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Sunday, January 29, 2012
Decluttering Your Home
Make your home clean and well organized. Whether your goals are large or small, making your home clutter-free is a lot easier if you know what you should and should not do. From our friends at 50plus.com
1. Don’t Do It All At Once.
Decluttering can be an overwhelming undertaking. Ease the pain by doing one room at a time.
2. Do Start With A Light Clean.
Yes, pulling apart your closet or cupboards is going to cause a mess. But dealing with that mess will be so much easier if you start with a tidy room. Get rid of trash and put away any loose items.
3. Do Create A System.
Before you attack the clutter, stock up on trash bags or boxes. Label one set of bags or boxes for items you’re going to give away and another for things that are going into the trash.
4. Don’t Hold On To Old Papers.
If bills, junk mail and general paperwork are your biggest enemy when it comes to clutter, think about going paperless. Do your bills electronically and look into websites that for a small fee can get your name taken off mailing lists that send junk mail. (Actually, you can do this yourself by calling the catalog companies and telling them to take your name off their list.) File any necessary paperwork away neatly.
5. Do Be Honest With Yourself.
If you haven’t worn that dress in a year or know that none of your family members is going to eat those canned beans languishing at the back of the pantry — get rid of them. This doesn’t mean throwing them out. Instead, donate clothes that are in good condition and canned food items that haven’t expired.
6. Don’t Keep Duplicates.
Of course if someone gives you a new stereo you’re going to get rid of the old one. Use this way of thinking on everything from sweaters to pots and pans. For every new item you receive, try to get rid of an older, similar item.
7. Do Leave Space.
8. Do Indulge In Great Organizational Tools.
Get excited about decluttering by purchasing some fabulous organizational tools. Don’t just buy bland filing systems or boring storage boxes. Snag items that organize as well as beautify your home.
9. Don’t Go At It Alone.
If clearing out your clutter proves to be a major undertaking, ask for help. Involve family members or friends and turn it into a clutter party. If sorting through or giving up items is too emotionally taxing, hire a professional to help you. Post declutter, call your local donation center to come pick up all your “give away” items so they won’t end up taking up space in your garage or basement.
10. Do Declutter a Little Every Day.
Now that you’ve invested the time to clean out and organize your home, make sure it never returns to its former state. Take a few minutes each day to get rid of things like trash, paperwork or any broken items.
Read More: http://bit.ly/A5ldax
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Harper Builds Oil link with China after Obama Keystone ‘slap’
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is gaining support among Canadians for his plan to ship oilsands crude to China after President Barack Obama rejected TransCanada Corp.’s $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast according to the Financial Post
Harper will meet President Hu Jintao in China next month, when he may tout Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline that would let crude flow to Asia from Alberta’s oilsands via a Canadian port.
“The Keystone decision was a slap in the face to Canada and it’s making Canadians rethink the relationship,” said Jack Mintz, head of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. “Harper probably wants to put out a sign that we’re open for business for Asia.”
Harper is pushing energy exports to Asia to reduce the country’s reliance on the U.S. and make Canada a global energy “superpower.” Tapping markets in Asia may raise the price received by Canadian producers by $13.60 a barrel by 2030, according to a University of Calgary study. About 99 percent of Canada’s crude exports go the U.S.
“The Keystone ruling shows that we need to diversify away from the U.S. to Asia,” Richard Waugh, chief executive officer of Bank of Nova Scotia, the country’s third-biggest bank, said in an interview. “The Prime Minister appreciates that and it is no doubt a key purpose of his trip” to China.
Harper expressed his “profound disappointment” Jan. 19 after the U.S. rejected Keystone, telling Obama that Canada will “continue to work to diversify its energy exports,” according to details provided by Harper’s office.
Efforts to boost support for selling oil to China may be having an impact. Opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline has weakened in recent weeks, according to a survey by Toronto- based Forum Research.
The share of Canadians who oppose the plan has fallen to 43 percent in a poll conducted Jan. 13, down from 51 percent in a December survey. Support for the project increased to 37 percent from 35 percent. The percentage of those who say they are unsure rose to 20 percent from 15 percent. The poll of 1,211 Canadians has a margin of error of 2.8 percent.
“It looks like a group of people are giving it a second look,” Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research, said in a telephone interview, adding Harper may have “got people thinking.”
Other Canadian policy makers, including Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, have said Canada will need to increase its exports to emerging markets.
“If you look at the nature of the U.S. recovery right now, our exports are $30 billion lower than they otherwise would be,” Carney said in a Jan. 22 interview on CTV Television’s Question Period. “The Chinese market is a tremendous opportunity for Canada. We’re under-represented there relative to other countries.”
Canada’s benchmark stock index lagged behind the S&P 500 last year for the first time since 2003, as producers of raw materials and energy dropped on concern that slow global growth will limit demand for commodities and erode their prices. The industries make up about 47 percent of Canadian equities by market value, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Alberta Premier Alison Redford reacted to Obama’s announcement by saying the province will now focus on opening markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Asia is Alberta’s second- largest export market, accounting for about 10 percent of C$78 billion ($77.2 billion) in total exports in 2010.
Canada has already begun regulatory hearings on Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. CEO Pat Daniel said the U.S. rejection was “horrible for our industry and it’s a horrible precedent. It will only embolden those opposed to Gateway and other new project developments.”
Canada “can continue to be supportive as they always have” on Northern Gateway, Daniel said Jan. 19 at a conference in Whistler, British Columbia. The federal government has “done a good job calling out the issues around the regulatory process.”
Harper has said building the capacity to sell the country’s oil to Asian markets is in the national interest, and the government will aim to speed the regulatory-approval process for large energy projects. Harper has also said “foreign money” from environmental groups is being used to try to influence regulators.
“Just because certain people in the United States would like to see Canada be one giant national park for the northern half of North America, I don’t think that’s part of what our review process is all about,” Harper said in a Jan. 16 interview with CBC television.
“This contrived funding ‘debate’ is a red herring,” Merran Smith, director of Tides Canada’s Energy Initiative, said in a Jan. 10 statement. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver has cited Tides Canada as a group that’s channeling U.S. money to pipeline opponents.
Regulators have received 4,507 requests by individuals to testify at public hearings on the project that began this month. Environmental and aboriginal groups say the project will increase the risk of an oil spill off the coast of British Columbia. The regulatory panel reviewing the pipeline last month pushed back its timeline for reaching a decision to the end of 2013.
Harper’s drive to sell oil to China comes as the Asian nation steps up foreign investment. Chinese companies have purchased more oil and gas assets in Canada from 2005 to 2011 than acquirers from any other country, according to Bloomberg Government.
Two of the largest acquisitions of Canadian oil and gas companies last year were driven by Chinese companies. In October, China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., Asia’s biggest refiner also known as Sinopec, agreed to buy oil and gas producer Daylight Energy Ltd. of Calgary. In July, Cnooc Ltd., China’s largest offshore oil explorer, bought Calgary-based Opti Canada Inc. to expand its oil-sands reserves. Both deals totaled more than $2 billion each.
“China’s energy security isn’t simply about shipping oil back to China,” said Wenran Jiang, political science professor at the University of Alberta and senior fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. “There’s also trying to increase overall global supply of oil to help manage price and supply.”
The push by Harper for closer ties extends beyond the oilsands. Canada has been working on an agreement with China that would give Canadian companies greater legal protection in disputes with Chinese governments. Trade Minister Ed Fast said in October that the two sides are close to an agreement.
Harper may seek to provide assurances that additional investments will be welcome during his trip to China. In a Sept. 21 interview with Bloomberg, Harper said he welcomed investment by China as long as such acquisitions are “economic in nature and don’t have other strategic or political objectives.”
The challenge for Harper and China may be to assuage any concerns in the U.S. that Canada is getting too cozy with the Asian power. Harper acknowledges the U.S. will remain Canada’s dominant trading partner for “many years to come.”
“China doesn’t want to be perceived as being predatory and taking advantage of a weakening of the relationship between Canada and the U.S.,” the University of Alberta’s Jiang said. “That would cause alarmists in the U.S. to further perceive China as a threat.”
Read the full article here: http://natpo.st/zauz37
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Natural Home Cleaners
Categories:Calgary House Tips
Looking to make your home — and the environment — a little safer for your home cleaning sessions? When choosing to switch from store-bought cleaners to environmentally-friendly natural cleaners, there are several basic ingredients that can be used.
Baking soda – this can be used for cleaning, deodorizing, softening fabrics, removing stains and cleaning drains. It can be used on vinyl, plastic, carpeting, furniture, silver, stainless steel and can even be used in refrigerators and down drains.
Vinegar — can remove mildew, stains and wax buildup. It can also be used to clean coffeepots, glass, paintbrushes, grout, windows and fireplaces. It is also a mild disinfectant that can cut through grease and get rid of stains on mirrors.
Borax (sodium borate) — cleans wallpaper, floors and painted walls. It can deodorize and remove stains. It also boosts the effectiveness of other cleaning products.
Lemon juice — cuts through grease and stains on mirrors, dishes and pots.
Table salt — can be used as a disinfectant or a gentle power scrubber
Ammonia — Cleans carpets, linoleum, copper, enamel and most appliances. It is a very hard working liquid, but can also irritate the skin and the eyes. Be sure to wear gloves when using and also DO NOT mix with chlorine bleach; this combination produces a POISONOUS gas.
Washing soda — cuts grease, cleans petroleum oil, can remove wax, lipstick and can also neutralize odors. Do not use on fiberglass, aluminum or waxed floors. Be sure to wear gloves when using washing soda as well because it can irritate the skin.
Here are several recipes to use, instead of buying harsh, store bought cleaning supplies.
All purpose cleaner
1/2 cup ammonia
1/3 cup washing soda
16 cups of warm water
All purpose cleaner (#2)
1/4 cup baking soda
1 cup ammonia
1/2 cup white vinegar
16 cups of warm water
Heavy duty polish for floors and furniture
Heat in a double boiler, cool, and then apply with a soft rag.
Note: Carnauba wax can be found at auto-supply stores or hobby shops.
Mix ingredients and then put into a spray bottle. This polish works best when warm. You can heat it up by letting the spray bottle float in hot water. After applying to furniture, rub the surface dry with a warm cloth.
Rub salad oil on the grater before grating the bar soap, it is much easier to clean after. Place the soap in a pot, add water and stir. Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.
Note: This mixture is not for use in automatic dishwashers.
Instead of bleach, try this
Soak clothing in this solution, then rinse.
Read More: http://bit.ly/wlr9o4
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Record Condo Sale Price in Calgary
From our friends at the Calgary Herald:
Calgary condo of a luxury unit fetched a record $8.3 million, before construction has begun.
The 5,260-square-foot condo will cover the entire 12th floor of the 15-storey development called The River, located along the Elbow River, which flows through the southern portion of the city.
Already, more than $30 million in real estate has been spoken for in the project, which includes 38 residences — 27 units in the tower and 11 town houses.
Anne Clarke, director of sales for The River, said eight sales have been completed and three deals are pending.
"These (buyers) are business leaders. They are leaders in not only business, but in our community," Clarke said.Other sales in The River have included units for $5.7 million and $5.5 million.
The top-floor tower unit is listed at $9 million.
"It signifies we really do have a need for this type of product," Clarke said.
The buyer of the $8.3-million condo was not identified, but is described as a longtime Calgary oil and gas executive.
The highest MLS condo sale previously in Calgary was $4.1 million in 2011.
The most ever paid for a single-family home was $10.3 million, in 2009.
The River concept is luxury estate condominiums that offer the benefits of an estate home without the challenges of security and maintenance, said Clarke.
Construction is expected to start by April, with completion in early 2014, said Chris Bourassa, chief operating officer of Ledcor Properties Inc. The River is being developed by 26th Avenue River Investments Inc., an affiliate of Ledcor.
The Calgary Real Estate Board recorded 422 single-family sales of more than $1 million in 2011, up from 346 in 2010.
Twenty-six condos last year sold for more than $1 million, up from 21 in 2010.
"We've had this site for quite some time. We were able to watch what's happened over the last five years," said Bourassa.
"The starter condo market and the mid-market is very well served. But we found there was a hole in the luxury market.
"In talking to our buyers and our focus groups over the last 18 months, it became very clear that there was a lot more demand for larger units."
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Nine New Kitchen Trends
Categories:Calgary Market Trends
Here are 9 design trends that are making kitchen-related tasks easier, or are moving the look in a more minimal direction.
If you are getting ready to build or remodel — or even if you just want to freshen up your kitchen a bit — here are trending features to consider.
1. Microwave drawers. Microwave drawers are going to become as ubiquitous as the dishwasher. Gone are the days of reaching for steaming hot food at a point just above your head, or giving up valuable counter space for your microwave. The drawers make it so easy to lift out hot food safely, or to reach in and stir food without having to pull it out onto the counter.
2. Drawers, period. Drawers make better use of lower cabinets. If you’re trying to make dinner in a hurry, you don't want to spend 10 minutes on your hands and knees fishing around bottom shelf for the right pot.
Drawers mean you can use every inch of your cabinet space effectively. Customizable peg-drawer organizers keep dishes from sliding around when opening and closing the drawers.
And drawers can hold just about anything, even those cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink. Don't you hate reaching around for some cleaning product behind the garbage disposal?
3. Soft sheen instead of super shine. Leathered, honed or flamed granite countertops offer a low sheen, and the texture feels good under your hands. These finishes are outpacing highly polished surfaces in popularity.
4. Backsplashes on the rise. Backsplashes are going up — all the way up to the bottom of the upper cabinets. And just when you think they've stopped climbing, they go right on up to the ceiling.
5. Solid-surface backsplashes. We all are looking for kitchens that are easier to keep clean. Solid surfaces are easier to wipe down than grouted tile and offer a serene and uncluttered look. Taking the backsplash all the way up to the wall cabinets accomplishes that in one way, but using a solid surface with few or no seam lines provides a very sleek look.
Natural stone is another great option for a smooth and seamless backsplash. You still need to seal the stone on a backsplash, but because it doesn't take as much punishment as the counter, maintenance isn't much of an issue.
Contemporary kitchens aren't the only ones that look spectacular with a stone slab for a backsplash. The mellow feel of honed marble offers a classic feel while still being totally up to date.
Back-painted glass backsplashes are popular for very contemporary kitchens, but it’s also being paired with traditional cabinetry, too.
6. Wine fridges. Compact wine fridges make it possible to keep your wine at exactly the right temperature — and handy for your parties. If you don't have a wine cellar, a wine fridge mounted in your lower cabinets is the next best thing.
7. Functional task stations. Anything that can help us stay organized and handle tasks efficiently is a real bonus for today's families. In the photo above, for example, the necessities for breakfast are in one spot next to the refrigerator, making it a breeze to get breakfast ready. And it all gets hidden behind the lift-up door.
8. Fewer upper cabinets. To preserve a sense of open space, many people are reducing the number of upper cabinets in their kitchens. To make this work, use pullout drawers in your base cabinets to maximize storage.
9. Or run your cabinets to the ceiling. If you do still want upper cabinets, extend your kitchen cabinets all the way to the ceiling for a clean look and extra storage. Use those cabinets at the top to store those items that only come out at Thanksgiving. Or put glass panels in the doors and lights inside and enjoy displaying accessories while keeping them dust-free
Saturday, January 21, 2012
First Time Home Buyers Mistakes
A house is one of the biggest investments most Canadians ever make, so it’s important to plan ahead, to think about what you need in a home and what you can afford.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a fundamental way to budget for a home and signal that you’re a serious buyer. However keep in mind that the amount for which you are approved is the maximum amount the lender feels you can afford based on your income and expenses. This figure doesn’t account for other expenses you may face: such as renovations or emergency home repair, as well as regular household costs such as food, utilities, etc.
So Budget accordingly:
Here are some other mistakes first-time buyers make, and how to avoid them:
Not knowing your credit score
A credit rating is a record of your credit history and current financial situation. A good credit rating can improve your ability to get loans, so if your score is low, you may want to work on improving it before you apply for a mortgage.
Not budgeting for the costs of home ownership
Being a homeowner brings new expenses, including property taxes, higher insurance costs, regular upkeep and an emergency fund for repairs. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of any renovations your new home may need.
Not researching down payment choices
Lenders typically require CMHC mortgage loan insurance if you make a down payment of less than 20 per cent, and premiums for that insurance can be as high as 3.75 per cent of the value of the loan. Under the Federal Government Home Buyers’ Plan, first-time buyers can use up to $25,000 in RRSP savings ($50,000 for a couple) for a down payment. A larger down payment will save thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your mortgage.
Focusing too much on interest rates
First-time home buyers rush in to the market when interest rates are low. While rates are important, other things have a greater bearing on the overall cost of home ownership, including the cost of the house, the type of mortgage, the amortization period and pre-payment options.
Not choosing your own payment schedule
Paying off your mortgage sooner saves you interest costs, while a longer amortization period reduces your regular payment and frees up cash flow. You can save thousands of dollars in interest by choosing a shorter amortization period, paying fortnightly instead of monthly, or increasing the amount of payments by even a small amount.
Forgetting about closing costs
In Alberta we dont have many of the closing costs needed in other provinces. When calculating closing costs, assume you will need an approximately $2500.00 cover such things as the home inspection, legal fees, property insurance, utility hook-ups and moving costs.
At MyHomeAgent - we specialize in helping First Time Home Buyers. Call or email us today
Friday, January 20, 2012
Calgary’s Office Market Forecast in 2012
Calgary commercial real estate will continue to evolve into one of the strongest markets in 2012, according to a new forecast by Avison Young. Our friends at Canadian Real Estate Magazine report:
In 2011, Calgary already bested most major cities when its vacancy rate dropped down to 7.2%. Only Ottawa (6.9%), Quebec City (4.7%) and Regina (1%) had lower office vacancy rates.
Looking ahead to this year, the report said Calgary will continue to see major action in offices, with the vacancy dropping to 5.2%, which will put it below Quebec City and Ottawa this time around, but Regina will remain the lowest despite rising to 4.1%.
Vancouver is another city expected to see significantly lower office vacancy rates in 2012, down from 7.6% last year to 6.4% this year, according to Avison Young.
The forecast also included a study of the U.S. market, but as with the residential sector, Avison Young Chairman and CEO Mark Rose found the commercial market to be stronger in Canada.
“There is a dichotomy in the North American commercial real estate market,” he said. Canada is experiencing a period of stability and modest growth, while the United States continues to search for traction in the recovery process.”
That yet-to-recover U.S. market has, nonetheless, attracted an increasing number of Canadian investment dollars.
“Given the relatively small investable universe in Canada, we continue to notice a growing trend of Canadian buyers heading south of the border,” said Rose.
While U.S. cities have much higher office vacancy rates, the trend in many is improving. For example, Chicago’s vacancy rate went from 20.2% at the end of 2010 to 15.1% in 2011.
On the retail side, the trend has been U.S. companies setting up shop in Canada, including Target, J. Crew, Express and Marshalls.
In the industrial sector, years of decreasing vacancy may return speculative development this year in some markets, said the report.
Read More: http://bit.ly/yaXska
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Calgary Vacancy Rates Dropping
Growing migration and job creation tightened up Calgary's rental market in 2011, says a survey.
The apartment vacancy rate in Calgary decreased to 1.9 per cent, down from 3.6 per cent in the previous year, says the most recent rental market survey by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
"Increased migration flows, supported by improving economic conditions and a return to robust job creation and lower unemployment, had increased demand for rental accommodations," says senior market analyst Richard Cho of CMHC.
Most rental market zones in Calgary saw apartment vacancy rates decline in 2011 from the previous year, while others remained relatively stable.
The downtown zone had the lowest vacancy rate at one per cent in October, declining from 2.8 per cent a year earlier.
Meanwhile, other centres outside the city limits had one of the highest vacancy rates at 3.6 per cent.
For all bedroom types, the vacancy rate in 2011 declined from the previous year. Vacancies in October ranged from 1.8 per cent for one bedroom units to 3.3 per cent for units with three or more bedrooms.
Despite the reduction in vacancies, the average rent in Calgary remained relatively stable.
Following a 2.6 per cent reduction from October 2009 to October 2010, rents for all apartment units in Calgary increased 1.8 per cent this October.
Bachelor suites and two-bedroom units had the strongest year-over-year gain in same-sample rents, both up 1.9 per cent from October 2010.
Overall, the average two-bedroom rent in the Calgary area was $1,084 this October, up from $1,069 in October 2010.
Downtown had the highest average two-bedroom monthly rent, reaching $1,214 in October 2011, while it was $1,173 during the same month last year.
The lowest average two-bedroom rent was in the southeast at $947 per month, while in outlying communities such as Airdrie it was $944.
These two zones also had among the lowest average two-bedroom rent in the October 2010 survey.
The vacancy rate for rental condo apartments remained relatively unchanged from the previous year at 5.7 per cent in 2011.
"Although overall rental demand has been supported by improving economic conditions, factors such as heightened condominium supply and tenants moving into homeownership have kept the vacancy rate among condominium rentals from moving lower," says Cho.
The average condo rent in CMHC's October survey was $1,378 per month, up from $1,355 in 2010.
In the other secondary rental market, the number of renter households reached 54,878 in October compared to 53,312 in the same month in 2010.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Alberta To Lead Economic Growth
Saskatchewan and Alberta will have the best economic growth over the next two years of all the provinces, according to a forecast out today.
From our friends over at Canadian Real Estate Magazine:
Jacques Marcil, a senior economist with TD Economics, said the economic futures of Canadian provinces this year may largely depend on their connections to Europe and exposure to the strong possibility of a European recession.
Specifically, the report adjusts a September forecast to show slower growth this year in Ontario, Quebec and B.C., while also adjusting for faster growth in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.
“The corresponding revision to our provincial outlook was unevenly distributed among provinces, but all regions are vulnerable to the uncertainty and volatility expected over the next six months,” said Marcil. “These headwinds will likely intensify at a time when constrained public finances leave very few tools available for Canadian governments to stimulate demand, or at least restore confidence.”
Alberta is expected to see Canada’s strongest employment growth, up 1.5% this year, compared to 0.8% nationally. It was already up 3.7% in Alberta last year. While unemployment will rise from 7.4% nationally last year to 7.6% this year, Alberta will replace Saskatchewan as the province with the lowest rate, at 5%.
“Saskatchewan, which usually acts as a responsive pool of spare workers for Alberta, is failing to do so currently because its economy is performing nearly as well as Alberta’s,” said Marcil.
Overall economic growth, based on real GDP, will increase most in Alberta, up 2.6%, followed by 2.4% in Saskatchewan. Nationally, it will rise just 1.7% this year, following a 2.4% gain last year.
The real estate markets in Vancouver and Toronto, however, are expected to hinder economic growth in their respective provinces, said the report. Toronto will be especially affected by its recent growth in condo developments, said Marcil.
“In addition to the growing pipeline of supply, the knock-on effects of financial market volatility to buyer confidence will likely result in a cooling down in condominium sales in the region in 2012 and 2013,” he said.
Read More: : http://bit.ly/w8h2iX
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Alberta Housing Starts to Increase
Alberta is expected to buck the national trend for new home construction in the next two years, according to a report by TD Economics.
After seeing a forecasted 6.3 per cent annual decline in 2011 to 25,200 housing starts, the report is predicting new home construction will increase in the province by 2.5 per cent in 2012 to 25,800 units and by another 1.6 per cent in 2013 to 26,200 units.
At the national level, housing starts are expected to decline by 5.6 per cent in 2012 to 181,300 and by 5.3 per cent in 2013 to 171,700.
Tim Logel, president and partner of Cardel Lifestyles in Calgary, said there was a pent-up demand of buyers in the local market at the end of the year and more buyers are now coming forward.
A healthy economy, low interest rates, strong employment growth and increased in-migration are fundamentals pointing to an improved housing market.
Logel said Cardel had 218 building permts for condos and townhomes in 2011, up from 172 the previous year.
Multi-family permits over the past five years have reached 850 for the local builder, tops in the city.
“I’m expecting the same type of growth for our company that we had year-over-year,” noted Logel of the next couple of years in the homebuilding industry.
According to data released Tuesday by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., total housing starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area were up 0.3 per cent in 2011 to 9,292 units. That included a 20.9 per cent hike in multi-family starts of 4,208 but a drop of 12.1 per cent in the single-detached market to 5,084 units.
In the existing home sales market, the TD Economics report forecasts sales to increase by 0.5 per cent in Alberta in 2012 to 53,300 transactions and then dip by 2.7 per cent in 2013 to 51,900.
This after a 6.6 per cent hike in sales in 2011 to 53,000 transactions.
TD Economics forecasts the average existing home price to remain unchanged in Alberta in 2012 at $355,900 after increasing by 1.1 per cent in 2011 to $356,100. But the average is expected to fall by 2.5 per cent in 2013 to $347,200.
At the national level, TD Economics expects existing home sales to drop by 2.4 per cent in 2012 to 445,000 units and fall another 3.5 per cent in 2013 to 429,200. This after a 2.2 per cent increase in 2011 to 456,200 units.
Across Canada, the report said the average existing home price would fall by 1.9 per cent in 2012 to $357,100 and decline by 3.6 per cent in 2013 to $344,200. In 2011, it rose by 7.5 per cent to $364,100.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Target Building Huge Distribution at Calgary
American retail giant Target Corp. is building a huge distribution centre just outside Calgary, the Herald has learned.
Molly Snyder, Target spokesperson, confirmed the centre will be the company’s third in Canada and will be in Balzac in Rocky View County.
“The centre will be approximately 1.3 million square feet and will sit on just under 80 acres,” she said. “Target has selected sites for its distribution centres that will help to ensure that our supply chain needs are met for our Canadian stores. Target intends to open its first stores in March/early April 2013 and its distribution centres will be completed in time to support the needs of the stores.”
She said the centre will be managed entirely by an outside logistics company, Eleven Points Logistics.
“They will manage all recruitment and hiring and will communicate those needs and plans with local communities in the coming months,” added Snyder.
The centre will be located off of Range Road 291, east of Nexen’s Balzac Power Station.
Earlier this week, Target announced the location of its first 24 stores in Canada. As previously announced, Target purchased the leasehold interests of 189 sites currently operated by Zellers Inc., and plans to open 125 to 135 stores in Canada, the majority of which will open in 2013.
The first 24 stores are all in Ontario.
About $10 million to $11 million will be invested to remodel each facility to bring the full Target brand experience to Canadian communities. Each Target store in Canada will employ approximately 150 to 200 team members. Store team hiring will begin in 2012 and Target will “engage” with Zellers associates to make it easy for them to apply for jobs.
Target intends to announce additional store locations in the coming months.
Minneapolis-based Target has 1,767 stores across the United States.
Calgary Target locations will be at Chinook Centre, Forest Lawn Shopping Centre, Market Mall, the Shoppes at Shawnessy, Signal Hill Centre and Sunridge Mall.
Tom Dixon, business development manager of real estate and logistics with Calgary Economic Development, said he expects two or three more announcements this year in the distribution and logistics sector for the city’s region.
“It just really speaks to the critical mass that has already been achieved, that has been built — the synergies that are achieved and the importance of the sector to Calgary and the region,” he said.
The region’s road network, with access from highways and the ring road, is one of the primary reasons for the growth in the sector, he said.
“Each company has its own criteria and determines the kind of facility and the location that works best for them,” said Dixon. “That was the basis of the Target decision. But it’s very much part of the northeast, the airport development pattern. And it’s complemented by what’s happening in the southeast which is more rail-oriented at the CP logistics and intermodal yard.”
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