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February 2013

CALGARY’S RESALE MARKET CONTINUES TO IMPROVE January sales and prices rise over previous year

Calgary, February 1, 2013 – Residential real estate sales in the city of Calgary started the year on a positive note, increasing by 15 per cent over the same month in 2012. Total sales were 1,230 units, a significant increase over the 1,068 units last year. But sales remain well below January levels recorded through the peak years of 2003 – 2008. “While activity is typically slower in the winter months, recent improvements in single family new listings helped support improved sales in that market,” said CREB® President Becky Walters. “Overall indicators put the market in balanced conditions.” Single family sales totaled 879 units in January, a 15 per cent increase over January 2012 levels. New listings remained just above levels recorded at the same time in 2012, for a total of 1,737. The slight improvement in listings helped support sales growth, although inventory levels remain down by doubledigits. “Inventory levels have improved relative to December, as is the seasonal trend,” said Walters. The lower level of inventories can pose a challenge for buyers, as they will have to make their buying decision quicker than The lower level of inventories can pose a challenge for buyers, as they will have to make their buying



Benchmark Price Source: CREB®

decision quicker than buyers have done over the past four years. “However, this is by no means a signal that the seller has the advantage,” said Walters. “Consumers are fairly price-sensitive and look for value in their purchase.” Unadjusted single family benchmark prices are showing improvement over January 2012, increasing by nine per cent. They are relatively unchanged over figures reported in December 2012. “Prices have improved in the Calgary market, but as always it is important to keep some perspective on this,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® Chief Economist. “While January’s year-over-year increase seems significant, price recovery occurred in the spring months of 2012 under tighter market conditions and home prices leveled off for the remainder of the year.” Apartment and townhouse condominiums recorded respective sales of 204 and 147 units in January 2013. Although sales increased, the number of new listings declined.

“With excess supply relative to demand persisting for several years, the condominium apartment market has been slow to recover,” said Lurie. “Sales growth amidst declining listings has supported recent improvements in condominium apartment prices, something that has already been occurring in the single family sector.” The unadjusted benchmark apartment price totaled $251,300 in January, a 7.5 per cent increase over the 2012, and a one per cent increase over December figures. Meanwhile, the condominium townhouse benchmark price was $283,400 in January, 4.9 per cent higher than January 2012, and slightly lower than levels recorded in December. “There is cautious optimism over the economic situation in Calgary,” said Lurie. While energy companies face market access challenges, several options are being considered to reach more diverse markets, she said. “If some of these options are economically viable and pass regulatory approval, this would support economic growth moving forward.”






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RESTAURANTS IN CALGARY 1 BRAVA BISTRO Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. By Calgary standards, Brava Bistro isn’t the hottest hipster spot, its decor isn’t the grandest and its menu doesn’t feature items and ingredients that require a food-to-English dictionary. But, when it comes to consistently excellent dishes, service, wines, value and ambience, nobody does it better. It’s a tried-and-true approach and it never disappoints, whether you’re there with a date, a colleague, your parents or a group of friends. As a whole, Brava is as good as it gets.

2 NOtaBLE NOtaBLE’s worth-the-drive-to-Montgomery gourmet comfort food is served up in a large and energetic dining room, with most seats having a view of the open kitchen and its giant wood-fired rotisserie. While the chicken is always available, each day, chef (and owner) Michael Noble serves up one additional rotisserie meat offering, so come back often to try it all. The difficult thing is saving room at both the beginning of your meal to try the crab and shrimp bake taster and, at the end, to enjoy a slice of Noble’s famous Stilton cheesecake.

3 Charcut Roast House Charcut had quite a year last year and continues to serve to a consistently packed house almost every day and night. Co-owner Connie DeSousa was a finalist in the inaugural season of Top Chef Canada, and the Charcut social media phenomenon that was Alley Burger grew into its own entity as one of Calgary’s favourite food trucks. On top of that, the farm-to-table, locally driven, mouth-watering menu has people eating pig’s head sausage — and liking it. I can’t even begin to guess what they have planned for this year.

4 Rouge Restaurant I could go on at length about all of the prestigious national and international reviews and awards Rouge has won for culinary excellence. Or, you could go there yourself and see why all the hype. It’s because the dishes Paul Rogalski (co-owner, chef and culinary Big Deal) and executive chef Michael Dekker create are whimsical, complex and ingenious, prepared with finesse and precision. And for all their creative methods of plating and serving, the driving force behind all the dishes is flavour, so style never detracts from substance.

5 Catch & The Oyster Bar How do you keep a restaurant like Catch hot when it’s moving into its second decade? Start by ripping apart the main dining room to give it a new look. Then, top the classic oyster bar with a new zinc coating that harkens back to the 1900s. Then continue to bring in the freshest and most diverse seafood possible — following Ocean Wise guidelines, of course — and prepare it in a world of ways.


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