The Government of Alberta is introducing new legislation that could result in the most comprehensive mandatory new home waranties in Canada 

Okotoks Realty - Major Structural Components Now Covered

"Don't worry, major structural components are covered now!" 

Currently, only three provinces, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia require newly built homes to be covered by waranties. Alberta will be the fourth if this new piece of legislation passes, and will also have the farthest reaching statute.

Protecting Buyers of Calgary and Okotoks Realty

Some examples of how the proposed Alberta legislation will surpass the amount of protection mandated in other provinces are:


What is covered - British Columbia requires one year of coverage on labour and materials, but only on detached homes. The Alberta legislation covers condos and detached houses.


Length of coverage - In Ontario, the required warranty on major structural elements is seven years, whereas in Alberta, the proposed warranty will be 10 years.


Additional requirments - Ontario only requires two years warranty on the building envelope (walls, windows, foundation, and roof bascially), British Columbia requires fives years, and Alberta will require five years plus the requirement that builders offer buyers the opportunity to purchase additional warranty coverage.  


Never A Better Time To Buy New Homes In Okotoks, Never a Better Okotoks Realtor®

Should the legislation pass, it would come into effect in the fall of 2013. I am also a specialist in new homes, so if you are interested in Okotoks, Calgary, and Chestermere real estate, give me a call some time.

Click here to read the entire press release from the Government of Alberta. 


CALGARY — Vendors remained firmly in the driver’s seat as Calgary’s commercial real estate market exhibited strong momentum in the first half of 2012, according to the RE/MAX Commercial Investor Report released Wednesday.

“Consumer confidence remains high, given the city’s and province’s solid economic footing, which continues to be bolstered by a robust oil sector,” said the report. “Most segments of the market are active, with the retail, office and investment components particularly busy.”

The report said there has been a considerable uptick in U.S. retailers and national big-box chains setting up shop in the city, sparking serious competition among smaller retailers to secure good locations in close proximity to these anchors.

“The strong demand has some hoping to capitalize — Calgary’s Chinook Centre, for example, has just applied for a land-use amendment to expand its premises, combining a mix of residential, office and hotel space.”

The report said the office segment of the commercial real estate market is also exceptionally healthy, with Calgary’s downtown vacancy rate hovering around three per cent, while Class ‘A’ space is even tighter, running near one per cent.

“The strength has much to do with the active oilsands sector, which — with numerous projects on the go — is sparking an increase in demand for office and industrial space. While a growing number of organizations are establishing their corporate head offices in Calgary, many are opting to lease instead of buy in order to invest maximum capital in their operations,” said RE/MAX. “This suits investors just fine, as properties with solid long-term tenants command a premium. The downtown area and the Beltline that immediately surrounds the city are most sought after. Conditions are expected to remain tight, with very few projects underway.”

RE/MAX said demand for commercial real estate continues to climb across the country.

The report highlighted trends and developments in nine Canadian centres — Greater Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, London, Greater Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax-Dartmouth. It found that almost all markets saw an increase in commercial sales and dollar volume over the six-month period ending June 30.

RE/MAX said Canadian and foreign investors are behind the push, snapping-up apartment buildings and small strip malls given continuing low interest rates and a generally bullish tone for the Canadian economy. Private investors, in particular, have gained a serious foothold in recent years, spurring demand for entry-level properties such as multi-unit residential, suburban and urban retail storefronts, and smaller office buildings, it said.

“Given the appetite for tangible investments with long-term revenue streams and potential for appreciation, commercial real estate has been gaining favour and is expected to be a top-performer well into the new year,” said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president for RE/MAX of Western Canada.

“Despite the enthusiasm, demand is unlikely to be satisfied while those same benefits are prompting owners/landlords to hold on to their properties, especially with the prospect of capital gains taxes down the road. It’s a push-pull situation, yet buyers are forging ahead, hoping to ride the wave of year-over-year double-digit equity gains a little while longer.”



CALGARY — Calgary’s low retail vacancy rate, combined with continued strong consumer spending, has created a positive environment for new developments.

One of those is Strategic Group’s 20/20 project in Mission which will add about 20,000 square feet of retail space to the market by 2013.

“With retail vacancy rates as low as two per cent, and one of the fastest growing economies in the country, Calgary continues to attract strong interest from Canadian and American businesses who want to sell to the Calgary consumer,” said Ellisa Asaria, retail leasing associate with the Strategic Group. “In addition, because of Calgary’s high growth rate and consistently strong retail sales, many national and eastern franchises are looking to enter the Calgary market.

“We expect continued strength in the Calgary retail market as well as very low vacancy rates.”

The 20/20 project on 4th Street S.W., which is a 140,000-square-foot development with five floors of office space, is expected to be home to several unique retail stores and will be anchored by a restaurant and a financial institution.

According to the spring Colliers International retail report, the demand for new retail space in Calgary continues at a feverish pace as 24 projects, comprising 8.3 million square feet are either in the planning, permitting or construction stage.

Calgary and Alberta retail sales have been strong this year. In July, Alberta retail sales reached just over $5.7 billion with the highest year-over-year growth rate in the country.

According to Statistics Canada, retail sales in the province rose by 9.2 per cent from July 2011. They were also up 1.4 per cent from the previous month.

Also, KubasPrimedia forecasts retail sales in the Calgary region will surpass $28 billion annually by next year.

The Retail Sales Outlook Canada Q3 2012 report forecasts sales in the Calgary census metropolitan area to jump by 8.9 per cent this year to $26.3 billion and another 8.5 per cent hike in 2013 to $28.6 billion.

In Alberta, the report is forecasting sales to increase by 8.6 per cent this year to $69.5 billion and by another 8.2 per cent in 2013 to $75.2 billion.

In 2011, the Calgary CMA saw annual retail sales growth of 7.2 per cent while Alberta experienced 6.9 per cent growth.




CALGARY — A “diminished” supply of single-family homes in Calgary has pushed MLS® sales upwards in towns surrounding the city, says the Calgary Real Estate Board.

On Wednesday, the board said sales activity in towns hit double-digit growth in the third quarter, continuing the brisk pace set in the first half of the year.

For example, MLS® sales in Cochrane were up 20.34 per cent in the third quarter compared with a year ago and year-to-date sales have increased by 24.70 per cent. Airdrie has seen quarterly growth of 31.16 per cent and year-to-date growth of 30.86 per cent while Okotoks has experienced increases of 21.32 per cent and 12.77 per cent on a quarterly and annual basis respectively.

“We keep seeing strong sales growth in the surrounding municipalities because, when it comes to single-family homes, the supply is down in Calgary proper,” said Bob Jablonski, president of CREB. “Plus, generally speaking, you can find more house at a more affordable price in these areas and other areas outside the city.”

Year-to-date town sales totalled 4,110 units, a 41-per-cent increase over the previous year.

The benchmark price for the typical home in Airdrie was $338,600 in September, the lowest of the top three surrounding areas and 22 per cent less than the benchmark single-family home in Calgary. Meanwhile, Cochrane was highest of the three towns at $388,600, but 11 per cent less than single-family homes in Calgary.


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