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Alberta bound

July 18, 2018 | Mario Toneguzzi


Stories Tagged - Lai Sing Louie

Kitchen and bathroom renovations provide some of the highest returns on investment when it comes to increasing the value of a home. 
Getty Images

June 15, 2017 | CREBNow

Alberta sees increase in home renovation spending during first quarter of 2017

The number of Albertans spending money on renovations for their existing homes and recreational properties is on the rise.

According to Statistics Canada, investment in home renovations in the first quarter of 2017 hit a record high of $1.78 billion. A release from ATB Financial's Economics and Research Team says this is close to double the spending a decade ago.

Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial, says he was surprised by the data for the first three months of this year.

"The increase that we saw in late 2016 and the first quarter of this year can be attributed to the rebuild in Fort McMurray (from last year's wildfires) because not every house was destroyed, which we tend to focus on." he said. "There were also many, many homes that needed to be renovated."

Nathan Magee stands proudly in front of his newly purchased home after renting for 14 years. Photo by Adrian Shellard / For CREB®Now

May 25, 2017 | Kathleen Renne

Building home equity

A long-time renter transitions into home ownership and begins building tax-free capital gains


Nathan Magee knows a thing or two about renting. Since moving to Calgary in 1999, he has rented apartments, duplexes, houses and rooms in neighbourhoods as disparate as Bridlewood, Marda Loop, Forest Lawn and downtown.


Magee rented for 14 years in Calgary before deciding it was time to buy in 2013.


"What really pushed my wife and I over the edge was a combination of things. We were renting a house in Marda Loop at the time and the place got broken into four times. Plus, the rent was going up to $2,000 a month. That's when we thought, 'Let's get out of here and look at buying,'" recalled Magee.


Canadian Home Builders’ Association-Alberta CEO Donna Moore said one of the organization’s top concerns when it comes to the development of a national housing strategy is to address affordability for first-time buyers.. Photo by Adrian Shellard/For CREB®Now

Aug. 08, 2016 | Kathleen Renne

Starting out

The changing face of the first home purchase

A starter home has long been understood to mean a dwelling that represents someone's first foray into home ownership.

Mattamy Homes' vice-president of sales and marketing in Calgary, Warren Saunders, says, at its core, "It's a home that offers the best price and the best value for a new family starting out."

Donna Moore, the outgoing co-CEO of the Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA) – Urban Development Institute (UDI) Calgary Region Association, qualifies, however, that what constitutes a starter home today is very different from one of 30 years ago.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. regional economist Lai Sing Louie said many Calgary homeowners still want the freedom to come and go with a car at their disposal, and they’re willing to pay for it. Photo by Wil Andruschak/For CREB®Now

June 30, 2016 | Joel Schlesinger

Long live the auto

The car-less lifestyle is trending, but Calgary's housing market still driven by the automobile, say experts

Cars aren't going anywhere soon, and neither is Calgary homebuyers' desire for neighbourhoods – or condominiums for that matter – that support their automobile-driven lifestyles, say housing experts.

While much is being made about efforts to create a more pedestrian-friendly city that focuses on "vertical growth," Calgarians still very much enjoy the freedom that comes with driving an automobile. And they
want their residence — whether it's a condo, townhome or single-detached house — to support their yen for putting the pedal to the metal, said Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) regional economist Lai Sing Louie.

"Most people still want parking," he said. "They want the freedom to come and go with a car at their disposal, and they're willing to pay a lot of money to afford that."

RESOLVE executive director Sheryl Barlage says the economic downtown is impacting overcrowding in Calgary homes. Photo by Wil Andruschak/For CREB®Now

June 23, 2016 | Alex Frazer Harrison

Over-under

Housing officials cite increasing rates of overcrowding in Calgary's housing market

Housing experts say a soft labour pool brought upon by weak economic conditions is partly to blame for increasing rates of overcrowding, or "underhousing" in Calgary homes.

RESOLVE executive director Sheryl Barlage – whose organization is made up of nine partner agencies aimed at building affordable and supported rental homes for 3,000 homeless and vulnerable Calgarians by March 31, 2018 – says about 3,500 Calgarians were considered homeless in a recent Homeless Foundation survey, with about 14,000 at risk of homelessness – and that doesn't include people "couch-surfing."

With the economic downturn, "we know fundamentally that number is up. It's hard to get a handle; people are one paycheque away (from homelessness) or aren't in appropriate housing. And the current economic climate (as well as) social issues are impacting the need. But the need has always been urgent."

June 17, 2015 | CREBNow

Rise of the rentals

Market sees rise in vacancies, rents

Calgarians looking to find rental housing have been treated to more selection in recent months.

According to a report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Calgary's vacancy rate in April stood at 3.2 per cent. The number is more than double the rate seen last April, when CMHC reported Calgary vacancies at just 1.2 per cent.
Across Alberta's urban centres, the rental apartment vacancy rate was 3.4 per cent in April 2015 compared to 1.8 per cent in April 2014, according to the report.


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