Canada’s big banks have cut their residential mortgage rates, likely for the last time in the foreseeable future, economists say.

 

The bank cut rates by one-tenth of a percentage point on mortgages terms ranging from one to 10 years.

 

That puts the rate for a five-year closed mortgage at 5.49 per cent at each of Canada’s major banks.

 

The Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, TD Canada Trust, and Scotiabank announced reductions last week.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce followed suit on Monday.

 

Long-term interest rates are falling because of concerns about the health of the global economy, coupled with the likelihood that the Bank of Canada will hold off on raising its key overnight rate until well into the second half of this year.

 

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The Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate unchanged at 1% on Tuesday but for the first time since the recession it said it would eventually have to lift borrowing costs if economic growth continues.

 

“To the extent that the expansion continues and the current material excess supply in the economy is gradually absorbed, some of the considerable monetary policy stimulus currently in place will be eventually withdrawn, consistent with achieving the 2% inflation target,” it stated. “Such reduction would need to be carefully considered.

 

It did not say whether “eventually” meant the next rate increase would be in July, September or beyond, but its statement was more hawkish than previous ones, which only said that any future hikes “would need to be carefully considered.”

 

The central bank now sees underlying inflation as only “relatively subdued” rather than “subdued” as in previous statements, but it did not change its overall outlook for inflation. It repeated that the persistent strength of the Canadian dollar “could create even greater headwinds for the Canadian economy” and dampen inflation.

 

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Fewer new homes will go up in Edmonton this year before the residential construction industry recovers to pre-recession heights next year, said Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. Monday.

 

Total housing starts in the Edmonton census metropolitan area for 2011 will not repeat the comeback of 2010, which saw a gain of 56 per cent, the Spring 2011 Edmonton Housing Market Outlook said.

 

Builders will start 9,250 homes in 2011, down seven per cent from 2010.

 

But economic growth and more in-migration will lift housing starts by 9.2 per cent in 2012 to 10,100 units, CMHC said.

“Next year’s performance will represent the best year for the homebuilding industry since 2007,” CMHC senior market analyst Richard Goatcher said.

 

Following 2010’s gain, single-detached starts in 2011 will decrease by nine per cent to 5,500 homes. In 2012, singles will rebound to near 6,000 — but still below the 10-year average of 6,177.

 

The report said multi-family starts will reach 3,750 units in the Edmonton CMA in 2011. That’s four per cent down from 2010.

 

In 2010, multi-family starts soared by 61 per cent as new-apartment construction took off. In 2012, the forecast calls for multiple starts to approach 4,100, up nine per cent over the previous year.

 

In the resale market, the report predicts Multiple Listing Service activity in greater Edmonton will remain mostly flat at 16,500 sales, following a 14-per-cent drop in 2010.

 

“Despite a slow first quarter, look for demand to improve as the year progresses due to an improving economy and a slightly tighter rental market which will encourage more newcomers to consider home ownership,” Goatcher said.

In 2012, the report forecasts MLS sales to keep rising by more than four per cent to 17,200 units.

 

The average residential price will rise by only 0.1 per cent in 2011 to $329,000, with most gains in the latter half of the year.

 

A more balanced market will push the average residential price up by 2.4 per cent year-over-year in 2012 to $337,000.

In the apartment rental market, the vacancy rate will drop by October to 3.8 per cent, down from 4.2 per cent last October. CMHC forecasts vacancy will fall again in 2012 to 3.0 per cent.

 

Tighter vacancies will mean rising rent, CMHC said. The average two-bedroom rent remained stable at $1,015 in 2010, but will rise $15 in 2011.

 

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The Alberta market continues to be stuck in low gear, as both sales of existing
homes and construction of new housing units are showing very modest
increases at best so far this year. Persistent hesitation on the part of homebuyers
is likely symptomatic of long-lasting payback from their overextension
during the 2006-07 boom when home prices jumped by more than 50%.
This has since driven up the rate of mortgages in arrears to a generational
high in the province. Until the latter stages of 2010, plentiful supply of
homes for sale combined with sluggish demand to keep home prices firmly
under wraps. Stable or slightly declining prices, in turn, contributed to substantial
improvement in affordability in Alberta last year. While market conditions
have become more balanced in recent months, there remains very
little pricing momentum in the provincial market at this stage, maintaining
attractive affordability levels – the RBC Measures for all housing categories
in Alberta stood below their long-term average in the first quarter.

 

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Edmonton, May 3, 2011: According to the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton, the average price of housing remained relatively stable through April as compared to the previous month. The all-residential average price decreased $310 to $327,415; down from $327,725 in March. Single family home prices decreased $425 while condo prices rose $1,305 (0.6%) during the month. Despite the activity the market is balanced without a distinct advantage for either buyer or seller.

 

“Prices and sales usually increase in the second quarter and REALTORS® are busy serving new and repeat customers,” explained REALTORS® Association of Edmonton President Chris Mooney. “The increase in new listings means that there is a good selection of homes to choose from. However, the market is still price sensitive and sellers will have to have a realistic pricing strategy if they are expecting a quick sale.”

 

Residential sales were 1,487 down 7.8%; compared to 1,613 in March. Residential listing activity rose from 2,958 units in March to 3,278 units in April. Inventory of homes on the Multiple Listing Service® increased from 6,885 last month to 7,215 as of April 30.


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Edmonton... The Alberta government will license and set standards for home inspectors under new rules to protect Albertans who rely on an inspection when buying a home.

 

“A home is the single largest investment most Albertans make. They deserve to have confidence that the person they hire to inspect a home is qualified to make a reliable assessment,” said Service Alberta Minister Heather Klimchuk, responsible for consumer protection. “Most home inspectors are professionals, but the financial consequences of a faulty or negligent inspection can be staggering for families.”

 

The Home Inspection Business Regulation, which comes into force on September 1, 2011, will require all home inspection businesses and individual inspectors be licensed by the provincial government. To qualify for a licence, inspectors must have successfully completed training from an educational institution approved by the provincial government and pass a test inspection, or hold a Certified Master Inspector or Registered Home Inspector designation. Home inspectors, organizations or industry associations will also have the ability to submit training programs or credentials for assessment by the government.

 

Alberta consumers, home inspectors and the real estate industry indicated widespread support for regulation during public consultation by the government.

 

“Many Albertans take the prudent step of getting an inspection when buying a home and they trust that advice when making their decision,” said Gael MacLeod, who chaired a committee advising the government on the regulation. “Alberta’s new rules will give homebuyers the assurance that the inspector is a qualified professional.”

 

The regulation also provides additional protection for homebuyers:

  • requiring home inspection businesses carry errors and omission insurance in case an inspector makes a mistake or is negligent;
  • requiring home inspection businesses post a security to cover consumer losses if the regulation is not followed;
  • establishing what parts of a home and property must be included in a home inspection; and
  • prohibiting contract clauses that limit the liability of the business and inspectors.

Service Alberta can investigate complaints that a home inspector has violated the regulation. Enforcement actions include suspension or cancellation of the licence, and prosecution under the Fair Trading Act, with a maximum fine of $100,000 and up to two years in jail.

 

The Alberta government is working to build a better Alberta by fostering economic growth, strengthening our health and education systems, investing in infrastructure, supporting safe and strong communities and ensuring a clean and healthy environment.

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According to preliminary figures released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), housing starts in the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) totalled 758 units in April, down from 1,407 units in April of 2010. For the year-to-date, total housing starts reached 2,323 units, compared with 3,439 units in the first four months of last year.


Single-detached home builders across the Capital region began construction on 436 units in April, representing a decrease of 30 per cent from the 620 units started during the same month of 2010. “This time last year the industry was working hard to replenish depleted inventories, whereas this spring the volume of complete and unabsorbed units is considerably higher,” noted Richard Goatcher, CMHC’s Senior Market Analyst for Edmonton. To the end of April, single-detached starts totalled 1,237 units, down by 39 per cent from the first four months of 2010.


On the heels of a strong performance in March, multi-family starts, which consist of semi-detached, row, and apartment units, decreased on a year-over-year basis in April by 59 per cent to 322 units. Activity last April was bolstered by a strong uptick in condominium apartment starts. On a year-to-date basis, multiple unit starts across Greater Edmonton were down by 24 per cent to 1,086 units compared with 1,425 units reported in January to April of 2010.


Across Alberta, housing starts in the seven largest centres decreased by 41 per cent year-over-year in April to 1,501 units. All centres with the exception of Grande Prairie reported lower activity compared with April 2010.   

Read more here CMHC Monthly Report

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imageZone 10 -  Crestwood, Parkview, Valleyview, Laurier Heights

Zone 11 -  Glenora

Zone 20 -  Aldergrove, Belmead, Callingwood, Dechene, Donsdale, Gariepy, Hawthorne Hill, Jamieson Place, Le Perle,

Lymburn, Ormsby Place, River Valley Ctry, Sherwood, Summerlea, Terra Losa, Thorncliffe, Vistula, Westridge

Zone 22 -  Emwood, Glenwood, Jasper Park, Lynwood, Meadowlark Park, Oleskiw, Patricia Heights, Quesnell Heights, Rio Terrace

Zone 58 -  Breckenridge, Greens, Glastenbury, The Hamptons, Normandeau Gardens, Potter Green, Lewis Estates, Triple A Acres

 

 

 

 Current Active Listings in West Edmonton

 

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Sold Listings in West Edmonton in April 2011

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DOM = Days on the Market

LP = List Price

SP = Sold Price

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imageZone 01 -  Athlone, Calder, Kensington, Lauderdale, Rosslyn, Wellington

Zone 04 -  Dovercourt, Hagman Est Ind, Prince Charles, Sherbrooks

Zone 07 -  Inglewood, North Glenora, Westmount, Woodcroft

Zone 21 -  Britannia,/Youngstown, Canora, Grovenor, High Park/Edm, Jasper Place, Mayfield, McQueen

Zone 27 -  Barnow, Batyrn, Beaumaris, Caenarvon, Canossa, Carlisle, Carlton, Chambery, Cumberland, Dunluse,

Elisnore, Hudson, Lorelei, Oxford, Palisades, Pembina, Rapperswill, Rural North West

Zone 59 -  Rural West Big Lake, Westview Village, Mobile Park, Winterburn Ind East

Zone 40

 

 

 

 Current Active Listings in Northwest Edmonton

 

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Sold Listings in Northwest Edmonton in April 2011

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DOM = Days on the Market

LP = List Price

SP = Sold Price

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imageZone 02 -  Evansdale, Northmount, Glengarry, Klikenny, Kildare, Delwood, Mcleod, York,

Cassleman, Miller, Balwin, Belvedere, Killarney, Elmwood Park, Dalton

Zone 03 -  North Swale, Matt Berry, Hollick Kenyon, Brintnell

Zone 06 -  Newton, Montrose

Zone 09 -  Highlands, Edmonton Northlands, Virginia Park, Cromdale

Zone 23 -  Berman, Abbotsfield, Beacon Heights, Beverly Heights, Rundle Heights

Zone 28 -  Ozerna, Mayliewan, Belle Rive, Eaux Claite, Schonsee, Klarvatten, Lago Lindo, Crystallina Nera, Joviz

Zone 35 -  Kirkness, Fraser, Hairsine, Clareview Campus, Bannerman, Sifton Park, Belmont, Kernohan, Homesteader,Overlanders, Canon Ridge

Zone 43 -  Clover Bar Area, East Edmonton

Zone 50

Zone 51

 

 

 

 Current Active Listings in Northeast Edmonton

 

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Sold Listings in Northeast Edmonton in April 2011

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DOM = Days on the Market

LP = List Price

SP = Sold Price

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imageZone 5 -  Alberta Avenue, Delton, Eastwood, Elmwood Park, Park Dale

Zone 08 -  Central McDougall, Edmonton Municipal, Prince Rupert, Queen Mary Park, Spruce Avenue, Westwood, Yellowhead Corridor

Zone 12 -  Downtown Edmonton, Oliver, Rossdale

Zone 13 -  Boyle Street, McCauley, Riverdale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Current Active Listings in Central Edmonton

 

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Sold Listings in Central Edmonton in April 2011

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DOM = Days on the Market

LP = List Price

SP = Sold Price

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imageZone 17 -  Argyll, Avonmore, Hazeldean, King Edward Park, Ritchie.

Zone 18 -  Bonniedoon, Cloverdale, Holyrood, Idlewylde, Kenilworth, Ottwell, Strathearn.

Zone 19 -  Capilano, Forest Heights, Fulton Place, Gold Bar, Terrace Heights, Millwoods.

Zone 29 -  Bisset, Crawford Plains, Daly Grove, Ekota, Greenview, Hillview, Jackson Heights, Kameyosek,

Kiniski Gardens, Lee Ridge, Mensia,

Mayonohk, Michaels Park, Millwoods Park, Minchau, Pollard Meadows, Richfield, Sakaw, Satoo, Tawa,

Tipaskan, Tweddle Place, Weinlos

Zone 30 -  Larkspur, The Meadows, Silver Berry, Wildrose

Zone 41

Zone 42

Zone 53

Zone 54

 Current Active Listings in South East Edmonton

 

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Sold Listings in South East Edmonton in April 2011

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DOM = Days on the Market

LP = List Price

SP = Sold Price

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imageZone 14 -  Brander Gardens, Brookside, Brookeside, Buylea Heights, Carter Cresc, Falconer Heights, Haddow, Henderson Estates, Hodgson, Legar, Ogilvie Ridge.

Zone 15 -  Allendale, Belgravia, Empire Park, Garneau, Grandview Heights, Landsdown, Lendrum Place, Malmo Plains, McKernan, Park Allen, Pleasant View, Queen Alexandra, Strathcona, Windsor Park.

Zone 16 -  Aspen Gardens, Royal Gardens, Rideau Park, Duggan, Greenfield, Westbrook Estate, Sweet Grass, Blue Quill Estates, Steinhauer, Ermineskin, Skyrattler, Keheewin, Twin Brooks, and Bearspaw.

Zone 55 -  Blackburne, MacEwan, and Richford

Zone 56 -  Windermere Estates

Zone 57 -  Woodbend Estatesh

 Current Active Listings in South West Edmonton

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Sold Listings in South West Edmonton in May 2011

 

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DOM = Days on the Market

LP = List Price

SP = Sold Price

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