A short interview on the Calgary real estate with John Hripko, Realtor, Royal Lepage Benchmark and Citysearch.
Citysearch - Can you give us some insights into how you see the Calgary real estate market evolving this Fall?
John Hripko - There are several uncertainties as we enter the fall market.
1. The Federal government mortgage deferral program will be ending very shortly and the concern is that since 16% of the mortgages in Canada are being deferred (no available statistics for Calgary specific), what percentage of those owners will not be able to sustain their mortgages in the fall onwards?
2. What impact, if any, will be the outcome following the US Presidential election regardless of who is elected?
3. The possibility of a Canadian Federal election given the minority government.
4. How the Calgary economy and massive unemployment rate will impact consumer confidence and spending.
5. Is the Alberta Provincial government going to implement a Provincial sales tax to offset their massive deficit?
6. Will Calgary or by extension Canada experience a second wave of the pandemic and thus require another lockdown of services?
Citysearch - How are transactions evolving in this “new normal” market?
John Hripko - Demand for homes valued below $600,000 has been very strong throughout the pandemic, maintaining their values, and even increasing in some communities - it progressively slows as the values escalate above that. Apartment condominiums are the white elephants where prices and demand keep falling.
Citysearch - Do you think more “would be” buyers will choose to rent?
John Hripko - Interest rates are at historic lows and projected to remain as such for at least another 18 to 24 months - prices are low for most price points, as such, many renters, especially Millennials, are jumping into the buying side as opposed to renting. Also, many are deferring their weddings due to COVID-19 and using that money as a down payment for a home.
Citysearch - What amenities are homebuyers currently looking for most at this time?
John Hripko - Good yard space, an office or work area as many must work from home, proximity to transit, shopping and major roadways.
Citysearch - Anything further you feel our readers need to know about the Calgary market?
John Hripko - There are several purpose built rental towers that have just been completed or soon to open which is placing much pressure on downtown apartment condos for pricing, amenities and updating. Many owners are selling their larger homes and renting until there is stability in the housing market as well as their employment situation - many families have gone from a two income scenario to that of a sole income and often even that one income has dropped below where it used to be due to fewer hours, salary cutbacks or lower paying jobs.
Note: Lisa Hamielec, the broker of Citysearch Rental Network Inc. and John Hripko, Realtor, Royal LePage Benchmark, are married.