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I like to hear / read all of this; our great City keeps improving!!

Lamphier: Professors from top business schools flock to University of Alberta


EDMONTON - They come from some of the leading business schools on the planet — institutions that command the same level of respect as corporate heavyweights like Apple, IBM and Google.

 

We’re talking about A-list B-schools here, such as Columbia, Wharton, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Oxford, Rochester, Indiana and Illinois. Every one of these schools holds down a spot in the Financial Times’ 2012 rankings of the top 100 MBA programs in the world. To continue reading, click here...


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Wow, this is great for Canadians, not so much for our friends down south though:

 

Canada rises to top five in world economic freedom ranking as U.S. plummets to 18th

By Sarah Boesveld, National Post

 

Canada has taken its place among the Top 5 countries with the most economic freedom, according to a new Fraser Institute report — now leaps and bounds ahead of the United States thanks to the gradual shrinking of the Canadian government since the mid-1990s as America’s just got bigger.

 

The annual Economic Freedom of the World report, released Tuesday, has Canada tied in fifth place with Australia — up one spot from last year. Hong Kong remains at the top, Singapore’s next, then New Zealand.

 

Meanwhile, the United States, once a “standard bearer” of economic liberty among industrial nations, spiralled 10 spots from the 2011 rankings to 18th place — its lowest position ever, and a huge drop from its second place spot in 2000.

 

And as the size of Canada’s government continues to slightly shrink due to slowed growth in government spending post-recession and America’s continues to expand, this indicator could eventually make us the industrialized world’s new leader on economic freedom, said Fraser Institute president Niels Veldhuis.

 

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This is great news for Alberta folks and lovers!

Energy-related investment to fuel expansion

CALGARY — Calgary and Edmonton are forecast to be the fastest growing economies in Canada over the next four years, according to the Conference Board of Canada’s Metropolitan Outlook-Autumn 2012 released Tuesday.

 

“Energy-related investment in Alberta is expected to stay vibrant throughout the next four years. For instance, about $29-billion worth of energy-related projects are now underway in the province, and nearly $86-billion worth of projects are proposed for the future,” said Mario Lefebvre, Director, Centre for Municipal Studies, for the board.

 

The board is forecasting Calgary to have the best economic growth in the country over 2013-2016 at an average of 3.7 per cent followed by Edmonton’s average annual real GDP growth at 3.5 per cent during the forecast period.

 

For this year, the board is predicting Edmonton will lead the country with 4.6 per cent growth followed by Calgary at 3.8 per cent.

 

The board said Calgary is coming off a “very strong performance” in 2011 with economic growth at 5.0 per cent. The strong growth expected during the forecast period will be “helped along by strong consumer spending and spinoff benefits from the energy sector.”

 

Also on Tuesday, a report by TD Economics said Canada will likely experience a shift from household and government-led growth towards exports and investment, but global headwinds appear to have delayed this transition until the first half of 2013.

 

In the meantime, the report said, the economy will be stuck in neutral and Canada’s economic expansion will be constrained to a pace near two per cent.

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Edmonton, September 5, 2012: Residential property sales in August slowed both month-to-month and year-to-year, mirroring a trend that has evolved nationally all summer. Sales of all types of residential properties in August (1,430) were down 17.4% from July and down 10.7% from a year ago. The number of people offering their properties for sale also slowed but not as sharply as sales. There were 2,732 residential properties listed on the Multiple Listing Service® in August; down 2.2% from a month ago and down just 5.6% from a year ago. The available inventory was reduced 2.9% to 7,458 properties.

 

“Housing sales across Canada have dropped slightly since May,” said REALTORS® Association of Edmonton President Doug Singleton. “The sales activity varies from market to market and it appears, when compared to last year that Edmonton is slowing faster than the national trend after a very active spring. Never-the-less, housing prices are still up from a year ago and consumer confidence is high.”

 

Despite the slowdown in sales, prices were up as compared to August 2011. The average* selling price of a single family detached home (SFD) was down marginally (-0.15%) at $384,477 from last month but up 3.8% from a year ago. Condo prices were also down marginally (-0.9%) from last month at $237,042 but up from last year. The all residential average price was $334,395 (down 0.5% m/m) which is up 3.2% from August 2011.

 

Average prices are affected by the difference in price of similar properties as well as the market composition or

mix of homes sold. Compared to a year ago, a typical bungalow in August sold for 2.2% more while a typical 2-story home sold for about 3.2% more. While the price of an individual home was rising, the market composition was also changing. In August 2012, 53% of SFDs sold were priced below $375,000 as compared to 59% in 2011. In addition, the number of sales of homes over $500,000 was up from 11% in 2011 to almost 15% this year.

“August sales illustrate the changes in the composition of the market,” said Singleton. “More consumers are purchasing homes at the higher end of the market. This is an indicator of consumer confidence and a long term view that this market is stable. ”

 

The average days-on-market in August was up two at 54 days. The sales-to-listing ratio was down, moving down from 62.0% in July to 52.3%.

 

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Activity (for all residential sales on Edmonton MLS® System)


 

1 The total value of sales in a category divided by the number of properties sold
2 Single Family Dwelling
3 The middle figure in a list of all sales prices
4 Residential includes SFD, condos and duplex/row houses.
5 Includes residential, rural and commercial sales

1 Average prices indicate market trends only. They do not reflect actual changes for a particular property, which may vary from house to house and area to area. Prior period figures have been adjusted to include late reported sales and cancellations and therefore reflect a more accurate view of the period than previously reported at month end. The RAE trading area includes communities beyond the CMA (Census Metropolitan Area) and therefore average and median prices may include sold properties outside the CMA.

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The 3rd quarter RBC Affordability Index Report was just released this Monday and while the news Nationally isn't great, once again the 'Alberta Advantage' has our province looking failry good in the grand scheme of real estate things. Alberta had the only increase in affordability over the last quarter and continues to have the most affordable real estate prices in Canada. Check out the Alberta summary on Page 3 and the complete stats in the sidebar on Page 7 here...

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Well this is GREAT and VERY INTERESTING news for anyone who is a fan of Downtown Edmonton...

 


EDMONTON - A series of downtown building projects worth a collective $4.8 billion over the next five years has been outlined in a report released Tuesday by the Downtown Business Association.


That includes the arena project, the new Royal Alberta Museum, Grant MacEwan University’s new consolidated downtown campus and other office and residential towers. It also includes $2.1-billion worth of work it lists as “rumoured,” meaning that plans are in the works and have at least gone to the preliminary design stage. Read more here...


 

To download the actual report published by the Downtown Business Association of Edmonton, click here...



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Interesting little video tid bit full of useful advice for first time home buyers discussing the advantages of trying to put at least 20% down to avoid CMHC insurance and ensuring one fully knows the costs associated with closing a real estate transaction, ie.: inspection fees; legal fees; taxes ( where applicable ); extra insurance and utilities; etc.

 

Check out the video here...

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What do you think? Another glowing forecast for our fine province and City (ies).. good to hear reputable reports on growth, employment, and stability forecasts. Could all translate into steady Real Estate growth as well.

 

CALGARY — Fuelled by rising oil production, Alberta will lead Canada in economic growth this year and employment in Calgary and Edmonton is expected to strengthen through 2016 with the addition of 120,000 new jobs, according to a special report released Friday by BMO Capital Markets Economics.

 

The BMO report – Calgary and Edmonton: Partners in Economic Growth – said the spillover effect of rising oil production extends across various sectors in both Calgary and Edmonton, including manufacturing of products for oil exploration and extraction, transportation, warehousing and retail trade. Read more here...

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According to some, it appears the overall Canadian Real Estate marketplace is headed for a bit of a slowdown:

 

OTTAWA - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is forecasting a moderate slowdown in new-home construction starts as well as sales of existing housing.

 

The Ottawa-based federal agency isn't calling for a major decline, but its latest forecast suggests next year will be somewhat softer than estimates CMHC issued in June while 2012 may be somewhat stronger than previously expected. Read more here...


Now, that being said, I encourage one and all to check out the entire Housing Market Outlook - Canada report ( well maybe not the entire report as it is a bit lengthy ) especially your local area ( s ). For some what appears to be impressive Alberta forecasts and predictions, check out page 10 and the stats in the tables nearer the end of the document. Check it out here...


For more 'Prairie' specific CMHC data, check out here...

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Again, touch wood ( touching wood ) but more decent news for Edmonton and Alberta...

 

EDMONTON - The Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation forecast Tuesday, Aug. 14 that housing construction and sales will increase modestly in 2013 in Alberta while activity in most of the country slows down.

 

The Crown corporation’s latest housing market outlook predicts 400 more housing starts in 2013 in Alberta than 2012. That represents just 1.25 per cent growth, but CMHC predicts national construction activity to decline 6.8 per cent over the same period.

 

Read more here...

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Good news for Alberta and, more specifically, Edmonton, AB. We are fortunate to be bucking the national trends but prospects appear to be bright still.... let's hope in stays that way!

 


EDMONTON - Alberta led the nation in July with the lowest unemployment rate for the second consecutive month in July, according to Statistics Canada.

The jobless rate held steady from June at 4.6 per cent, but compared to the same month last year, it dropped 0.9 percentage points.  

 

Read more here...

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Edmonton, August 2, 2012: The average* price of resale residential property softened in July according to figures released by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton today. The all-residential average price dropped from $342,014 in June to $335,501 in July ( down 1.9% ). The average single family detached price in the service area of the Edmonton Multiple Listing Service® was down 2.3%, the average condominium price was down 2.1% and the duplex/row house price was off 3.25%.

 

“Housing prices continue to follow seasonal patterns but residential unit sales are 3.6% higher than last July,” said REALTORS® Association of Edmonton President Doug Singleton. “That being said, the price drops are minimal and still about 5% higher than they were at the beginning of the year.”

 

There were 2,801 residential properties listed in July with 1,624 sales and the average days-on-market was up one at 52 days. The sales-to-listing ratio was stable, moving slightly from 58.4% in June to 58.0%. Eager first-time buyers are snapping up homes listed below the median price of $325,000 and reducing the inventory of lower-priced homes. A steady stream of new listings helped the residential inventory remain solid with 7,684 properties available, especially at the higher-priced end of the market.

 

The number of single family homes sold in the $450,000 or higher range is up about 26% in 2012 as compared to the past five years. This trend is expected to continue for the rest of the year. Homes in this range also sold faster this year than in previous years. Days-on-market was the lowest it has been in five years at just 40 days in 2012 and the spread between the list and sold prices was lower at 2.3%.

 

“Persistent low mortgage rates, job stability and higher average incomes in Edmonton result in consumer confidence which has opened up the higher end of the market,” said Singleton. “Many of these sellers are moving up and do not want to carry two properties. They need to sell so that they can close on the new property; so they are doing all they can to ensure a reasonable but quicker sale. The increased inventory at the higher end is creating some pressure on sellers to keep their list prices reasonable. Once again, consumer confidence and access to low cost financing is driving the upper end of the market even while providing buying opportunities for first-time buyers.”

 

There have been 64 sales of properties over $1 million so far this year as compared to 66 in all of 2011. Those top end properties sometimes take over a year to sell but the average DOM is just 72 days; down from 78 last year.

 

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Activity ( for all residential sales on Edmonton MLS® System )


 

1 Average prices indicate market trends only. They do not reflect actual changes for a particular property, which may vary from house to house and area to area. Prior period figures have been adjusted to include late reported sales and cancellations and therefore reflect a more accurate view of the period than previously reported at month end.

2 Residential includes SFD, condos and duplex/row houses
3 Single Family Dwelling
4 The middle figure in a list of all sales prices
5 Includes residential, rural and commercial sales

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Well now the debate always rages on as one can see in the comments below however good on Alberta and congrats to Sasky for leading the league in forecasted growth....

 

Calgary, AB - The Alberta economic outlook is generally positive with the highest rate of growth for all provinces of 3.8 per cent this year, says the Conference Board of Canada in its latest forecast released Friday. Read more here...

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Edmonton, July 4, 2012: At the end of the first half of the year, housing prices in all residential categories are up from the same time last year. On average1, residential prices are 3.2% higher than June of last year. The all-residential average price was $342,014 in June while single-family detached homes sold for $393,471, up 3.7% year-over-year.

 

“Our market continues to be robust and housing prices are higher than they were last year,” said REALTORS® Association of Edmonton President Doug Singleton. “We expect that, although prices will, as usual, slide gradually over the next six months, they will continue to be higher than they have been in the past two years or the five year average.”

 

The median3 price for a single family detached home was up 2.0% year-over-year at $369,900 while the condo median price was up 4.6% at $230,000 as compared to last year. The average price for a condo in the Edmonton area dipped 2.5% since May to $242,720. Duplexes and rowhouses were priced on average about 7% higher than last year at $318,223.

 

There were 3,211 residential properties listed in June and 1,874 sales and the sales-to-listing ratio was up from 53% in May to 58%. The average days-on-market in June was up two at 51 days. Residential inventory was 7,930 on June 30 or about 4.2 month’s supply; typical for this market. REALTORS® participated in the sale of over $640 million worth of residential property last month and total MLS® activity in the first half of the year is $3.8 billion.

 

In an unexpected move, the finance minister imposed new policies on residential mortgages for the fourth time in four years. Effective July 9, the maximum amortization period for government-backed mortgages was reduced from 30 to 25 years and purchases over $1 million cannot be guaranteed by CMHC. In addition the amount that homeowners can borrow against the equity in their homes is reduced from 85 to 80 percent.

 

“These changes are meant to cool the Toronto markets but will have little impact in our stable and affordable market locally,” said Singleton. “Some buyers may push their buying decision forward a bit or have to lower their expectations but their REALTOR® can still present them with plenty of options and housing choice in all price brackets. The limits on equity take-out and million dollar purchases will have negligible effect on the resale housing market.”

 

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Activity (for all residential sales on Edmonton MLS® System)

2 Residential includes SFD, condos and duplex/row houses
3 Single Family Dwelling
4 The middle figure in a list of all sales prices
5 Includes residential, rural and commercial sales

1 Average prices indicate market trends only. They do not reflect actual changes for a particular property, which may vary from house to house and area to area. Prior period figures have been adjusted to include late reported sales and cancellations and therefore reflect a more accurate view of the period than previously reported at month end.

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See Original Article here....


The Canadian Real Estate Association ( CREA ) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® ( MLS® ) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations for 2012 and 2013.

 

CREA’s previous forecast predicted generally stable resale housing activity in 2012, with growth in Alberta and Saskatchewan offsetting slight sales declines in British Columbia and Ontario. The revised forecast reflects a stronger than expected acceleration of sales activity in Alberta and Saskatchewan, a slightly faster than anticipated slowdown in British Columbia, and continued buoyancy in Ontario sales activity—specifically the Greater Toronto market.

 

An anticipated recent increase in new listings has so far failed to keep pace with stronger than expected demand in Toronto, which has kept upward pressure on average prices. Forecast sales activity and average price for Ontario have been revised upward as a result.

 

National resale housing activity is now forecast to reach 475,800 units in 2012, up 3.8 per cent from 2011. Sales for 2013 are now forecast to decline by 1.1 per cent to 470,200 units. Ontario is expected to see the largest decline in activity next year, reflecting a return from currently elevated levels.

 

“National activity over spring months was stronger than anticipated,” said Wayne Moen, CREA President. “This shows clearly how the continuation of low interest rates is keeping homeownership affordable and within reach.”

CREA had previously forecast sales in 2012 and 2013 that were roughly on par with the 10-year average for annual activity. The updated forecast now predicts activity slightly above the long term average.

 

The national average home price is forecast to rise by 2.2 per cent to $370,700 in 2012. This is an upward revision from the previously forecast 1.1 per cent decline, reflecting stronger than expected price growth so far this year and compositional impacts on national statistics caused by changes to provincial sales forecasts.

 

The national average price is also forecast to rise modestly in 2013, edging up two per cent to $378,200.

 

“CREA’s forecast for annual activity this year has been boosted by what’s already in the rearview mirror,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Activity is still expected to recede, but from a higher level than previously anticipated. The pace for interest rate increases next year is expected to be very slow and gradual, so combined with further job growth, Canada’s housing market should remain resilient.”

 

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Edmonton, June 4, 2012: Home buyers in Edmonton are facing one of the most affordable markets in Canada according to a recent RBC market survey. That is confirmed by month end figures released by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton for residential property sold in May through the Multiple Listing Service® System. RBC reported that the housing affordability index for Edmonton was just 32.4% of a typical household income. Increases in the affordability index in other parts of the country are influenced by higher real estate prices.

 

“While housing prices are higher in Edmonton than last month, they are inching up in manageable increments,” said REALTORS® Association of Edmonton President Doug Singleton. “The total amount a home buyer has available for a home purchase is based on the amount they can afford to pay each month. When affordability ratios are low, as they are in Edmonton, the buyer has more confidence in their ability to meet all of their living expenses.” The strong economy with resilient consumer confidence has resulted in strong housing sales in this market and relative price stability.

 

In May, the average1 residential price was up 3.2% from last month at $348,196. The average price of a single family detached home was $388,762, up 1.7% from the previous month. The average price of a condominium in May was $248,846, up 5.9% from April. Duplex and rowhouse properties sold on average for $310,991; a 5.5% drop from the previous month.

 

The median3 price for a single family detached home was the highest it has been in five years. Half of the homes sold last month were under $370,000 while an equal number of sales were priced over that figure. In 2008 the median price was $365,000. The median price for condominiums last month was $232,000 which is lower than the 2008 median ($250,000) reflecting a market change that results in higher sales of smaller (and therefore cheaper) condominium properties.

 

The average days-on-market in May was down one at 49 days and the sales-to-listing ratio was stable at 53%. REALTORS® participated in the sale of over $811 million worth of residential property last month and total MLS® activity for the year is $3.1 billion.

 

“Many financial planners advise that homeowners should spend a third of their income on housing (mortgage, utilities and property taxes),” said Singleton. “Edmonton is bucking a national trend and making housing more affordable than other cities.” According to RBC the affordability index for Toronto was 53.4% of income and Vancouver was 88.9%.

 

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Activity (for all residential sales on Edmonton MLS® System)


 

2 Residential includes SFD, condos and duplex/row houses
3 Single Family Dwelling
4 The middle figure in a list of all sales prices
5 Includes residential, rural and commercial sales

1 Average prices indicate market trends only. They do not reflect actual changes for a particular property, which may vary from house to house and area to area. Prior period figures have been adjusted to include late reported sales and cancellations and therefore reflect a more accurate view of the period than previously reported at month end.

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Edmonton, May 2, 2012: According to figures released by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton, there is a sea of calm in the local real estate market. Residential sales through the Multiple Listing Service® System in April were up 5.3% from the same month last year but below average for April. There were 1,713 residential sales in April as compared to the 5-year average of 1,940 sales. There were 7,334 residential properties available in inventory at the end of April which is up 7% from last month.

 

"There is plenty of choice in the market at this time," said REALTORS® Association of Edmonton President Doug Singleton. "Single family prices have risen slightly each month this year which is encouraging sellers to list their property." He urged home buyers to remain calm, to confirm their financing arrangements and to study the market with their REALTOR®. "Of course, when your REALTOR® shows you the ideal home you should move decisively to make an offer and begin the home buying process in case another buyer is also interested."

 

In April, the average1 residential price was up just 0.8% from last month at $337,363. The average price of a single family detached home was $382,384, up 0.9% from the previous month. The average price of a condominium in April was $235,036, up 1.3% from March. Duplex and rowhouse properties sold on average for $329,025; a 3.6% rise from the previous month. Residential prices were also up when compared to a year ago:

 

  • Single family up 0.4%
  • Condominium up 1.1%
  • Duplex/Row house up 8.9%
  • All residential up 2.99%

The average days-on-market in April was 50 days (down three from March) and the sales-to-listing ratio was 53% (up 2% from last month); both indicators reflecting increased market activity. REALTORS® participated in the sale of $578 million worth of residential property last month and total MLS® activity for the year is $1.5 billion (up 15% from 2011 YTD).

 

"If a change in your lifestyle requires a change of address, then this a great market to be in," said Singleton. "Choice of neighbourhoods, variety of housing types and stable pricing may not be available in every market but they are features here in the Edmonton area." 

 

Activity (for all residential sales on Edmonton MLS® System)


 

2 Residential includes SFD, condos and duplex/row houses
3 Single Family Dwelling
4 The middle figure in a list of all sales prices
5 Includes residential, rural and commercial sales

1 Average prices indicate market trends only. They do not reflect actual changes for a particular property, which may vary from house to house and area to area. Prior period figures have been adjusted to include late reported sales and cancellations and therefore reflect a more accurate view of the period than previously reported at month end.

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Edmonton, April 2, 2012: At the end of the first quarter, the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton reports that the average residential price in the Edmonton area is up 2.2% when compared to a year ago. The all-residential average1 price, at $335,187 compared to $328,094 in March of last year. Single family detached (SFD) and condominium average prices were stable year-over-year with SFD prices up 0.2% and condos down 0.7%.

 

“Other markets, such as Toronto, are reporting feverish real estate activity involving multiple offers and unconditional offers but our market is calm, orderly and slowly evolving,” said REALTORS® Association of Edmonton President Doug Singleton. “Listing activity is up when compared to last year but sales and inventory are down which could indicate that market activity will pick up markedly as the summer progresses.”

 

On the Multiple Listing Service® System, sales and listings by REALTORS® in March were up, with 3,271 residential listings (up 23.5% from February) and sales of 1,533 (up 24.5% from the previous month). As a result, the inventory of residential properties available for sale was up 14.6% at 6,851 properties. At the current sales level, there are four and half months of inventory available. In total, there are 10,640 properties of all types (commercial, rural and residential) on the Edmonton and Area Multiple Listing Service®.

 

Market stability is reflected in the sales-to-listing ratio which is unchanged from month-to-month. The average days-on-market dropped in March by one day from 54 to 53 and residential properties are selling at about the same pace as this time last year on a year-to-date basis (46%).

 

In March, the average price of a single family detached home was $380,083, up 1.3% from the previous month. The average price of a condominium in March was $231,629, down 1.4% from the February price (last month the price of condos advanced over 8% in a month). Duplex and rowhouse properties sold on average for $319,020; a 4.1% improvement from the previous month.

 

“April is the start of the real estate season when people who want to buy and sell real estate are most active,” said Singleton. “There is speculation that mortgage rates will start to rise which makes it more difficult for first time buyers. However, there is lots of choice in our market with new properties coming available daily. Whatever your housing situation you can trust the advice of your local REALTOR® who is here when life happens.”

Activity (for all residential sales on Edmonton MLS® System)

 

 

2 Residential includes SFD, condos and duplex/row houses
3 Single Family Dwelling
4 The middle figure in a list of all sales prices
5 Includes residential, rural and commercial sales

* Average prices indicate market trends only. They do not reflect actual changes for a particular property, which may vary from house to house and area to area. Prior period figures have been adjusted to include late reported sales and cancellations and therefore reflect a more accurate view of the period than previously reported at month end.

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OTTAWA — As Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney once again warned about the high levels of Canadian household debt on Thursday, the Bank of Montreal, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce are rolling out a four-year mortgage at 2.99 per cent for the second time this year.

 

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Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.