Shelley Soles ABR®, C.C.S - Certified Condominium Specialist, SRES - Senior Real Estate Specialist, REALTOR®
January 2023 marks my 17th year in the real estate industry, all of which have been with Royal LePage Benchmark. This is milestone I'm very proud of and grateful for.
In my business, the people I ride alongside make all the difference - this includes colleagues, clients and business partners. I take these partnerships to heart. Thank you for sharing the ride with me and I look forward to helping more buyer, sellers and investors in 2023.
Over 95% of my business comes from past clients and referrals. These satisfied clients have spread the word about the great service they’ve received from me and my brokerage, Royal LePage Benchmark. I work primarily in Calgary, Cochrane, Airdrie and Okotoks.
Every one of my clients is unique, and that is exactly how I treat them. I don’t measure my success by sales, but by the relationships I build along the way. My goal is to take the complex process of buying and selling real estate and make it a simple one.
So whether you are thinking about buying, selling or investing, give me a call - I would be happy to meet or talk with you to determine how I can help. Absolutely NO obligation!
I send out a newsletter at the beginning of every month - providing a summary of the previous month's activity in many segments of the market - along with some fun, interesting activities in Calgary that you and your family may enjoy! If you'd like to receive a copy, please sign up using the link provided on this page.
To find out more details on the current Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane and Okotoks markets, please check out the CREB Monthly Stats tab as it is updated the beginning of every month. If you'd like a more detailed breakdown of any segment of the market, I can provide more data.
Price gains continue in Calgary's real estate market as inventory remains low
City of Calgary, November 1, 2023-
October sales activity slowed over the last month in alignment with typical seasonal patterns. However, with 2,171 sales, levels were 17 per cent higher than last year and amongst the highest levels reported for October.
Sales activity has been boosted mainly through gains in apartment condominium sales as consumers seek affordable housing options during this period of high-interest rates.
New listings also improved this month compared to last year, reaching 2,684 units, reflecting the highest October levels reported since 2015.
Despite the gain, relatively strong sales prevented any significant shift in inventory levels, which remain over 40 per cent lower than levels traditionally available in October. “Despite some recent improvements in new listings, supply levels remain challenging in our market,” said CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. It will take some time to see a shift toward more balanced conditions and ultimately more price stability.”
With a months of supply of one and a half months, we continue to experience upward pressure on home prices. The unadjusted benchmark price in October reached $571,600, a gain over last month and nearly 10 per cent higher than last October.
For more specific, detailed information on the different segments of the market (detached, semi-detached, row/townhouse, apartment condos) and updates on the Airdrie, Cochrane and Okotoks markets last month, jump over to my CREB MONTHLY STATS page.
CREB'S Q2 2023 MARKET UPDATE REPORT
CITY OF CALGARY UPDATE
As expected, sales activity has slowed from last year’s record-breaking pace while staying stronger than long-term trends. What was not expected was the robust demand in the higher price segments of the market despite higher lending rates.
“An influx of migrants coming from Ontario and British Columbia are likely contributing to some of the strength for higher priced properties, as the relative affordability could make migrants less sensitive to the recent gains in lending rates, said CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. "At the same time, continued strength in our labour market is supporting demand across all property types.”
However, the robust demand is met with a shortage in supply. Housing inventory levels have remained notably low across various segments, encompassing the resale, new home, and rental markets. Despite relatively strong new home starts, these have not been sufficient to alleviate inventory constraints, primarily due to the influx of migrants. Resale supply has also encountered unexpected challenges, as higher lending rates and limited choices in supply have deterred existing homeowners from making changes.
The prevailing shortage in supply has contributed to the continuation of tight market conditions, which has led to stronger-than-expected price growth across all property types in the city. This steady appreciation in prices throughout the year has effectively offset declines observed in the latter half of 2022, ultimately resulting in new record-high prices.
“Home prices have exceeded our expectations as supply challenges have persisted throughout the spring market, added Lurie. “While the pace of monthly gains is expected to slow in the second half of the year, limited supply choice is expected to keep prices elevated throughout the second half of the year.”
If you are interested in the Forecast or Quarterly Update Reports in full - delving into all the factors which influence our market - lending rates, migration, employment and supply - as well as the different market segments and outlying communities - I'd be happy to forward the PDF of the document. Just let me know!
April 2023. Saving for your first home? Here’s what you need to know about Canada’s First Home Savings Account (FHSA)
When it comes to putting money away to buy their first home, the federal government’s ‘tax-free in, tax-free out’ First Home Savings Account aims to give Canadians a helping hand.
As of April 1st, Canadians aged 18 or older who are purchasing their first home are eligible to enroll in a tax-free First Home Savings Account (FHSA). Introduced in the 2022 federal budget, the FHSA combines elements of a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), allowing users to make tax-deductible contributions and tax-free withdrawals from the account for the purposes of saving for a home.
Am I eligible for the FHSA?
In order to open an FHSA, users must be at least 18 years old and a Canadian resident. Account holders must also be a first-time homebuyer — someone who has not owned a home and lived in it during the calendar year before the account is opened, or at any time during the prior four calendar years.
An FHSA can be used for a maximum of 15 years, and stay open until December 31st in the year that the account holder turns 71 years old. Users cannot contribute to their spouse or common-law partner’s FHSA.
How much can I contribute to my FHSA?
FHSA holders can contribute an annual maximum of $8,000 into their account, with a lifetime contribution limit of $40,000. Unused contribution room can be carried over to the next year up to a maximum of $8,000.
Carry-forward amounts start accumulating after the user opens the FHSA for the first time. Only the account holder can claim an income tax deduction for contributions made in a particular taxation year.
It is possible to have more than one FHSA open at a time, but the total amount that an individual can contribute to all of their FHSAs cannot exceed their annual and lifetime contribution limits. Similar to a TFSA, a 1% tax is applied on over-contributions to an FHSA for each month that the excess amount exists in the account.
What are the benefits of the FHSA?
An FHSA marries together the concepts of a TFSA and an RRSP in one account. Contributions to an FHSA, like an RRSP, are tax-deductible.
Additionally, any withdrawals made for the sake of purchasing a home are non-taxable, similar to a TFSA, including any investment growth.
Users can take advantage of a series of qualified investments in their FHSA, including mutual funds and publicly-traded securities, plus government and corporate bonds. Users can also set up a self-directed FHSA to manage their own portfolio.
What happens when I want to take money out of my FHSA?
If a user wants to withdraw funds from their account, there are a few things to keep in mind. The account holder must be a first-time homebuyer at the time a withdrawal is made.
The qualifying home must be acquired (or construction must be completed) no more than 30 days prior to the withdrawal, and before October 1st of the following year, with the intention of occupying the property as their principal residence within one year after acquiring it. Be sure to read carefully the definitions of a first-time homebuyer and a qualifying home.
If you wish to transfer money out of your FHSA to another account, you can do so to another FHSA, an RRSP or a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). Be sure to close your FHSA on or before December 31st of the year following your first qualifying withdrawal, when your participation period concludes.
To learn more about the First-Home Savings Account, visit Canada.ca.