March 15, 2016- Market Update

Fri, 18 Mar by Dale Russell

The Sylvan Lake market continues to maintain a “normal” pace for this time of year.  In fact, year to date sales are up almost 16% compared to the same period in 2015.  We expect the number of active listings in Sylvan to start increasing at this time of year as the recreation market comes out of hibernation.  Listings are indeed up, but only slightly higher than last year.


The one notable difference this year is the number of pending sales is down compared to last year, but it’s too early to tell how the month will end.  The nice weather will likely bring out some buyers looking for early deals in the recreation market after possibly cashing in on higher prices and a strong American dollar in the US.


Buyers thinking that prices will be lower later should understand that lower prices only come when supply balloons, putting the market way out of balance.  So far that has not happened in Sylvan Lake.  As a matter of fact, the number of active listings between $350,000 and $500,000 is low compared to the other price ranges.


A small piece of good news broke on March 15 in regard to the Alberta economy.  A portion of an article from the Calgary Herald appears below that states that the provincial government is hinting that the small business tax may be reduced in the upcoming budget.  That would leave employers with a little more money for wages and expansion and certainly help the local economy.



Premier hints small business tax may be cut in April 14 budget, Calgary Herald, Mar. 15, 2016


Alberta small businesses could get a break in the April 14 budget in the form of a one percentage point tax cut, Premier Rachel Notley hinted Tuesday.


Notley told reporters her NDP government is looking seriously at cutting the tax from three per cent to two per cent as urged by business leaders in an open letter this week.


“On the issue of the small business tax, I would say that we simply all stay tuned for the budget,” Notley told reporters after making a speech to rural politicians in Edmonton.


The premier said her government has been meeting with business leaders and stakeholders across the province on how best to stimulate economic activity and the reduction of the small business tax has been raised.


“There’s no question that’s one of the issues that has been presented to us and we’re considering a whole package of issues which will be announced in the budget,” Notley added.


Ponoka Mar 2016

March 5, 2016- Market Update

Mon, 07 Mar by Dale Russell

Market Update- SYLVAN LAKE sales in February were down a little from a very strong start in January and also down compared to February of last year. However, year to date sales are actually higher this year than last. The number of active listings is well up from last month’s levels, and up almost 24% over last March.

The central Alberta markets where we’ve seen strong new home construction in the past few years are the ones that are now experiencing higher inventory levels. Building new homes is a many months long process and slowing that process down can take many more months.  New homes that have been started have to be finished and sold.  As demand slows those new homes are finished before they are sold and as a result, added to the MLS inventory.

It seems the Alberta economy is resigned to lower for longer oil prices which will likely mean a little slower real estate market in the short term. Prices may moderate slightly, but always take longer to go down than up. The resiliency of the real estate market is being demonstrated by the number of sales we are experiencing in spite of the current energy industry slowdown.  The law of supply and demand works in energy the same as it does in the real estate market.  People will continue to need carbon energy for the foreseeable future.  The price will find a level that sustains a reasonable supply. Alberta has vast amounts of that supply that will continue to be sold and, while the boom has faded, the industry will survive like it has many times in the past.