Discount mortgages dry up as Canadian borrowers face tough test

Reblogged from The Globe and Mail, Tim Shufelt

The discount mortgages that stoked the Canadian housing boom are disappearing, increasing the likelihood of a correction in home values.

On Thursday, Royal Bank of Canada will hike its five-year fixed-rate mortgage to 3.89 per cent, one day after the Bank of Montreal raised its rate to 3.79 per cent. The other major lenders are all moving in the same direction.

The increases mean the cost of a new fixed-rate mortgage has climbed by more than a third in five months, signalling what could be the beginning of the end of ultra-cheap credit in Canada – and the start of fiscal pain for consumers who have overburdened themselves with debt.

“I think this is the real thing,” said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC World Markets. “This is the end of extremely low interest rates. They’re simply unsustainable.”

Read More … 586 more words

Think China is “rebalancing”? Its real estate sector begs to differ


Alture MidCity – Visit the Project Summary page
                         – View Alture MidCity on Pinterest

Demolition has commenced! The four almost derelict and boarded up houses on the future site of Alture Midcity have been sitting as a vacant eyesore for the past months. As the permits and plans were completed we really wanted to see this particular milestone come to fruition.

Our neighbours will undoubtedly appreciate the upgrade to the street-scene, and have much more to look forward to as we prepare for construction in the Fall months. Just picture how pleased everyone will be once a shiney new building emerges from this rubble!

Investment Development Concept: Alture MidCity

Alture MidCity – Visit the Project Summary page
                         – View Alture MidCity on Pinterest

Alture MidCity Final Rendering

Location location location…the fundamentals of real estate buying are often overlooked by many when choosing your dream home. If you’re willing to commute and live a little bit out of the way, what does it really matter? Well for those investors out there, if you are buying your own residence or building a vast investment real estate portfolio, the location fundamental is essential when considering issues of rent, vacancy, resale, appreciation etc.

Welcome to our newest project in Calgary, Alberta. Located in the South neighbourhood of Midnapore, Alture MidCity is perfectly located within walking distance to two LRT stations as well as walking distance to Calgary’s famous Fish Creek Provincial Park.

Here is an exerpt from the Project Summary page:

Calgary is a potential goldmine for the astute investor. Ranked #1 Canadian city to invest by the Real Estate Investment Network, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Calgary is situated in a province that is recognized as one of the most vibrant and globally competitive economies in the world. Employment growth and higher incomes has raised the demand for rental units, increasing property sales and shrinking the amount of vacant real estate.

To see the full project details and follow development updates as they happen, please visit the project summary page.

Courtyards Grand Opening and Phase I 90% sold!

Courtyards in Chestermere – Visit the Project Summary page

Thanks to everyone for checking out our townhouse project Courtyards in Chestermere, Calgary Alberta! Our grand opening was a great time, balloons, hot dogs, food trucks and radio stations in attendance. Mostly a great time for the kids, what’s better on a nice Sunday, come out for a good time, the kids are distracted and you get to tour the newest in show houses and suites!

Here are some of our finishing samples if you stop by our show suite, it’s the first on the boulevard as with construction schedule to start next week we don’t have a full showhome available yet. Phase I is technically sold out as we will be keeping one unit as a show suite, however we are planning to start construction on 1/2 of Phase II immediately in order to keep up with the demand. Please stop by or check out our website for more information on availability and details.

To see the full project details and follow development updates as they happen, please visit the project summary page.

Greater Vancouver Urban Futures Survey 2012


Click UFS_2012_Technical_Report to download the PDF

I thought I’d share the 2012 Greater Vancouver Urban Futures Survey Technical Report that I’ve been going through today. Results were released in April 2013, and touch on the concerns of Vancouverites living in our city today. Today’s main challenges as expressed by area residents are healthcare and traffic congestion. An interesting evolution from the last public surveys in 1990 and 1973 where air pollution was numero uno on peoples’ minds.


Hoping to shape the choices of decision-makers in our region, I find the idea of virtual public surveys very intriguing. If you haven’t already, check out for more consultation topics affecting the Greater Vancouver area!


The following snippet is from

The Greater Vancouver Urban Futures Opinion Survey gives residents a voice in the planning of our region. It is the third in a series of studies that impacted the decisions that make Metro Vancouver what it is today. The parks we enjoy, the recycling bins in front of our houses and quality of our air are all connected to the results of previous surveys. The 2012 survey repeated that process, polling residents on the future they desire.

The 2012 survey was organized under the following major themes:
Regional Context

The 2012 Urban Futures Survey was conducted with the sponsorship of Lambda Alpha International, Vancouver Chapter (The Honorary Society for the Advancement of Land Economics) and was made possible by the support of the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, the City of Surrey, the City of North Vancouver, Translink, and Vancity Credit Union.

The technical report has been published and been made available to regional decision-makers. We hope it will inform their choices through better understanding of the opinions and experiences of area residents.

Showhome for Chestermere Courtyards near completion

Courtyards in Chestermere – Visit the my Project Summary page


Come on by Kinniburgh Boulevard in Chestermere and tour the very soon to be open showsuite for Chestermere Courtyards! Our tiny showsuite is located across the street from the townhome site, and sits at the beginning of the newly forming showhome parade featuring most other builders in the area. Come check back often for updates and details on when the showsuite will be open!

To see the full project details and follow development updates as they happen, please visit the project summary page.

New Development Concept: Courtyards in Chestermere

Courtyards in Chestermere – Visit the Project Summary page


On a quick drive by the typical neighbourhood in Chestermere you will find a largely growing community, upscape residences, cottage waterfront properties and a quaint lakeside lifestyle. One of the benefits of living in a suburb is the feeling of togetherness and community.  Our latest development in the area is a novel and unique concept designed to make townhouse living full featured and community oriented. You’ll have all the benefits of living on a full sized property, with the benefits of lower prices for the newer homebuyer and managed common areas to save you from any hassles.

Here is an exerpt from the Project Summary page:

Welcome to our newest development in the Town of Chestermere a suburb of Calgary, Alberta. Set within a haven of warm and welcoming street-scapes, English style gardens and pedestrian pathways, Chestermere Courtyards is pioneering a first of its kind in Calgary, interior courtyard and community living concept.

To see the full project details and follow development updates as they happen, please visit the project summary page.

Calgary Real Estate The Lone Shining Star In Canada: TD Report

Calgary has been named “a lone shining star” in Canada’s real estate market, in a report by TD Economics.

Calgary was the only city to report positive sales growth in 2012 of 14.3 per cent and is also benefiting from a 38.2 per cent increase in new housing starts, a sharp rebound from 2011, the report adds.

Canadian sales dropped by 10.5 per cent in 2012 overall, Vancouver by 26.6 per cent and Edmonton by 4.1 per cent.

“Stability in Calgary; fragility in Vancouver,” says a chart documenting Vancouver’s haywire average house prices.

(via The Huffington Post)