Purchasing a home for the first time can be a daunting task. From establishing a budget to finding the right professional to work with, Alberta individuals and families often have a lot of questions when jumping into the residential real estate market. Here are a few tips that can help in the process.
The practicality of home ownership has been a much-discussed topic across the country. Statistics Canada's new report on housing in Canada offers a new perspective on how Alberta's residential real estate market stacks up against other provinces. These statistics show that despite an overall decrease in home ownership across the country, Calgary was the fastest growing census metropolitan area between 2011 and 2016.
Downtown Calgary has been searching for ways to manage a high office vacancy rate. In an effort to attract tenants, one property owner has transitioned his office building into residential real estate. The move comes after a thorough investigation of the Alberta real estate market and the growth in residential versus business leases.
Regulation changes and economic factors can have a major impact on the housing market. In Alberta and throughout Canada, incoming federal regulations may make December a busy season for residential real estate. This is because of regulations taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018 that will impact resellers.
There have been many conflicting reports about the state of Canada's real estate prices. Prices have risen considerably in urban markets, and some have voiced concerns that the growth has been too quick. A recent report found that housing prices in Canada saw a 13.3% year-over-year Q3 increase, with rates rising in larger Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta cities. One residential real estate expert believes the current rate of appreciation is manageable and healthy.
For many home owners, Airbnb offers a convenient way to make rental income from travelers. However, Alberta hotels have raised concerns over the unfair competition presented by the platform. The government is currently looking into the situation and may be applying rules to residential real estate owners who rent out their homes, apartments or rooms online.
Would-be homebuyers who put off purchases in Alberta due to uncertainty earlier in the year may be dipping their toes back into the luxury real estate market. Between July and Aug. 2017, 112 homes were purchased in Calgary for more than $1 million. This is on par with similar residential real estate purchases in 2016. However, the city's luxury condominium market took a hit in this same period with only two $1-million plus purchases over the summer months.
Purchasing a home can be challenging for even the most experienced investor. For first time home buyers, navigating the Alberta residential real estate market can raise even more questions. As lenders become more conservative and the market becomes increasingly competitive, there are a few things purchasers should know before buying their first home.
The purchase of Canadian property by investors in Asia and other parts of the world has been a much-discussed topic in recent years. However, many Canadians are also involved in the oft-discussed foreign real estate investment. Residents of Alberta who have purchased residential real estate in the United States should take a close look at their purchases to ensure they are compliant with U.S. tax laws.
In today's property market, investors and home buyers are using creative solutions to find great places to live and lease. In Calgary, Alberta, bylaws have now changed to allow landlords to convert office buildings into residential real estate. This has prompted the repurposing of four downtown Calgary offices into residential buildings, as well as plans to convert a surplus office land site into a 300-unit development near Stampede Station.