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Greg Martens 403-391-8849

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Posts Tagged ‘Market Update’

MARKET UPDATE – March 15, 2018

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Sales in the first two weeks in March were down compared to the first two weeks of February in every market except Sylvan lake.  Sales were also down slightly compared to the first two weeks of February 2017 in most markets.

The number of active listings are up substantially in every market compared to last month and are also higher than last year at this time.  We attribute some of the extra listing activity to consumer confidence that the economy has turned and their desire to move after 3 years of slower markets.

It does seem busier although that hasn’t translated to hard sales yet.  A resolution to the conflict between Alberta and B.C. over the pipeline would go a long way to improving consumer confidence and market activity.

MARKET UPDATE – March 1, 2018

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Most central Alberta markets we serve are keeping pace with last year while Red Deer is showing signs of improvement.  We can’t see it in all the numbers yet, but there is no doubt that we are feeling more  public optimism than we’ve experienced for much of the last three years.

The reasons for optimism include stable oil prices above $60US, 55,000 new jobs in Alberta in 2017 resulting in lower unemployment, and the general feeling that the recession is behind us.

The number of active listings is up in all central our Alberta markets.  More people wanting to sell in a recovering market suggests more confident consumers with a different motivation than we saw a couple of years ago when people were selling because they had to.  Now, they may be selling because they want to.  More listings will put the brakes on any price inflation they may be anticipating.

We have consistently stated that the real estate market takes time to recover once the economy has turned around.  We’ve also said that it’s hard to time the market perfectly and the recovery can sneak up on you.  All of our central Alberta markets favor buyers at the moment.  Interest rates are still relatively low and future increases are possible.  It’s a great time to take advantage of low prices and ample inventories.

MARKET UPDATE – February 15, 2018

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Sales in the first two weeks in February were up over the same period in January in most central Alberta markets.  Sales were down slightly or about the same as the first two weeks of February 2017 in most markets.

The number of active listings is up in every market compared to last month which is normal for this time of year.  Some of the listing activity is old listings that didn’t sell last year coming back on in time for spring.

It does seem busier although that hasn’t translated to hard sales yet.  A resolution to the conflict between Alberta and B.C. over the pipeline would go a long way to improving consumer confidence and market activity.

MARKET UPDATE – February 1, 2018

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

January sales in Red Deer brought some sunshine into the market, something we don’t usually expect to see until March or April, although the number of active listings remains stubbornly high for this time of year, keeping the demand/supply ratio in buyer’s territory.  Some January sales may be the residual of last year’s activity to get ahead of the new mortgage rules, so we’ll have to wait and see what February brings before we declare the market back to normal.

Where is the housing market going in 2018?  The provincial government has announced an end to the 3 year recession – very good news, but there are still some challenges lurking, including another potential delay to the Kinder Morgan Pipeline by the BC government.  While it’s nice to see West Texas oil trading in the $65US range, Alberta producers are only getting about half that much right now because we have only one customer to sell our oil to – the US.  With the likelihood of more delays to that pipeline, capital and equipment are moving south to a friendlier U.S. environment and some of those jobs we had back may disappear.

The Alberta economy runs on energy and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  The energy industry needs access to new markets to generate investment and the jobs that come with it.  Jobs create population growth and wealth.  Population growth and wealth creates housing market activity.  A quick resolution to the pipeline delay will help get our housing market back on track.

MARKET UPDATE – January 15, 2018

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Sales were lower in most central Alberta markets in the first two weeks of January compared to December, probably, as a result of extra activity in December caused by the mortgage rule changes. Sales were on par with the first two weeks of January 2017 in most markets, but up significantly in Red Deer.  Hopefully that is an indication that the market is indeed turning.  The active listing count is still higher than normal which will keep prices stable for now.

MARKET UPDATE – December 15, 2017

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

MARKET UPDATE – December 1, 2017

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

Sales in Red Deer in November were down compared to October’s and the early onset of winter may have been at least partially to blame.  Sales are off slightly compared to last November, while the number of active listings remains considerably higher, keeping buyers in the driver’s seat.   According to the Alberta Treasury Branch there are signs that the economy is gradually improving and we are hopeful that will translate into a more active market in 2018.

The key findings of ATB’s latest Economic Outlook are:

  • Alberta has emerged from two years of recession with real GDP growth of around four per cent in 2017.  ATB Financial’s Economics team is forecasting real GDP growth of 2.7 and 2.2 per cent in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
  • Retail and housing sector performance has improved.
  • Oil prices have steadied, and have begun to inch higher (currently around $US 55 per barrel).
  • Alberta’s energy sector will grow this year.
  • Tourism, agriculture and agri-food will continue to show steady growth.
  • Net out-migration to other provinces is likely to taper off but continue at a slower rate next year.
  • Alberta is expected to see a stubbornly high unemployment rate in 2017 and 2018.

MARKET UPDATE – October 15, 2017

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

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.

MARKET UPDATE – October 1, 2017

Friday, October 6th, 2017

September sales in Red Deer didn’t keep pace with the strong performance in August and it turned out to be the slowest month since March 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.

MARKET UPDATE – August 30, 2017

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

August sales in Red Deer hit the highest single monthly total so far this year, while the number of active listings fell slightly compared to last month, bringing the market close to balance.  Sales across central Alberta were also better in August, bringing year to date sales in line with the same period last year.

One month doesn’t make a market, but the improvement certainly suggests we are turning the corner.  There haven’t been any highly visible events that point to the change, but strong GDP growth in both the Canadian and Alberta economies suggest there is potential for continued recovery.  Unfortunately, a strong Canadian economy may cause another bump in the Bank of Canada rate which will trigger another jump in mortgage rates.  Tougher mortgage qualifying requirements imposed by the federal government combined with a rate increase would be detrimental to our fragile housing market recovery.

Oil prices remain subdued, moving up and down just under the $50US benchmark, but seem to be just sufficient to keep activity up in the energy sector.  Capital investment budgets in that sector are likely to be trimmed a little going into fall and winter and only the most cost efficient projects are moving ahead.  We are cautiously optimistic.


Greg Martens, RE/MAX Real Estate Central Alberta
4440-49 Ave, Red Deer, Alberta, T4N 3W6
Tel: 403-391-8849 Cell: 403-391-8849 Fax: 403-340-3085
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