New condo record for Calgary
A new record was set for condos and townhouses in Calgary
for 2014. The latest figures from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) show an 18 per cent year-over-year rise in sales of condos and a 17 per cent year-over-year rise in sales of townhouses. Monthly figures for December showed declines across all sectors; not unusual for the end of the year. Single-family sales totalled 708 units in December, a year-over-year decline of 8.3 per cent. Meanwhile, total condominium sales also declined by six per cent over the same timeframe, but overall activity remained consistent with long-term averages. Greater availability of properties led to prices levelling off, but annual average benchmark gains remained at nine per cent. CREB's chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie does see some changing conditions as the New Year gets underway. Shre says: “Changes in the economic climate are expected to cool housing market conditions in 2015, and December activity may be the first indication of this shift. However, any pullback that may occur needs to be kept in perspective, as 2014 housing activity far exceeded our expectations.”
BC homeowners see rising values in latest assessments
With the latest assessments starting to arrive in mailboxes many Vancouverites
are seeing large growth in the assessed value of their homes. While this is not unusual for the market as a whole, condo owners are also seeing rises this time when figures have been relatively stable in recent years. When BC Assessments set its figures in July there had been an average two per cent rise in condo values with single-family homes up 6.5 per cent. Homeowners (and buyers) can check BC Assessments’ website
for the latest valuations.
Weak start to 2015 for the loonie
The economy heads into the New Year in uncertain territory with energy sector revenues on shaky ground and continued speculation about interest rates. The Canadian dollar is starting the year weaker against the U.S. dollar, hitting a five-year low on Friday. The loonie dropped eight per cent against the greenback in 2014. Economists are predicting there may be lower rates to come as oil prices fall further, but also that we will see a return to around 90 cents by the end of this year. For the real estate market the weaker loonie could intensify foreign investment and is also likely to see Canadians favouring domestic recreational properties rather than more expensive U.S. options.
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