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.
Prices rise as conditions favour the seller
PRICES REACH NEW RECORD HIGH
City of Calgary, May 1, 2023-
This month, persistent sellers’ market conditions placed further upward pressure on home prices. After four months of persistent gains, the total unadjusted benchmark price reached $550,800, nearly two per cent higher than last month and a new monthly record high for the city.
“While sales activity is performing as expected, the steeper pullback in new listings has ensured that supply levels remain low,” said CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “The limited supply choice is causing more buyers to place offers above the list price, contributing to the stronger than expected gains in home prices.”
In April, sales reached 2,690 units compared to the 3,133 new listings. With a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 86 per cent, inventories declined by 34 per cent compared to last year and are over 45 per cent below long-term averages for April.
While sales have eased by 21 per cent compared to last year, the steep decline in supply has caused the months of supply to ease to just over one month. This reflects tighter market conditions than earlier in the year and compared to conditions reported last April.
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 2023 Market Forecast Summary
Elevated lending rates are expected to weigh on sales in 2023, bringing levels down from the record-high in 2022. However, with forecasted sales of 25,921 in 2023, levels are still expected to be higher than the activity reported before the pandemic.
Recent growth in migration and employment is expected to help offset the impact of higher lending rates, keeping annual sales activity higher than levels achieved throughout the 2015 to 2019 period.
The growth in new listings in 2022 was not enough to offset the gains in sales and supply levels have remained low, especially for lower-priced product. The higher lending rates are also expected to weigh on listings growth in 2023 as it has become more challenging for a move up buyer. While improved starts are expected to help support supply growth, thanks to the strong migration levels, supply levels are not expected to report significant gains.
The low starting point and limited upward pressure on supply in 2023 is expected to prevent any significant downward pressure on prices as demand normalizes. However, conditions are expected to vary depending on price range and property type. Higher-priced homes are expected to see some downward price pressure as that segment of the market is not experiencing the same supply constraints. Meanwhile, supply declines relative to sales for lower priced properties are expected to continue to support modest price growth.
Declines in the upper end of the market are expected to offset gains in the lower end of the market as total residential prices in Calgary are expected to stabilize in 2023.
If you are interested in the Forecast Report 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.