Sylvan Lake Weekly Market Update – August 25/10

Thu, 26 Aug by Dale Russell

Market Update to Aug. 25/10 – Sylvan Lake & Area

 

Active Listings

Sales

Price Range

Active Today

Pending

Active 1 Year Ago

Sold MTD

Aug. 11/10

Sold MTD

Aug. 25/10

Sold MTD

Aug. 25/09

0 – 100

5

0

2

1

1

0

100 – 150

6

0

6

0

1

3

150 – 200

24

0

15

2

2

1

200 – 225

6

0

6

1

1

1

225 – 250

16

1

11

1

1

0

250 – 275

21

0

25

1

3

4

275 – 300

25

0

23

1

1

1

300 – 350

32

0

35

0

1

1

350 – 400

44

0

28

0

1

1

400 – 450

26

1

15

0

0

0

450 – 500

15

0

24

0

1

0

500 +

74

1

69

1

1

5

Total

294

3

259

8

14

17

Days On Market

62

88

72

62

96

Market Update – We have been through a slow spot in the housing market over the past 3 months.  Lots of people are asking why.  There are a few explanations:

 

Mortgages – activity in our market peaked in April.  It’s no coincidence that is when the government tightened up lending rules and made it more difficult for first time buyers to get into their own homes.

 

Spring break-up – our local economy is still heavily reliant on the energy sector for employment and economic activity.  Our wet spring conspired to keep the oil and gas sector at home and is still making life difficult.

 

Low natural gas prices – the majority of central Alberta’s energy activity involves natural gas.  The discovery of effective extraction methods from huge reserves of natural gas locked in shale formations in the US and Canada has drastically increased the supply of natural gas, effectively driving down the price and creating less need for exploration, drilling and extraction.

 

Population growth – all of the above has contributed to fewer jobs and fewer people moving to central Alberta.  Lower population growth means less demand for housing.

 

World economic woes – the world economy has been languishing in the last few months as it runs out of the massive amounts of stimulus monies injected by governments and there is uncertainty about future prospects.  Consumer confidence doesn’t do well under a barrage of bad news, but consumer confidence is exactly what we need to get the economy moving again.

 

THE GOOD NEWS!  We have noticed an increased level of activity in the energy sector lately where it counts – on the roads.  We are hearing numerous stories that oil and gas companies are busy and have work for a year or more.  We are also hearing that they are having trouble finding qualified workers, which means they are probably looking beyond Alberta.  That quite likely means that people will start looking at moving back to Alberta from the other provinces which means population growth and demand for housing.

 

It won’t happen overnight and we aren’t forecasting a housing boom, but Alberta has always led the way out of Canada’s recessions and we’re likely to do it again.

 

We think there is the possibility that activity could increase in the fall, helping to stabilize the current supply and demand imbalance.  Interest rates still very low and are not predicted to go up much this fall.

 

The current environment of great supply, low prices and low interest rates makes buying a home now a very attractive proposition and we believe there is some pent up demand out there just waiting for some encouragement.

Sylvan Lake Weekly Market Update – August 12/10

Fri, 20 Aug by Dale Russell

Market Update to Aug. 11/10 – Sylvan Lake & Area

 

Active Listings

Sales

Price Range

Active Today

Pending

Active 1 Year Ago

Sold MTD

July 31/10

Sold MTD

Aug. 11/10

Sold MTD

Aug. 11/09

0 – 100

2

0

2

0

1

0

100 – 150

6

0

10

1

0

2

150 – 200

21

1

13

0

2

0

200 – 225

6

0

6

3

1

0

225 – 250

14

0

9

1

1

0

250 – 275

24

2

19

3

1

2

275 – 300

26

0

27

6

1

0

300 – 350

29

0

32

10

0

1

350 – 400

43

1

29

2

0

1

400 – 450

21

0

15

0

0

0

450 – 500

18

0

23

2

0

0

500 +

73

1

72

1

1

2

Total

283

5

257

29

8

8

Days On Market

81

81

53

72

80

More Jobs in July – By Todd Hirsch, Senior Economist – Alberta Treasury Branch

 

Few economic indicators mean as much to individuals personally as employment data. Job seekers in Alberta got a bit of good news this morning.

 

Alberta’s economy added another 8,800 net jobs in July (seasonally adjusted), making it the fourth consecutive month of employment gains for the province. The unemployment rate fell from 6.7% in June to 6.3% in July, the lowest unemployment rate for the province since April of 2009.

 

Nationally, Canada lost a net 9,300 jobs, and the unemployment rate ticked up a 1/10th of a percentage point to 8.0%.

 

While Alberta did buck the national trend, the quality of jobs created is questionable. During the month, there was a loss of 13,000 full-time jobs, which was more than offset by a gain of 21,700 part-time jobs.

 

Construction jobs were the big surprise. Despite the fact that other indicators of the economy are suggesting construction activity is faltering in Alberta, this sector accounted for the largest gain (+6,800) in jobs. Finance, insurance and real estate (+3,900) and public administration (+2,700) also posted gains. Wholesale and retail trade saw fewer net jobs (-8,900) in July.

 

Earlier this year, Alberta was lagging the rest of the country in job creation. But that trend may be starting to reverse itself. With the provincial economy showing more signs of strength over the summer, it’s not too surprising to see the employment picture picking up.

 

Stronger oil prices may provide a bit more upside to employment growth in the second half of 2010, but the pace of job creation may moderate.

 

CFIB Business Barometer – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released the June-July 2010 results of its business barometer survey this week.

 

Overall, businesses in Alberta indicated being slightly more optimistic than the Canadian average, reporting an index score of 67.2 versus 65.7 nationally, with a score of 50 indicating an equal balance between positive and negative expectations.

 

Some of the other results were:

 

• 51% of respondents indicated that the main business constraint was lack of domestic demand;

• When asked about the overall state of business, 31% responded that it was good, 18% bad and 51% satisfactory;

• The most important cost concern was tax and regulatory costs, at 65% of respondents;

• Hiring expectations appeared balanced, with 15% of full time employers expecting to hire versus 14% expecting to lay people off; and

• The majority of respondents, 53%, indicated having enough credit available.

(from ATB Weekly Bulletin)