The Top 5 Things Real Estate Investors Should Know in Calgary 2023

Calgary, the largest city in the province of Alberta, Canada, has always been an attractive destination for real estate investors.

With a strong economy, a thriving job market, and a diverse range of investment opportunities, Calgary continues to be a hot spot for those looking to invest in real estate. As we enter the year 2023, there are several key factors that real estate investors should keep in mind when considering Calgary as their investment destination. In this article, we will discuss the top five things that real estate investors should know in Calgary for the year 2023.

  1. Diversification in Property Types: Calgary offers a wide range of property types, including residential, commercial, industrial, and retail. In 2023, real estate investors should consider diversifying their portfolios by exploring different property types. While the residential market remains strong, there are emerging opportunities in the commercial and industrial sectors due to the city’s economic growth.
  2. Focus on Transit-Oriented Development: As Calgary continues to grow, transit-oriented development (TOD) is becoming increasingly important. The city’s expanding public transportation network, including the C-Train system and bus routes, presents significant opportunities for real estate investors. Properties located near transit hubs and planned transit expansions are likely to experience higher demand and appreciation. Investors should closely monitor the city’s transit plans along the new green-line.
  3. Sustainable and Green Initiatives: In recent years, Calgary has placed a strong emphasis on sustainable and green initiatives. As environmental consciousness continues to grow, real estate investors should consider properties that align with these trends. Energy-efficient buildings, LEED certifications, and sustainable features can enhance the value of a property and attract environmentally conscious tenants. Many renovations are taking place in the downtown core on the c-class buildings to bring them up to these standards and reduce op-costs.
  4. Calgary’s Economic Diversification: Calgary has traditionally been known for its oil and gas industry. However, in recent years, the city has made significant strides in diversifying its economy. The technology, renewable energy, and aerospace sectors are experiencing rapid growth, bringing new investment opportunities. Real estate investors should consider properties located in areas that align with Calgary’s diversification efforts. Researching and understanding the key industries driving the city’s economy can help investors identify promising investment prospects.
  5. Rental Market Opportunities: Calgary’s rental market has experienced fluctuations in recent years, influenced by factors such as the oil industry downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the city’s rental market is now on FIRE in 2023, driven by population growth and increased job opportunities. Real estate investors should carefully analyze rental market trends, vacancy rates (currently near ZERO), and rental demand when considering investment properties.

Calgary offers a plethora of opportunities for real estate investors in 2023. By diversifying property types, focusing on transit-oriented development, embracing sustainable initiatives, considering Calgary’s economic diversification, and analyzing the rental market, investors can position themselves for success. As with any investment, thorough research, staying informed about local market conditions, and working with experienced professionals will be key to making informed decisions. Calgary’s real estate market is poised for growth, and by keeping these top five factors in mind, investors can navigate the market with confidence and capitalize on the city’s potential.

How is the Real Estate Market? That is the wrong question to ask.

I get asked all the time get asked all the time by clients, prospects, investors, other agents even what the real estate market is like. The answer always starts the same… (I did not even really consider the habitual way I answer this question and thus the inspiration for this post!)

That answer is “well, real estate is a cycle – it goes up and down and has a top/middle/bottom and in Alberta due the energy sector economy that cycle is typically 7-10 years in Alberta.

A better question might be, where are we at in the real estate cycle? Where do the fundamentals indicate where it might go next? Now, we can only ever have access to so much data from real estate boards, stats can, local media. I do not have a crystal ball, never profess to have owned one in fact – however I can and do speak on what the economic, behavioral, and most importantly the “in the trenches” intel that only those active in the industry are privy to. (those actively investing, renovating, renting real estate in a given market)

The stats year over year, and even month to month sometimes can be a bit deceiving – for example interest rates have dramatically changed in Canada which sort of makes comparing the 2 market conditions a bit silly…but we have to go with something and the public has a short memory so a 12 month period is normally used.

While interest rates do play a role in pricing, because more than 80% of buyers are getting mortgages – the demand side of this equation is not really driven by interest rates. Demand is driven by population growth/decline and that in turn is driven by the availability of mid-high paying jobs in the Market/Area in question.

The reason more people buy houses when money is cheap is that the people who wanted to buy a house can afford it in that current job market with a different “average wage” climate. Cost of labor and materials also drives prices as we have seen in markets like Ontario where developers can’t even complete the buildings due to costs rising over 50% in many categories.

Development does not support increases like that or the project will lose money, and the red tape that makes the process take so long is a post for another day. (I am looking at you government of all levels)

To your success,

Tim Reid

-Respect the Hustle

Higher Rates do not fix Housing Problems!

We have been saying for years that the reason there is an affordable housing problem is not the capacity, to build, labor, cost of materials it is due to governments at all levels.

Recently we have seen the government response to inflation to solve the housing price issue, which we saw coming years ago and was guaranteed by the printing of money to add to the supply during the recent pandemic years.

The money could not be cheap forever and we all knew that, however trying to calm down the housing market with government/bank of Canada – which by the way has no official ties to the government DOES NOT WORK.

Supply and demand are the basic forces even the most uneducated policy maker should understand and it the supply of housing caused by government red-tape that is the true cause of the issue.

Do we have a skilled trades deficit in Canada? I am not an expert but I would suggest that in Alberta for example we have a lot of skilled trades and this labor force could be built out with government funds/grants if needed to expand the capacity to build out more homes across our great country – are you listening Ottawa?

The issue is very apparent at the municipal level which is where the real barrier to new homes being built (affordable or otherwise).  When you need to pay for study after study and be dragged through bureaucracy for 7 years in the City of Ottawa to allow you to develop a property ….maybe that is why they supply is 10-15 years behind?

The city of Calgary addicted to urban sprawl for the last 30 years just kept building out, and would not even allow basement suites in attached buildings until very recently. Keep building more single family homes, and make the zoning codes all R-1 where you can only have 1 legal dwelling unit. 

Then they thought lets allow carriage houses! That will fix it, but wait let’s make sure they can’t have a legal basement suite on the same property while we are at it.  “Silly hall” as we generally call it here in Cowtown takes one step forward then another step back.

Policy like this is systematic reason that density, and with it more available homes could be built is the real elephant in the room that needs to be dealt with.

As the economists at CIBC in the article agree….raising the rates too far too fast will have the opposite effect on making homes accessible for Canadians.  It will however make the banks billions of dollars and politicians like to keep them happy, I mean who else will they get to sponsor their golf tournaments?

Credit to for the original article here:

Some people suggest that high interest rates will cure Canada’s housing affordability problem.

The reasoning goes: keep hiking rates and there will be less demand from buyers, and as a result, prices will fall and housing becomes affordable.

So, problem solved.

And indeed, the housing market appears to be reacting to the two rate hikes made so far this year by the Bank of Canada.


More increases are anticipated through 2022 and next year.

Demand has softened, as shown by declining sales in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley and elsewhere in the country.

To cite an example, median prices are dropping on the east side of Vancouver.

Economists with CIBC Capital Markets have taken note of the current situation.

“Sales are falling fast, and prices will follow,” Benjamin Tal and Katherine Judge wrote in a report released Wednesday (May 11).

The speed and magnitude of future rate hikes will cause an “adjustment in the market”.

“However,” Tal and Judge continued, “the return to balanced conditions or even a buyers’ market will not cure what ails the Canadian housing market.”

They went on, “It will just ease the symptoms for a short period of time. In fact, if history is a guide, the slowing ahead might worsen the supply-demand mismatch in the market.”

Hence, a “more relaxed housing environment should not ease the urgency in which the chronic lack of housing supply in the Canadian market is dealt with”.

“After years of fighting supply issues using demand tools, governments at all levels finally recognize that over time, the housing affordability crisis will worsen without adequate supply policies,” Tal and Judge wrote.

The CIBC economists then went on to examine how future Canadian housing policy can succeed.

Tal and Judge argued that a policy that addresses supply may only achieve its purpose if it is based on the current assumption.

And here’s what they consider is the crux of the problem.

Tal and Judge claimed that housing demand is “grossly undercounted”.

By how much?

“Our conservative educated guess is that that number is close to 500,000 households,” the economists wrote.

They explained, “That is, official household numbers often used to estimate the demand in the market undercount the real demand for housing by about half a million households.”

If the assumptions are corrected, then it’s just a matter of setting a higher target for home construction, right?

Well, not so fast.

As Tal and Judge noted, the construction industry does not have the capacity to build faster.

The economists noted that there is “not enough consideration is given to the simple fact that the industry’s capacity to reach those elevated targets is questionable at best”.

“Our focus here is on one aspect of the issue: the rising cost and length of construction due to a lack of labour and trades,” Tal and Judge explained.

The CIBC economists noted that it now “takes twice as long to complete both low-rise and high-rise units today than it did two decades ago”.

Calgary Market Update Spring 2022

Well despite the little snowstorm we had a week ago, spring looks like it may finally be here and the inventory is coming in with the warm weather.

Provincial health restrictions had been lifted and society is starting to get back out there into malls, retail, restaurants, and rental properties have picked up like crazy.

Not only do we help people buy, sell, invest in real estate we also are heavily involved in Calgary/area real estate investments including rental properties.

I have not seen this kind of rental demand in many years since back before the last correction in 2014 where there we bidding wars for rentals in Calgary! Indicators show we might be back there again soon if the vacancy rates and in-migration to Alberta continues at the current pace.

Single family home are the hot commodity at the moment with The detached benchmark price rose to $628,900 in April, which is 19 per cent higher than last year. Causing strong market conditions in this asset class.

All markets have picked up with the rising interest rate cost causing SOME buyers to re-think the total amount of mortgage they want to take on and buying smaller and different properties such as townhouses and condos.

Investment in Calgary real estate is now the target for a lot of out of town buyers from Expensive trophy markets such as Vancouver and Toronto where they have seen huge equity gains and they are looking for better ROI and cash flow which can still be found easily in Calgary by comparison. Why even bother with a 2% cap rate in Vancouver/Toronto for a dog house built in 1939?!? Crazy that non-developers will do these kind of things.

If you need help or have questions about the market or anything else in real estate Contact us today we are here to help!

To your success,

Tim Reid

-Respect the hustle

How To Flip Houses 101 Calgary Edition

When we get a lot of calls from investors looking to flip houses, often after watching TV shows or youtube gurus from other countries – there are a lot of harsh realities we have to hit them with. Now, a coaching company we always want to be motivational as possible while also giving customers the straight goods on what the business model actually looks like.

Firstly, the key is to get the property below market value. Yeah yeah we have all heard that before….well my point here is that below market value does have a range, who decides how low is good? I would suggest to you that it depends on your flip type.

We like to break flipping into 3 categories:

Level 1 – mostly cosmetic changes, appliances, trim, fixtures and some minor overhaul of bathroom components

Level 2 – some structural changes such as removing a wall to create an open concept or updating plumbing and electrical, and finishing a basement.

Level 3 – Fully gutting a house, adding additional square footage through additions/second levels, adding an ensuite, carriage houses, workshops.

These are all flips, but take very different levels of capital, experience, holding costs and require very different skill sets. Lastly, they are going to be sold to different end user market segments.

This factor is an often overlooked element of flipping, who is your buyer going to be? If that pool of buyers who will pay top dollar for the renovated product is small you may have longer holding costs and have to discount the price further for a quick sale.

So, first thing is the get the property below market – a good goal for that is to have 50-100% of your renovation cost discounted on the price, which is a good argument for value when speaking to sellers because those things need to be updated, fixed, or changed.

The second thing is to pick a scope of work and budget and stick within it -that also includes a time budget, if your project goes longer than expected that can break your deal or crush your profit margins. Having the work done on time is equally important to keeping it on budget, sometimes more important if you miss the busy season in your market where buyers are most active. (terrible time to sell is nov-jan especially in any cold climate areas)

Lastly, the flipping business model is about volume not so much about the margin per deal. If you are going to look at this like a business your job as investor is to get product, improve it, and sell it as fast as possible. One of the biggest mistakes I see new investors make is they get emotionally attached to both the property and it’s target profit – targets are just that something to aim at….you don’t always hit the bullseye but you keep shooting.

Keeping the property for sale at the wrong price will slow down the velocity of your flipping business, sell it fast for the best price you can get and get onto the next one. I am not saying sell at a loss, find a way to rent it or do a rent to own if the market turns against you. The business model is about doing a bunch of deals in a year, not waiting for the 100K profit deal that may never come, or if it does you might only do 1 deal that year, when you could have done 10 deals at 50k each which would be 500,000 – which would you rather have?

If you have questions about how to get into flipping houses in Calgary/other markets (the skills are the same) or how to expand your flipping business contact us to book a discovery call we are here to help.

To your success,

Tim Reid

-Respect the Hustle

Investors competing with retail home buyers?

WOW I just read an article which I think made a total BS comment on the housing market in Canada. Has the market been on a tear? Yes in many places it has, have prices risen artificially? You bet, but claim that they just made is ridiculous!

In this article that is from a source I shall not name, stated that prices in many areas are being driven up by investors competing with retail buyers in a lot of our Canadian Real Estate markets. It would seem vastly apparent that they do not invest in real estate themselves, or do not know many real investors that know what they are doing.

Warren buffet put it very well, buy low and sell high – that is pretty fundamental for any investment class, and his holding period is often VERY long also a great principle to live by in real estate or other asset classes.

Real estate is no different, you have to buy below market value to make money in real estate. Many make the mistake of getting excited and paying too much for something and they regret it. (yes we have as well – that is how you learn!)

One cannot expect to pay retail for a product and expect to re-sell or refinance down the line that same product and have consistent results. Now, there are some times you can get lucky and the market can take off and that asset (real estate) can rapidly appreciate….but that is simply LUCK and not a business model, you might as well go to the casino and put it all on black and hope for the best.

This same article wasn’t all bad however it did state that part of the housing pricing problem is supply VS demand – which I totally agree with BTW. This article cited city red tape in Vancouver as the example of slowing development approvals making it hard for developers to get anything done to meet the demand. There is a lot to be said for that issue in many Canadian cities.

In Calgary for example we have had planning policies that support urban sprawl and fight against density in the inner city for many years, that is SLOWLY changing which is a good sign for the aging inner city corridors.

I have never met an investor in over a decade in this game that would compete against a retail home buyer to get a property to rent, flip, or do a rent to own on that property – retail buyers looking to buy a home and live in it will always pay more than an investors looking for a ROI. If anything, the retail home buyer is competition for the investor!

What are you thoughts on the “housing crisis” which the media is currently taking and running with it?

Contact us to book a time to chat and let’s hear your thoughts.

To your success,

Tim Reid

-Respect The Hustle

3 Ways Investors Impact the Price of Real Estate

There have been some interesting articles floating around out there speculating in the material impact that investors have on the real estate market.

Often we hear a lot of noise in the media about foreign buyers driving up real estate markets like Vancouver and Toronto, but what about the last 18 months through the Covid19 pandemic? There was a massive reduction in immigration and foreign investment, so that would indicate a lot of that noise is just that…noise.

For example the BoC (bank of Canada) published stats that would see investors accounting for 20.1% of residential purchases in Canada. That may seem like a lot, but that centers only around residential properties. With having 80% still being purchased by retail home buyers, the impact of investors in this space would seem not that large.

What are the key impacts that Investors do have on pricing?

1. They pay cash or have 20% down and don’t have insured mortgages. — That means they do not pay too much for properties (over market value) or at least they don’t very often and certainly not with our guidance! Typically savvy investors will pay less than market value but at only 20% of the market volume this does not drag the average down significantly

2. Investors force appreciation – through renovations, adding suites, garages, so this does drive up the prices because they are adding value to the properties (example flipping houses) in a short period of time. This has the largest impact on pricing, which often occurs in older areas with naturally higher prices and infill activity in the inner city areas of most Canadian cities

3. Rental increases – while updating, adding value, and of course for rental purposes the goal of a cash flow investor is to maximize that as much as possible, then doing a re-finance to pull capital back out of properties also can have an impact on valuations on properties especially when it comes to commercial assets (6 units or more)

These are the key areas that Investors have a material impact on the stats IMHO. Also, I always like to point out that a lot of residential investors buy directly from home owners which are private sales – which do not get reported by the real estate boards and therefore do not show up in the statistics.

The regulators, banks, real estate boards and media have to work with the data sets that they are given – but this is not the whole picture.

If you would like to know more about how to have your own impact on the real estate market through investing in real estate without the hassles of day to day management Contact us today and let’s chat.

To your success,

Tim Reid

-Respect The Hustle

3 Ways water issues can ruin your real estate investment

When you are looking at investment properties sometimes you have to move quickly to snap up a great deal. Newer investors AND experienced investors should always get a home inspection whenever possible.

There are some situations where you need to make a quick offer in competitive markets or even go all cash unconditional. What can you do to make sure the property is sound? We recommend bringing in an experienced contractor and some of your trades people to do a walk through at a bare minimum.

(We do not suggest making unconditional offers unless you are very experienced and are comfortable dealing with any issues that may come up with the property.)

This will give you valuable information on what risks there could be with the property even if you are in a bit of a rush to get that offer in. The best deal is often the one you DON’T do….which means you didn’t make a mistake and wind up with a very challenging deal!

We will often make offers conditional to viewing satisfactory to the buyer, which will not give you the same coverage as a home inspection condition – but this still allows you to walk away if you and your team find something that seems risky about the property such as plumbing concerns.

Water is the nemesis of all landlords and investors of all real estate strategies. Nothing other than a fire can cause more damage quicker than water damage, insurance companies also hate water damage because that causes them more payouts in claims than many other losses.

Damage from water can happen from more than just the plumbing though, including sewer backups (gross I know but it happens more often that people want to admit!) flooding, and rain coming in around windows or through the roof. We recently saw a property in Calgary that had a woodpecker that poked a hole in the roof causing a leak!

What are the most common water damage risky items to watch out for?

  1. Leaking or improperly installed fixtures (that includes toilets). When fixtures are old or improperly installed by happy home owners doing things themselves they can leak behind walls and through floors going unnoticed until these issues have damaged drywall/floors/ceilings causing mold which could need remediation and those costs add up fast.

2. Basement windows without proper drainage – window wells have building code requirements that mandate proper drainage and slope to move water/snow away from the window so that water does not flow toward the house leaking through windows into the house.

Often new landscaping or walkway construction will change the grade to slope toward the house causing water to leak through the windows – which are not waterproofed to heavy water flowing directly toward them.

Window wells that are too shallow or do not have drainage can fill up with snow or rainwater and cause leaking into the house, this can allow lots of water into the home causing major damage and if left undetected can also cause black mold in the home behind the drywall.

3. Sewer backups – in some cities there are flood prone areas or even in areas with higher elevations under heavy rainfall conditions with older waste water pipelines backups can happen from the city sewer. What that means is that high pressure can force the gray water back into the house up through toilets and drains ….Gross I know but something that needs to be considered. A good mitigation for this is a back-flow valve which prevents the gray water from flowing back into the house’s pipes under these heavy rainfall/flood conditions.

Water, we all need it it can be our enemy as real estate investors if we are not careful. Do your homework on the water risks, ask the professionals when in doubt and maintain the plumbing systems in the property and you will avoid costly repairs and higher insurance bills.

If you have questions about how to due your due diligence or how to value these repairs contact our team to book a discovery call and let’s chat.

To your success,

Tim Reid

-Respect The Hustle

Want Cash Flowing Real Estate? Look to Alberta

It might seem like Alberta is a have-not province over the last few years with the energy sector down turn. When you look at other areas such as Toronto (the GTA – greater Toronto area) have seen gains in prices in areas soar as sales volume increases hit as high as 96% in central Toronto this is driving prices into almost un-rentable territory.

How can rent keep pace with that? Well quite simply it can’t not to support a mortgage with 80% Loan to value, forcing investors who want to operate in that market to put huge down payments equal or greater than commercial rates.

This has forced investors to look further and further out to the suburbs to find rental properties to get decent returns on investment. When you consider multi-family cap rates so low it does not even out pace inflation, you are only land-banking in essence which is a speculative game.

Eventually there can be a shift in interest rates that would bury all those properties bought at those rates, forcing even more cash to go into those assets to prevent massively negative cashflows.

More investors are looking for better cap rates and better cash flow in other markets. Due to the energy sector taking a hit over the last few years we have seen downward pressure on pricing in Alberta overall, but only a small downward pressure on rents.

Since there have been harsh rent controls in Ontario and BC these markets also have those forces working against rental property investors. Alberta has seen rental rate gains back to normalized rates at or above pre-covid19 levels

What this means for investors is that we have the opportunity for massive upside in appreciation, and also an older value-add potential for many older assets that have been allowed to accumulate deferred maintenance for years in Alberta.

Have you thought about rental property in other markets?

If you are considering Alberta locally or from abroad in Canada contact our team to book a discovery call, we are here to help with access to private deals/Vendor financing opportunities just to name a few!

To your success,

Tim Reid

-Respect The Hustle

Canadian Election Effect on Real Estate Market

WOW we have had a heck of a year and a half in the Global covid-19 pandemic, with governments having to put billions into the economy to support workers and businesses alike.

The Canadian election has been called, now I normally do not like to comment on politics often – however this election will be a real barn burner with the announced platforms of the different parties. Some of these proposed changes to tax law in Canada are HUGE for investors.

Our American friends have enjoyed one of the best tax advantages on earth for many years called the 1031 exchange. What the heck is that? This is a tax exemption that states if you sell an asset, for example an apartment building and have a 1,000,000 capital gain you would need to pay the tax on that normally if you put that cash in your bank account. However, if you buy a like for like asset within an approved amount of time then you defer the tax.

This is an incredible advantage to scale your business without having to incur the tax all the time. In Canada there has been a rental housing shortage for many years as developers focused on for sale product such as condos and single family homes.

Conservative government politicians have realized this is a problem, and making it a campaign issue. The solution they have proposed is for rental property owners who sell to re-invest in additional rental property and defer the capital gains just like the 1031 exchange!

This would be a game changer for Canadian real estate investors, and the renters that would benefit from more supply of better housing. Let’s face it our rental stock is very aged in a lot of cities in Canada with a lot of deferred maintenance. All that deferred maintenance is partly due to the fact that owners can’t sell and buy something larger or similar to extract that equity to perform the repairs – also rental controls which in my opinion also contribute negatively to this problem.

Look at New York’s history of rental control, which has basically forced landlords to not spend money on the buildings there because they are held hostage by rental policy. (that is a whole other post for another day!)

Financial services and investment industry what I like to call “retail investments” offered by banks and mutual fund companies could be shaken up as well. The feds are pushing for more transparency on fees that are charged to consumers when speaking about returns on products such as mutual funds, bonds, EFTS.

What impact would that have on real estate investing? Hard to call, however with a better informed consumer they may choose to look at different investments more often once they know the fixed costs of the alternatives.

Real Estate IMHO is one of the best ways to build wealth for multiple generations, which is 1 of the 3 pillars of wealth

  1. real estate
  2. stocks/bonds
  3. Business investments

They are all needed for a well rounded portfolio, and you have to be at least somewhat active in 1 of the 3 to really crush it. There is no such thing as a great return on investment that is totally passive – 100% passive does mean lower returns than being active, what you put in for effort you get back in higher ROI.

Investing in real estate does not need to be complex or difficult, if you are thinking about real estate investing book a discovery call with our team today to find out how to get started or grow your current investment in real estate.

To your success

Tim Reid

-Respect The Hustle