Monday, April 30, 2012


CMHC could be pulled out of mortgage insurance business, Flaherty says
By Garry Marr
Financial Post Apr 27, 2012

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty would consider taking Canada Mortgage Housing Corp. out of the mortgage default insurance business he told the National Post’s editorial board.

“Over time, I don’t think it’s essential that a government financial institution provide mortgage insurance in Canada. I think what’s key is that mortgage insurance is available at a reasonable cost in Canada. I think there is a role to regulate but whether we, the Canadian people, have to be the owners and shareholders of a financial institution to do this is a question. I don’t think it’s essential in the long run.”

He offered no timetable on when the government could get out of mortgage default insurance business, just offering it up as a possibility. “We have a list of Crowns, Crown agencies that are being reviewed,” said Mr. Flaherty.

In a wide-ranging discussion on the housing market, he said he has no plans to increase CMHC’s current $600-billion loan limit, ruled out any possibility of regulating foreign real estate investment and made it clear his focus is on the governance of Crown corp. which controls about 75% of the mortgage default insurance business in the country.

“For some time now I’ve had concerns about the large commercial role that CMHC now plays. CMHC has become a significant Canadian financial institution. As you know, historically it was created with a mandate post-war to advance housing in Canada. It’s become much more that.”

The finance minister moved this week to tighten control of CMHC, placing it under the authority of the country’s banking regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. Previously, it fell under the watch of the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development.

The shift comes with CMHC closing in on the $600-billion limit the government has for how much of its portfolio will be backstopped by the taxpayer. Three years ago it was $450-billion.

By law, consumers must buy mortgage default insurance if they have less than a 20% down payment on a home and are borrowing from a federally regulated financial institution.

But CMHC has not been insuring just those loans, it has agreed to step in and insure loans — with the premiums paid by financial institutions — for lower-ratio mortgages, or what is called “portfolio” or “bulk insurance.”

He said the head of OFSI will now have the power to look at the books of CMHC the way she looks at the books of other private financial institutions in Canada. Already, the government has placed the deputy minister of finance on the board of CMHC.

“We have quite a bit of information about what the banks do and don’t do. [Superintendent] Julie Dickson had to go to some of them in the last year and say ‘you must ensure that your board policies on residential lending mortgages are carried through,” he said. “She’s quite a strict supervisor which is good for our country.”

OSFI has already been looking into CMHC and established one of the key issues for the organization is governance. “OFSI are certainly of the view there are necessary governance improvements we can do,” said Mr. Flaherty.

He made it clear there are no plans to extend CMHC’s $600-billion limit. “For a while,” said Mr. Flaherty, about how long the Crown corporation would have to exist under that limit. It was at $541-billion at the end of the third quarter of last year but business has slowed as the agency culled its portfolio business.

Mr. Flaherty’s own opinion on the housing market is that has been fuelled by low interest rates which he says he does not control. “Cheap money,” he said, noting he did talk to the banks about being unhappy about their mortgage rate wars earlier this year which had reduced the rate on a five-year closed mortgage to below 3% — an all-time low.

As to whether the market has been in part fueled by foreign buyers, as many in the real estate industry have suggested, Mr. Flaherty said his government will not get involved in that aspect of the market. “No,” he said, pausing to emphasize the point. “I don’t think there is [a role]. They key in housing from my point of view is to get the best information on housing.”

Friday, April 27, 2012


Most Canadians would balk at bidding war
Sheila Dabu Nonato
Postmedia News Apr 19, 2012

About a quarter of Canadians say they are willing to enter into a “bidding war” in Canada’s housing market and pay up to 120% of the asking price, according to a BMO report released Thursday.

The BMO Buying Report said Canadian respondents in the Prairies, Ontario and Alberta are more willing to enter into a bidding war than those in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

In the survey, 22% of Canadians said they were willing to enter into a bidding war when making an offer on a home.

“Of those prepared to fight, half would pay up to 110% of the asking price, while a quarter would be willing to bid up to 120%,” the report said.

Those surveyed in Manitoba/Saskatchewan ranked first in eagerness to enter into a mortgage bidding war (32%). They were followed by respondents in: Ontario (28%), Alberta (25%), B.C. (23%), Atlantic Canada (13%) and Quebec (10%).

The study also noted that 52% of Canadians surveyed said they’re willing to pay between 100 and 110% of the asking price, with Quebec ranking first at 62%. It was followed by: Alberta and B.C. (53%), Ontario (51%), Manitoba/Saskatchewan (48%) and Atlantic Canada (44%).

Meanwhile, 27% of Canadians said they would pay between 100 to 120%, with the highest in Atlantic Canada (33%), then Ontario and B.C. (30%), Quebec (25%), Manitoba/Saskatchewan (22%) and Alberta (17%).

John Pasalis, broker owner of Realosophy Realty Inc., a Toronto-area real estate brokerage, cautioned that the bidding wars may not be as lucrative as they seem.

“One thing to keep in mind is the houses that are getting pretty crazy bidding wars are underpriced anywhere from five to 10%,” he said. “The list prices aren’t always an indication of what they’re actually worth.”

Pasalis said his company has seen “multiple offers almost non-stop for years now,”including as much as 10 or more buyers bidding on a house.

“You just get these spikes and valleys in the market where things get a little bit more heated and demand starts outstripping supply as things get faster,” he explained.

However, the mortgage wars may backfire on owners if the bank’s appraisal of the home is lower than what a buyer pays for the home, he said.

To avoid this, Pasalis cautioned that homeowners need to know the actual market value of the property they want to buy as opposed to its listing price.

Nationally, the average home sale price is $369,677, the report said. The average home prices across Canada are “rising modestly,” it said, except in Toronto ($504,117) and Vancouver ($761,742).

“Toronto prices have risen 11% over the past year, while Vancouver’s have fallen 3%,” said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist for BMO Capital Markets.

The survey was completed online by Leger Marketing from March 19-22 with a sample of 1,000 Canadian home or condo owners. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

Photo By: Kamilerner


Parking lot to be transformed into Victoria Park park
Project includes courtyard and ‘memory screens’ for projecting videos and historic images
By Annalise Klingbeil
Calgary Herald April 25, 2012

A small southeast parking lot is set to become a new community park in a once-neglected neighbourhood that is desperate for green space.

The City of Calgary held a public open house Monday at a Macleod Trail noodle house to discuss the proposed East Victoria Park redevelopment with citizens.

The site, currently being used as a parking lot, is located above the C-Train tunnel along Macleod Trail between 11th and 12th avenues S.E.

“East Victoria Park is a new up-and-coming area. It’s already deficient in park space,” said Michelle Reid, project manager with the City of Calgary parks department.

The open house was an opportunity for citizens to weigh in on the preliminary concept plan. Gathering citizen feedback is an important step when creating new parks, said Reid.

“They’re the ultimate end users and we want to make sure that we give them a space that they can embrace and actively use,” said Reid.

The proposed redevelopment includes a courtyard that can accommodate small events and gatherings, with lots of open lawn area, perfect for picnics, and “memory screens” which can be used to project videos at night and historic images during the day.

The park will enhance the quality of life for Calgarians who live and work in the area, said Deron Miller, principal at Scatlif+Miller+Murray, the landscape architect and planning firm behind the project.

“This place will become an urban oasis,” said Miller.

At Monday’s open house, citizens were invited to fill out a survey about the redevelopment, which asked questions about design, landscaping, the central open space and moving the Enoch Sales house onto the site, provided funds are available.

It has been proposed that the Enoch Sales house, one of the last remaining historic houses in Victoria Park, be incorporated into the redevelopment as a cafe.

Citizen feedback surrounding the proposed green space, which is about 3,000 square metres in size, has been mainly positive, said Reid.

“One of the things that people are always a little bit worried about is who is going to be using this, how is it going to be used,” she said.

Reid said all users will be welcome at the park, but undesirable uses will not be welcome.

Calgarians who live and work in East Victoria Park will have to wait a few years to enjoy the new park. The current parking lot lease expires in June 2013 and construction of the green space is set to begin in July, said Reid.


'Urban oasis' slated for St. Patrick's Island
Development plan includes boardwalks, $25M bridge
By Jason Markusoff
Calgary Herald April 26, 2012

Overgrown with weedy brush and nothing inviting beyond a few metal benches and cracked pathways, St. Patrick's Island has long been the ugly sibling of the Calgary Zoo's St. George's Island and the festival-friendly Prince's Island.

Its Cinderella conversion will come at the hands of the redevelopment agency that controls East Village, and will follow a similar pattern of the nearby RiverWalk: clear it out, spruce it up and watch 'em come.

Landscape architects from Denver and New York were announced Wednesday to convert a haven for rough sleepers and drug dealers into a paradise of boardwalks, food concessions, skating and family picnics.

"We're quite confident we can create a place where people and kids can safely touch the river, put their toes in the water," said Mark Johnson of Colorado-based Civitas. "So that you can have the kind of adventure play you get in the mountains right in the core of the city."

Although the redesign is aimed at maintaining a natural feel on the island, the big first step will be razing invasive species of shrubbery and trees that have provided cover for the sleeping homeless.

It will have better "visual access" and much better lighting, Johnson said.

"Being on an island comes with the connotation that you're getting away a little bit - that you're not in the heart of things, that you're a little isolated and that's special," Johnson said.

"Well, today, as soon as the leaves come out, you cross the bridge and you get on the island, you don't realize you're on an island, because you're enclosed in the woods. So we'd like to do some opening."

Civitas has overhauled a riverside stretch in Denver while partner W Architecture of New York did the same with part of Harlem along the East River.

But the head of Calgary Municipal Land Corp. said the redesign will do more than take cues from nature.

"One of the key pieces of feedback we got from Calgarians is don't overlandscape the setting. Yes, we want it to be attractive and we want to pull people down to it, but we still want it to feel like it's an urban oasis," Michael Brown said.

A lagoon will be restored between St. Patrick's and St. George's islands, for wading and winter skating. Next to it will be an amphitheatre for a couple of hundred spectators, as well as food concessions.

An open event space will mark the centre of the island, and its west tip will be crowned by a $25million pedestrian bridge connecting to both Memorial Drive and East Village.

It will be built by Graham Construction - the same firm that delivered the Peace Bridge nearly 11/2 years behind schedule.

However, a different team within the Calgary-based infrastructure giant will deliver this unnamed bridge, a simpler double-arch crossing designed by French firm RFR.

"Not as complicated for the construction, no," said Bill Campbell, Graham's operations manager on this project as well as the on-time, onbudget 4th Street S.E. underpass.

The bridge and island will be funded through the same "revitalization levy" loan that will be recouped through property taxes by new development in East Village and the downtown's east end, including The Bow office tower.

Brown said the island will find its "niche" by welcoming smaller festivals than could fill Prince's Island, which was named one of the top 10 public spaces in Canada last year by Spacing magazine.

The architects of St. Patrick's Island have an opportunity that didn't exist with Prince's Island - to reinvent the whole thing all at once.

The downtown's largest park space was redesigned in stages - first in the 1960s, and then again in the 1990s, with the addition of the eastern wetlands and a massive stage.

Large chunks of Prince's Island's northern side remain naturally rugged, and offer few clear vistas of the Bow River for park-goers.

"A lot has changed when it comes to incorporating natural areas and park design," Ald. Druh Farrell said.

Ald. Gian-Carlo Carra said the addition of an eatery like another River Cafe would create a "sense of ownership" on the island.

"Public spaces need mayors, whether it's the guys who run the kiosk or people who have a legitimate commercial reason to be there to ensure that a space is well kept up and makes sure that the bad guys don't set up shop," he said.

A restaurant is also a key feature of the revamped Central Memorial Park.


- Amphitheatre for a couple of hundred spectators
- Food concessions
- $25-million pedestrian bridge linking both East Village and Memorial Drive
- New bike pathways
- Nature trails and boardwalks
- Restored lagoon for skating and wading between St. Patrick's and St. George's islands
- Kayak/raft launch


Calgary housing market booming
Calgary Herald April 23, 2012

Just over three weeks into April and it appears Calgary’s housing market has seen a resurgence of activity this spring.

A boom perhaps?

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, MLS sales in all housing categories are noticeably up compared with last year.

From April 1-22, single-family sales of 1,108 transactions are up 26.05 per cent from the same period a year ago but the average sale price has dipped by 0.43 per cent to $481,423.

The condo apartment category has seen sales grow year-over-year by 14.91 per cent to 262 units while the average price has dropped by 2.83 per cent to $269,046.

And in the condo townhouse sector, sales of 198 are up 15.79 per cent from last year and the average price has risen by 6.46 per cent to $319,140.


Demand for Calgary downtown office space remains strong
Second Eighth Avenue Place tower nears being fully leased
By Mario Toneguzzi
Calgary Herald April 27, 2012

CALGARY — Continued demand for Calgary downtown office space has been so strong that the latest skyscraper project is getting closer to being fully leased.

Joe Binfet, managing director for Colliers International in Calgary, said the commercial real estate firm has received “tremendous traction” in leasing the West Tower of the Eighth Avenue Place development.

“There are only seven unencumbered floors left on which we can do lease deals on and remember this is a 40-floor, 841,000 square foot office tower. So that’s a significant sign of the strength of the Calgary economy downtown,” he said.

There’s about 150,000 square feet of vacant space in the second tower on the site which just recently began construction.

The owners of the project, which comprises a 49-storey tower on the site of the former Penny Lane block, recently said initial occupancy on the 40-storey second tower is planned for the spring of 2014.

The project is co-owned by Alberta Investment Management Corp., Ivanhoe Cambridge and Matco Investments Ltd.

The existing 49-storey tower, comprising 1.1 million square feet of office space, was completed in early 2011. Its construction began without any pre-leasing.

“There’s continued demand for AA and A space,” said Binfet.

“It’s not a frenzied pace like we were seeing earlier in the year but we are seeing cautious optimism in the marketplace and that bodes well for downtown office space right now.”

A downtown office report by Colliers said there has been 866,351 square feet of absorbed space in the first quarter of this year, marking the 10th consecutive quarter of positive absorption. The overall downtown vacancy dropped from 4.49 per cent in the previous quarter to 4.20 per cent “despite projections that the completion of The Bow, Encana and Cenovus’ new head office, would push the vacancy rate up across all building classes,” said Colliers.

It said AA and A class markets remain very tight with the AA vacancy rate at just 0.59 per cent. This is the lowest AA vacancy rate since 2006.

“Many companies with a long-term outlook for Calgary, and Alberta alike, are looking to new developments as their best leasing solution, given the limited availability within existing buildings,” added Colliers.

A downtown office market report by Avison Young said new office construction is not just possible but necessary.

“Vacancy models assuming even modest annual absorption in the area show downtown vacancy below three per cent for the next five years,” it said.

“It is likely that given the modest absorption rate we will reach sub one per cent vacancy in the downtown by mid-2013. What this means is that at least some major developments currently in pre-leasing will likely commit to construction within the year.”

Avison Young said this has already happened with Cadillac Fairview’s City Centre project while other major downtown developments could move ahead as well.

“Likely candidates include: Brookfield’s Herald Block, Oxford’s Eau Claire Tower, Aspen’s Palliser West and H&R REIT’s Bow South. All these developments are on a four-year or longer timeline so vacancies will remain very low.”

Photo by: Surrealplaces

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Time to update your wall
Textures, patterns, blasts of colour — wallpaper's a trend worth posting
By Amanda Ash
Edmonton Journal
When Kristen Janzen was designing her daughter's nursery, she wasn't interested in the typical cutesy baby themes like jungles and safaris.

The 29-year-old mom-to-be wanted something different. She envisioned a decor that was pretty and timeless, where she wouldn't have to paint over giant images of monkeys and lions later on.

While she was pregnant, Janzen became hooked on HGTV's home design shows. She found many series highlighted the lost art of wallpapering, which no longer boasted of old granny ornamentation and boring hues we all remember.

The contemporary trend of bold, colourful wallpapers stuck with Janzen, and the mom-to-be eventually came across the perfect pattern — light blue and white damask — to create a bright, texturized space for her new baby.

"With wallpaper, you get to be a bit more creative with it, I think," Janzen says, describing how the nursery's feature wall pops against the room's tan paint, dark wood and white furniture.

"I love texture, and I don't really think you can get the same look with paint. I just wanted to have something a little bit different and I wanted it to be beautiful."

Janzen, who is now the proud mother to a five-month-old baby girl, was a bit hesitant to join the growing trend at first. The nightmares associated with wallpapering, such as the laborious scraping and time-intensive icky gluing, didn't really appeal. But thanks to her mom, whom Janzen says has always been adventurous with home decoration, she was convinced to give it a go.

"It was a little bit scary, and it's a little bit more expensive than paint," Janzen explains. "But I'm really glad we took a chance on it. Once it was up, it was perfect and we're thrilled with it."

Interior designer Tracy Fortin, owner of Flawless Interiors, says home and garden television shows and magazines are responsible for reviving wallpaper and showcasing the huge selection of patterns and colours available.

Fortin says the trend has emerged from the accessibility of these home design mediums, which have opened people's eyes to new and creative design possibilities, as well as the ease of wallpapering today.

Most people are still very hesitant to pick up a roll of wallpaper, Fortin observes. But once she started showing her clients the range of pattern and colour choices avail-able, as well how some brands only need water instead of glue for their application, it's been an easy sell.

"I think people are just wanting to personalize their spaces a little more and do something a little different," Fortin says. "For a long time, it was paint your wall a different colour and that was your feature wall. People have seen enough of that and are looking for something new and interesting.

"People are becoming more interested in how their home reflects their personality and what they want to say about themselves," Fortin continues. "With the choices in wallpaper now, you can really make a statement and say what you want to say. And it's really fun."

Fortin says the possibilities are endless when it comes to wallpaper. They can range from grass cloth and natural fibre wallpaper to custom designs made from photo-graphs.

Allison Harris from paint and wall covering store Walls Alive remembers when there wasn't a whole lot of difference in wallpaper. But over the past couple of years, she's seen a huge variety swing into the store.

Many have taken on traditional patterns, vibrant colours and eco-friendly materials rather than the traditional vinyl.

"I think part of (the trend comes) from the decorating shows on HGTV," Harris explains. "I think it's part of a natural cycle of things coming in and out of fashion. And I think it's been a part of wallpaper companies and designers coming up with a lot of new beautiful interesting patterns."

Right now, Walls Alive's most popular sellers are jazzed-up and enlarged damask patterns, as well as geometric and retro patterns.

They have between 60 and 90 types in stock, but also boast an extensive library of wallpaper books for custom orders.

The trend is so popular right now, in fact, that many customers are willing to spend the money for designs they love.

"People don't really seem to be worrying that much right now about how it costs," Harris says.

"Certainly, there are people who do, but I'm blown away almost every day when you figure out how much they need to do a wall of high-end good quality paper and find out that this wall is going to cost them $800." Fortin says there is no real rule for where you can or can't use wallpaper. She's used it in bathrooms behind vanity mirrors, kitchens, bedrooms and entryways. The most popular uses for wallpaper have been for feature walls.

But she also notes how people have found creative ways of using wallpaper to decorate the backs of bookshelves or old, worn furniture.

For beginners, Fortin suggests trying one of the brilliant metallic hues that are great for easing into the trend. They provide texture and shimmer without screaming a big, scary pattern. Or, you can always choose to avoid wallpaper altogether by opting for fun alternatives that include removable wall decals, painting with stencils, or simply hanging artwork.

Janzen, however, recommends giving wallpaper a chance. She's so in love with the trend, in fact, that she's already upped the ante, picking out a vibrant eggplant colour for her bedroom.

"Starting with something small, like a nursery, kind of empowers me to try it all over the house," Janzen says. "It's worth trying, and it makes a huge difference in a room."

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Flaherty calls on banks to ‘fix’ mortgage market
April 4, 2012

Canada’s finance minister said on Wednesday he would rather not tighten mortgage rules again to curb high household debt and that banks themselves are taking on that job by becoming more strict with their lending criteria.

Jim Flaherty said he has seen signs of moderation in the Toronto condominium market and expects to see a similar trend in Vancouver, one of the country’s hottest real estate markets.

“Part of that is based on what I’m being told by people who build condominiums, and also what I’m being told by some of our banks about their standards becoming more stringent with respect to their loans for condominium development,” Flaherty told reporters in Vancouver after making a speech there.

Flaherty said it was up to markets to “fix” the housing and debt problem, not the government.

“I’ve tightened up the mortgage insurance market three times … I really don’t want to do it again,” he said.

“And I’m glad that some of the banks – at least one of the bank executives yesterday indicated that he agreed that actually the banks should exercise prudence and not rely on government to do it for them,” he said.

Bank of Nova Scotia Chief Executive Rick Waugh said on Tuesday that the simmering housing market gives reason for caution, but that it’s up to the country’s banks, rather than the government, to manage the risks of their massive mortgage portfolios.

Several other bank executives – Toronto-Dominion CEO Ed Clark in particular – have said they would welcome further government moves on mortgages.

The government and central bank have been warning Canadians of the dangers of taking on too much debt, particularly through mortgages, at a time of historically low interest rates and high housing prices. The ratio of debt to personal disposable income hit a record high last year and has moderated somewhat since then.

Despite some resemblance to the U.S. housing market prior to the crash, most economists expect a soft landing in Canada.

Flaherty has tightened rules three times since 2008 in the mortgage insurance market but left them untouched in the federal budget last week, to the surprise of many.

The budget did propose enhanced supervision of the federal housing agency that issues mortgage insurance. Flaherty said the banking regulator, the Office of the Superintendent for Financial Institutions, was studying the matter.


Calgary house sales surge in March
Total MLS residential sales in the city up 12.63%
By Mario Toneguzzi
Calgary Herald April 2, 2012

CALGARY — Calgary’s housing market picked up steam in March as MLS sales surged compared with a year ago — led by stunning growth in the single-family category.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, total residential MLS sales in the city for the month was 2,167, up 12.63 per cent from March 2011. Also, the average MLS sale price increased by 3.69 per cent to $422,256.

In the single-family market, sales soared to 1,576, up 17.26 per cent from a year ago while the average sale price jumped by 2.36 per cent to $472,464 — that’s the highest it’s been since June 2011 when it was $479,580.

Christina Hagerty, a realtor with RE/MAX Realty Professionals in Calgary, said the market has been extremely active recently.

“Calgary seems to present the land of opportunity right now and people need homes. Renting does not seem like a reasonable option with the low interest rates. They also feel that the property values will be increasing so they want to secure an investment here,” said Hagerty.

She said employment and net migration growth in the city have boosted the real estate market. Also, a mild winter effected buyers with more of them starting to look in the market earlier in the year.

Industry officials have cited low mortgage rates as a reason for the surge in market activity in the city.

In March in Calgary, the condo apartment market saw year-over-year sales increase by 7.23 per cent to 356 while the average sale price rose by 4.56 per cent to $271,724.

The condo townhouse category experienced a year-over-year sales decline of 5.24 per cent to 235 but the average sale price increased by 1.21 per cent to $313,581.

Doug Koop, broker/owner of RE/MAX Realty Professionals in Calgary, said the market is very active due to a number of reasons.

In-migration into Calgary is a factor, creating a pool of new buyers.

“We’re expecting 20,000 new jobs in Calgary,” he said.

Other factors include low interest rates, increasing consumer confidence, a housing market that is considered very affordable, and “our average wage is higher than most other major cities,” said Koop.

Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., said a number of factors are contributing to the sales activity in the resale market.

“Some prospective buyers are taking advantage of the favourable mortgage rates that are being offered while some other buyers, who have been on the fence, have started to move ahead with their buying decision,” he said. “A number of people have been benefiting from the economic growth in Calgary and this has put many of them in a position to buy a home.

“Sales in Calgary are forecast to rise above 2011 levels. With activity in the energy sector expected to continue moving forward, growth in employment, income and migration will support demand for housing.”

He said some price pressures are returning to the market as demand picks up and active listings trend lower but the CMHC is forecasting a modest increase in prices in 2012 and 2013.

“The rise in activity is related to the continued improvement of our economy and consumer confidence, as some concerns regarding the global economy have eased,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist.

CREB said its benchmark price for its Home Price Index, reached $433,500 for single-family homes, up 4.53 per cent compared with last year.

The condominium apartment and townhouse benchmark prices for March were $247,800 and $293,600, respectively. While the apartment index price has remained relatively stable compared to last year with an increase of 1.39 per cent, the condominium townhouse index recorded an improvement of 4.34 per cent over last year, said the board.

CREB says its new home price index measures how typical properties are valued in the market rather than relying on average and median prices.

It is calculated using a statistical model that estimates prices based on several factors.

“The single-family market continues to lead the housing growth in both sales activity and pricing, and the condominium market appears to have turned the corner as well,” said Bob Jablonski, CREB’s president. “Overall, the Calgary real estate market continues to move in the right direction, with all indicators pointing towards stable growth and a move towards typical levels of activity.”