Buyers shouldn't miss window of opportunity



    
    Record low mortgage rates, affordable prices and great selection will get
    people buying again, says Bonnie Wegerich, the Calgary Real Estate
    Board's newly elected President.

    EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE
    January 21, 2009 - 10:00 am MDT
    

    CALGARY, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB(R)) hosted
their annual Forecast Conference and Tradeshow today at the Stampede Park
Roundup Centre. This event brought together over 1000 REALTORS(R), along with
world-class speakers, to discuss key issues facing the industry.
    Today's conference featured a key note address and market forecast by
CREB(R)'s newly elected President Bonnie Wegerich - an 18-year industry
veteran and longtime resident of Airdrie, AB.
    "There is no doubt we are seeing a significant slowdown as Greater
Calgary transitions to a more stable and balanced housing market," Wegerich
acknowledged. "A door may be closing, but a window is opening. The window of
opportunity couldn't be better for buyers right now."
    Total new listings in Metro Calgary for single family homes held steady
at just over 31,000 in 2008, this figure down just 1% per cent from total new
listing in 2007. Wegerich expects the number of single family listings to
remain at similar levels through 2009. This leaves buyers with a healthy
selection of homes to choose from at reduced prices.
    "The market has softened, but there is no free fall here," Wegerich
points out. "With housing prices reaching record highs in 2006 and 2007 there
are many sellers out there that still have an opportunity to make respectable
gains."
    Selection and choice is the real difference in today's market - something
buyers didn't have before. A return to more normal market conditions means
people have the time to shop around and find the house that's right for them
rather than making an offer just to get something, says Wegerich.
    In her forecast Wegerich predicts prices of single family homes in
Calgary Metro will drop 2% overall in 2009 for an average sale price of
$451,120.
    She expects consumer confidence will improve in the latter half of the
year and we could see single family home sales grow as much as 10% before the
start of 2010.
    "I think some buyers are trying to predict the bottom of the market. But
record low mortgage rates, affordable prices and great selection will
eventually get people buying again," says Wegerich. "The reality is many
people tend to buy when prices begin rising again. My advice: don't wait too
long."
    The conference also featured Leonard Brody, entrepreneur, venture
capitalist, and bestselling author of Everything I Needed to Know about
Business - I Learned from a Canadian. Other speakers at the conference
included Les Hewitt, founder of the Power of Focus coaching program, Bruce
Kirkby, host of CBC's NOW: No Opportunity Wasted, Bob Gray, founder and
President of Memory Edge Corporation, Julia Moulden author of We are the New
Radicals: A Manifesto for Reinventing Yourself and Saving the World, Sue
Jacques and Ann Marsh creators of The First Seven Seconds(R) and Donna Messer,
author and networking expert. The trade show featured more than 100
exhibitors.

    About the Calgary Real Estate Board:

    The Calgary Real Estate Board is a professional body of 5,509 licensed
brokers and registered associates, representing 252 Member offices. The Board
does not generate statistics or analysis of any individual member or company's
market share. All MLS(R) active listings for Calgary and area may be found on
the Board's website at www.creb.com.





For further information:

For further information: Jason Martin, Manager, Communications, Calgary
Real Estate Board, (403) 463-2735, jason.martin@creb.ca

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