Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas - From Crowsnest Pass, Alberta

It is Christmas Eve in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. With the temperature around -24 degrees and with everything covered in white it is perfect weather for Christmas in Alberta.

I usually post about the real estate market in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. Not today, though. As we seek to enjoy the holiday with family and loved ones, let us take a few moments to reflect on the reason for this season.

As families gather tonight and tomorrow, let us also think, and thank, those who are unable to be home for Christmas. They may be serving in the armed forces. They may be working tomorrow protecting us and providing vital services to their communities.

So, if you have the chance to say thanks to all those serving our needs, please do so. And, enjoy the holiday season.

Wishing you the best for 2010!


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals' (Crowsnest Pass). Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Monday, December 21, 2009

New home buyers may face down-payment hike

TORONTO–CTV says Ottawa is considering raising the minimum down payment for home buyers as well as reducing the amortization period in order to stop some consumers from taking on too much debt.

In an interview with CTV Question Period, to be aired next week, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says the measures will be taken if there's evidence of excessive demand in the housing market.

Flaherty says that the new measures would target consumers "who are taking on obligations that they will not be able to handle in the future when the interest rates do rise."

He says the likely measures the government will take is to increase the size of the down payment from five per cent "to a higher figure" and to reduce the amortization period "from a maximum of 35 years to something less."

Those measures would increase the monthly payments, making it more difficult for some people to take on a mortgage and purchase a home, without having to increase the interest rate.

Last week, the central bank warned that when interest rates rise to normal levels, up to 10 per cent of households could face difficulties in meeting monthly payment requirements.


note: It is a known fact, when home prices are under pressure, consumers tend to reel in the spending. Flaherty's warnings above are, in my opinion, more about creating contraction in consumer spending, than anything else.

Knowing why certain things are happening is as important as knowing when to get out or to get into the housing market. If you are a first time buyer and desire home ownership, then you had better be thinking about getting in soon. Give me a call if I can help.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals' (Crowsnest Pass). Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Real Estate Agent Duties: What to Expect from Your Agent

Canada Realty

Buying or selling real estate is a complex and lengthy process. It is therefore wise to enlist the help of a real estate agent. A real estate agent can provide many useful services and work with you in different ways.

Very few consumers are familiar with the duties and responsibilities of their real estate agent or broker. As a result, a number of problems can arise during the various steps of a real estate transaction when consumers are not aware of their rights.

This article addresses the various types of working relationships that may be available to you. It should help you decide which relationship you want to have with a real estate agent. It will also give you useful information about the various services real estate agents can provide buyers and sellers, and it will help explain how real estate agents are paid.

In some real estate transactions, the agent works for the seller. In others, the seller and buyer may each have their own agent. And sometimes the same agent works for both the buyer and the seller. It is important for you to know whether an agent is working for you as your agent or simply working with you while acting as an agent of the other party.

Listing Agent
A listing agent is also known as a seller's agent because they represent the seller. A listing agent can be a real estate broker or a real estate agent. These types of agents owe a fiduciary responsibility to the seller under a listing agreement and must protect that interest.

The seller's agent helps determine the price of the home, suggests how to market the home, schedules advertising and open houses, shows the home to prospective buyers, and otherwise facilitates the sale.

Your property will be listed with the agent's real estate brokerage. You will be asked to sign a "listing agreement" authorizing the brokerage and its agent to represent you in your dealings with buyers as your seller's agent. Be sure to read and understand the listing agreement before you sign it.

For representing you and helping you sell your property, you will pay the listing firm a sales commission or fee. The listing agreement must state the amount or method for determining the commission or fee and whether you will allow the firm to share its commission with agents representing the buyer.

Buyer's Agent
A buyer's agent is known as the "showing agent" and works with buyers to find a suitable property, contacts the listing agents, negotiates the best possible price and terms for the buyers, monitors the transaction, and sometimes help to obtain financing.

In most cases, the seller pays the sales commission that is shared by the two agents. However sometimes you may be required to pay your buyer's agent out of your own pocket if the listing agent refuses to pay. Whatever the case, be sure your compensation arrangement with your buyer's agent is spelled out in a buyer agency agreement before you make an offer to purchase property and that you carefully read and understand the compensation provision.

Buyer's agents may or may not require a buyer to sign a buyer's broker agreement, depending on local custom.

Dual Agent
Dual agency occurs when a real estate agent is representing both buyer and seller in the same transaction. Dual agency can happen even if the there are two agents involved—a listing agent and a buyer's agent—if both agents work for the same broker. That's because it is the real estate broker who creates the agency.

It may be difficult for a dual agent to advance the interests of both the buyer and seller. Nevertheless, a dual agent must treat buyers and sellers fairly and equally. Although the dual agent owes them the same duties, buyers and sellers can prohibit dual agents from divulging certain confidential information about them to the other party.

Some firms also offer a form of dual agency called "designated agency" where one agent in the firm represents the seller and another agent represents the buyer. This option (when available) may allow each "designated agent" to more fully represent each party.

If you choose the "dual agency" option, remember that since a dual agent's loyalty is divided between parties with competing interests, it is especially important that you have a clear understanding of what your relationship is with the dual agent and what the agent will be doing for you in the transaction.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals' (Crowsnest Pass). Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

ESTATE SALE - Crowsnest Pass (Coleman)


Reduced from $129,900

$114,900

Estate Sale: What a great opportunity! Spacious (1276 sq. ft.) 1.5 storey 3 bedroom older home with 9 foot ceilings and maple wood floors on full basement. Situated within Coleman’s National Historic Site. Conveniently close to all amenities, including: shopping, restaurants, museum and schools. This character home needs work and is a perfect handyman special. An ideal family home or weekend retreat. Vacant, easy to show.
  • Over 1276 sq. ft. of fully developed living space having 3 Bedrooms and full basement
  • Ideal for recreational purposes or full time living
  • Walking distance to school, shopping and close to all outdoor activities
  • Priced to sell!

For more information call:
John Prince
403-564-4518


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals' (Crowsnest Pass). Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Housing starts rise for third consecutive month in Calgary and area

Lisa Schmidt, Calgary Herald

CALGARY - The number of housing starts in Calgary climbed again in November, the third consecutive month building has outpaced last year's levels.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Tuesday that starts in the Calgary area rose to 832 units in November, up from 575 in the same month the previous year.

Despite that increase, total starts to date are 5,661, down from 11,035 for the same period in 2008, the agency said.

Still, the number of single-detached homes are already ahead the 2008 pace. There were 604 units built in November, up 79 per cent from the same month a year ago. So far this year, single-detached starts are up three per cent from last year's levels.

Richard Cho, CHMC's senior market analyst for Calgary, said a number of factors are contributing to the upswing in activity, including low mortgage rates, recent price reductions and fewer homes on the market.

Starts for multi-family units, which includes semi-detached, row and apartments, was down four per cent to 228 units compared to a year ago.


Comment: Nice to get some 'straight goods' industry reporting for a change.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals' (Crowsnest Pass). Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Alberta closer to rules for home inspectors

CBC News

The Alberta government hopes to have new rules for home inspectors in place by the spring, a move that has some members of the industry concerned.

"There is no actual guidelines or rules in the province of Alberta [about] who or who cannot be a home inspector. So you can start up being a home inspector tomorrow if you so desired," said Doug MacDonald, president of the Alberta chapter of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors.

"That's one of the frightening things about the way it is set up right now."

His organization has been urging the government to license home inspectors.

That has the support of Calgary homeowner Jody Severinson, who says a home inspector told her roof repairs on the home she and her husband were about to buy would cost a maximum $1,200. They bought the Douglasdale home in January and after several estimates, spent $15,000 on the roof.

"A $14,000 mistake is a big mistake in my books," she said. "I spent hours and days and weeks trying to rectify the situation and came up empty-handed and it devastated us financially."

The president of the company that conducted her home inspection never returned her calls, she said.

"Unless they're licensed and unless they stand behind their word, they shouldn't be allowed to give people this kind of advice."

Alberta looking at insurance

Earlier this year, provincial officials consulted with members of the industry and the public on home inspections. Out of 775 responses, most were in favour of licensing home inspectors. Officials are in the midst of crafting regulations.

Service Alberta Minister Heather Klimchuk said the focus right now is on insurance — what kind home inspectors should have and who should provide it. Currently, Alberta home inspectors don't need to have insurance.

"It becomes of course the issues of liability and the accountability of home inspectors and just making sure that such things as the level of education, the group they belong to, just to make sure everybody is on the same page, o a consumer knows what they're getting into when they do hire a home inspector," she said.

Consumers who have problems with home inspectors in Alberta have two options right now.

They can lodge a complaint with the local Better Business Bureau, which received 28 complaints last year, or homeowners can sue.

The British Columbia Supreme Court recently sided with a North Vancouver couple who sued their home inspector for nearly $200,000, but in Alberta, few home inspectors operate with insurance.

Home inspectors out of work?

British Columbia required home inspectors to have proper qualifications and licensing as of March 31, becoming the first province in the country to make the move.

Alberta has two groups representing home inspectors — MacDonald's group and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.

The later was not approved to certify inspectors in British Columbia because the organization didn't meet that province's educational requirements, and that has Alberta members worried.

"There'll be a lot of inspectors out of work because anyone that [doesn't] belong to the Canadian association of home inspectors will not probably get a licence," said the group's Alberta president, Steve Horvath.

Horvath said he has already been denied membership by the rival organization because he refused to take their coursework, which he argues shouldn't be necessary after 25 years in the business.

"I myself would be out of business. And I know there's quite a few other people who have extensive inspection experience — 20, 25 years of inspection experience — that would be out of business," he said.

But if the province moves ahead with licensing, he said his organization does want to be involved.


Comment: In my opinion, this is a good thing. After all, if you want to be a Realtor today, you are looking at a commitment of 8-10 weeks of in-class educational training (plus on-going mandatory annual professional development course(s)), and upon completion of the educational component and upon acceptance to both the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) and Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB), you are looking at a minimum of $7,000.00 in tuition and various board fees . No small commitment in both time and money, that's for sure! But then the public is well served and protected in not only knowing they are dealing with a highly trained licensed Realtor, but that they are also backed and insured by professional organizations. Tomorrows home inspectors should have similar professional qualifications, while offering similar insurances.

John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals' (Crowsnest Pass). Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Selling your home requires exposure...

Selling your home in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta (or any place else) requires exposure. Exposure in this day means more than the sign out front! You need someone who can be found on the Internet where buyers look!

I have worked hard to bring myself to page one on many search engines. (click graphic below to enlarge)




John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals' (Crowsnest Pass). Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Housing market on the upswing in the Crowsnest

Joni MacFarlane, Editor - Crowsnest Pass Promoter

According to recent news' stories, sales activity in the housing market reached record levels in Canada for the month of October, buoyed by strong residential real estate markets in Western Canada. Sales for October in Alberta increased by 29.6 per cent from last year and the average sale price jumped by 2.6 per cent.

So is the Crowsnest Pass keeping up with the trend?

According to long-time local realtor Wendy Valley of Sutton Group, things are definitely picking up.

"The market has stabilized and there's activity in other areas [outside cities]", said Valley.

"We're also seeing quite a few first-time homebuyers which is very encouraging."

There are currently 74 single-family homes for sale in the Crowsnest Pass.

Valley said this past spring and summer were slow, but the numbers this fall show there continues to be a steady increase in activity.

From September to mid-November, 20 single-family homes have sold, compared to 17 in 2008 and 16 in 2007.

Going back further, there were 34 single family homes sold between July and mid-November, compared to 30 in 2008 and 35 in 2007 when the market was peaking.

According to the Lethbridge Real Estate Board, people are getting 95 per cent of their listing price.

These numbers are for single-family houses only and exclude houses listed with other real estate boards, or any private or exclusive (non-MLS) listings. They don't include condos, bare lots or acreages.

Valley said that while it's hard to make conclusions about whether prices have come down or not because of the diversity of houses in the Pass, she believes there is more room for negotiation than there was in peak times.

"People might not be getting what they got a couple of years ago, but there's not a huge drop [in price]," said Valley.

At the national level, total unit sales were up 41.5 per cent across the country with an increased average sale price of 20.7 per cent from a year ago.

--------------------------

For information on homes for sale in Crowsnest Pass and area, call me at 403-564-4518 or email johnprince@shaw.ca.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Unemployment fuels U.S. foreclosures

The U.S. foreclosure crisis likely will persist well into next year as high unemployment pushes more people out of homes, pulls down housing prices and raises concerns about the broader economic recovery... read more

----------------------------

note: Reading my last post, we see Canadian banks are just now lowering rates to entice people to buy fixed-rate mortgages. Whereas, when you read the article here on this post, we see these are the same people being foreclosed on in the US?

With our record high unemployment rate creeping ever higher and higher with each passing month, it is both interesting and alarming, as we all know things tend to lag behind here for six or so months before whatever is happening to our neighbour down south is felt here.

Are we experiencing the calm before the storm? Is unemployment here going to fuel Canadian foreclosures as well? One would expect the answer to be YES. More doom and gloom. However, keep the following in mind... The great depression created more Millionaires than any other period of time in history! That's a fact!

You got to keep your eye on the ball and your finger on the trigger these days. If I can help, give me a call...


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'THE PROFESSIONALS LTD.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Royal Bank and TD Bank cut rates for fixed-rate residential mortgages

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO - Two of Canada's big banks said Wednesday they would cut their posted rates for fixed-rate mortgages by up to 0.2 percentage points.

The Royal Bank (TSX:RY) cut its rates for one, two and three-year closed mortgages by 0.20 percentage points, effective Thursday.

Canada's largest bank cut is posted five-year closed rate by 0.15 percentage points to 5.59 per cent, while its special five-year closed rate was cut by the same amounted to 4.29 per cent.

TD Bank (TSX:TD) cut its five-year closed rate, lowering it by 0.15 percentage points to 5.63 per cent, effective Thursday.

The changes reflect lower interest rates in the bond market, where banks raise money to finance their mortgage lending.

Both banks said their variable closed mortgage rate at prime will remain unchanged.

Good news! Buying just got less expensive. Call me if I can help...


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'THE PROFESSIONALS LTD.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Real estate recovery will be weak in Canada due to limp demand, report shows

THE CANADIAN PRESS

The real estate market didn't fall as hard or as fast in Canada as it did in the U.S., but some spots did suffer steep losses and a recovery will be slow as investors worry about another potential economic dip, a new report suggests.

Total losses in value across Canada will average between 10 to 20 per cent compared to the highs of two years ago, according to the study by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute.

But some areas saw a much deeper drop. The report released Wednesday predicts a slow recovery to begin by the end of next year.

For 2010, we are rating only fair investment outlooks for most property types and predict generally weak conditions for development," said Chris Potter of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"Limp demand threatens to soften property cash flows across all sectors and most markets."

The annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2009 report is based on surveys of more than 900 real estate investors developers, lenders, brokers and consultants in both Canada and the U.S. It shows Canadian real estate investors are still worried about more potential economic shocks, particularly from the U.S. financial system.

That is despite conservative banking practices in Canada and stricter regulation that saved many Canadian investors from overleveraging during the recent housing recession.

The report forecasts a relatively stable market for developments such as condos, hotels and other developments, which will favour buyers over sellers.

It said prospects for apartment investments rank barely above a fair rating at 5.44 out of 10, followed by office at 5.04, retail at five, industrial/distribution at 4.68 and hotels at 3.69.

"We expect to see developers curbing their activity in light of softened demand as bankers rein in construction loans," said Lori-Ann Beausoleil, also of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

She said certain condo projects will likely "stall out" until residential prices firm up in Vancouver and Toronto.

Beausoleil said Canadian office markets performed better than expected, with vacancies averaging about eight per cent.

Vacancy rates were much higher in cities such as Calgary, which has been hit hard by the impact of the recession on the oil and gas sector.

Calgary had the biggest decline in North America, coming in at 4.75 out of 10 for investment prospect and 3.58 for development. The city has overbuilt not just office space, but condos and housing as well, the report states.

Toronto ranked third highest in the report, with investment prospects ranked 5.63 out of 10 and development prospects at 3.83.

"New condominium high rises and office tower projects adorn downtown streetscapes, raising concerns about too much construction in a problematic economy," the report states.

Vancouver was the best performer in the survey, although with a ranking of just 5.75 out of 10 for investment prospects and 4.68 for development prospects.

"Many wonder what will happen after the Olympics," the report says.

The report follows another released this week showing the value of industrial land in Metro Vancouver fell by as much as 30 per cent in the last year, driven down by speculators trying to sell their property bought near the market's peak.

Average land prices doubled between 2003 and 2008, reaching approximately $600,000 per acre in Abbotsford, B.C. to $2 million per acre in Vancouver - and a record $4 million per acre in some locations - said the Avison Young report.

It said land values have generally fallen 20 to 25 per cent, and in some cases more than 30 per cent in the area.

Meantime, vacancy rates rose to 4.4 per cent in Metro Vancouver in the third quarter of 2009, up from 2.4 per cent in fall 2008.
________________________

note: The above report does not surprise me as many of us feel we have not hit rock bottom yet. Especially in the Crowsnest area where we have been seeing offers coming in and being accepted in the range of -10% (or higher, in some cases) of list price.
Today, and into the foreseeable future, it will remain a buyers market. If you've got the money, I can find you the property. Give me a call 403-564-4518.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'THE PROFESSIONALS LTD.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Real estate fees could be slashed

Tony Wong
BUSINESS REPORTER

Canadians in the housing market will pay less in realty commissions and fees if the federal Competition Bureau has its way.

In a landmark investigation, the bureau has concluded the Canadian Real Estate Association has anti-competitive rules and must change its ways, according to documents obtained by the Star.

Details of a settlement have yet to be decided, but the bureau's findings are expected to have a profound impact on the real estate industry – by permitting more innovative discount brokers into the market while allowing sellers to list their properties less expensively on the Multiple Listing Service.

With a membership of more than 96,000, Ottawa-based CREA is the largest real estate organization in Canada and represents the majority of the nation's realtors.

"The Bureau is concerned that CREA's rules have restricted consumer choice and limited the scope of alternative business models," says an internal memo by CREA president Dale Ripplinger. "Unfortunately, the Bureau seems to believe that CREA's rules ... create restrictions and barriers."

The bureau launched its investigation in 2007. Consumers have complained in the past about high realty fees and the need for more affordable services. The vendor of an average-priced $400,000 home in Toronto can pay a commission of as much as 5 per cent, or $20,000.

"This is absolute, total vindication," says Lawrence Dale, an owner of now-defunct Realtysellers, a Toronto-based discount broker that closed in 2006. "Once they've reached their settlement it means that the average guy on the street will be able to choose their real estate services and pay less for them."

CREA executives met with the bureau on Oct. 23 to hear the long-anticipated results, according to the letter. "At that meeting the Bureau set out the conclusions of their inquiry and their proposed remedy," says Ripplinger. "The Bureau's position is that if CREA does not remove these restrictions, the Commissioner of Competiton will initiate an application before the Competition Tribunal."

Ripplinger says CREA decided not to go before the tribunal, which can administer penalties, but is pursuing a settlement.

According to Ripplinger, CREA rules the bureau wants changed include those that say the listing realtor must act as the agent of the seller and receive and present all offers to the seller, and property information cannot be posted on the Multiple Listing Service without an agent representing the seller.

Changes to these rules would mean offers could be sent directly to the seller without the involvement of the listing agent. Consumers could likely have their listings posted on the MLS for a small fee.

Dale and partner Stephen Moranis claim they were forced to shut down their company because of rules implemented in 2007 by the realtor's association. Realtysellers offered services such as allowing consumers to post listings for a few hundred dollars on the MLS website, where more than 90 per cent of all home sales are made. The company is suing CREA and the Toronto Real Estate Board.

CREA owns the rights to the MLS.

In a separate lawsuit against TREB, Fraser Beach, another Toronto realtor, alleges the organization terminated his MLS access because he launched a discount brokerage service. A decision by Ontario Superior Court of Ontario Justice David Brown is expected soon.

TREB has argued it didn't block his access to the MLS for competitive reasons, but simply because he did not follow membership rules.

Both CREA and TREB have denied all allegations. A Toronto Real Estate Board spokesperson says the board does not comment on ongoing legal matters. Officials of the Competition Bureau were not available for comment Sunday.

Although the real estate association has agreed to reach a settlement, Ripplinger stressed "CREA does not agree with the Bureau's findings and conclusions, either as a matter of fact or as a matter of law." The association has called an emergency meeting for all member boards in December to discuss rule changes demanded by the Bureau.

Toronto Star
___________________________

note: The ramifications of this decision by the federal Competition Bureau will be far reaching for sure and will definitely result in lower fees for consumers, but at what cost to those same consumers and to the real estate industry as a whole? This is the question that will be begging for an answer that will not be coming any time soon. With this said, let me say that competition is good and I for one support the bureau's decision.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'THE PROFESSIONALS LTD.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

House sales up 18% in Q3

CBC News

Some 135,182 homes were sold across Canada in the third quarter, up 18 per cent from a year earlier and the most ever for the period, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Thursday.

It's the biggest year-over-year increase since early 2002, the group says.

Building on two previous quarterly increases, seasonally adjusted home sales on the agency's Multiple Listing Service now stands 48 per cent above the low reached in the fourth quarter last year.

Quarterly activity increases in Vancouver (34 per cent), Toronto (11 per cent), and Calgary (19 per cent) were the largest contributors to the national increase.

Climbing to $327,736, the average price of a house in Canada rose 11 per cent from the same quarter last year.

The national average price continues to be skewed upward by a sustained increase in sales activity, including a sharp rebound in activity at the higher end of the price spectrum, in some of Canada’s priciest markets, the CREA said

The national average price surpassed all previous monthly levels in September 2009, rising 13.6 per cent year-over-year to $331,602. July and August also posted new average price records for their respective months.

A number of provinces set new average price records for September. Ontario posted the highest average price on record in the province.

An increase in sales activity and fewer new listings are drawing down inventories compared to year-ago levels.

Nationally, the number of months of inventory was 4.9 months in September, down slightly compared to August, and well down from the recessionary peak of 12.8 months in January.
_______________________

note: This is great news, but I'm not sure I buy it. Has the economy been artifically inflated through goverment spending in all OECD countries? When the stimlus money runs out, are we back to square one? All market economies run on consumer confidence and if that confidence is not there, the economy is going to go back to where it was. The largest consumers are in the United states and Japan and if they are not spending then the economies of the developed countries will suffer for many years to come.

From what I see in our local market things are still on a downward slide with prices dropping and consumer confidence at a all time low. I do not believe we have hit rock bottom yet, nor do I have confidence in the so called experts. Time will tell. I believe, a discerning buyer and an astute seller need expert advice more these days than ever. Give me a call at 403-564-4518, if I can help.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'THE PROFESSIONALS LTD.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Several Canadian banks raise mortgage rates

By: The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Several Canadian banks (TSX:BNS, TSX:CM, TSX:BMO) raised their posted rates for closed, fixed rate mortgages by up to 0.35 percentage points effective Wednesday.
Scotiabank, CIBC and the Bank of Montreal all raised their five-year closed rate by 0.35 percentage points.

Increases for other mortgages ranging from one year to 10 years ranged from no change to 0.35 percentage points.

The change follows a similar move by the Royal Bank to raise rates last week.
___________________________

note: Our fragile economic recovery hinges on the ability of consumers to take on debt, and with rates climbing that means more money going to interest payments and less circulating in the general economy. In layman's terms... that ain't good.

Where do you think housing prices will be next summer in a climate of increased taxation (hello HST) and higher mortgage payments? The U.S. economy started its slide when many American homeowners woke up to find themselves owing more on their homes than they were worth. The technical term is negative equity.

Interest rates don't have to climb into double digits for our housing market to take a nose dive, even a modest climb to just 6% will have 'For Sale' signs popping up like dandelions. A mere 10% drop in equity will have a significant number of home owners owing more on their homes than their property is worth.

Higher taxes, higher debt payments, higher unemployment...it might just be time to legalize marijuana. At least that's a high that can be enjoyed.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'THE PROFESSIONALS LTD.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Friday, September 11, 2009

New Listing - ESTATE SALE

Reduced from $129,900
$119,900


New Listing - C3388820

Just added this listing:

Estate Sale: What a great opportunity! Spacious (1276 sq. ft.) 1.5 storey 3 bedroom older home with 9 foot ceilings and maple floors on full basement, situated within Coleman’s National Historic Site. Conveniently close to all amenities, including: shopping, restaurants, museum and schools. This character home needs work and is a perfect handyman special. An ideal family home or weekend retreat. Vacant, easy to show.

• Over 1276 sq. ft. of fully developed living space having 3 Bedrooms and full basement
• Ideal for recreational purposes or full time living
• Walking distance to school, shopping and close to all outdoor activities
• Priced to sell!

For more information call:
John Prince
403-564-4518



John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'THE PROFESSIONALS LTD.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gold Creek gets green light

After an appeal process that had many worried the appeal board decided to uphold the appeal from Livingstone Ventures Ltd., allowing the 100 acre property north of Frank to be subdivided into 25 country residential parcels ranging in size from 3-5 acres.

As stated, the proposed subdivision of Gold Creek was given a tentative go-ahead last week, provided they meet certain conditions.

Read all about it here


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'THE PROFESSIONALS LTD.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Friday, August 14, 2009

House sales in Canada jump in July

CBC News

Canada's resale housing market for July posted the largest year-over-year gain in two years, with Western homebuyers leading the way, according to statistics released Friday by The Canadian Real Estate Association.

For the first time on record, sales of existing homes climbed to more than 50,000 units for July.

A total of 50,270 homes were sold last month via the Multiple Listing Service of Canadian real estate boards. This is up 18.2 per cent from the same month last year, and 3.9 per cent above the previous record for July that was set in 2007.

"The difference in the resale housing market now, compared to the beginning of the year, is night and day, and nowhere is this more evident than in the West," association president Dale Ripplinger said in a release.

"Homebuyers recognize that interest rates and prices have bottomed out, and are taking advantage of excellent affordability before prices and interest rates move higher."

Resale numbers for July were up from the same month last year in about 60 per cent of local markets.

The association said year-over-year gains in these cities contributed most to the national increase in activity:
  • Toronto (28 per cent)
  • Vancouver (90 per cent)
  • Montreal (19 per cent)
  • Calgary (22 per cent)
  • Edmonton (28 per cent)

Demand is rebounding sharply in some of Canada's priciest housing markets, skewing the national average price upward, with the average price rising 7.6 per cent from one year ago to $326,832.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'THE PROFESSIONALS LTD.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why Hire A Professional Real Estate Agent?

A qualified, competent real estate agent will help you navigate the myriad of decisions that arise when buying and selling a home. An agent provides value to the homeowner in many ways:

  • Pays for all marketing and advertising costs.

  • Adds experience and expertise in all aspects of the sales process including marketing, financing, negotiations and more.

  • Handles all showings.

  • Brings a network of known, trusted real estate professionals. If your agent doesn't have the answer, he or she likely knows someone who does.

  • Always has your interests in mind so you always have someone on your side.

  • Can handle and advise on all price and contract negotiations.

  • Provides you with all the possible options and opportunities without holding back.

  • Gives an unbiased, realistic view of your home and your options. Unlike buyers and sellers, an agent has no emotional attachment to property.

  • Has the knowledge to help you ask the right questions.

  • Being a third party, potential buyers are more likely to tell your agent the truth about your home, even if it is unflattering. This objective viewpoint will help you make the necessary changes to get your home sold.

  • Your time is valuable. A real estate agent allows you to spend your time how you want.

Give me a call today (403) 564-4518 and let me help you buy or sell your next home!


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'THE PROFESSIONALS LTD.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

CROWSNEST PASS 'DREAM HOME' FOR SALE


DREAMWOODS B & B

in

KANANASKIS ESTATES

Spacious and distinctive home in a prime established neighborhood.

2808 – 90th Street, Coleman, AB

$769,000

Estate home hidden in a secluded private setting in the woods, presently operating as a well-established and successful B & B. 4.74 acres of natural beauty in a park-like setting with cascading creek and small waterfall, all yours.

  • Over 2800 sq. ft. of fully developed living space having 4 Bedrooms 3-1/2 baths (3 Ensuites) and sauna too

  • Open floor plan for living room, bonus room with fireplace, vaulted ceiling and skylights in kitchen

  • Den, office, family room, game room, spacious sundeck with sun room, picnic/firepit area and much more

  • Detached oversized, 3-Bay garage, insulated, heated, 220 v. wiring, automatic overhead doorsAn outdoor and nature person’s dream for all year round enjoyment; Forest Reserve within walking distance. It can’t get better than that!
C3387080
For more information call:
John Prince
403-564-4518



John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'THE PROFESSIONALS LTD.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Monday, July 27, 2009

What do Buyers want?

Buyers will get together with a Realtor only if you give them good reasons to do so

What do buyers want?

1. They want to find a good deal

2. They want access to new listings

3. They want the flexibility to take their time

4. They want honesty

5. They want a professional

6. They want someone who cares more about them than their commission

7. They want bonuses like Free Air Miles

8. They want someone to make the process easy

9. They want lots of communication

10. They want good information to make an informed decision

If you are a Buyer, I have just given you 10 Reasons why you should call me (403) 564-4518.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'THE PROFESSIONALS LTD.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Proper Pricing

“My price may be on the high side, but bring me an offer!”

Calgary has an average 98% list to sell ratio. Last month over 8000 homes did not sell; The homes that sold were priced favourably to the buyer. The Crowsnest Pass has similar stats. Buyers don’t need to look at overpriced properties.

Serious buyers look in the price range that has been predetermined by their down payment and monthly payment ability. Unless your property is priced correctly, the down payment and monthly payment requirements will not be competitive.

A buyer, who is genuinely looking, soon becomes very knowledgeable in his range. An unreasonable asking price only discourages him from looking and considering your property.

Buyers purchase by comparison, and a property priced above the competition does not "compare" favourably. Inviting a buyer to make an offer usually indicates that a fair price has not been established.

It is very difficult to obtain a reasonable offer on an overpriced property. The buyer feels he should be just as unreasonable in his offer as the seller in his asking price.

It is a mistake to believe that you will get more for a property by asking more. You usually get less, because fewer buyers will consider it when it is placed on the market. The right buyers will not see it, and it usually stays on the market so long that it tends to become "shop worn."

Modern Pricing Technologies Used by Appraisers
and Consultants to Price Properties in Alberta


1. Realtors have no control over the market, only the marketing plan.

2. Pricing in rising and falling markets:
- Overpricing in a rising market may be okay;
- Overpricing in a falling market is disastrous.
Market trend is as important as pricing. Know your market trends

3. Four kinds of numbers are used to represent your property:
A. Cost: what was paid plus capital improvements
B. Price: what the seller wants
C. Value: what a buyer is willing to pay
D. Market Value: what a willing buyer and seller will agree upon

4. Regression and progression:
A. Regression - the phenomenon of an expensive house being decreased in value because of the lesser desirable homes around it.
B. Progression - the phenomenon of a home selling for more than its worth because of having more expensive property or a more desirable area around it.

5. Substitution:
The value of an amenity is based upon what it will produce not what it will cost.

6. Reasons for overpricing:
A. Over-improvement: a seller cannot select an over-improvement, enjoy it and expect the buyer to pay the original cost of it.
B. Need: the need for money does not increase the value!
C. Buying in a higher priced area does not increase the value of your property.
D. Paying too high on the original purchase does not increase the value.
E. Lacking factual comps does not increase the value.
F. Providing bargaining room does not increase the value.
G. The high cost of a move does not increase value.
H. My tax assessment came in at $__________. All homes usually sell for way more than the tax assessment in the Crowsnest Pass.

7. The largest impression and most impact a property makes on the market upon buyers and upon agents is in the first few weeks of the listing. Therefore, it should show the best and be priced the best during those weeks.

8. Benefits to Proper Pricing:
A. Faster sale, which will save carrying costs and surety of close, has value.
B. Fewer inconveniences
C. Exposure to more prospects, and therefore more offers
D. Increased cooperative salesperson response and promotion
E. Better response from advertising the features and benefits of the properties
F. Attracts higher offers, which….
G. Means more money to sellers

These pricing strategies were prepared for you because they sometimes are a roadblock between you and your goals. My job is to identify these potential pitfalls and help eliminate them.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'THE PROFESSIONALS LTD.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Monday, June 29, 2009

The Five Factors That Sell Your Home

The Five Factors That Sell Your Home

1. Location
2. Condition of your home
3. Terms of the sale
4. Asking price for your home
5. The Realtor® you select to market your home

You control all of these factors… except location.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'The Professionals Ltd.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Walking Trail master plan for community

The following story appeared in this weeks' Crowsnest Pass Herald newspaper about last week's announcement, at the Crowsnest Pass Chamber Luncheon, on the bold initiative to create a walking trail system that connects the entire Pass. The extract from the Chamber of Commerce News is as follows:

Nathen Gallagher
Pass Herald Reporter


Pat Lundy, who was hired by the municipality to produce a walking trail master plan for the community, presented the results of her and the walking trail committee’s efforts. “I’m thrilled with the whole project,” said Lundy.

The final plan of the master plan is not yet ready, but Lundy gave an overview of the work to this point. The trust of the walking trail plan is a single maintained walking trail connecting the entire Pass, running from the Visitor Information Centre in Sentinel to the Leitch Collieries east of Bellevue.

The second phase, said Lundy, is to connect to many of the other trails in the area, such as the Miner's path and Star Creek Falls. All of these trails would connect with the main trail, and all would be signed with directions, distances, and difficulty level markers. Kiosks would be placed at points along the system, along with benches, picnic tables, bear-proof garbage bins, bike racks, water faucets, bathrooms, and even dog bag dispensers for cleaning up after our furry friends.

The project already has money allocated to it, said Lundy, but they are applying for a matching federal grant to help stretch that money even further and possibly finish the main trails and signage over the next couple years. "We're keeping our fingers crossed," she said.

"We're developing a lot of opportunities for people to be part of the trail system in some way," she added. The plan is to offer sponsorship opportunities for kiosks, memorial benches, and other items on the trail system to help raise more funds for further expanding the project.
______________________

Another good news story that exemplifies some of the positive things that are definitely happening in the Pass. If you want to be part of the change that is happening here in the Beautiful Crowsnest Pass, give me a call at 403-564-4518.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'The Professionals Ltd.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Swiss couple chooses the Pass

I just read an interesting story in the Crowsnest Pass Promoter newspaper about a couple who chose to move here recently, to the 'Pass, having literally travelled the world beforehand.

Can't get more of a plug than what this story offers as to why people want to live in the 'Beautiful' Crowsnest Pass. It really is a 'special place'!

Find out for yourself what makes us so special. If you are thinking of moving and wanting to buy into a small community, then call me at 403-564-4518, for all your real estate needs!

Read the story for yourself here


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'The Professionals Ltd.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Fatherly advice on real estate

In Life, Aim High...In real estate, think about it!

I recently read an excellent book with some wonderful advice from a father to a son.

Near the end of the book he tells of his father stating he would rather shoot high and miss than aim low and hit the target. Good advice, for sure!

In real estate, especially the Crowsnest Pass and area Alberta market, if you are a seller, aiming high will not work if you are looking to sell.

Homes in the Crowsnest Pass area seem to be selling for about 93% of the list price. Buyers expect some negotiation. But... if you price your property correctly initially, your potential buyers will know that. At least they will if their real estate agent is knowledeable of the market!

If you are considering selling your Crowsnest Pass area home please feel free to give me a call. I would welcome a chance to discuss my marketing plan and what I honestly believe your house will sell for in this current market.



The difference between an old listing and getting the right price early!


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'The Professionals Ltd.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Good Reasons for using a REALTOR

Selling your home is a full time job. If you are at work most of the day, important leads and enquiries can get lost. Time is wasted. You may lack the knowledge and experience of legal terminology and financing that could cost you money on the sale. You can sell your home yourself, but do you really want to and at what cost?

As a licensed professional, a REALTOR can save you money, time and many a sleepless night.

  • A REALTOR can help you set a fair sale price.

  • A REALTOR has access to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®).

  • A REALTOR will help with advertising and devise a marketing plan for your home.

  • A REALTOR will show your home regularly.

  • A REALTOR will present all offers to pur­chase.

  • A REALTOR will help negotiate the sale price on your behalf.

  • A REALTOR can coordinate appointments.

  • A REALTOR will ensure the sale progresses smoothly through to completion.

  • A REALTOR has the administrative support to keep track of the real estate market on a full time basis.

  • A REALTOR can give you tips and hints to help market your home and impress poten-
    tial buyers.

  • REALTORS are members of the Alberta Real Estate Association, Real Estate Board MLS® and the Canadian Real Estate Association.

  • REALTORS adhere not just to provincial and federal laws, but a Code of Ethics ensuring that you will receive the highest level of service, honesty and integrity.
John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'The Professionals Ltd.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Crowsnest Wing Fest takes flight

As reported in this week's Crowsnest Promoter by Jessica Cyr.

A week of family-friendly bird-watching excursions hosted by the Crowsnest Conservation Society will take place begining Wednesday, May 27, with a trip to Crowsnest and Summit Lakes beginning at 5 p.m.

Other events through to June 3 include a morning trip to Beauvais Lake, an all-day hike in the Livingstone Gap, and other trips to lakes and wetlands in the area.

Read all about it here.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'The Professionals Ltd.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Home sales jump in April

Third straight monthly increase puts numbers up 32 per cent from January's decade-long low, but still far below last year.

HEATHER SCOFFIELD
Thursday, May 14, 2009


OTTAWA - Home sales soared in April for the third month in a row, but the real estate market has not yet made up for all the lost momentum of the past year, the Canadian Real Estate Association says.

Sales of homes in Canada, seasonally adjusted, jumped 11.2 per cent in April compared to March, the largest month-to-month increase in more than five years, CREA said. The gain compounds advances of 10.3 per cent in February and 7.7 per cent in March.
Home sales volumes were a full 32 per cent above January's levels - the lowest levels in a decade.

"Simply put, this was a very strong housing market report," said Millan Mulraine, economics strategist at TD Securities. "It is suggesting that the worst of the correction in the Canadian housing market may be behind us, and that the housing sector may be on the mend."

Compared to a year ago, however, home sales were down 11.8 per cent, CREA said. Still, this is a far milder decline than the record year-over-year drop of 42.2 per cent in November.

Prices are still lower now than a year ago, with the average sale price in April at $306,366 - about 3.2 per cent lower than April, 2008, when prices hit their pre-recession peak.

Indeed, economist Derek Holt at Scotia Capital Inc. doubts the month-over-month momentum can be sustained, mainly because the surge this spring is a result of unfulfilled demand from last winter and borrowed demand from the future.

Activity is strong now partly because no one was buying late last year when housing markets in Canada stagnated, he said.

Going forward, Canada is likely in for more deep job losses, which will hurt housing. And while extra-low mortgage rates and 35-year mortgages are spurring buying right now, those rates are poised to spike much higher in the coming years.

For now, though, the gains were widespread.

The volume of homes trading hands rose in 70 per cent of local markets in April, compared to March, CREA added. In particular, Toronto saw a 10 per cent increase, Vancouver's sales rose 30 per cent, Montreal was up 15 per cent and Calgary was up 31 per cent.

Still, compared to a year ago, home sales in Toronto were 10.5 per cent lower, Vancouver was off 17.4 per cent, Montreal was down 4.3 per cent and Calgary was 21 per cent lower.

The only cities showing a year-over-year increase in sales were Kitchener-Waterloo in southern Ontario, and Ottawa.

The key to the substantial increase in sales in the past few months is a growing realization by sellers that pricing has to be realistic, said Dale Ripplinger, a real estate broker based in Regina and also the president of CREA.

"Price adjustments in some markets have helped affordability. Second, lenders do have money for people and properties that qualify, although some are being more stringent."

A recovery of consumer confidence has also helped boost sales in the housing market, he said.
Lower mortgage rates are also a big factor, added Mr. Mulraine.

"It appears that home-buyers are taking full advantage, despite the bad economy. And this is certainly encouraging," he said in a note to clients.

Also encouraging a more stable housing market is a continuing decline in the supply of homes coming on to the market, CREA noted. New listings in April (seasonally adjusted) were 1.8 per cent lower than in March, and 16.4 per cent lower than the peak of May, 2008.

The spring housing market has been more active than CREA had anticipated, prompting a small upward revision to its forecast for sales for the rest of 2009.

For 2009, CREA now expects sales to fall 14.7 per cent to 307,500 homes - slightly less than in its last forecast issued in February. Stronger-than-expected rebounds in British Columbia and
Ontario were the drivers behind the revision, CREA said.

2010 should bring a 7.2 per cent increase in sales - a slightly weaker rebound than in previous forecasts because of downgraded expectations for economic growth next year. The rebound is expected to be strongest in British Columbia and Alberta.

CREA economist Gregory Klump said he expects national average prices will rebound slowly from the low reached in January, and begin to post modest year-over-year increases during the fourth quarter of 2009.

© The Globe and Mail


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'The Professionals Ltd.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Affordable Housing Initiative Update

Well we had another meeting of the Affordable Housing group and in the capable hands of co-chairs Adele McKernan and Dan Breier we are getting within weeks of having our community's needs assessment report finished, and ready to present to council. In the meantime, there is still work to be done, including finishing up with focus group meetings tomorrow, followed by a two week long online questionaire survey drive that will be taking place from May 11-24. You can fill out this form yourself (and encourage others to do likewise) by going to the municipal website (it should be up by the weekend (I think...hope?), otherwise, on Monday for sure.

Get involved and get it done, so that our municipality can determine the community's needs in terms of affordable housing moving into the future, and the best ways to satisy those needs.

note: Just received the following link for the survey... Click Here to take survey


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'The Professionals Ltd.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me direct at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I have joined CENTURY 21 The Professionals Ltd

I have been Busy, Busy, Busy the last week or two, being in Calgary taking the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) Orientation course, as a prerequisite in order to change real estate boards and brokerages. I am pleased to announce that I am now an Alberta Licensed real estate agent for CENTURY 21.

With the above in mind, the following is a letter I have sent out to all my clients, customers and friends...

Dear Friend,

I am pleased to announce that I have recently joined CENTURY 21 The Professionals Ltd. As you know, CENTURY 21 is the leader in today's real estate industry. As a CENTURY 21 Realtor®, I will continue to reinforce my commitment to quality service and professional real estate transactions.

I welcome the opportunity to professionally serve any real estate needs you may have. Please keep me in mind as a future reference, and call upon me if you have any questions about the current real estate trend, financing options, or the value of your property in today’s market.

As a member of the world’s largest real estate company, CENTURY 21, I can now offer you my clients and friends value-added benefits. These benefits include Air Miles, savings on furniture, discounts on movers and much more. Air Miles can be used to purchase many items such as electronics, movie tickets, airline tickets, etc. If you have any questions regarding our consumer programs, feel free to call me. I will be pleased to explain how CENTURY 21 provides comprehensive one stop shopping convenience for all your home’s needs.

Joining CENTURY 21 The Professionals Ltd. has been a positive career decision. I am confident in saying that as my clients and friends you can be part of the excitement of having the world’s leader in real estate working for you and your family. Get the advantage with CENTURY 21 The Professionals Ltd. and John Prince.

Sincerely,
John

John Prince, Realtor
CENTURY 21 The Professionals Ltd. (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate)
Website: www.century21.ca/john.prince
Blog: http://realestate.johnprince.ca/
Office: 403-564-4518
Cell: 403-563-0637
Fax: 403-564-4509

e-mail: johnprince@shaw.ca


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, CENTURY 21 'The Professionals Ltd.' (Crowsnest Pass Real Estate). Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Alberta 2009 Summer Games update

Extract by Nathane Gallagher, Pass Herald

Community Services Director Cam Mertz and the municipality's Summer Games Coordinator Amy Boeckner spoke about what promises to be one of this summer's biggest events, the 40th anniversary of the Southern Alberta Summer Games.

Mertz said that they are planning 40 events to celebrate 40 years, including nine sports that have never been part of the Games before. He hopes to keep people in the Pass for the entire length of the Games by offering more activities and entertainment, and by keeping things centralized and connecting visitors to tourism opportunities while they are here.

"We have four days to show people what we really have," said Boeckner, who is hard at work as the local games Coordinator. "We expect to see over 2000 participants and their families."

She said there are lots of ways people can get involved, including volunteering and providing sponsorship. Different sponsorship packages are available, and if you register as a sponsor before the end of April, you will be listed as a sponsor in all key marketing and will gain other benefits as well.

Boeckner can be reached for more information at 403-563-8658 or via email at amysasg@crowsnestpass.com.

note: Sounds like it's going to be a 'fun-packed summer' this year. Can't wait!


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Council passes Gold Creek plan

Last Tuesday, the Gold Creek Development passed its final hurtle with council's approval of their Area Structure Plan, after several months of talks and delays.

The planned development calls for 25 country residential properties on approximately 90 acres of land north of Frank.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Time is right for first-time homebuyers, housing experts say

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO - Panelists at a BMO real estate conference say there is no doubt that now is a great time for first-time homebuyers.

President and CEO of Brookfield Real Estate Services (TSX:BRE.UN) Phil Soper says affordability in many parts of the country is improving for the first time in a long time.

He says the housing market has shifted from a seller's market to a buyer's market, which is good news for someone looking to buy their first home.

And BMO economist Sal Guatieri says the average mortgage payment has fallen one-third or $600 from its peak.

He says the average resale price of a home has fallen 14 per cent from its peak and will fall "moderately further" this year.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Effective Pricing Leads to Success

When it is time to sell your home, you want to price it to yield as much return as possible. Pricing strategy is one of the most important elements in selling your home.

A FREE Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for Crowsnest Pass Sellers of your home will help you determine value. This involves analyzing the current competition--other like properties currently on the market. I'll look at properties that have already sold, to determine what people have been willing to pay for similar properties. I will also analyze properties that haven’t sold, some of which are overpriced.

The goal is to price the property accurately for the marketplace. You don't want to leave money on the table, but you don't want to overprice your home either. If you overprice the property, you risk having your home sit on the market. Then you may have to drop the price below what you could have received if it had been priced correctly to begin with. Upon seeing a home that is fairly priced, most motivated buyers offer full or almost full price.

When you are ready to sell, I'll be happy to stop by for a quick view of your home. Together we will price it to sell for top dollar, in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of inconvenience to you.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Homeowners in line for reno rebate

For homeowners, 2009 could be the year of the reno, following the passage of the long-awaited federal budget last week.

Crowsnest Pass residents who want to update their bathroom or refinish the basement will get a tax break worth up to $1350. A Home Renovation Tax Credit lets taxpayers claim 15 per cent of their fix-ups until Feb.1, 2010.

Taxpayers can claim renovations on their 2009 tax returns on costs over $1,000, but not exceeding $10,000.

"Any free money is a good thing," said local contractor Rick Reil. "If it gets people thinking about (renovating), it's a good thing."

But Reil compared the renovation tax rebate to the GST rebate offered for new housing construction. "It may be an incentive, but it's not a driving force."

Revenue Canada recommends receipts be kept in case of future audit. Contractors are also required to produce invoices that are often done on a cash basis without paperwork.

The credit is designed to boost the construction industry, which has taken a major hit over the last few months as new housing projects stall.

Eligible expenses include renovating kitchens, bathrooms or basements, new carpeting or flooring, building additions, decks, or retaining walls, installing furnaces or water heaters, interior and exterior painting, or driveway resurfacing.

Routine maintenance does not qualify nor do things such as new furniture, appliances, tools, carpet cleaning and snow removal.
Crowsnest Pass Promoter
Joni MacFarlane


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Gold Creek jumps hurdle

This week's Promoter has a story on the Gold Creek Development that will be taking place up north of Frank, behind the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. Some of the highlights are:
The development proposes a total of 25 lots situated on approximately 100 acres of land.

... council passed a land use amendment to rezone the property from non-urban area to grouped country-residential.

Livingstone Ventures Limited, from Lethbridge, is the group behind the project.
With the rezoning bylaw now passed the final approval of the Area Structure Plan is next.

Looks like we are getting very close to having another 'gem' of a development in the Crowsnest Pass. Good news!

Call me at 403-564-4518 if you are looking to buy real estate in the Crowsnest Pass area, or if I can assist you in the selling of your property.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

More Canadians will turn to fixed mortgages as rates plummet to rock bottom

Ross Marowits/Canadian Press

Bargain basement borrowing costs are prompting many Canadians to opt for fixed mortgages even though variable products continue to be a money-winning option for the foreseeable future, industry observers say.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce's chief economist says variable rate mortgages should produce the greater benefit for the next two to 2.5 years, but be a wash over five years.

"If you're really risk-averse, jump on those fixed-term rates because they're extremely cheap," Benjamin Tal said in an interview.

"Going variable probably will give you good performance for the next two years or so and beyond that, we might see interest rates rising."

Inflation could ultimately lead to higher interest rates, but likely not before 2011, he said. Variable rates remain attractive even though banks last fall eliminated discounts and began charging premiums for those who signed up for them after the Bank of Canada lowered its interest rate.

The central bank went even further on Tuesday, cutting its trend-setting overnight rate another half percentage point to 0.5 per cent. Banks followed by lowering their prime rate to 2.50 per cent. Bank governor Mark Carney said he now sees recovery coming later than it had projected, possibly in early 2010. And he hinted that instead of further lowering rates, the central bank may consider alternative strategies, including buying back government bonds and other forms of credit from chartered banks.

Homeowners with variable rates, especially those with discounts reaching 90 basis points, should ignore temptations to lock in now, says Vince Gaetano, vice-president of Monstermortgage.ca. The self-professed fan of variable mortgages said they give customers control, which is important in the current economic climate. Gaetano said homeowners should use this window of low rates to pay down their mortgages as quickly as possible. "The key is if you can pay your mortgage in half by the time your variable rate doubles your interest cost is going to be the same on your balance."

He accused banks of scaring mortgage holders last fall to lock in their variable rates by suggesting rates will rise. The deteriorating economy has only caused rates to fall even further. "There's lots of consumers not happy with their banks right now for bad advice," he said, noting that people who opt for variable mortgages have to be comfortable with fluctuations. Owners of rental properties, however, should stick to fixed-rate mortgages to balance steady income with stable interest expenses, he added.

Mark Olkowski, Southern Ontario manager of mortgage firm Invis, said fixed rates have dropped so low that new mortgage holders are looking more closely at this option than they did just a few months ago. "The average consumer is looking at it now and they're probably waiting for something to trigger," he said. If rates haven't reached a floor, they are probably close to it, added Olkowski, who said he hasn't yet seen a flurry of people opt for fixed rates. "We pretty much have a good idea what's going to happen in 2009. The trick is trying to figure out what's going to happen in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013."

The beauty of variable rates is that consumers can convert to a fixed rate without penalty. Mortgage expert Moshe Milevsky of York University suspects many Canadians will opt for the security of fixed mortgages considering how low rates have dropped. But he said the decision about what kind of mortgage to take should never be made in isolation of individual circumstances such the amount of equity, value of the house, debts and risk aversion. And in markets where real estate prices are falling, seeking a long-term rate may be more important than the type of rate.

"The last thing you want to do is have to renew your mortgage in a year from now and have the bank say: 'Let's assess what that house is really worth,' " he said in an interview. Studies conducted by Milevsky have determined that variable rates have historically produced greater savings 88 per cent of the time. "But in today's environment, you'd be hard-pressed to make a case to continue floating," he said, advocating a blend between fixed and floating rates.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

What are you waiting for?


Well spring has finally sprung, a great time to be in Alberta. The temperatures are rising and people's moods are changing for the better! But, unlike some other places in the country, it is still not shirt sleeves weather yet!

The market for Crowsnest Pass homes is still a buyer's market. Working with buyers this past week it became apparent there are some great deals out there. And you don't have to look very far. Multiple homes are for sale in the same neighborhood at very competitive prices.

In the Crowsnest Pass areas of Bellevue/Hillcest, Frank, Blairmore and Coleman there are dozens of homes to choose from. Sellers are willing to negotiate and the buyers are starting to enter the market again. Often the TV/print media is quick to laud the woes of the market. They fail to see the opportunities that exist for the discerning buyer.

If you have been kicking around the idea of purchasing a home in Alberta or any area for that matter, get out there and look. It does not cost anything. Buyers don't pay real estate agents, the sellers do! What are you waiting for?


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Crowsnest Pass is Happening!

It seems that the market is starting to happen and now folks are ready to get in the game! This, of course, is based on what was reported in the last week's Crowsnest Pass Promoter - Housing sales rebound and on my own experience over the past couple of weeks. The inquiries have increased in frequency, showings are increasing, and, hopefully, the contracts will follow. In the Real Estate field, as in any sales field, a positive attitude is critical.

Critical for my success, and critical for my clients! Why would anyone want to list their home with a negative agent? Who wants to spend a day looking at properties with a down in the mouth real estate agent? Give it another week or so, after the First of April, and we will see. Why not get in the game?

If you are buying or selling a house in the Crowsnest Pass (Bellevue/Hillcrest, Frank, Blairmore or Coleman) area, call me, please. I would welcome a chance to discuss how I can assist you in the process.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Canadians optimistic about home buying: RBC

CBC News

Almost two-thirds of Canadians think the time is right to buy a house despite the ongoing global recession, according to a new survey released Wednesday.

RBC said 65 per cent of people in this country term the current housing sector a "buyer's market." More than a quarter of Canadians said they would look to buy a new house within the next two years.

That optimism is despite the current economic environment: Canada's GDP dropped by an annualized 3.4 per cent in the last three months of 2008 and home prices were down more than 11 per cent in January 2009 compared to a year earlier.

"The current economic environment does not appear to have dampened Canadians' overall confidence in the housing market," said Karen Leggett, head of RBC's Home Equity Financing.

"Canadians continue to have an overwhelming belief in the long-term value of a home and we're seeing this in the buying intentions of many first time homebuyers this year," she said.

Indeed, the current interest in purchasing a new home was four percentage points higher than the 23 per cent for the same time in 2008 and is at its highest level since 2007.

Falling home prices

One reason for the relatively positive outlook among Canadian homeowners and potential purchasers was the belief that slumping home values will drop even further in 2009.

More than half — 54 per cent — of Canadians said they think housing prices will be lower this year than they were at the end of 2008.

Cheaper prices combined with falling interest rates — down 50 basis points after March's rate cut by the Bank of Canada —indicate that people believe they will be able to pay less for a relatively valuable asset that will begin rise in net worth as the economy recovers.

Of course, that scenario only plays out as the economy recovers

In another recent survey, a majority of Americans said they think the North American recession is getting worse, not better, a situation that could pushing home values down further and delay a decision to buy a new home.

Regional differences

Alberta remains the most optimistic place in Canada for home buying in the near future.

Canadians who: say it's a buyers' market will buy house in '09 or '10

B.C. 78% 26%
Atlantic 58 25
Sask./Man. 34 25
Alberta 72 35
Source: RBC

Alberta remains the most optimistic place in Canada for home buying in the near future.

In the oil-rich province, 35 per cent of residents said they will purchase a new abode this year or in 2010. That level of buying interest contrasted sharply with Quebec where only 22 per cent of those surveyed said they would buy a home in 2009 or the year after.

In Ontario, 30 per cent of people asked expressed an interest in purchasing a new house.

Ipsos Reid conducted the poll between Jan. 6 and Jan. 9, 2009. The online survey of 2,026 adult Canadians is considered accurate to within 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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