November 15 2014 – Market Update

Mon, 24 Nov by Dale Russell

Sylvan Lake Market Update – apparently no told the market it was time to go into winter mode.  Sales continue to be very brisk two weeks into November.  The number of active listings remains at normal levels for this time of year and there appears to be ample supply to satisfy buyers in every price range.  While it appears that our strong economy is here to stay for a while, the prospect of lower oil prices are now looming and will certainly have a dampening effect in the long term.

More Jobs Added Last Month – Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB Financial – Alberta’s jobs market kept chugging along in October with a moderate but positive gain of 3,300 (new) jobs. But while the total number of jobs added last month was only moderate, what was more impressive was the quality of the new employment.

There was a gain of 11,800 full-time jobs, offset by a loss of 8,500 part-time jobs. This suggests that better jobs are being created than the ones that are being eliminated, or that the part-time workers are moving into better paying full-time positions.

Looking at only the monthly movements in the job market, one would be tempted to conclude that the employment situation in Alberta has been volatile. The summer months were marked with job losses—and indeed a huge drop in August. That was followed by an apparent surge in September when the province posted one of the strongest monthly gains on record.

But this volatility is probably more illusion than reality, and a reminder that it is never wise to infer too much from one month of data. Looking over the longer term trend presents a better picture of what is happening, and indeed the situation in Alberta’s job market is healthy and stable. Since October 2013, there’s been a gain of 58,500 jobs—an increase of 2.6 per cent. As well, the unemployment rate has hovered within a balanced band in the mid-four per cent range, suggesting Alberta remains one of the hottest job markets in the country.

Excerpts from CMHC Housing Outlook – 4th Quarter 2014 – Alberta is experiencing the highest regional price gains this year as sales growth is helping lift the average resale price by more than four per cent to a projected $399,000 in 2014. The average price will continue to rise but at a slower pace to $407,800 in 2015 and $417,500 in 2016.

In Alberta, MLS® sales are projected to increase about eight per cent to 71,200 in 2014. Momentum from large migration inflows and employment gains are expected to help lift resale transactions to 72,900 in 2015 and 74,600 in 2016. The movement from rental tenure to homeownership, along with rising incomes, will help increase sales as will move-up buying. On the other hand, moderating migration inflows and higher monthly carrying cost are expected to slow the gain moving forward.

The average MLS® price in Alberta is projected to increase by over four per cent to $398,900 in 2014 and rise to $407,800 in 2015 and $417,500 in 2016. Sellers’ market conditions in Calgary are projected to ease as new listings rise, reflecting an overall provincial trend. Overall resale market conditions are forecast to remain balanced over the forecast period with the pace of price growth declining through 2016.

SL November 15 2014

November 5 2014 – Market Update

Wed, 19 Nov by Dale Russell

Sylvan Lake sales in October dropped dramatically from September’s while the number of active listings is also well down, keeping the ratio between supply and demand closer to balance, but still in the buyer’s favour.  There appears to be ample supply to satisfy buyer’s needs except maybe in the $350,00-$400,000 range.  In spite of lower oil prices, Alberta still suffers from a work shortage which will bring migration.  Population growth combined with high wages will keep the housing market strong.

Alberta’s hot job market continues to lure thousands of job seekers from across the country and around the world.  But while job opportunities are plentiful, it’s also the fat pay cheques that are attracting workers.  In August, employees in Alberta earned on average $1,164.88, the highest of all of the provinces by a considerable measure. Nationally, employees earned $943.30, with those in Prince Edward Island bringing in the least at $787.70.  Not only are earnings highest in Alberta, they continue to grow quickly.  Compared to last year earnings are up 5.1 percent—second only to earnings in Manitoba which grew by 5.3 percent.  The rate of earnings growth in Albert is nearly double the rate of consumer inflation, which clocked in at 2.6 percent in August.  Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB.