Shelley Soles ABR®, C.C.S - Certified Condominium Specialist, SRES - Senior Real Estate Specialist, REALTOR®
January 2024 marks my 18th 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 the coming year.
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.
JANUARY SEES STRONG SALES FUELED BY BOOST IN NEW LISTINGS
City of Calgary, February 1 2024
January sales rose to 1,650 units, a significant gain over last year's levels and long-term trends. The growth was possible thanks to a rise in new listings totalling 2,137 units in January. New listings rose for homes priced above $300,000, but the largest gains occurred for homes priced above $700,000.
The rise in new listings relative to sales did little to change the low inventory situation in the city. With 2,150 units in inventory, levels are near the January record lows set in 2006 and are nearly 49 per cent below the long-term average for the month.
"Supply challenges have been a persistent problem since last year. This month's gain in new listings has helped provide options to potential purchasers, supporting sales growth. However, the growth in sales prevented any significant adjustments in supply, keeping conditions tight and supporting further price growth," stated Ann-Marie Lurie, Chief Economist at CREB®.
The months of supply in January was 1.3 months, falling over last month's and last year's levels. The persistent tightness in the market contributed to further upward pressure on home prices. The unadjusted benchmark price in January reached $572,300, a gain over last month and ten per cent higher than levels reported last January.
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® Unveils 2024 Forecast Calgary and Region Yearly Outlook Report
City of Calgary, Jan. 23, 2024 – The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®) is pleased to announce the release of its highly anticipated 2024 Forecast Calgary and Region Yearly Outlook Report. This comprehensive report, prepared by CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie, offers a detailed analysis of Calgary's economic and housing market trends and surrounding areas for the upcoming year.
The report delves into the impact of rising lending rates on the housing sector, as buyers looked for more affordable housing options, and some potential sellers held back from listing to navigate the challenges posed by higher lending rates.
Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie underscores this dynamic, stating, "Despite higher rates, 2023 was a year of relatively strong sales thanks to a robust labour market and strong migration. The challenge was limited supply, especially for low-priced homes with the strongest demand. This resulted in significant price growth with the largest gains in our lowest-priced homes.”
As the report looks ahead to 2024, Lurie anticipates another strong year for sales, stating, "We expect potential buyers, who were on the sidelines due to limited supply choices, to re-enter the market as lending rates ease and listings improve. At the same time, interprovincial migration and a healthy labour market should continue to support stronger sales activity.”
Supply remains an issue this year, but gains in new home starts and new listings are expected to support some modest gains.
“Conditions are not expected to be as tight as in 2023," Lurie said, "but supply growth takes time, and sellers’ market conditions are expected to persist through the spring, driving further price growth in 2024.”
Supply growth is anticipated to be driven mainly by upper price ranges, decelerating the pace of price growth for higher-priced properties. Meanwhile, lower-priced properties are expected to face continued tight conditions, contributing to sustained price gains.
To obtain a copy of the full report, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.