of prospective homebuyers, who intend to buy within the next 24 months, indicates nearly one-in-five in Alberta are single people.

The RE/MAX Canadian Homebuying Trends Survey 2013-2014, released on Tuesday, said 42 per cent are couples and 38 per cent are families.

The report also indicated 22 per cent of them are first-time buyers, 32 per cent second-time buyers and 47 per cent multi-time buyers.

“Today’s real estate consumer is more experienced and financially prudent than in the past,” said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president with RE/MAX of Western Canada. “Recent global events — in concert with new mortgage finance rules — have fuelled a more conservative mindset that will serve Canadians well moving forward. It seems the lessons of excess are being heeded.”

In Alberta, the survey found that prospective homebuyers fell in the following age categories — 18 per cent are 55 plus years old; 40 per cent are 18-34 years old; and 42 per cent are 35-54 years old.

The survey said 50 per cent of them are looking to buy in an urban area, 24 per cent suburban and 10 per cent rural.

The vast majority intend to buy in the $250,000 to $500,000 price category at 58 per cent, followed by 21 per cent in the under $250,000 range and 17 per cent in the $500,000 to $1 million range.

The survey also found that 32 per cent of Albertans intend to have a down payment of more than 30 per cent.

“Serious equity gains have bolstered the level of down payment homeowners can put forth,” said Ash. “As a result, they’re clearly in a stronger financial position.”

The survey also said that 50 per cent of Albertans believe housing values will rise in their area while 34 per cent believe they will remain the same. Seven per cent believe housing values will decline.

“Canadians remain confident in the future of housing — and this was demonstrated nationally across all demographics — regardless of income, gender, age, or location,” said Ash. “The level of enthusiasm bodes well, as a substantial barometer of market health. The outlook is positive.”

Twitter: MTone123

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Why We Know: Prime should stay the same for 2012 @ 3%

Below is a sample of a very boring statement about a prediction on why Prime should stay at 3% for the rest of 2012. Prime and fixed rates “tend” to move together but not always and fixed rates went up on March 27th due to other factors. 

All this really says is …. let us watch this “raw mortgage data” for you. This is all we do all day and why we are able to give you the best, unbiased advice on mortgages we can.

Canadian business sentiment brightens: BoC survey

Mon Apr 9, 2012 2:26pm EDT

By Louise Egan

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian business sentiment on future sales rose to its highest level in two years in the first quarter, and companies also expect to increase investment and hire more staff, the Bank of Canada’s spring survey showed on Monday.

The survey also found that the percentage of companies that see the inflation rate at between 2 and 3 percent, the upper end of the central bank’s 1-3 percent target range, rose to 63 percent from 51 percent, the most since 2007.

However, other indicators showed little pressure on inflation. Businesses reported some easing of capacity pressures, contrary to analysts’ expectations, and slightly fewer had labor shortages.

The percentage reporting that they would have some, or significant, difficulty meeting an unexpected increase in demand fell to 39 percent from 46 percent in the bank’s winter survey.

“Some firms, notably those in the services sector, reported that they could accommodate higher demand because of earlier investments to expand capacity or because they have flexibility in adjusting the scale of their operations,” the bank said in its release.

Market players watch the survey data for clues about the Bank of Canada’s next interest rate move. The bank has sounded a bit more hawkish in recent statements, prompting talk of a rate hike this year rather than next, as most analysts have forecast.

“Overall, the firmer growth expectations fit well with other recent surveys, but the tame inflation readings should leave the Bank of Canada in no hurry to start tightening just yet,” said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets.

While business sentiment on inflation and sales could add pressure on the bank to raise rates, the easing of capacity pressures suggests there is no rush to do so.

The upbeat view on sales was the most marked change in the survey, in which the bank conducted interviews with senior managers at 100 companies from February 21 to March 15.

Fifty-eight percent said they expected sales to grow at a faster pace in the next year than in the past year, versus 37 percent who expected that in the December-January period.

The balance of opinion – the percentage of companies expecting faster growth minus the percentage expecting slower growth – rose to 22 from -4 previously. That was the best showing since the first quarter of 2010.

The bank’s next rate announcement is April 17, followed by its quarterly economic projections the next day.

It has held its key rate unchanged since at 1.0 percent since September 2010, and primary securities dealers forecast, on average, no change until the third quarter of 2013.

Overnight index swaps, which trade based on expectations for the policy rate, show traders slightly lowered their bets of a possible rate hike this year following the release of the Bank of Canada’s surveys.

A separate survey of senior loan officers showed overall lending conditions eased for businesses in the first quarter.

(Reporting By Louise Egan; Editing by Peter Galloway and Janet Guttsman)

© Thomson Reuters 2012 All rights reserved.

Alberta job growth outpacing Canada: Statistics Canada

This is great news – but a bit old as everyone in Alberta is aware of their friends getting great jobs, without interviews, for more than they were expecting! And all those people are buying homes which will support the prices.

3.9% jump in employment in the past year

CALGARY — Alberta had the highest rate of employment growth in Canada in the past year.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that the province’s unemployment rate remained at 4.9 per cent in January, which was the lowest in the country, and Alberta’s pace of employment growth was 3.9 per cent from January 2011, creating 79,500 jobs.

“I’m finding the job search is taking less time than it would normally take. A lot of my clients are finding work much quicker,” said Eileen Dooley, career coach and team lead at Cam McRae Consulting, an outplacement and career coaching agency in Calgary. “Usually a job search can take anywhere from three to six, eight months. Averaging about two I’m seeing now. Definitely a good time.

“So many companies are hiring. And they’re hiring like hundreds and some thousands over the next couple of years in all different areas. It’s not just technical. It’s not just engineering. It’s administrative. It’s everywhere. So this is a really good time to look for work. It’s a really good time if you’re not happy with your job. If you’re thinking of moving to something else, now is a good time to do it.”

In the past year, the unemployment rate in the Calgary census metropolitan area has dipped from 5.9 per cent in January 2011 to 5.0 per cent in January 2012. Employment growth of 4.9 per cent in the region has created 34,400 more jobs than a year ago.

Nationally, the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 per cent in January from 7.5 per cent the month before. Employment was virtually unchanged in January across Canada rising by 129,000 or 0.7 per cent from the year before.

“While other regions are simply treading water, Alberta seems to be hanging on to its hiring momentum. We expect this trend to continue throughout 2012,” said TD Economics.

Nationally, employment was flat on a monthly basis with only 2,300 jobs created.

Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets, said that at a national level the employment report reinforces the point that Canada’s job creation engine is cooling markedly.

“There is no one single factor to explain the softening trend, although the sustained decline in finance, insurance and real estate is particularly notable. Previously strong sectors, such as construction and public administration, are also fading. With domestic drivers now gearing down, the job market needs the U.S. economy to gather some serious momentum to keep the recovery on track,” he said.

Unemployment rates in January by province:

Alberta 4.9%

Newfoundland and Labrador 13.5%

Prince Edward Island 12.2%

Nova Scotia 8.4%

New Brunswick 9.5%

Quebec 8.4%

Ontario 8.1%

Manitoba 5.4%

Saskatchewan 5.0%

British Columbia 6.9%

Canada 7.6%

Source: Statistics Canada

Canada’s East-West economic divide deepens

As the divide gets greater the West continually does better. Alberta is the best place to live and do business in North America right now. That creates home demand and supports home prices.

This is from the Globe and Mail:

Saskatoon will lead the country’s economic growth this year, along with the other resource-rich cities of Calgary, Edmonton and Regina.

The Conference Board of Canada’s annual metropolitan outlook of 27 cities also sees a deepening economic divide between the West and the rest. Growth in factory-heavy central Canada will be tepid and St. John’s, which had led the country’s growth in the prior two years, will tumble to the bottom of its economic growth ranking.

For this year, Saskatoon will tally the strongest expansion, pegged at 4 per cent. The country as a whole is seen growing a modest 2.4 per cent in the year.

Despite global economic turmoil, “high prices for agricultural products, minerals and oil are likely to continue,” said Mario Lefebvre, director of the board’s centre for municipal studies. “Canada’s prairie cities will reap the benefits of this global demand for commodities.”

Saskatoon’s growth this year, underpinned by a resource boom in the province, is actually a slowdown from an estimated 4.6-per-cent expansion last year. Still, the city’s jobless rate of 5.4 per cent is well below the national average, and the jobs boom has meant international migration to Saskatchewan in the third quarter of 2011 hit its highest level since 1971.

Calgary, meantime, is seen expanding 3.6 per cent this year. In 2013, the city is forecast to lead all Canadian cities with growth of 4.9 per cent.

In Edmonton, job growth of nearly 40,000 new positions last year alone is seen supporting domestic demand. A strong energy sector will drive growth of 3.4 per cent this year. Regina’s growth is pegged at 2.9 per cent.

It’s a different story elsewhere. “The outlook is not as promising for cities in central and eastern Canada,” Mr. Lefebvre said. “The uncertain global economy, a continued slow recovery in the manufacturing sector and the windup of fiscal stimulus introduced by governments in recent years will hamper overall economic growth.”

Ontario will be hobbled by a slow U.S. recovery, strong Canadian dollar and government austerity. Manufacturing, meantime, remains well below pre-recession levels.

Belt-tightening in Ottawa will weigh on that city’s economy. Public administration employment tumbled 2 per cent last year, and is forecast to slide another 3.6 per cent this year — a loss of 9,000 jobs over these two years. As result, real GDP growth is pegged at just 1.8 per cent this year.

Toronto’s economy is forecast to grow 2.6 per cent this year, while Hamilton, London, Kingston and Niagara will all see below-average growth.

In Quebec, Montreal’s economy will grow a modest 2 per cent this year as a third straight year of growth in the manufacturing sector helps offset an expected downturn in construction. Quebec City is forecast to expand 2.1 per cent.

Saguenay’s economy will expand by 1.5 per cent this year, its best performance since 2002. The manufacturing sector is expected to resume growth this, boosting employment in the sector.

“The brightest development in Saguenay has to be the return of positive population growth in both 2010 and 2011,” the report said. “As a result, domestic demand has been stronger and should continue to expand in 2012, leading to an almost 2-per-cent rise in overall services sector output.”

St. John’s is expected to see the country’s weakest growth, at just 0.7 per cent this year.

“After two spectacular years, the St. John’s economy has limited growth prospects this year,” the report said, amid a booming construction sector. Looking ahead, “waning offshore oil production wells, fewer housing starts, and the end of the infrastructure spending program will weaken economic growth.”

In B.C., Vancouver will grow 2.6 per cent amid a decline in residential construction and growth in the services sector. Victoria will grow a scant 1.9 per cent.

ING now has the evil & dirty collateral mortgage – like TD and RBC

Also see the article from earlier this year about TD and RBC offering the collateral mortgage – which is an “IOU” for every single $ you have. ( ) Essentially YOU give them the right to sue YOU into bankruptcy if they need to repo your house. All other standard mortgages in Alberta only allow the bank to take the house back. Another reason to use a broker that knows what they are doing. Do you really want to put it all on the line for no reason?

ING Direct goes collateral charge

ING Direct will move this month to register all new mortgages as collateral charge, following on the heels of TD and other lenders.

The change is set to take effect on Dec. 10, 2011, with the bank to make a formal announcement to the broker channel later this week.

Canada’s economy surges ahead

There is good news out there for the Canadian economy and home buying. Here is some below.

Christine Dobby Nov 30, 2011 – 7:06 PM ET

The Canadian economy was not as bad as first feared in the third quarter. In fact, it was much better than almost anyone had hoped.

Fuelled by record monthly output from the oil-and-gas and mining sectors and overall export strength as temporary headwinds drifted away, third-quarter economic growth shot past expectations.

Statistics Canada said Wednesday that gross domestic product for the period rose by an annualized 3.5%, beating economists’ more moderate average prediction of 3.0% growth and the Bank of Canada’s forecast of 2.0%. In September alone, the economy grew 0.2% from August, falling just short of a 0.3% increase economists predicted.

The growth during the quarter comes as a welcome change after a revised 0.5% contraction in the second quarter.

Net exports staged a decided recovery as external pressures like the fallout from the Japanese natural disasters in March were no longer a factor.

But the devil is in the details as flagging domestic demand and weak business investment lurked beneath the report’s strong headline growth. A close look at the data has economists forecasting only modest growth — in the range of about 2% — in the coming quarters and predicting the Bank of Canada will remain on hold with interest rate hikes.

Here’s what stood out from Wednesday’s report:


The driving force behind the uptick in GDP for the quarter, exports grew at an annualized rate of 14.4%, up from a pullback of 6.4% in the previous quarter.

Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada, said that factors that weighed on Canadian exports in the second quarter — including the Japanese supply-chain disruptions as well as wildfires in Northern Alberta that led to shutdowns of oil sand production facilities — were resolved in Q3 and contributed to the increase.

But, he cautioned, “The boost to third-quarter growth provided by the reversal of these factors is not expected to continue to the same extent into the fourth quarter.”

As the global economy stalls and prospects for a quick turnaround look increasingly grim, economists predict it will could spoil the Canadian export party.


Canada’s unstoppable real estate market was another bright spot during the quarter. Residential construction shot up 10.9% annualized, following on comparatively modest increases of 1.6% in Q2 and 6.7% in Q1.

“After quarters of booming housing starts data, the residential construction bonanza finally translated into the GDP numbers,” said Emanuella Enenajor, economist at CIBC Economics.

The expansion in this sector came from all three major components including fees and transfer costs related to resale transactions, new housing construction and renovation activity.

“Continued strength in new-home sales has elicited more and more new housing construction, particularly in the high-rise condo market,” said David Madani, Canada economist for Capital Economics.

He noted that a reported increase in housing starts bodes well for further strong growth in this category next quarter.


Canadians slowed their spending on goods and services during the quarter, raising red flags for economists concerned about sluggish domestic demand.

Personal expenditures grew at an annualized rate of 1.2%, down from an expansion of 2.1% in the previous quarter.

“A slowing pace of income growth owing to tepid hiring and weaker wage dynamics will likely continue to put downward pressure on consumption activity,” Ms. Enenajor said.


Business investment actually contracted during the quarter with a decrease of 3.6% annualized, down from last quarter’s 14.6% increase.

“Weak business investment is a worry, as it has been an important source of growth since early 2010 and replaced personal spending as the main source of domestic growth,” said Charles St. Arnaud, an analyst with Nomura Global Economics.

He noted that this, coupled with the fact that personal spending is likely to remain weak, “Could mean that domestic demand stays weak over the next few quarters, as global uncertainty remains high.”


The combined slowdown in consumer spending and business investment was a drag on final domestic demand, which rose only 0.9% in the third quarter, down from a 3.1% gain in Q2. The other component, government expenditures, was flat in the quarter as government stimulus spending continues to slow to a trickle.

“Note that the pace of final domestic demand has been consistently slowing since 2010, weakening from around 6% to its current sub-1% pace,” Ms. Enenajor said.