"Real estate investing, even on a very small scale, remains a tried and true means of building an individual's cash flow and wealth." - Robert Kiyosaki


Jan. 17, 2017

CMHC to Increase Mortgage Premium - Calgary Real Estate Review

Are you affected by this change? Please call me if you wish to discuss further with one of our Partner Lenders. 

OTTAWA, January 17, 2017 — CMHC is increasing its homeowner mortgage loan insurance premiums effective March 17, 2017. For the average CMHC-insured homebuyer, the higher premium will result in an increase of approximately $5 to their monthly mortgage payment.

“We do not expect the higher premiums to have a significant impact on the ability of Canadians to buy a home,” said Steven Mennill, Senior Vice-President, Insurance. “Overall, the changes will preserve competition in the mortgage loan insurance industry and contribute to financial stability.”

Capital requirements are an important factor in determining mortgage insurance premiums. The changes reflect OSFI's new capital requirements that came into effect on January 1st of this year that require mortgage insurers to hold additional capital. Capital holdings create a buffer against potential losses, helping to ensure the long-term stability of the financial system.


Premiums are calculated based on the loan-to-value ratio of the mortgage being insured. The premium can be paid in a single lump sum but more frequently is added to the mortgage principal and repaid over the life of the mortgage as part of regular mortgage payments. Additional details and scenarios are included in the backgrounder below.

CMHC regularly reviews its premiums and sets them at a level to cover related claims and expenses while also reflecting the regulatory capital requirements.

CMHC is Canada’s most experienced mortgage loan insurer. Our mortgage loan insurance enables Canadians to buy a home with a minimum down payment starting at 5%. As a Crown corporation, CMHC is the only mortgage insurer whose proceeds benefit all Canadians.

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers, and the housing industry.

For the full report click here 

Posted in Bank of Canada
Jan. 11, 2017

Calgary Real Estate - 2017 Forecast

by CREB on January 11, 2017 

After a long period of economic downturn, Calgary’s housing market is expected to see some price stability in 2017, but not across all market segments and property types. Both detached and attached prices remain unchanged over 2016 levels, while the apartment is forecasted to contract by another two per cent.

“The transition in the housing market will be a slow process,” said CREB®chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “We are entering the year with high unemployment rates and the possibility that job growth will not occur until the latter portion of 2017. These conditions will continue to weigh on housing demand, but supply is adjusting to weaker sales activity, which will eventually translate into price stability.”

City-wide sales are forecasted to total 18,335 units in 2017, a three per cent gain over 2016, but 12 per cent below long-term averages. This modest demand change will merge with declining listings and easing inventory in the new home market to support more balanced conditions and prevent further downward pressure on prices. 

“This year is about moving away from extremely challenging conditions,” said 2017 CREB® president David P. Brown. “The transition is going to take some time, which means sellers need to stick with the fundamentals of pricing their homes correctly against other comparable product in the market. There’s still lots of choices out there for buyers, but major price declines are unlikely in most segments.”

Alberta’s economy was much softer than many predicted over the past two years, as prolonged weakness in energy weighed on other sectors of the economy, including housing. Since the start of the downturn in late 2014, price adjustments have ranged from a low of nearly five per cent in the detached sector to a high of 11 per cent in the apartment sector. The amount of price change between these different areas of the market was based on how much oversupply there was in each sector at any given time.

Our housing market is moving toward a new equilibrium, but that shift is heavily dependent on stability in the energy sector and overall labour markets. There is also a considerable risk from recent government policy changes that could derail expected gains in the second half of 2017. It’s a new outlook this year, but the market risks shouldn’t be overlooked. 

For the entire CREB® forecast, click here.


Jan. 8, 2017

Calgary Real Estate Review - December 2016

2016 Calgary Real Estate Market is Behind Us - What Does the Data Tell Us? See For Yourself.

Short Answer - Depends on What Type of Home is Being Considered? 

For the most part, the detached housing was lease impacted with a 2.6% declined in year-over-year sales with a 3.2% price declined; attached housing saw a 5.45% declined in year-over-year sales with a 4% price declined; while the apartment condos market had the greatest with a 15.5% declined in year-over-year sales with a 6% price declined.

Is it the right time for you to Buy or Sale? 

For the full report click here:


Jan. 4, 2017

A New Year and Emerging Trends

Welcome to 2017!  2016 is now behind us and we look forward to wiping the slate clean and beginning anew.

I hope you and your families enjoyed some quality time over the holidays. Thank you for your continued support of PAL Real Estate and we look forward to helping you achieve your real estate goal. All the best for our new year. Happy New Year Everyone. 

Emerging Trends in Canadian Real Estate 2017

Building communities for the future

Frank Magliocco, Partner, National Real Estate Leader, PwC Canada

Investors, developers, and property owners are cautiously optimistic about the Canadian real estate market’s outlook for the year ahead. While the rest of Canada's faces challenges unique to individual regions, Toronto and Vancouver’s markets continue to experience high demand due to a lack of supply. This has driven up prices and caused affordability concerns. But the main message is that every regional market offers opportunities for savvy developers and investors—as long as they embrace technology and anticipate their future buyers’ needs.

1.       It’s about building communities

Canada’s urban populations are set to continue to grow and their needs are evolving. There’s a growing consensus that developers have responded by continuing to rethink their approach to mixed-use projects.  

2.       Affordability on the decline

Housing affordability has become a point of concern in Canada. Significant increases in immigration over the next five years will continue to keep demand high and put even more pressure on affordability unless more supply is made available. As well, a common issue in nearly all regions was municipal red tape and lengthy approval processes, which are also limiting supply and driving up costs.

3.       Technology disruptors

Technology is changing expectations and how they interact with potential tenants. As one respondent said, “We’re getting to the point where if people don’t recognize technologies are existing and, moreover, how to integrate them, opportunities are being missed.”  

Markets to watch in 2017


The sharp drop in oil prices pushed Calgary’s economy into recession last year, and further contraction is expected this year. GDP growth in 2017 is forecast at 2.1%, with less than 1% employment growth.

Despite this, owners are not in any hurry to sell.  Calgary’s real estate market has seen booms and busts before, so respondents believe that developers and investors aren’t in a hurry to sell existing assets or exit the market.  As national banks pull back on their investment in the region, regional banks familiar with Alberta’s market understands the opportunities and are getting more involved.

Calgarians continue to resist condominium living, as comparatively affordable house prices attract prospective buyers to suburban residential homes.  But signs exist that this attitude may be changing. Millenials, in particular, are prioritizing value, quality, and maintenance-free living over square footage and yard sizes – a shift that is driving interest in smaller residential properties and upscale townhouses.

Expected best bets for 2017

Given the state of the markets across Canada, where should developers and investors focus their attention? Our survey and conversations suggest the most promising moves can be made in the following areas.

1.       Industrial property

2.       Purpose-built multifamily rentals

3.       Urban mixed-use developments

4.       Seniors’ housing/retirement homes

For the Full Report click here

Dec. 8, 2016


Finding the right home for you is like a good puzzle. The home buying process is comprised of a lot of little pieces, but as a team, we will find you your dream home. This fun questionnaire is a good way to decide what style home you may be interested in. As an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®), I am the homebuyer’s advocate, and will do what I can to make the journey fun and rewarding. Let me know how I can help!

What style of home suits your family by Alexis Johnson


Posted in Buyer's Resource
Dec. 8, 2016


Buying a home is a major investment. Make sure you and your credit score are fully prepared for your meeting with the bank. As an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®), I always tell my clients that it’s important to get pre-approved. Please let me know if you have other questions about choosing a lender or taking out a mortgage!

3 things bank check before making a mortgage loan.

Posted in Buyer's Resource
Dec. 2, 2016

November sales slide into old patterns

by CREB on December 01, 2016 

click here for full data

Coming off a month of stronger sales activity, November's housing market returned to previous trends. Year-over-year monthly sales totaled 1,227 units, which is nearly three per cent lower than last year and 17 percent below long-term averages.

"November was the first full month with CMHC's new lending rules in effect," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. "As suspected, the gains in last month's sales were temporary. Stringent conditions for borrowers are converging with the current economic climate and weighing on demand."

While supply levels eased in November, the decline in sales resulted in a slight rise in months of supply. This caused benchmark home prices to contract even further. City-wide prices totaled $436,200 in November, a 0.6 percent decline over the previous month and nearly 4.1 percent below last year's levels.  

Detached home prices totaled $498,300 in November, making it the first time since early 2014 that the monthly benchmark price dipped below $500,000. Despite this price change, the detached resale sector has still fared better than most of the high-density sectors, as it has not faced the same city-wide inventory pressure coming from the new home market.  

Year-to-date detached sales have declined by three per cent compared to last year, but have also seen some modest improvements in recent months in the high end of the market, which is likely a byproduct of larger price adjustments.

"These monthly figures aren't a big surprise given the dynamics of our market right now," said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. "We've seen pockets of sales activity in certain areas, but also lots of months where the expectations between buyers and sellers just aren't matching up. November was one of those months."

"Again, it can't be overstated how important it is for housing consumers to keep asking questions and drilling down on what's happening in their specific area," adds Stevenson. "This kind of exploration and learning is how good real estate decisions get made in any market." 


Nov. 2, 2016

To-Dos: Your November Home Checklist

With Thanksgiving and Halloween in our rearview mirror and the winter holidays just around the corner, there is a lot to look forward to (and prepare for) at this time of year. Batten down the hatches for winter weather and get a jump on holiday hosting prep, so you can relax and savor the many simple pleasures of the season, from big family dinners to walks in the crisp air outdoors. 

Get a jump on holiday prep. If you plan to host this holiday season, take a bit of time now to prepare a few things in advance. Launder and iron the fancy linens (roll up freshly ironed linens on old wrapping paper tubes to prevent wrinkles), drop off the kitchen knives for a professional sharpening or polish some silver — you’ll thank yourself later.


Posted in Calgary Life Style
Nov. 2, 2016

Home Sales rebound in October

by CREB on November 01, 2016

For the first time in two years, sales activity in October resembled normal levels. City-wide sales totaled 1,644 units, which is an increase of nearly 16 percent over last year.

“The shift in sales activity this month is likely related to the new mortgage rule changes, inventory gains in the lower price ranges and further price adjustments,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “The combination of all these factors may have encouraged some purchases to take advantage of the market conditions, particularly in the lower price ranges. However, with several factors at play, the monthly shift in demand may be temporary and will need to be monitored over the next several months.”

Sales activity rose across all product types in comparison to last year, but the largest gain in sales occurred in the detached sector at 18 per cent. There was a noticeable shift in sales activity by price range in October. In the detached market, homes priced between $300,000 and $400,000 saw the largest improvement in sales, while attached and apartment sales growth was mainly occurring in the lower price ranges.  

“This year has been a challenge for many sellers,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “So when we have a rise in sales, it means more buyers got into the market and more sellers got out, which is a positive for consumers on both sides of the transaction.”

 “Sales activity changed direction in October, but we need to see some consistency next month and the month after to call it a trend,” adds Stevenson. “For now it’s a nice building block.”

Despite the monthly rise, year-to-date sales activity in all sectors remained lower than last year’s levels and well below longer term trends. In fact, year-to-date sales activity has totaled 15,642 units, which is 6.3 percent below last year’s levels.

While increased activity in the lower price ranges had a greater impact on the average and median price, benchmark prices once again edged down in October. The city-wide unadjusted benchmark price totaled $438,900, or 0.34 percent below last month and four percent below last year’s levels.  

Since the start of the downturn, home prices have declined from a low of 3.8 per cent in the detached market to a high of 9.4 per cent in the apartment condominium sector. And, despite the rise in October sales, monthly prices continued to decline for most product types in the market.

Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package.



Oct. 21, 2016

Calgary Real Estate Review - September 2016

Detached prices stabilize in soft market

by CREB on October 03, 2016 

The segment of Calgary’s housing market with the greatest influence on the overall market is showing signs of pricing stability. The detached benchmark price totaled $503,400 in September, which is 3.3 percent below last year, but the second consecutive month at this price level.

While overall economic conditions remain soft, for now, the detached sector is demonstrating some steadiness in terms of pricing.

“The decline in demand has caused many to anticipate steeper price declines for detached homes,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “That hasn’t happened in large part because detached supply levels haven’t climbed as sharply as many expected. There was a limited amount of supply in the overall market when this cycle began, and while levels did rise and remain somewhat elevated, they were well below previous highs.”

The level of detached new listings also eased compared to last year, helping push down year-over-year inventory levels for the second consecutive month.

“Consumers are really starting to come to terms with the current environment," said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “Most sellers have adjusted their expectations at the same time that many buyers are realizing the price of a home is influenced by factors like location, supply in specific price ranges and condition of the property.”

Residential inventory levels totaled 5,877 in September, five per cent higher than last year, due to gains in both the apartment and attached sectors. City-wide months of supply neared four months but ranged from a low of three months in the detached sector to a high of eight months in the apartment sector.

Sales were equally inconsistent, improving by four percent in the detached market while declining by 23 percent in the apartment sector. Nonetheless, in every category, sales activity year-to-date sales activity has declined over levels recorded last year and remains below long-term averages.

The resale apartment market has recorded large inventory gains and a sharp pullback in sales. This, combined with additional competition from new builds, is resulting in steeper price adjustments in this sector.

Condominium apartment prices totaled $274,700 in September, 0.1 percent below last month and 6.8 percent below last years’ price.

Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package.