How would you characterize the current housing market in Western Canada?
It is hard to speak of the western Canadian market as single entity. Obviously, markets all over have exhibited volatility in recent years. However the Calgary market has stabilized as of late. Individuals in certain industries or with certain companies have seen an upturn in business. I have recently seen that there is an opportunity for this segment of the market to move up. This year I sold a home for 3 million in Springbank to a cash buyer. We are working with more cash buyers in that price range and that is always a positive sign.
What signals should one watch for to determine whether the local housing market is improving?
While it may seem trivial, however “Improving” is a difficult concept to define. What is an improving market? Rapidly increasing house prices are not good for those trying to break into the market. Also, as we’ve seen rapid gains are often unsustainable and owners can be left worse off after a correction. Again I return to the issue of stability. When markets exhibit volatility it erodes consumer confidence. People need to be able to buy and sell with confidence. Both buyers and sellers want to be able to accurately determine the current value of an asset and have an understanding of what the future value may be. Steady sustainable growth leads to the most positive long term transactions.
Is it a good time to invest in the Calgary real estate market?
I believe it is. Prices are off their peak which occurred in 2007. Calgary’s housing market is stabilizing. Investors can find value in properties that are currently on the market. Subsequently, they can undertake projects that will ultimately provide value to the end consumer. It’s a good time to me in the market
Being officially ranked as the #1 Individual Re/Max Agent in Canada and # 2 worldwide has to be a great accomplishment. What are the keys to your success?
I’ve been in the business a long time, almost 20 years, and over that time I’ve work hard to forge relationships with my clients. I now have clients that I’ve worked with 3 or 4 times, or I’m working with their children now. By providing great service and special care and attention I’ve built a strong base of repeat customers and referrals. My typical clients are Calgary’s business elite. They are very busy and often look to me as their real estate advisor and often just leave it to me to get the job done. I have a large marketing budget and utilize many different forms of media however there is nothing more valuable than a recommendation from an influential past client.