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Stories Tagged - renters

Gerry Baxter, executive director of the Calgary Residential Rental Association.
CREB®Now Photo Archive

Aug. 16, 2017 | Kathleen Renne

Targeting tenants

Challenges continue for Calgary's rental market

"Very cautious optimism" is how Gerry Baxter, executive director of the Calgary Residential Rental Association, describes the industry's view of Calgary's current rental landscape.

While Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) pegged Calgary's rental vacancy rate at seven per cent last fall – the highest it's been in more than 25 years – Baxter says he thinks residential vacancies in the city are actually closer to the eight-to-10-per-cent range.

"There's been some slight improvement in the rental market over the last few weeks, but it's still a challenge to rent," said Baxter, attributing the slack rental market to the economic downturn that started in late 2014 and early 2015.

Housing industry officials expect conditions to favour the renter in 2017 much like it did in 2016. CREB®Now photo

Dec. 23, 2016 | Barb Livingstone

Renters' market

Economic conditions create ideal situation for renters, challenges for landlords

In the most volatile economy in the country, it is no big surprise Calgary landlords endured 2016 with the highest rental housing vacancy rate in a quarter of a century.

"It is a free market economy, with all the ups and downs, and in the middle of (this downturn), you just hope many will survive it," said Gerry Baxter, executive director of the Calgary Residential Rental Association (CRRA) of Calgary's current seven per cent vacancy rate.

Bill Kirk said despite signs of change on the horizon, Calgary’s real estate industry enjoyed a robust year in 2014, with sales increasing by double digits. Photo by Michelle Hofer/For CREB®Now

Aug. 08, 2016 | Cailynn Klingbeil

55 Years of Real Estate: 2014 CREB® president Bill Kirk

Signs of economic hardship started to reveal themselves by the end of 2014, recalled then-CREB® president Bill Kirk 

While the true severity of the economic slump currently dominating headlines had yet to been felt in 2014, Bill Kirk said the writing was already on the wall by the end of his tenure as CREB® president.

Oil production in the Middle East had just started to ramp up, prices for a barrel had started to fall and jobs in Calgary were suddenly in question, he recalled.

"By the end of 2014, there was talk of an oil glut," said Kirk. "We knew there would be fallout ... (but) no one knew what would happen.

"We were all surprised at how slowly through 2015 the bad news hit."

CMHC's Richard Cho says everything from employment levels to household income and migration to spending levels signal to tough times ahead for the local housing market. CREB®Now file photo.

Jan. 12, 2016 | Andrea Cox

Up for rent

Calgary vacancy rate could go even higher in 2016, say experts

Renters in Calgary stand to gain the most from the energy sector's misfortune, with vacancy rates expected to increase after already jumping almost five-fold over the past year.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.'s (CMHC) Fall Market Report released in early December, Calgary's vacancy rate rose from 1.4 per cent in fall 2014 to 5.3 per cent in October 2015.

The national average was 3.3 per cent.

"We expect the vacancy rate to edge even higher in 2016," said CMHC principal of market analysis Richard Cho. "And with higher vacancy rates, tenants will have more choice in the market and landlords will have to do more to attract renters, naturally putting more downward pressure on rents.

University of Calgary Students' Union president Levi Nilson believes some progress was made this year on improving safety around secondary suites safer, but feels more needs to be done. Photo by Michelle Hofer/for CREB®Now

Dec. 28, 2015 | Cailynn Klingbeil

A primary concern

A look back at secondary suites in 2015

City council made gains over the past year on encouraging development of legal and safe secondary suites in Calgary, but the topic continued to be a contentious issue for many.

While council approved relaxations to secondary suites regulations in two areas in late November, it also rejected a bid earlier in the year to legalize suites in four central wards.

This year also saw the introduction of a registry program and development permit exemption, both initiatives aimed at bringing more safe properties to the city.


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