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Calgary home prices continue to rise amid new mortgage rules

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The Calgary market saw a steady increase in home prices for the third quarter as buyers adapted to new mortgage rules, according to the real estate brokerage service provider Royal LePage.

The Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast showed that the aggregate home price in the city hiked 3.4% to $495,845 during the period, while the median price of a two-storey home and bungalow rose 4.5% and 3.7% year-over-year to $542,709 and $530,380, respectively.

The aggregate price of a condominium, on the other hand, declined 3.8% y-o-y to $287,519.

Royal LePage Benchmark Broker and Owner Corinne Lyall emphasized that Calgary is still a buyer’s market, despite the rebounding prices.

“The region’s economy has been improving, and we are starting to see demand return after the dual shocks of rising interest rates and the new mortgage stress test rules. With healthy inventory levels and the return of some higher-paying jobs, activity is picking up in the upper-end of the market,” she said.

Lyall added that unfinished projects are burdening the market, specifically citing the Trans Mountain oil pipeline delay that is preventing oil companies from investing in new projects.

The oversupply of condominiums surrounding Calgary was also highlighted – there is currently seven months worth of inventory sitting on the market.

“There was a large surplus of condos built in 2007 and 2008,” said Lyall. “After the financial crisis, demand for condos never returned to those peak levels creating a great opportunity for first-time buyers looking to enter the market and baby boomers who want to downsize ahead of retirement.”

Year-over-year, many regions in the nation registered slight gains in home prices. The value of a home in Canada hiked 2.2% year-over-year to $625,499i n the third quarter.

Royal LePage is anticipating further improvement in home price appreciation in the fourth quarter, forecasting a 1.5%increase in the aggregate price of a home in Canada over the next three months.

The Royal LePage National House Price Composite is compiled from proprietary property data in 63 of the nation’s largest real estate markets.

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Victoria real estate agent disciplined for false advertising, encouraging cash deal to avoid taxes

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A Victoria real estate agent is facing $9,000 in fines and a 60-day licence suspension after breaking several professional rules during the sale of her father’s half-million-dollar property, according to a decision by the Real Estate Council of B.C. 

Whitney Garside’s missteps — outlined this week in a disciplinary decision posted on the council’s website — included falsely advertising the property as being almost twice its actual size and advising the buyer they could avoid the property transfer tax if they paid cash directly to the seller.

The property on Burnett Road in Victoria was being sold in 2016 by the real estate agent’s father. That relationship was disclosed and isn’t among the reasons she has been disciplined.

According to the disciplinary consent order, Garside told the buyer — whose name is redacted — that by paying $42,000 cash on the side, the value of the property could be reduced to avoid paying the property transfer tax.

That cash arrangement was not shared with Garside’s brokerage, Re/Max Camosun, a failure that contravened the Real Estate Services Act.

The council also ruled that she “failed to act honestly and with reasonable care and skill” when she advised the buyer the property transfer tax could be avoided by paying cash directly to the seller. 

The council’s discipline committee also found that Garside committed professional misconduct when she failed to recommend the seller and buyer seek independent legal advice, specifically regarding the property transfer tax and the cash agreement.

Another issue the council considered professional misconduct involved the size of the property in question.

The council ruled that Garside published false and misleading advertising and failed to act with reasonable care and skill when the property was advertised as 8,712 square feet, when in fact a portion of the lot belonged to the Ministry of Transportation, and the actual size was just 4,711 square feet.

The discipline committee ordered Garside’s licence be suspended for 60 days, which will be completed Jan. 3, 2021.

She has also been ordered to complete real estate ethics and remedial classes at her own expense.

Garside was also fined $7,500 as a disciplinary penalty and $1,500 in enforcement expenses.

She agreed to waive her right to appeal the council’s discipline committee’s decision in September.

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Frisco apartment community sells to Canadian investor

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A Canada-based investor has purchased a Frisco apartment community as part of a larger Texas deal.

The 330-unit Satori Frisco apartments opened last year on Research Road in Frisco.

BSR Real Estate Investment Trust bought the four-story rental community that was built by Atlanta-based Davis Development.

Satori Frisco was more than 90% leased at the time of sale. The property includes a two-story fitness center, a car care center, a dog park and a resort-style swimming pool.

The Frisco property sold along with Houston’s Vale luxury apartments in a deal valued at $129 million.

“BSR recently exited the smaller Beaumont and Longview, Texas, markets and also sold noncore properties in other markets,” John Bailey, BSR’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We are now using our strong liquidity position to invest in Vale and Satori Frisco, modern communities in core growth markets with the amenities our residents desire.”

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House prices on Prince Edward Island continue steady climb

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Residential real estate prices on Prince Edward Island continue to climb at a rate higher than the national average, according to the latest report from a national organization. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association released monthly figures for November 2020 on Tuesday.

They show that the average price for a resale home on P.E.I. is about 21 per cent higher than it was a year earlier. 

Only Quebec had a bigger year-over-year increase, at about 23 per cent. Overall across Canada, prices were up 13.8 per cent year over year in the ninth month of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the fifth straight month, year-over-year sales activity was up in almost all Canadian housing markets compared to the same month in 2019,” the report noted.

“Meanwhile, an ongoing shortage of supply of homes available for purchase across most of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces means sellers there hold the upper hand in sales negotiations.”

That lack of houses coming onto the market compared to the demand means that in those provinces, there is “increased competition among buyers for listings and … fertile ground for price gains.”

There have been anecdotal reports for months that Prince Edward Island’s low rate of COVID-19 infection and looser rules around social activities have been encouraging people to buy homes on the Island. 

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