Archive for May, 2014

May 15 2014 – Market Update

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Lacombe sales to the middle of May are ahead of the same time last month, but down from the same time last year.  The number of active listings has bounced up a little keeping the market in balance for now.  We are still somewhat concerned that a lack of building lots could create an unhealthy imbalance in the future.

For now there appears to be enough listings in all price ranges to satisfy the demand.  Activity at the high end of the price spectrum is slow and there are lots of options available for those looking.

Red Deer, Blackfalds and Sylvan Lake markets are still moving quickly.  Red Deer and Blackfalds have very high sales to listing ratios and those markets are struggling to meet the demand.  That should translate into more activity in Lacombe over the next few months.

Spring is always the busiest time in the central Alberta real estate market for at least a couple of reasons.  First, a sale or purchase now, often allows folks to move at the end of the school year.  Spring is also break-up time in the energy sector when those people often have some extra time off to look for a new home.

While there have been some layoffs in the energy industry, other sectors in the Alberta economy are making a large contribution to our growth:

Rising prices boost manufacturing numbers – Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB Financial

Manufacturers across the province have been busier than they’ve been in months, according to the latest information from Statistics Canada. March shipments of manufactured goods rose to $6.6 billion (seasonally adjusted)—a 1.7 per cent increase over the previous month.

Over the last few years, the value of manufactured goods has been rather flat. It’s only been in the last few months that shipments have been trending higher, albeit modestly. Over the last twelve months, total shipments have risen by 5.5 per cent compared to the previous twelve month period.

The rising trend—and particularly the increase witnessed in March—may not be an accurate reflection of what’s going on in factories and refineries across the province. Much of the increase may be due to rising prices, not strong sales or higher volume of production.

The increase in March was in food manufacturing alone. In Alberta, that’s made up mostly of beef and pork processing. The higher value of shipments is due entirely to the recent price jumps for beef and pork. Petroleum refining has also been rising because of higher prices for gasoline and other refined energy products.

Other major manufacturing sectors for Alberta such as wood products, steel pipe, machinery and chemicals have increased by much smaller amounts or have actually slipped a bit. Overall employment in manufacturing is up year-over-year by only 2.5 per cent—below the all-sector growth rate of 4.0 per cent.


April 30 2014 – Market Update

Friday, May 9th, 2014

The Lacombe market was the contrarian in April compared to other central Alberta markets. While sales were up and the number of active listings went down in those markets, the number of listings jumped dramatically in Lacombe while sales dropped slightly compared to March. The only price range where there is strong demand relative to supply is $200,000 ‐ $250,000. Red Deer and Blackfalds are the most volatile central Alberta markets with Sylvan Lake coming on strong. Lacombe and Ponoka still have a little catching up to do, but are showing indications that could happen this spring.

Alberta’s economy hummed along at a near‐optimal speed last year, according to the latest calculations from Statistics Canada. The national statistics agency reported that Alberta’s real gross domestic product expanded by 3.9 per cent in 2013. That was nearly double the national rate of 2.0 per cent. ATB Financial’s most recent economic outlook for Alberta predicts that these healthy and balanced growth rates will continue this year and next. The economy is expected to expand by 3.8 per cent this year and 3.3 per cent in 2015.

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