Calgary’s housing market renaissance has not been a steady process, as the overall improving trend in resale activity was inconsistent last year, says a report released today by RBC Economics Research.


But the city remains one of the more affordable housing markets in Canada.


The latest Housing Trends and Affordability Report said recent statistics, however, show that resales in the area stabilized in the first quarter of 2013 and that month-to-month gains were registered during the February to April period.


Calgary-area buyers continue to benefit from a strong provincial economy, accelerating population growth and attractive housing affordability in Canada.

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Alberta homeowners report the most success in the country in year-over-year debt reduction.

A Manulife Bank of Canada survey has found that 60 per cent of homeowners in the province said they have less debt than they did a year ago.

Across Canada, 55 per cent of homeowners were in that situation.

The survey said just 20 per cent of Canadian homeowners report having more debt than they did a year ago, with the balance reporting no change in their debt level (16 per cent) or being debt-free over the past 12 months (nine per cent).

Regionally, homeowners in Alberta (60 per cent) and Ontario (58 per cent) are most likely to feel confident they’ll be debt-free when they reach retirement, while those in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (53 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (50 per cent) are least likely to be confident, according to the survey.

Across the country, 56 per cent of homeowners are confident they’ll be debt-free at retirement.

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Forty-six per cent of Albertans are planning to make significant home renovations in the next two years – second after Atlantic Canadians (47%) and two per cent above the national average, says a new survey by Scotiabank.

The Scotiabank Mortgage Landscape Study also found that Albertans are more likely to use a line of credit to pay for renovations (37%), which is well ahead of the other regions of the country and the national average (29%).

While dipping into their cash savings to pay for renos is common among Canadians (62%), Albertans are the least likely among the regions to do so (50%), according to the study.

Canadian homeowners say they would most like to renovate their kitchen (33 per cent), followed by their bathroom (16%) and their basement (16%).

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Calgary has been a highly sought after destination for retailers testing the waters in Canada,report says by CBRE Limited.

Over the last couple of years, several high-profile international retailers have set up shop in the city due to its strong economy and healthy retail sales growth.

That has also led to a demand for more space in the retail market.

The CBRE report says about 1.5 million square feet of new supply is projected to be added to the Calgary market this year, up 1.1 million square feet from 358,495 square feet in 2012.

At the national level, CBRE is forecasting about 5.4 million square feet of new supply this year, trending above the 10-year annual average of 5.2 million square feet.

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This year has so far proven to be one of increasing momentum for the city’s retail market, according to a new report by Colliers International in Calgary.

Market vacancy continues considerably unchanged at 2.14 per cent in the spring, up slightly from 1.99 per cent last fall, adding that opportunities for retailers in Calgary’s premier shopping centres remain nearly non-existent and landlords have the option to be very selective in their choice of tenancies to fill upcoming vacancies.

The report said retailer demand for new space in Calgary has reached an all-time high. Low unemployment, exceptional incomes and reasonable costs of living are all contributing to the strength of Alberta’s retail sales which on a per capita basis exceeds the national average by about 34 per cent.

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Contractors took out building permits worth $553.9 million in the Calgary region in March, up 7.1 per cent from February, reported by Statistics Canada.


The federal agency reported Monday that the construction value was also an increase of 21.3 per cent year-over-year.

Alberta saw permits of $1.7 billion for March, up 22.3 per cent on a monthly basis and an increase of 38.2 per cent from a year ago. The residential sector climbed to $821.8 million which represented a 15.9 per cent increase from February and a 16.2 per cent jump from March 2012. The non-residential sector was $856.7 million, up 29.1 per cent month-over-month and 69.0 per cent year-over-year.


At the national level, contractors took out building permits worth $6.5 billion in March, up 8.6 per cent from February and the third consecutive monthly advance. The March increase came mostly from the non-residential sector in Ontario and Alberta, said Statistics Canada.

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MLS residential sales activity in towns outside Calgary improved at a faster pace than the city in April.

The Calgary Real Estate Board’s statistics for the month indicate sales in towns outside the city increased by 12.24 per cent to 431 compared with a year ago.

Within city limits, sales were up 8.28 per cent to 2,381 for the month.

In April, the average sale price in the towns market increased by 2.89 per cent to $365,877 and the benchmark price, which tracks typical properties sold, was up 6.48 per cent to $339,900.

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