The industry news stream is updated daily with Calgary and region building industry news. Check back often.

 

October 15, 2019

Learn the intricacies and risks of FTHBI before buying in – Calgary Sun

“FTHBI is an equity sharing incentive wherein the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation loans first-time home buyers a five or 10 percent downpayment on the purchase of a home. It’s five percent for an existing home and 10 percent for a new build.”

Shifting to Stability – CREB Now

“For the third consecutive month, sales activity improved over last year’s figures, and year-over-year new listings and inventories eased. This trend will help support more stability in the housing market.”

The Economics of Net Zero – Smarter Growth Initiative

“A net zero home is energy efficient. It’s also easy on the wallet.”

Half of Canada’s Big Housing Markets Are Unaffordable – Canadian Mortgage Trends

“A new study of 15 major urban centres across Canada shows that housing unaffordability continues to be a major concern in nearly half of those markets.”

 

October 11, 2019

Improving housing affordability needs a multi-pronged approach – Mortgage Broker News

“T-minus 11 days left until the federal election and while housing affordability isn’t the top issue for voters (that spot belongs to climate change, according to a poll from the Angus Reid Institute), affordability remains a high priority.”

Royal LePage CEO urges caution with election promises aimed at stimulating housing demand – Cision Canada

“Commodity-driven real estate markets including Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, and St. John’s posted year-over-year price declines.”

Parties are promising to tackle Canada’s housing crisis. Will their policies work? – Global News

“According to an Ipsos poll conducted between Sept. 11 and 13 for Global News and La Presse, the cost of living was among the top issues for voters, with 27 per cent of respondents saying it was the most important to them.”

Federal Candidates Debate Housing Issues – CPAC TV

ICYMI: “CHBA was one of five national associations that co-hosted a National Housing Debate on October 6 in Ottawa.”

 

October 10, 2019

30-year amortizations won’t cause an economic meltdown – MoneySense

“We should be having reasoned debates around real estate, and rising consumer debt and climbing housing prices should be a concern.”

Canadian infrastructure report card updated ahead of federal election – Canadian Consulting Engineer

“The 2019 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card, released yesterday ahead of the federal election, calls for long-term investments in the renewal of public infrastructure that it finds is aging, in poor condition and at risk.”

Property developers step up residential construction as housing market emerges from deep freeze – Financial Post

“Single-detached starts fell by 8 per cent to 58,600 units during the month, but remain above the trough posted earlier in the year. Meanwhile, multi-unit starts were flat at 162,000 units.”

Unlocking the Door to Homeownership – CHBA National

“Governments hold the key to unlocking the door to homeownership again.”

 

October 9, 2019

Canadian Housing Starts Trended Higher in September – CMHC

“The trend in housing starts was 223,507 units in September 2019, compared to 218,782 units in August 2019, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.”

The Economics of Net Zero – Smarter Growth Initiative

“A net zero home produces as much energy as it consumes. Building one is not as expensive as people think.”

New BILD Alberta chair sees new optimism in Alberta – Calgary Herald

“On the heels of a slower stretch for Alberta’s residential and development industry, there’s an increased sense of economic optimism, says the new chair of BILD Alberta.”

 

October 8, 2019

Building permits up but still down – ATB Financial’s The Owl

“The seasonally-adjusted value of building permits issued by Alberta municipalities increased 1.8 per cent ($17.2 million) in August. This comes after a 4.7 per cent rise in July, but a 12.2 per cent fall in June.”

CHBA Welcomes Platform Measures for First-Time Homebuyers – CHBA National

“CHBA’s election advocacy has paid off: Canada’s largest federal parties’ platforms include many of CHBA’s recommendations to improve housing affordability.”

Federal Candidates Debate Housing Issues – CPAC

“CHBA was one of five national associations that co-hosted a National Housing Debate on October 6 in Ottawa.”

Calgary’s MLS market is on a winning streak – Calgary Sun

“Inventory is putting downward pressure on selling prices.”

 

October 7, 2019

Housing Affordability Is A Major Election Issue For Canadians – Toronto Storeys

“Despite Canada’s strong economic growth, affordable housing remains a top-of-mind issue for the majority of voters.”

Building with wood: climate-change ally and sustainable skylines – Cision Canada

“In total, delegates from 29 countries, representing all continents, took part in this international forum to share the latest advances in mid- and high-rise wood construction.”

Federal housing policies must reflect diversity of Canadian markets – Calgary Sun

“Housing has become a key campaign topic for the federal election with the major parties having recently laid out their plans to improve affordability and supply — two issues the housing associations have asked governments at all levels to address.”

Net interprovincial migration positive but slow – ATB Financial’s The Owl

“A high unemployment rate, sluggish job creation and tepid growth overall is keeping a lid on the net flow of people into Alberta from the rest of Canada, but we have not been in negative territory since the second quarter of 2018.”

Urban Growth by the Numbers – Smarter Growth Initiative

“These numbers create a sense of urgency around some of The City’s planning initiatives. These include the ongoing review of the Municipal Development Plan and the Calgary Transportation Plan.”

 

October 3, 2019

Net interprovincial migration positive but slow – ATB Financial

“​​A high unemployment rate, sluggish job creation and tepid growth overall is keeping a lid on the net flow of people into Alberta from the rest of Canada, but we have not been in negative territory since the second quarter of 2018.”

Required downpayment amounts vary across Canada – Calgary Sun

“Housing affordability is becoming a top priority for voters in the upcoming federal election.”

Are Fixed Mortgage Rates Set to Rise? – Canadian Mortgage Trends

“Mortgage shoppers have been treated to fixed rates near two-year lows for months now. They’re even below most variable rates.”

Growing Pains – Smarter Growth Initiative

“Change is inevitable for the Calgary region. That puts a premium on co-operation.”

 

September 30, 2019

Seven out of 15 major housing markets in Canada unaffordable to average person — and good luck renting – Financial Post

BILD Commentary: This article illustrates why changes to the stress test are needed for first-time home buyers. Our recommendations can help well-qualified buyers have a better shot at achieving their dream of home ownership.

CPC launches four-prong approach to housing affordability – Calgary Sun

“The mortgage qualifying stress test is facing some stress, with the release of the Conservative Party of Canada’s (CPC) new four-point housing policy as the federal election gets closer.”

Shane Homes celebrates its 40th anniversary – Calgary Herald

“From humble beginnings 40 years ago, Shane Homes has grown into one of the largest and respected home builders in the province.”

Growing Pains – Smarter Growth Initiative

“Change is inevitable for the Calgary region. That puts a premium on co-operation.”

Rolling Trails: vision begins for final development within Town of Cochrane – Cochrane Eagle

“We would like to provide housing options which are not readily available elsewhere in Cochrane including various housing options for seniors and wider lot product.”

 

September 24, 2019

Andrew Scheer announces four-point plan to make home ownership more affordable – Conservative Party of Canada

“Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has announced that a new Conservative government would introduce four new measures to make it easier for first-time homebuyers to buy a home.”

Government opens the door to regionalizing the stress test – Calgary Sun

“’The stress test has reduced buying power,’ says Ling Lem, an associate with Jayman Financial.”

Customer-driven Demand Shapes Real Estate in Canada – Cision Canada

“Canada’s real estate sector is carefully monitoring government policy changes, housing affordability and technology disruption and what that may mean for the industry.”

Lower rates giving Canadian housing ‘nine lives’: CIBC’s Tal – BNN Bloomberg

“Tal adds that he believes the Bank of Canada prefers to avoid fuelling the housing market through lower rates, but trade pressures and monetary policy easing by central banks around the world might force its hand.

Rental Rates In Canada Up 8 Per Cent This Year For All Property Types – Building Magazine

BILD Commentary: Increased interest in larger apartments, and the overall trend to higher rental rates, despite monthly fluctuations, may be a symptom of the ongoing barriers to homeownership faced by first-time buyers.

 

September 20, 2019

Rising house, gas prices highlight how powerless politicians are to make life more affordable – The Globe and Mail

BILD Commentary: The article does note an important concern about whether the Liberal proposal to expand the First Time Home Buyers’ Incentive in key areas will actually have an impact.

Building permits, July 2019 – Statistics Canada

“The value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities rose 3.0% to $8.3 billion in July, largely due to increases in multi-family and commercial permits.”

Established community, golf course setting wins for new homes in the Hamptons – Calgary Herald

“Four years after conceptualization discussions started, possessions are taking place in a pair of enclaves created from the redesign of a portion of the Hamptons golf course in the city’s northwest.”

August new homes starts up from July, but down year over year – Calgary Sun

“New home builders in the Calgary CMA started 1,051 new homes in August, down slightly from the 1,096 starts in August 2018, but up significantly from 691 starts in July 2019.”

 

September 19, 2019

Builders, contractors at risk when buildings go mouldy – Journal of Commerce

“Over the past 20 or more years, mould and water ingress in condominiums and commercial buildings have caused substantial property damage and resulted in numerous lawsuits.”

Hopewell opens presentation centre in Arbour Lake West – Calgary Sun

“Hopewell Residential has opened the doors of its presentation centre for Arbour Lake West, a new community within the community of Arbour Lake in northwest Calgary.”

Calgary resale homes among most buyer-friendly in Canada per square foot – Calgary Herald

“A new study on real estate suggests buyers in the city are getting more bang for their dollar per square foot of space than other major centres in Canada.”

Housing Affordability in Canada – CHBA National

For generations, Canadians have viewed homeownership as not only a major life milestone, but an investment in their future. But homeownership is increasingly difficult for the average Canadian to achieve.

 

September 18, 2019

Help Canadians #UnlocktheDoor to Homeownership – CHBA National

CHBA National has released their 2019 Federal Election Platform recommendations.

Anthem United celebrates trio of new communities – Calgary Herald

“Much more than just neighbourhoods, this trio of communities will become home to nearly 13,000 people when buildout is achieved, with Belmont planning for more than half that total.”

One-size-fits-all legislation won’t make housing more affordable – Calgary Sun

“Every candidate running for office this federal election campaign should have housing affordability near the top of their list of issues.”

Bridging the Digital Divide – Smarter Growth Initiative

“The health of Canadian cities has gone digital.”

 

September 16, 2019

Announcing 2019 BILD Alberta Award Winners – BILD Alberta

Congratulations to all 2019 BILD Alberta Award Winners, which were presented over the weekend at the BILD Horizon’s Conference in Jasper.

Alberta’s resale housing market – ATB’s The Owl

“The actual price sellers receive for their home depends on a wide range of factors from size and location to condition and local economic conditions but, overall, Alberta remains a “buyer’s market” for now.”

Canadian household debt-to-income ratio edges lower – The Globe and Mail

BILD Commentary: It is good that new data provided by Statistics Canada shows that Canadians’ household debt is declining. However, the unanswered question is how much of the slowdown in debt is due to dropping homeownership for well-qualified would-be buyers.

Alberta invests $1.5 million in apprenticeship training – Journal of Commerce

“The government of Alberta is consolidating previous high school training programs into the $1.5-million High School Apprenticeship Scholarship to increase the numbers of high school students able to access skilled trades training and education.”

Pressure mounts on federal parties to amend B-20 ahead of election – Mortgage Broker News

“With the October 21 federal election around the corner, real estate boards across Canada are calling on all federal parties to significantly alter B-20.”

 

September 13, 2019

REALTORS® From Across Canada Urge Governments to Reduce Costs and Remove Barriers to Home Ownership – Toronto Real Estate Board

“REALTOR® associations from Canada’s largest real estate markets are calling on all levels of government to take meaningful action to make home ownership more accessible to people across the country.”

Small businesses deliver election priorities to federal parties – Cision Canada

“With the federal election now officially under way, small business owners are calling on the federal parties to include measures that support economic growth in their platforms.”

Reverse mortgage growth sees slight deceleration in June – Mortgage Broker News

“Canadian reverse mortgage debt growth is slowing down, even as the balance reached a new high in June.”

Calgary’s resale housing market showed positive signs in August – Calgary Sun

“Calgary’s resale housing market continued to show improvement in August, with a six percent sales increase, year over year, and a decline in inventories.”

 

September 12, 2019

2019 Federal Election: A Unique Opportunity to Help Unlock the Door to Homeownership – CHBA National

“The writ has been dropped and Canadians are going to the polls on October 21. The coming federal election serves as a unique opportunity to help unlock the door to homeownership!”

Canadians are clinging to affordable rent as long as they can – Globe and Mail

BILD Commentary: While Canadians have many reasons for holding onto their rentals, affordability is a key factor in their decision-making process.

BMO survey reveals where first-time buyers are most confident – Mortgage Broker News

“In spite of a bumpy economic landscape, Albertans buying their first homes have the most confidence in their real estate market, according to a BMO survey.”

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, conventional mortgage lending rate, 5-year term – Statistics Canada

The CMHC conventional mortgage lending rate, 5-year term, is posted on Statistics Canada.

 

September 11, 2019

Unlocking the Door to Homeownership – CHBA National

With the 2019 Federal Election now under way, find out how governments hold the key to unlocking the door to homeownership.

Building permits, July 2019 – Statistics Canada

“The value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities rose 3.0% to $8.3 billion in July, largely due to increases in multi-family and commercial permits.”

Canadian housing starts trended higher in August – Cision Canada

“The trend in housing starts was 218,998 units in August 2019, compared to 208,931 units in July 2019, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.”

Liberals, Tories begin election campaign neck-and-neck while NDP, Greens tied: Poll – Global News

“Justin Trudeau‘s Liberals and Andrew Scheer‘s Conservatives were running neck-and-neck during warm-up laps for the start of the 40-day federal election campaign, a new poll suggests.”

Calgary’s resale housing market showed positive signs in August – Calgary Sun

“Calgary’s resale housing market continued to show improvement in August, with a six percent sales increase, year over year, and a decline in inventories.”

 

September 10, 2019

First Time Home Buyers Incentive gets failing grade from Kmiec – Calgary Sun

“Kmiec doesn’t think any government should get into the business of business and taking stakes in peoples’ homes.”

Trade conflict impacts Bank of Canada interest rate – The REMI Network

“Bank of Canada leaves the key interest rate unchanged at 1.75 per cent. The institution warns the US-China trade conflict is weighing more heavily on the global and Canadian economies than the Bank had projected.”

Hopewell Residential Cites Engaged Residents And A Future Proof Approach As Key Factors In Mahogany’s Enormous Success – Hopewell Residential

“Last week, the City of Calgary released its 2019 Civic Census Results calling out Mahogany by Hopewell as Calgary’s fastest growing community with a population increase of 1,948 residents.”

Trico Homes named as a “Best For the World” B Corporation for the 3rd time – Trico Homes

“As one of Calgary’s first Certified B Corporations and Western Canada’s only B Corp homebuilder, Trico is honored to be named as a top-performing company for the second consecutive year in a row.”

 

September 9, 2019

The 2019 City of Calgary Civic Census: All the numbers you need to know – Calgary Sun

“The City of Calgary has released the results of its 2019 census taking, a 317-page report conducted in April, covering the period from April 2018 to April 2019.”

Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) Reinvents Housing Market Reports with Interactive Statistics Dashboard – Cision Canada

“AREA announces a unique-to-Alberta interactive housing statistics dashboard on its website, fully equipped with 18+ years resale data.”

Canada’s softwood lumber industry hasn’t harmed U.S. producers, NAFTA panel finds – CBC News

“A joint NAFTA panel has given the United States three months to rethink its tariffs on imports of Canadian softwood lumber.”

Young families are top of mind for Andrew Scheer – Toronto Star

BILD Commentary: The Conservative Leader’s comments about ways to bring down the cost of housing echo much of what the Association has been calling for. Adjustments to the stress test are indeed required.

Condo Living RNDSQR: No Cookie-cutter Condos! – Everyday Tourist

“Some of the most interesting condo development happening in Calgary are by developers working on boutique infill projects outside the City Centre.”

 

September 3, 2019

Holland Park in Walden offers the lock-and-leave lifestyle – Calgary Sun

“It’s like getting two homes for the price of one in Excel Homes’ Holland Park townhome development in the southeast community of Walden.”

Expect national housing policies to be major election issue – Calgary Sun

“For home buyers and sellers in Calgary, and the Prairies, a change is a definite must.”

 

August 30, 2019

New Report Investigates How Canadians Perceive Purchasing Their First Homes – Cision Newswire

BILD Commentary: MPC’s report, which focuses on first-time home buying, confirms what the Association has been saying for quite some time: that the mortgage stress test is making home buying onerous for qualified first-time buyers.

Report shows Calgary’s housing market is closer to turning the corner – Calgary Sun

“Calgary’s housing market hasn’t exactly turned the corner we all hoped it would so far this year.”

Federal Government Makes it Easier for Middle Class Canadians to Buy their First Home – Cision Newswire

BILD Commentary: CHBA has provided feedback on the design of the Incentive and will be monitoring its rollout closely.

 

August 29, 2019

Established community, golf course setting wins for new homes in the Hamptons – Calgary Herald

“Four years after conceptualization discussions started, possessions are taking place in a pair of enclaves created from the redesign of a portion of the Hamptons golf course in the city’s northwest.”

Calgary residential real estate becoming seller’s market – Western Investor

“For some of these seller’s markets, the higher SNLR was created more by a significant drop in new listings than a jump in home sales.”

Expect national housing policies to be major election issue – Calgary Sun

“For home buyers and sellers in Calgary, and the Prairies, a change is a definite must.”

 

August 28, 2019

Are you concerned about housing affordability? – CHBA National

“As the Association gears up for the 2019 federal election campaign, a new blog post on affordability.ca is encouraging Canadians to share their stories on the website.”

Shane Homes adds smart home advantage to paired homes in Cornerstone – Calgary Sun

“The northeast Calgary community of Cornerstone has proven very popular with new home buyers, due to its many amenities, excellent access to major roads and new showhomes recently opened by Shane Homes.”

The Politics of Parking – Smarter Growth Initiative

“Parking. It’s an enduring issue in Calgary, but we are hardly alone in this regard. In cities around the world, the subject of where we leave our vehicles is a bone of contention.”

 

August 27, 2019

Election 43: half the electorate up for grabs; health care, affordability, honesty are top issues for pliable voters – Angus Reid Institute

“In an (unofficial) election campaign where more than half the electorate is available, the focus of party leaders over the next seven weeks shifts from winning over the masses to persuading malleable segments of the increasingly important uncommitted vote.”

Election 2019: Building better lives through better transit – Federation of Canadian Municipalities

BILD Commentary: Federal investments in transit provide an opportunity to support transit-oriented development, as noted in CHBA’s pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.

Ultimate Renovations celebrates 40 years in Alberta – Calgary Sun

“‘We’re also part of BILD-Calgary Region and RenoMark, which holds us to higher standards. We have to continuously prove our work,’ says Deschner, adding Ultimate has won more than 40 BILD Awards and had three BILD Calgary nominations in 2018.”

 

August 26, 2019

The soaring cost of housing is forcing Canadian families to renovate instead of move – Globe and Mail

BILD Commentary: Renovation has become more attractive as an option for those whose needs have changed, but who can’t afford to move due to decreased housing affordability.

Getting on track: Urban transit projects roar to life, creating opportunity for Canada’s construction sector – On-Site Magazine

“In a recent CUTA-commissioned survey, Canadians in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City were polled on public transit. Just under 90 per cent of respondents called on governments to invest more in public transit.”

Impact of Mortgage Rules and Shifting Demographics Continue to Shape the Canadian Consumer Credit Market – Trans Union

BILD Commentary: TransUnion’s Q2 2019 Industry Insights Report reveals the negative effects of federal mortgage rule on younger Canadians (especially the 18-25 segment), Thousands upon thousands of potential first-time home buyers are delaying buying.

Expect national housing policies to be major election issue – Calgary Sun

“For home buyers and sellers in Calgary, and the Prairies, a change is a definite must.”

 

August 23, 2019

Inflation hits Bank of Canada 2% target for second straight month – National Newswatch

“Canadian annual inflation hit the Bank of Canada’s ideal target for a second straight month, providing a stretch of price stability that’s unlikely to weigh heavily on next month’s interest-rate decision.”

New listings starting to ease in satellite markets – Calgary Sun

“The Calgary Real Estate Board has released its Calgary and region housing and economic report.”

How should a city handle stress? = Smarter Growth Initiative

“Groups like the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Canadian Home Builders’ Association are driving change with training and awareness campaigns.”

 

August 21, 2019

Jayman’s The Clayton opens more doors for Calgary’s homeless – Calgary Sun

“Even though the Resolve campaign wrapped up more than a year ago, its effect is still being felt in the City of Calgary.”

Building construction price indexes, second quarter 2019 – Statistics Canada

“Prices for construction of residential buildings increased 0.6% in the second quarter of 2019, while the cost of construction of non-residential buildings was up 0.4%.”

Impact of Mortgage Rules and Shifting Demographics Continue to Shape the Canadian Consumer Credit Market – TransUnion

BILD Commentary: Transunion’s Q2 2019 Industry Insights Report reveals the negative effects of federal mortgage rule on younger Canadians (especially the 18-25 segment), Thousands upon thousands of potential first-time home buyers are delaying buying.

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer on GO trains, affordable housing and election – CBC News

“Scheer says the supply side of housing is a big problem. ‘One of the things that we’re going to be speaking about in our platform is a strategy to make homes more affordable by making sure that there are more homes coming on the market,’ he said.”

 

August 16, 2019

Numbers in federal program just don’t add up – Calgary Sun

“The number one issue facing Canadian home buyers is affordability, something the federal government has exacerbated.”

Apartment construction bolsters July housing starts – The REMI Network

“The trend in housing starts was 208,970 units in July 2019, compared to 205,765 units in June 2019, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.”

Calgary’s housing market on the mend, and one of the more affordable in Canada: RBC study – Calgary Herald

“Volatility in the price of oil, the commodity that drives the Alberta economy, has played a role in buyers, sellers and investors remaining wary about jumping into the market.”

 

August 15, 2019

Best communities in Canada with affordable real estate 2019 – Macleans

BILD Commentary: Measures to increase market-rate housing supply and smart mortgage rules and policy decisions that support Canadians’ aspirations for homeownership can help communities thrive.

Carleton University Professors Receive Funding To Improve Canada’s Building Sector – Canadian Architect

BILD Commentary: CHBA has consistently called for federal investments in research and development to support lower or neutral costs solutions that promote energy efficiency. CHBA looks forward to learning more about this project.

Unlocking the Door to Homeownership – CHBA National

For generations, Canadians have viewed homeownership as not only a major life milestone, but an investment in their future. But homeownership is increasingly difficult for the average Canadian to achieve.

Fabulous food fest set for August 17 in Redstone – Calgary Sun

“Qualico opened a new park in July in Redstone, as well as Redstone Plaza.”

 

August 14, 2019

Executive paired homes perfect for downsizers – Calgary Sun

“Mahogany is an established and award-winning community.”

Modest supply reductions may signal shift to balanced housing market by end of year – CREB

“Conditions throughout specific price ranges and product types will continue to vary. Growth in the attached and detached markets will continue to be fueled from the lower end of the market.”

Data suggests Calgary moving towards a more balanced housing market – Calgary Herald

“Realty firm Zoocasa analyzed market data provided by realtor associations across Canada, including statistics from the Calgary Real Estate Board, and compared major cities to rank them from the most buyer friendly to the most seller friendly.”

Westman Village: Urban Resort Living – Everyday Tourist

“It is a unique development in North American – resort style living within the boundaries of a major city.”

 

August 13, 2019

Inventory slowly adjusting to lower demand – Calgary Sun

“The inventory of new homes, as well as homes listed for sale in Calgary on the MLS System, is heading in the right direction — downward — according to the July report from the Calgary Real Estate Board.”

Canadian Home Affordability Sees Biggest Improvement In A Decade – Huffington Post Canada

BILD Commentary: The critical line in this article (and unlike its misleading headline), is: “Most potential buyers excluded by (the mortgage stress test) still are.”

Vision for new home brings downtown infill vibe to Belmont – Calgary Herald

“Belmont is accessible off 194th Avenue S.W. and Macleod Trail, with 210th Avenue S.W. scheduled to be completed when the new communities south of the garden centre start development.”

Canada invests in wood construction and innovation – The REMI Network

“The government of Canada has announced a $2.5-million investment in the Canadian Wood Council’s Advanced Wood Education Roadmap to promote the benefits and opportunities associated with wood construction.”

How should a city handle stress? – Smarter Growth Initiative

The latest from the Smarter Growth Initiative.

 

August 12, 2019

New listings starting to ease in satellite markets – Calgary Sun

“CREB has released its Calgary and region housing and economic report that looks at housing activity in the second quarter of 2019 (Q2). The report includes statistics from the main metropolitan areas in Calgary’s orbit.”

New community of Rockland Park to preserve natural landscape – Calgary Herald

“An old gravel quarry on a beautiful piece of land overlooking the Bearspaw Reservoir is about to become a new community appropriately named Rockland Park.”

Building permits down in June – ATB Financial’s The Owl

“Alberta’s construction sector continues to struggle, another sign of a sluggish provincial economy. According to Statistics Canada, ‘six provinces declined, with Alberta accounting for over one-third of the national decrease.’”

New Housing Statistics Portal – Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada is launching a new Housing Statistics Portal. This portal has been created in response to growing demand for consolidated housing information.

How should a city handle stress? – Smarter Growth Initiative

“The move to net zero goes hand-in-hand with a push for resiliency at an urban level.”

New Housing Price Index, June 2019 – Statistics Canada

“New housing prices were down 0.1% at the national level for the second consecutive month in June. Prices have been flat or falling since last August.”

 

August 9, 2019

Alberta and Ontario to collaborate on meeting future shortage of tradespeople – Edmonton Journal

“In Victoria, B.C., in late July, Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and Ontario’s Stephen Lecce agreed to co-operate for five years as they promote trades as careers of choice to youth, parents and teachers.”

Study: Homeownership, mortgage debt and types of mortgage among Canadian families, 1999 to 2016 – Statistics Canada

A new study has been released by Statistics Canada on Homeownership, mortgage debt and types of mortgages among Canadian families.

Canada invests in wood construction and innovation – The REMI Network

“The government of Canada has announced a $2.5-million investment in the Canadian Wood Council’s Advanced Wood Education Roadmap to promote the benefits and opportunities associated with wood construction.”

Townhomes leading the way in new home starts in Calgary – Calgary Herald

“Calgary’s new homes market may not be booming, but it’s starting to heat up after fumbling through the economic downturn of the last few years.”

 

August 8, 2019

Ultimate celebrates 40th anniversary in the home reno industry – Calgary Herald

“From replacing siding, they began building additions and moved into complete interior renovations. Ultimate has kept pace with the evolution of the home renovation business and two years ago, added new builds to its roster of abilities.”

Liquid Assets – Smarter Growth Initiative

“Calgary is also a place of many watersheds. As The City puts it, ‘No matter where you live in the city, you are in a watershed.’ That fact makes stormwater a big issue.”

Alberta enables long-term property tax breaks – The REMI Network

“Local governments in Alberta can now offer property tax breaks on commercial and industrial sites for up to 30 years.”

Calgary Mid-Year Housing Market Outlook – CREB

The CREB Mid-Year Housing Market Outlook has been released.

 

August 7, 2019

CREB report shows stability slowly returning to Calgary housing market – Calgary Sun

“Expect more of the same in Calgary’s housing market for the balance of 2019, says the Calgary Real Estate Board’s (CREB) chief economist.”

Grow Together, Now – Smarter Growth Initiative

“A new approach to planning means communities grow together.”

Housing affordability: What has the Trudeau government done for you? – Global News

BILD Commentary: Though they have used the two terms interchangeably, the Trudeau government has focused its efforts on affordable housing, not housing affordability, as evidenced by the National Housing Strategy.

Asphalt roofing material, June 2019 Statistics Canada

“Shipments of asphalt shingles totalled 3.7 million metric bundles in June, up 4.0% from the previous month but 10.3% lower compared with the same month a year earlier.”

 

August 6, 2019

Sales improving and inventory declines for fourth month in a row – CREB

“For the fourth consecutive month, inventories in the market declined compared to last year. This is due to the combination of improving sales and a decline in new listings.”

New NHL Arena Coming For Calgary Flames, City Council Approves Deal – Building Magazine

“The arena is part of a revitalization plan for the east side of downtown.”

Numbers in federal program just don’t add up – Calgary Sun

“The number one issue facing Canadian home buyers is affordability, something the federal government has exacerbated, says Tom Kmiec, the Conservative Deputy Shadow Minister for Finance and the Member of Parliament for the riding of Calgary Shepard.”

Over Half Of Canada’s GDP Growth Came From Real Estate And Construction – Better Dwelling

“Canadian real estate is still one of the biggest drivers of the economy.”

Government Of Canada Invests In A Project To Improve Data For Canadian Cities – Building Magazine

“As part of the Data for Canadian Cities Pilot Project, the Federal Government has approved $3 million in funding to assist the World Council on City Data build data capacity, and improve investments in public infrastructure for Canadian municipalities.”

 

August 2, 2019

Calgary under new management as council names city manager – CTV Calgary

“David Duckworth, who has served as the Utilities and Environmental Protection general manager since early last year, was hired to replace Jeff Fielding, who resigned from his post as city manager six months ago.”

Liquid Assets – Smarter Growth Initiative

“Calgary sits in the Bow River watershed, but also within 6 sub-watersheds. These include Fish Creek, Nose Creek, Pine Creek and the Shepard Wetland.”

Safer debt or cooler housing? Goal of mortgage stress test has become unclear – Financial Post

BILD Commentary: This article highlights the challenges that the stress test is imposing on prospective homebuyers. The Association has been consistently calling for the federal government to adjust the test by replacing the current blanket 2-point test with a declining rate stress test based on the mortgage term.

Federal government launches new program supporting affordable homeownership

BILD Commentary: Announced as part of the 2019 federal budget, this fund is aimed at existing or new providers of shared equity mortgages. It will provide preconstruction loans to providers or funding to offer shared equity mortgages. This is a separate initiative from the First-Time Home Buyers Incentive.

 

August 1, 2019

Canada Is Building The Most Rental Housing In At Least 30 Years – Better Dwelling

BILD Commentary: While more market rental housing options for Canadians are welcome, maintaining the supply of rental housing over time also needs families and individuals to be able to move along the housing continuum into homeownership.

Wages jump up in May – ATB FInancial

“​​Alberta’s average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased by a solid 3.4 per cent in May after falling by 1.0 per cent in April.”

What’s next for the Calgary arena deal? – Global News

“It’ll be interesting to see how the area continues to develop given it’s one of Calgary’s older historic neighbourhoods.”

Townhomes leading the way in new home starts in Calgary – Calgary Herald

“Chief economist with the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) Ann-Marie Lurie notes affordability is also a key driver in the resale market.”

 

July 31, 2019

Calgary city council approves new arena deal – Global News Calgary

“Council voted 11-4 on Tuesday approving a financial agreement to build an event centre, which will be the new home of the Calgary Flames and replace the 36-year-old Saddledome.”

BILD Calgary Region Finalizes 2019-2020 Board of Directors

In accordance with BILD Calgary Region bylaws, the reconstituted Board of Directors named at last month’s Annual General Meeting has appointed the final three members at their July board meeting.

Majority of Canadian home buyers and sellers have degrees of concern – Calgary Sun

“Close to 70 per cent of Canadian home buyers and sellers are concerned to some degree about market conditions in their respective communities.”

Canada’s mortgage market slows to weakest growth rate in more than 25 years – Yahoo Finance

“The Canadian mortgage market slowed to its weakest growth rate in more than 25 years in 2018, according to a new report, as tighter lending regulations, rising interest rates and a softening real estate market weighed on property purchases.”

 

July 30, 2019

Bank of Canada lowers its five-year benchmark rate – Calgary Sun

“For the first time in almost three years, the Bank of Canada has lowered its five-year benchmark rate.”

Finalists announced for 2019 BILD Alberta Awards – Calgary Herald

“The finalists for the 2019 BILD Alberta Awards have been announced, with Calgary region companies landing 24 nominations, second only to Edmonton.”

How can climate change impact Canadian concrete infrastructure? – Journal of Commerce

“Although most scientists believe increasing greenhouse gas emissions are affecting the Earth’s climate, there has been little investigation until recently of the impact of climate change on concrete infrastructure.”

Revisions to the stress test would help slower housing markets – Calgary Sun

“What is not debatable is how the stress test severely affected markets, including Calgary, that were already slow due to economic challenges.”

 

July 29, 2019

Calgary region boasts 24 finalists for the 2019 BILD Alberta Awards – Calgary Sun

“The finalists for the 2019 BILD Alberta Awards have been announced, with Calgary region companies landing 24 nominations, second only to Edmonton.”

Airdrie boasts a small-town feel with big-city amenities – Calgary Herald

“On the heels of an 85 per cent population increase over the past decade, a small city just north of Calgary is now enjoying a more manageable pace of growth.”

Low Carbon Discovery Home – BILD Alberta

“Working together, ATCO, Brookfield Residential and SAIT built the home. Industry representatives and elected officials discussed lessons learned and the affordability of the technology.”

Royal Bank CEO says housing market now ‘well-balanced’ but stress test could be tweaked – Financial Post

BILD Commentary: This is an important departure from previous statements from RBC, as the bank had been previously publicly supportive of leaving the stress test as is. CHBA continues to advocate to adjust the mortgage stress test by replacing the current 2% with a declining rate stress test based on the mortgage term.

 

July 26, 2019

BILD Calgary Region Members Among BILD Alberta Awards Finalists

Congratulations and good luck at the BILD Alberta Awards in September!

BILD Calgary Region salutes its volunteers – Next Home

“Simply put, BILD Calgary Region wouldn’t be able to be as effective and prominent without the hard work of our dedicated volunteers.” – CEO Brian Hahn

Lower prices luring buyers back into Calgary’s housing market – Calgary Sun

“The aggregate home price in Calgary was down five per cent, year over year, to $460,089 in the second quarter of 2019.”

Off-leash parks a top priority for home buyers – Calgary Herald

“Often considered a beloved member of the family, canines can play a key role in the household’s daily routine.”

 

July 25, 2019

Investing in Building Housing Research Capacity in Canada – Cision Canada

“Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has partnered with the three federal granting agencies to support postdoctoral fellowships in housing research.”

Majority of Canadian home buyers and sellers have degrees of concern – Calgary Sun

“Close to 70 per cent of Canadian home buyers and sellers are concerned to some degree about market conditions in their respective communities.”

Calgary’s luxury market quiet through first half of 2019, while home sales under $500,000 pick up – Calgary Herald

“Indeed, the economy is looking better, Kottick adds, pointing to a recent report by Calgary Economic Development that forecasts the city’s economy will experience steady growth over the next five years.”

Grow Together, Now – Smarter Growth Initiative

“While operating within the framework established by these documents, the City of Calgary has also been taking an approach known as “multi-community local area plans.”

 

July 24, 2019

Canada’s mortgage market slows to weakest growth rate in more than 25 years: CMHC – Yahoo News

“The Canadian mortgage market slowed to its weakest growth rate in more than 25 years in 2018, according to a new report, as tighter lending regulations, rising interest rates and a softening real estate market weighed on property purchases.”

Revisions to the stress test would help slower housing markets – Calgary Sun

“What is not debatable is how the stress test severely affected markets, including Calgary, that were already slow due to economic challenges.”

Mid-year market update: Modest supply reductions may signal shift to balanced housing market by end of year – CREB

“Stable lending rates and the new shared-equity mortgage program may support modest improvements in housing demand in the second half of the year.”

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests – BNN Bloomberg

“The Bank of Canada has lowered the rate used by mortgage stress tests to determine whether would-be homeowners can qualify, marking the first drop in three years.”

Investment in building construction, May 2019 – Statistics Canada

“Total investment in building construction increased 2.2% in May to $15.2 billion.”

 

July 17, 2019

Canadian Home Sales Climbed In June: CREA Stats – Building Magazine

“The CREA’s statistics reveal flat prices on a m-o-m basis in Vancouver Island, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon and Moncton.”

Alberta records seasonally adjusted increase of 9,000 new home starts – Calgary Sun

“In actual numbers, builders started 1,111 new homes in the Calgary census metropolitan area, up from 1,067 starts in June 2018. Actual starts year to date for 2019 are 4,700, down from 5,979 in the first six months of 2018.”

First multi-family development breaks ground in Scarboro – Calgary Herald

“The $4.3-million site, purchased by Bow Developments in 2017, proved difficult from a number of different facets.”

Trico opens a gem of a new community in Redstone – Calgary Sun

“A new enclave of wide-shallow, laned homes opens this weekend in the northeast neighbourhood of Redstone.”

 

July 16, 2019

Developers unite to upfront services in Chestermere to help new communities grow – Calgary Herald

“Anthem United and Qualico Communities will upfront the entire initial capital cost to construct the second phase of the Rainbow Road sanitary trunk, which at full build out, will service up to 40,000 residents.”

Resale homes inventory declines year over year in June – Calgary Sun

“While that’s good news for sellers, sales in June dropped six percent from June last year, which came as no surprise.”

Alberta enables long-term property tax breaks – REMI Network

“Local governments in Alberta can now offer property tax breaks on commercial and industrial sites for up to 30 years.”

National Home Sales Flatten Out in June: CREA – Canadian Mortgage Trends

“However, as is the case with uneven sales, supply remains widely inconsistent in markets across the country, well above typical levels in B.C. and the Prairie markets.”

 

July 15, 2019

Here’s where Canadians are finding well-paying jobs in the trades – CBC News

“According to a recent report put together by Statistics Canada and the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, Canada needs to attract 167,739 new apprentices over the next five years just to keep pace with current demand.”

What is Net Zero? – Smarter Growth Initiative

“The focus is on the future, but net-zero is not exactly a new concept. In 2013, Natural Resources Canada launched a pilot project that saw 12 builders take on net zero projects across the country.”

Some green shoots showing but more progress still needed – Calgary Sun

“Calgary’s housing market has been hammered by a seemingly non-stop barrage of — let’s call them challenges — over the last five years.”

Vision for new home brings downtown infill vibe to Belmont – Calgary Herald

“Belmont is accessible off 194th Avenue S.W. and Macleod Trail, with 210th Avenue S.W. scheduled to be completed when the new communities south of the garden centre start development.”

 

July 12, 2019

Market ripe for real estate investment in Calgary – Calgary Herald

“Chief among the policies with a negative impact is the mortgage stress test — a nationwide regulation — that has made it more costly for first-time buyers.”

Working Together for the Growth of Chestermere – Anthem United and Qualico Communities

This ceremony was to solidify the front-ending partnership with Anthem United and Qualico Communities Calgary to front the cost for a new sanitary trunk. This capital cost of $11 million will ensure Chestermere’s infrastructure can support the new residents that will be coming to the City when Dawson’s Landing and Chelsea join Chestermere.

Building better infrastructure, communities requires new tools: FCM – Journal of Commerce

“At its recent annual conference in Quebec City, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities began its campaign to put local priorities at the centre of the upcoming election campaign.”

New Housing Price Index, May 2019 – Statistics Canada

“In May, builders in 16 of the 27 census metropolitan areas (CMAs) surveyed reported flat or lower prices.”

 

July 11, 2019

Resale homes inventory declines year over year in June – Calgary Sun

“June saw another month of declining new listings in Calgary, says the latest Calgary Real Estate Board’s (CREB) housing statistics report.”

Surging housing starts add fuel to prospect of Bank of Canada raising its economic outlook – Financial Post

BILD Commentary: This outlook should be tempered by the need to look at the year over year trends as well as regionally specific starts. As noted in the article above, most of the gains were driven by multi-unit housing.

Softwood lumber prices flatline as supply and demand balances – Wood Business

“The closures and curtailments at North American softwood lumber manufacturers earlier this year, almost all at British Columbia sawmills, has achieved it’s intended consequence of improved supply-demand balance.”

Government invests in deep energy retrofits – REMI Network

“These deep energy retrofits are expected to reduce energy consumption by 40 per cent in the buildings, cut energy bills and improve resident comfort.”

 

July 10, 2019

Campbell named chair of the BILD Calgary Region board of directors – Calgary Herald

“Campbell, 42, recently started his one-year term as chair of the BILD Calgary Region board of directors.”

Building permits continue to edge up – ATB Financial The Owl

“The value of building permits in Canada as a whole shrank in May, going from about $9.5 billion to $8.2 billion (-13.0%).”

Report identifies millennials’ housing wants and needs – Calgary Sun

“The report opens with social media posts from millennials and their views on housing.”

What is Net Zero? – Smarter Growth Initiative

“The Canadian Home Builders Association has established the Net Zero Energy Housing Council. The council’s mandate is to work toward this goal by sharing information, creating a labelling system and other initiatives.”

 

July 9, 2019

More people buying a home alone today than two years ago – Canada.com

“The makeup of today’s home-buying sector, whether in Alberta or elsewhere in Canada, has seen a distinct shift, according to a national ownership poll.”

Environment is emerging as a top concern ahead of the federal election, a new poll says – Hamilton Spectator

BILD Commentary: CHBA has provided its recommendations to all parties to address both energy efficiency and climate change resiliency in residential development and construction.

Millennials are taking a larger share of home buying – Calgary Sun

“Focusing on millennials as home buyers, Campbell and Hunt reference an RBC report that found millennials are at the forefront of an overall increase in home-buying intentions across Canada.”

How to create a new Calgary neighbourhood in 12 not-so-easy steps: Part 1 – CBC News

“If you think creating new greenfield neighbourhoods is a licence to print money for the developer, think again.”

 

July 8, 2019

We need to come clean with millennials on big-city home ownership dreams – Globe and Mail

BILD Commentary: This article reinforces the need to address barriers to homeownership for well-qualified, prospective first-time homebuyers to give Canadians the chance to own their own home. One-third of prospective buyers have been knocked out by mortgage rule changes alone.

Canada inconspicuous in Global Property Index – REMI Network

“A recently released summary of last year’s trends finds Canada relatively inconspicuous in the mid to back half of the pack among national markets, but also part of a smaller group of 12 that can boast an improvement from 2017.”

BILD announces new board of directors line-up – Calgary Sun

“BILD Calgary Region has announced the members joining the board of directors following the annual general meeting (AGM).”

How Cities Grow – Smarter Growth Initiative

“Between 2006 and 2017 Calgary saw an increase in population density of about 11%. The increase has occurred in both new communities and developed areas.”

 

July 4, 2019

Alberta developers embrace cutting-edge water conservation measures – Calgary Herald

“But many developers in Alberta aren’t waiting for government intervention. They are taking the bull by the horns and spearheading cutting-edge technologies and designs on their own — designs that are setting the bar for future development.”

City of Calgary opens community and ward profile websites – Calgary Sun

“The community profiles are based on data collected in 2016 by Statistics Canada and include very complete data.”

Q2 2019 Bank Earnings – Mortgage Morsels – Canadian Mortgage Trends

“Canada’s big banks felt the effects of a sharply slowing economy and cooling housing market in the second quarter.”

Average wages down in April – ATB Financial

“On average, employees in Alberta earned less in April than they did in March.”

 

July 3, 2019

Conflicted and worried: CBC News poll takes snapshot of Canadians ahead of fall election – CBC News

“Just over half said they were worried about the cost of housing or whether they would have enough to retire.”

The Latest in Mortgage News: New Data on Financial Distress in Canada – Canadian Mortgage Trends

“A slow housing market in the West—particularly Calgary and Edmonton—is clearly taking a toll on the mood of clients.”

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program kicks in on Sept. 2 – Calgary Sun

“The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI), announced in the federal government’s budget earlier this year, will come into effect on Sept. 2, with the first closing on Nov. 1, 2019.”

Unlocking the Door to Homeownership – CHBA National

CHBA National has launched a website highlighting housing issues in Canada ahead of this fall’s federal election.

 

July 2, 2019

Canada Lost 16,000 Jobs In May, Over 11,000 Were In Construction – Better Dwelling

“The decline was due to construction, which led the country to the first May drop in over seven years.”

Canadian Housing Market Poll Finds 2/3 Are ‘Concerned’ With Where Things Are Headed – Huffington Post

“A solid majority of participants in Canada’s various housing markets are feeling on edge about where things are headed, according to a survey from brokerage Century 21.”

Report identifies millennials’ housing wants and needs – Calgary Sun

“The report opens with social media posts from millennials and their views on housing.”

Alberta developers embrace cutting-edge water conservation measures – Calgary Herald

“LID refers to site design practices that reduce the impact of water runoff and allow the water cycle to flow more smoothly.”

 

June 28, 2019

How Cities Grow – Smarter Growth Initiative

“Calgary, too, has a stated desire of increasing density. The Municipal Development Plan sets the goal of accommodating one-third of new population growth in established areas by 2039. That proportion rises to half by 2069.”

Amenity spaces attract buyers to apartment-style condos – Calgary Herald

“Amenity spaces within the development can elevate the experience, with more opportunities for convenience, recreation, relaxation or to connect with neighbours, all within the convenient reach of a ride on the elevator.”

There are a few ridiculous rules and red tape – Calgary Sun

“The home-building industry has been hammered by government interventions and regulations, especially the mortgage stress test implemented a year-and-a-half ago.”

Construction job losses noticeably affected national employment – Mortgage Broker News

“The monthly measure, which looks at changes in total Canadian non-farm payroll employment, showed that the national payroll fell by 16,020 jobs in May.”

 

June 27, 2019

 Canadian Housing Market Poll Finds 2/3 Are ‘Concerned’ With Where Things Are Headed – Huffington Post

“The worst pessimism can be found on the Prairies, where fully 77 per cent are somewhat or very concerned, and only 11.8 per cent are optimistic or excited.”

Star Building Materials expands its local presence – Calgary Herald

“Packaging and delivering building and engineered wood materials to single- and multi-family residences make up more than 80 per cent of Star’s overall sales. So, naturally, housing is a big part of the company’s payback to the community.”

New HOA amenity centre breaks ground in Livingston – Calgary Sun

“The new HOA will be available exclusively to Livingston residents and is a sprawling 35,000-sq.-ft. facility with a six-acre park.”

 

June 26, 2019

Avalon Master Builder Wins Environmental Achievement Award – City of Calgary

“Since 2006, Avalon has been a pioneer green home builder, investing in research to create the most energy-efficient and sustainable homes possible for their customers.”

Hopewell’s Arbour Lake West will complete popular northwest community – Calgary Sun

“Hopewell Residential will be adding Arbour Lake West, a collection of condominiums, townhomes and front-garage single-family homes.”

Some Alberta first-time buyers don’t qualify for government incentive – Calgary Sun

“To qualify, home buyers must have a combined household income of less than or equal to $120,000, have a five percent downpayment saved and purchase a home priced at or lower than $505,000.”

 

June 24, 2019

Artesia to introduce two new show homes – Calgary Herald

“Named 2019 BILD Calgary Community of the Year, Artesia is a residential enclave south of Seton, just outside the city limits.”

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program kicks in on Sept. 2 – Calgary Sun

“For existing homes, the incentive will be five percent, while for new homes there is a five percent or 10 percent option, with the larger share for new homes designed to boost housing supply, according to the government.”

Canada’s major political parties want to help you buy a house — and the promises are piling up – National Post

“Under the $1.25-billion incentive program, prospective buyers who have the minimum down payment for a home can apply to finance between five and 10 per cent of their mortgage via a shared equity program administered by CMHC.”

True housing affordability requires near-impossible conditions – REP Magazine

“There’s a gap that’s problematic in Calgary, Fort McMurray, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, etcetera. Even Manitoba has crossed the threshold where home prices are challenging for younger Canadians.”

 

June 21, 2019

New homes inventory good news for home buyers – Calgary Sun

“It’s good news for buyers, because a large inventory keeps the prices of homes low.”

Andrew Scheer unveils climate plan promising ‘green technology, not taxes’ – CBC News

“Citing research by the parliamentary budget officer (PBO), Scheer said in his speech Wednesday that this push for rapid technological innovation and adoption could lower the country’s baseline emissions by as much as 101 megatonnes by 2030.”

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4 per cent – National Newswatch

“The move compared with a 2.0 per cent increase in April and was the fourth straight month of rising year-over-year increases.”

Alberta in context: Jobs by sector – ATB’s The Owl

“When we compare the distribution of jobs in Alberta with that of the country as a whole, the two profiles seem similar, with jobs spread out across subsectors in roughly the same proportions.”

 

June 20, 2019

True housing affordability requires near-impossible conditions – Real Estate Professional Magazine

BILD Commentary: Affordability will continue to remain an impossible dream if governments – at all levels – do not make it easier for qualified homebuyers, especially millennials and new Canadians to enter markets across Canada.

Federal Program Spending on Housing Affordability – Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer

“In the overall allocation of funding between CMHC’s core responsibilities, there is a $325 million/year (14%) reduction in funding for Assistance for Housing Needs programs intended to help low-income households compared with the 10-year historical average.”

Unclear if feds’ $55B housing strategy will lower affordable housing need: PBO – iPolitics

“The analysis by the fiscal watchdog found that the strategy largely maintains current funding levels for ongoing programs, and actually reduces the level of targeted funding for lower-income households that form the “core housing need” in Canada.”

Urban farming takes root – Smarter Growth Initiative

“Besides the community gardens that are sprouting up all over town, the city is pulling on its metaphorical overalls and getting back to the land.”

 

June 19, 2019

Canada’s major political parties want to help you buy a house — and the promises are piling up – National Post

“Households with annual income of up to $120,000 and who have saved up a five per cent down payment may qualify for the program, for a mortgage up to about $565,000.”

Hopewell Residential Announces Brand New Lake Community of Arbour Lake West in Northwest Calgary – Hopewell Residential

“Arbour Lake West has been in the making for several years, with the latest milestone achieved on June 17, 2019.”

Average monthly rent in Canada up 4% in May – REMI Network

“Following two months of decline, the average monthly rent in Canada increased four per cent in May.”

 

June 18, 2019

New homes inventory good news for home buyers – Calgary Sun

“At slightly more than 1,900, the number of new homes* of all types sitting empty in Calgary has been at historically high levels for the last three years.”

Livability, Livability, Livability – Smarter Growth Initiative

“Assessing the livability of neighbourhoods also reveals some of the city’s hidden gem neighbourhoods.”

Mortgage industry remains skeptical as Ottawa details new incentive for first-time home buyers – The Globe and Mail

“The federal government released new details of the program on Monday, outlining how it offers to top up a first-time home buyer’s down payment with an interest-free payment as a way to make monthly payments lower.”

Calgary one of the more affordable housing markets in Canada – Calgary Herald

“Costs are likely to be higher for first-time buyers who have less than a 20 per cent down payment.”

 

June 17, 2019

Drafting a Healthy Future – Smarter Growth Initiative

“Student home designs create strong industry foundations.”

Qualico hosts Evanston Summer Carnival on June 22 – Calgary Sun

“The event will feature all 11 showhomes, from award-winning builders.”

Calgary one of the more affordable housing markets in Canada – Calgary Herald

“The average Calgary family needed a household gross income of $100,000 to be able to afford a single-detached home worth the benchmark price of $467,000, based on data collected by realty firm Zoocasa.”

New home starts in Calgary and area drop significantly year over year – Calgary Sun

“Only 812 new homes were started last month, compared to 1,649 starts in May last year.”

 

June 14, 2019

New Housing Price Index, April 2019 – Statistics Canada

“In April, builders in 19 of the 27 census metropolitan areas (CMAs) surveyed reported flat or lower prices.”

When it comes to housing, you don’t have to trade affordability for livability – Ottawa Citizen

“Young Canadians would be well served to think broadly about their career and housing choices.”

Millennials need a major home price drop or sharp wage increase – Real Estate Professional

“Despite some lower prices recently, many young Canadians are still far from able to afford to buy a home according to a new report.”

B.C. lumber layoffs aim to stop falling wood products prices – Victoria News

“The latest reductions in B.C. sawmill output may be enough to stop the slide of lumber prices after they hit record highs last year.”

 

June 13, 2019

Trico Homes Launches 10,000 Homes Giving Back Campaign – Trico Homes

“From June 15th – July 15th, Trico Homes will be donating $1,000 for every home sold to five local charities to celebrate reaching its 10,000-home milestone.”

Calgary adopts new land sale policy – REMI Network

“The best prospects for success lie in working across the whole housing system, a strategy CHBA strongly endorses, and that is well recognized by both the City of Calgary and the residential construction industry represented by BILD Calgary Region. Close cooperation is the norm there.”

New Shane Homes showhome model features the ultimate in flexibility – Calgary Sun

“Cornerstone is rapidly growing into Calgary’s favourite northeast community.”

Minto Communities breaks ground on Annex in Kensington – Calgary Herald

“Annex is the first project launched, and now under construction, by Minto’s Calgary division since it began acquiring land in 2012.”

 

June 12, 2019

Canadian Housing Statistics Program, 2018 – Statistics Canada

“The Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP), launched in 2017, provides information on residential property ownership in Canada.”

Approval of 14 new communities a good thing – Calgary Sun

“The reasons why Calgary needs to approve the development of new suburban communities are many.”

Shining a spotlight on energy-efficient homes in Calgary – Calgary Herald

“Ten of the 11 sites in Calgary have solar electric and four of these have solar thermal — homes that collect heat. There are also five Calgary Net Zero Energy homes — houses that generate as much energy as they consume.”

 

June 11, 2019

Canada’s May Housing Starts Trend Decreased – CMHC

“Unsurprisingly, the latest data release on housing starts from CMHC shows a decrease in housing starts against both April 2019 figures, and compared to May 2018, particularly for single-dwellings.”

Canadian Residential Investment Drops For A Fifth Quarter, Signaling Recession – Better Dwelling

“Historically, a decline in residential investment in countries with high levels of ownership are a recession flag.”

Building permits, April 2019 – Statistics Canada

It is helpful that Statistics Canada has indicated that a single outlier among issuers of building permits can have a substantial impact on the whole picture. – CHBA National

Alberta industry to develop upskilling strategy – Journal of Commerce

“The Alberta Construction Association (ACA) and its partners in government and industry have started a consultative process to develop a strategy to help upskill the construction workforce.”

Calgary’s resale market shows increases month over month in May – Calgary Sun

“Total sales in April were 1,547 homes, while sales in May reached 1,921 homes.”

 

June 10, 2019

Couple loves the mountain view from their new Stepper home in Cochrane – Calgary Herald

“The Kennedy is 1,693 square feet with a main-floor flex room, priced from $365,000, including GST.”

Labour Force Survey, May 2019 – Statistics Canada

“Employment held steady in May, following a strong increase in April.”

Some Alberta first-time buyers don’t qualify for government incentive – Calgary Sun

“To qualify, home buyers must have a combined household income of less than or equal to $120,000, have a five percent downpayment saved and purchase a home priced at or lower than $505,000.”

Skills and immigration: Mission-critical in this election and the 21st century – National Newswatch

Skilled labour shortages are a steadily creeping crisis in the making, which is certainly true in the residential construction industry.

Asphalt roofing material, April 2019 – Statistics Canada

“Shipments of asphalt shingles totalled 3.4 million metric bundles in April.”

 

June 7, 2019

Livability, Livability, Livability – Smarter Growth Initiative

“The report gave Calgary top marks for employment opportunities, access to green spaces, walking paths and bike lanes, population growth and top-rated schools.”

Calgary’s city centre: Affordable and liveable – Calgary Herald

“Calgary’s city centre offers as much to its residents in the way of festivals, entertainment, culture, restaurants, bars, shops, parks and pathways as does Vancouver’s.”

B-20 reduced national home sales by 40,000 units – Calgary Sun

“Of those surveyed, 43 percent are not confident in their knowledge of the mandated mortgage stress tests, with 59 percent indicating they don’t understand the impact of the stress testing on their first or future home purchases.”

 

June 5, 2019

The Urban World – The Smarter Growth Initiative

“The challenge grows when you consider that the vast majority of us choose to settle in the suburbs.”

Westman Village is exceeding all expectations – Calgary Sun

“Westman Village offers a variety of housing options, with the Village Centre the hub of the project, featuring a full lineup of retail, restaurants and services, with more to come, says Westman.”

Data-driven construction yields substantial savings – Journal of Commerce

“Chris Palmer spoke at the Canada Green Building Council’s “Building Lasting Change” conference in Vancouver about using data and sensors on the Sky Residences project in Edmonton for substantial savings.”

Minto Communities breaks ground on Annex in Kensington – Calgary Herald

“The nine-storey building will sit on 9A St., just a block off trendy 10 St. with its cafes, boutiques, Safeway and C-Train line.”

 

June 4, 2019

Infrastructure spending can help unlock housing supply, but the funds aren’t flowing – Financial Post

“Despite the willingness of the federal and provincial governments to make infrastructure investments a budgetary priority, actual spending has not kept pace with the promised amounts.”

Tariff and climate issues take a toll on Canada’s softwood lumber industry – The Globe and Mail

“BMO analyst Mark Wilde calculates that the combined cuts add up to about 500 million board feet, or some 0.8 per cent of North American annual lumber production, which he said is wholly inadequate to deal with the lack of raw log supply and the “very ugly” market.”

A lot has been accomplished at University District in three short years – Calgary Herald

“I was very impressed by Wesbrook’s University Hill Secondary School where students could be seen wandering the village, adding much-needed daytime animation.”

Shane Homes celebrates milestone anniversary in a very smart manner – Calgary Sun

“In 2019, the company is celebrating its 40th anniversary, not by accepting gifts, but by adding value to its homes with the Smart Home Advantage.”

 

June 3, 2019

Calgary adopts new land sale policy for affordable housing providers – Journal of Commerce

“The new policy is intended to help non-profit housing providers develop capacity for more non-market housing, a city of Calgary release stated.”

Shane’s front-garage home in Midtown ticks all the boxes – Calgary Herald

“They were the first to buy in Phase 4 of Midtown, a community in the heart of Airdrie developed by Apex Land. Trico Homes and Excel Homes are also building in the new community.”

Earnings not keeping up with inflation – ATB Financial

“The 0.4 per cent increase since March 2018 is, however, well below inflation, with Alberta’s Consumer Price Index rising by 2.3 per cent over the same period.”

Alberta home builders take home coveted Avid Awards – Calgary Sun

“Home-building companies in Alberta were well-represented at the awards this year, including Calgary-based Augusta Fine Homes, which earned the Avid Diamond Award, which recognizes builders with the highest scores in the country.”

Anthem United launching four new communities this year – Calgary Herald

“Two of these communities are in the popular deep southwest area of Calgary west of Macleod Trail near the company’s successful Belmont community, which can already boast more than 100 home sales.”