Thu, 19 Oct
It appears that the first half of October was a little better than the same time in September. In most of our markets, the active listing count is down quite a bit from September which is also encouraging. It is almost certain that the continued tightening of mortgage qualifying requirements is a large contributor to a little slower market.
It would be irresponsible to tell our sellers that the market is going to improve much over the winter. While spring is likely going to be a little better, it would also be irresponsible to tell our sellers that prices are going to recover back to 2014 levels next spring. That is simply not going to happen and it would be wrong to give false hope.
The bottom line is that it will likely take two or three years for prices to appreciate significantly unless something of an economic miracle happens.
Fri, 06 Oct
September sales in Sylvan Lake and area didn’t keep pace with the strong performance in August and it turned out to be the slowest month since April of this year. We aren’t sure what triggered the slowdown except that maybe the extra activity in August was in anticipation of higher mortgage rates coming in September.
The Alberta economy certainly does appear to be improving, with oil prices hovering over $50US and stories of oil companies having trouble hiring. We know it isn’t like the good old days, but some improvement is certainly welcome.
One major factor that impacts the real estate market in a large way is migration into or out of Alberta. According to TD Economics, Alberta had a net gain of 131,669 people from other provinces between July 2010 and July 2015 and then lost 30,239 between July 2015 and July 2017. When they all came, we built housing to accommodate them, so now we have a few more homes than we have people to occupy them. Supply and Demand are the single largest influence on real estate prices and demand is down as a result of the loss of those people. Alberta’s total population has grown over the past two years as a result of international migration and natural births. The problem is that a lot of that growth won’t contribute economically for a few years.