Advantages to South Lethbridge Real Estate

The South Side of Lethbridge is a mature, well treed area, which benefits from Henderson Lake Park, one of the most attractive green spaces in Lethbridge. As the name implies, the park ontains a large lake, and is adjacent to a golf course. The south is preferred by residents who ant to be close to the city center and all amenities.

Real Estate prices are typically a little higher in South Lethbridge because of the popularity of his part of the city. It is not hard to understand why, mature tree-lined avenues and spacious anicured yards create an ambiance of comfortable suburbia just minutes from town.

South Lethbridge is home to the Community College, Enmax Center, Henderson Lake Golf ourse, cinemas and restaurants, most of the car dealerships, and shopping malls. If you want o be near the “action”, then South Lethbridge will probably be at the top of your Real Estate hopping list.

The only down side to South Lethbridge from a Real Estate point of view, is that many of the omes are of an older vintage, 50 to 60 years being typical. Those with a preference for newer omes often find themselves drawn to the West Lethbridge.

New real estate development is taking place at Fairmont and Coulee Creek, both of which are adjacent to many new stores, including Costco, Wal Mart and Home Depot.

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Published in: on April 5, 2007 at 3:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Housing Prices continue to rise across Canada

Canada’s housing market has gotten off to a hotter-than- expected start this year, says a major real-estate firm, which reported double-digit-percentage increases in prices for all major types of housing from a year earlier.

While the increases in prices in the first quarter of this year were led by continuing strong price gains in Alberta, prices were also up in virtually all cities in Canada, Century 21 noted in its quarterly housing market report. “The combination of resilient consumer confidence, moderately low interest rates and improved affordability across most of the country led to greater-than-expected activity during the typically slower first quarter,” it said. And that bodes well for what is the typically hot spring season for housing markets, said Century 21 president Phil Soper.

“The recent months have produced record-breaking sales levels in many markets and unwavering demand – momentum which will undoubtedly be maintained through the always busy spring market,” he said.

The continued strength in Canada’s housing market is in contrast to the broad retreat in housing prices in the U.S., which, according to a report this week from Standard & Poor’s, were down 0.7 per cent from a year ago. The housing bust in the U.S., resulting in a meltdown in the subprime-mortgage market which the Federal Reserve warns could last two years, is also blamed for eroding consumer and business confidence in what is also Canada’s largest export market.

Soper, in an interview, said that the problems in the U.S. housing market should not have any direct impact on Canada’s housing market. There are both economic and structural differences in the two markets, he said. Among other things, interest rates increased more and to higher levels in the U.S. than in Canada and that had a greater impact on Americans who are carrying more debt than Canadians, he said. Further, mortgage lending in the U.S. was much more aggressive and more risky than here.

“The concern is a broader one in Canada that a further softening and outright collapse of the American housing market could be one of the major triggers to an American recession,” he said. “With our largest trading partner in full-blown economic retreat all bets are off, and not just for our housing market, but for jobs, our tax levels, and everything else.”

In Canada, the strongest year-over-year increase in Canadian housing prices in the first quarter was in the average price of a condominium, which was up 16.3 per cent to $230,146, followed by a 14.9 per cent gain to $316,993 for a bungalow, and a 11.8 per cent rise to $378,148 for a two-storey home. However, there were significant regional differences, the report noted.

Fuelled by the energy sector, Alberta’s economy continued to show extremely high price appreciation, which is spilling over into neighbouring Saskatchewan. “A notable ripple effect from the booming markets in Alberta was observed in Saskatchewan as Saskatoon reported unprecedented spikes in house prices and activity, driven by in-migration and strong demand as former residents returned from cities like Calgary, escaping skyrocketing housing prices and the rapidly rising cost of living,” the report said.

More moderate price increases were noted in the central and eastern regions of the country, it said. The increases in prices for a standard detached bungalow were 55.2 per cent in Edmonton, 32.3 in Saskatoon, 29.2 Calgary, 13.5 St. John, N.L.,13.4 Vancouver, 12.3 Regina, 11.8 Winnipeg, 9.6 Halifax, 9.2 Victoria, 7.8 Moncton, N.B., 6.0 Ottawa, 5.7 Toronto, 5.4 ontreal, 2.1 Charlottetown. Of the cities surveyed, only Fredericton showed no increase in the average price of bungalow, which was unchanged.
Source: CanWest News Service.

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Published in: on April 5, 2007 at 3:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

First-time Home Buyers Flood Market

First-time buyers are “scrambling to realize homeownership” across Canada fearing housing prices will continue to soar, according to a recent report.

Higher housing values, tight inventory levels, and all-out bidding wars have yet to deter first-time buyers in major Canadian centres this year, the real estate firm said. “Entry-level buyers continue to be a driving force in real estate,” Michael Polzler, Ontario-Atlantic Canada, said in a statement. “Their undaunted enthusiasm is expected to translate into sales at or ahead of last year’s record levels in the spring.”

The Affordability Report, which highlights first-time buying activity and trends in 13 housing markets across the country, found that substantial price increases have had little impact on buyer intentions.

“Buyers are finding the means necessary to enter the market, even in the western provinces, where double-digit price gains have been reported and sales-to-listings ratios hover above the 80 per cent mark,” Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president, of Western Canada, added. “Purchasers simply refuse to be priced out of the market, even though household income has not kept pace with housing appreciation.”

First-time buyers have turned to innovative financing such as new mortgage products with longer amortization periods. Some tap into RRSPs and borrow money from family, while others offset carrying costs through in-law suites, now factored into debt-service ratios by some lending institutions.

The greatest year-over-year price appreciation occurred in Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Kelowna, B.C., where averages rose 52, 29, 26, and 23 per cent, respectively.

The average price in the country’s most expensive market, Greater Vancouver, jumped 11 per cent, from February 2006 to February 2007, topping the $500,000 mark. “Low interest rates and solid economic performance in most major Canadian centres have also played a substantial role in providing purchasers with the confidence to go out and buy their first home,” Polzler said.
“Yet, in some centres, there are other motivating factors at play. Price increases, for example, are a reality in the marketplace. One year can set you back … and your dollar just doesn’t have the same purchasing power.”

James Manfron and his wife, who recently purchased a single-family home in Calgary, said the continuing rise in house prices was a “huge factor. It made us feel pressured to have to get something now instead of maybe giving us the time to look things over and say ‘oh maybe this one, maybe that one,'” said the 29-yearold, who is a home inspector. “You know every week that you wait, you know it’s going up.”

Condominiums, which can start at half the average price of a home, are increasingly a popular choice for first-time buyers. Condos currently represent just under one in every two sales in markets such as Vancouver and Victoria. In Edmonton, Calgary, and the Greater Toronto Area, close to one in every three sales involve a condominium apartment or town home. In smaller markets such as Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg, condominiums are gaining
Calgary Herald, CanWest News Service

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Published in: on April 5, 2007 at 3:17 pm  Leave a Comment