May sales in Sylvan Lake were down from May of last year, but up nicely from April. Active listings are 25% higher than they were a year ago, but on par with 2013. The balance between Supply and Demand moved closer to balance in May even though the number of active listings is up. The Sylvan Lake market typically sees an increase in the number of active listings at this time of year as the cottage and lake front listings come back on.
In most of the central Alberta communities we serve, the market is slower compared to last year. However, comparisons between the 2014 and 2015 markets can be a little misleading. The 2014 market was the busiest since 2007. In fact, the active listing and sales counts this year are quite normal when compared with 2012 and 2013. We don’t want to minimize the impact that lower oil prices have had on the economy, but so far we aren’t seeing it in a large way in the housing market.
Since dropping to about $45/barrel, oil prices have recovered to the $60 range. The consensus among the experts seems to be more of the same for the rest of the year with a slight improvement in 2016. The one thing that isn’t clear is how that will impact our economy and the housing market. It certainly won’t be as bad as it would be with $45 oil, but it would be foolish to assume that it will be as good as it was last year. We are looking forward to a stable market for the rest of the year.