Archive for January, 2017

January 15, 2017 – Market Update

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

The housing market in central Alberta is off to a slower start, very similar to what we experienced in 2010, a little less than two years after the September 2008 economic crisis.  The general consensus in Alberta economic circles is that we are starting to turn the corner, and things should improve this year, but a little slower than the last recovery.

The housing market generally lags behind an economic recovery by at least a year, so we don’t expect 2017 to be a boom year for sales or prices.  We do expect to see a marginal improvement as the economy continues that slower climb back to wellness.

What does this mean for home sellers?  It means they will have to be reasonable around their price expectations.  Price is determined by the relationship between Supply and Demand.  While the Supply of available homes is lower than it’s been for a couple of years, it’s still too high in most central Alberta markets to get them close to balance.  The homes that show the best and are priced competitively will sell and the rest won’t.

What does this mean for home buyers?  The first thing home buyers need to understand is that prices come down very slowly.  While the housing market is slower, the vast majority of home sellers are not forced to sell, and won’t unless they receive a price they deem fair.  Offers that are substantially lower than market value won’t fly.  The huge advantage home buyers still have, are historically low interest rates and a good supply of homes to choose from.  It’s a great time to invest in a home.

What does this mean for both buyers and sellers?  We are not in a crisis.  Home values have softened some, but Supply and Demand are not so far out of balance that Sellers should expect to give their property away and buyers should expect more moderate prices, but not a fire sale.

For those consumers selling and buying in the Alberta market, it’s important to remember that the whole province is floating in the same real estate pond.  To a large degree, the level of that pond rises and falls at the same rate.  If you are selling at a price that you perceive to be low, you should also be able to buy at a price that is relatively the same, therefore there is no loss or gain, other than you are now living in a home that suits your needs better.

Owning a home is much more than an economic endeavor.  In Alberta, our homes are necessary to keep us warm and out of the elements, but they are also the place where we live and raise our families.  The housing market in Alberta will survive and thrive in spite of economic ups and downs.

At RE/MAX real estate central alberta, we want to be consultants for our clients, providing sound information, good advice and a competent guiding hand through the increasingly complex process of buying or selling your home.  Call us first!

Lacombe Jan 2017

December 31, 2016 – Market Update

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Lacombe sales in December were very good for this time of year, up from November and double what they were in December of 2015.  At the same time, the number of active listings has fallen sharply to levels not seen since February.  It’s likely that some properties came off the market over Christmas and will come back on in the new year, bringing inventory levels higher.

Total sales in Lacombe in 2016 were down just 1% compared to 2015 after a 25% drop from 2014 to 2015 and were the lowest total since 2010.  The overall central Alberta market didn’t fare as well in 2016 with sales down 12.6% from 2015.

A struggling energy industry was the biggest contributor to a slower market in 2016, but provincial government initiatives including minimum wage legislation and the new carbon tax also had an effect on business and consumer confidence.  When business and consumers are unsure how government policies will affect them, business is reluctant to invest and consumers are unlikely to make large buying decisions.  The federal government’s new mortgage rules also contributed by making it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage.  All these factors may combine to offset what could have been substantial gains in 2017.  Instead, we expect the 2017 housing market to be only slightly better than 2016 assuming oil prices stay above $50US.

Dawn Parent, RE/MAX REAL ESTATE CENTRAL AB.
#1, 5265-45 STREET, Lacombe, Alberta, T4L 2A2
Tel: 403-782-4301 Fax: 403-782-2285
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