October house sales flat in Central Alberta

October house sales flat in Central Alberta

House sales expected to rise in 2018 as provincial economy improves

Central Alberta home sales remain sluggish, but there is optimism for 2018.

There were 323 residential sales in October down three per cent from the same month last year, according to Multiple Listing Service statistics provided by the Central Alberta Realtors Association.

Year-over-year sales are down 1.3 per cent to 3,379 units sold.

Across the province, October sales were also down 1.3 per cent compared with the same month a year ago.

Central Alberta Realtors Association president Danielle Davies said November looks to be following the same trend.

“I would say things are pretty much on par right now. There haven’t been any major changes.”

Davies said there are signs that is about to change thanks to growth in the provincial economy on track to rise 6.7 per cent this year. Next year, GDP is projected to increase 2.4 per cent.

“So, we’re on our way,” she said.

In Central Alberta, the dollar value of October sales was basically the same as last year, down only 0.6 per cent to $101 million.

New residential listings were up 16 per cent to 711 units, compared with October 2016.

Similar numbers were recorded province-wide, where dollar values were down 0.4 per cent.

An issue very much on radar screens of realtors and home buyers are new mortgage rules due to take effect in January.

Under the new rules, even home buyers who don’t require mortgage insurance because they have a 20 per cent down payment, will have to prove they can afford their mortgage if interest rates rise above Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate or two per cent or more higher than their existing mortgage rate, whichever is higher.

Central Alberta Realtors Association joined its provincial counterparts at a government liaison event recently to meet with MLAs and make them aware of the concerns the real estate sector has with the mortgage changes.

“We just wanted to express our concern and tell them what’s happening in Central Alberta and to lobby with a stronger voice for Alberta real estate,” said Davies.

“After three days, I think we were fairly successful. We got our point across.”

Realtors argue the new rules will hit the middle class hardest, especially those looking to upgrade into a bigger home.

“It just makes it that much harder for the average buyer to get approved for the mortgage or refinance their mortgage,” she said.

While the incoming rule changes cannot be stopped, Alberta real estate representatives want to send the message that further changes would be harmful at a time when the economy is just starting to pick up again.

Davies said Alberta realtors want to see regional conditions taken more into account when mortgage rules are changed. Rules meant to cool red-hot housing markets do not make sense in markets such as Alberta’s, which are recovering from the recession.

“(Rules) should be regionalized to the different markets,” she said. “They need to consider all factors, look at all economies, look at all markets — no two provinces are the same.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

economyReal Estate

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


October house sales flat in Central Alberta

Just Posted

AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta

A case of an AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Board of Trustees selected the name St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School to be built in the north end of Red Deer. (Photo Courtesy of  Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raises about $8,720 for Terry Fox Foundation

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raised about $8,720 for the Terry Fox… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels allowed four straight goals from the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday night on the road. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers hand Red Deer Rebels 10th straight loss

Tigers 4 Rebels 2 Through 17 games in the shortened WHL season,… Continue reading

Meghan Huizing has been selected by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools as a finalist for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) 2021 Edwin Parr Award. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools)
Red Deer Catholic names finalist for Edwin Parr Award

Meghan Huizing from St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds has… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Brad Dahr, 53, is facing numerous charges. (Photo contributed by Alberta RCMP)
Alberta man charged for alleged sexual offences against children

An Edmonton man has been charged for alleged sexual offences against children… Continue reading

A person walks past a COVID-19 mural designed by artist Emily May Rose on a rainy day during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, April 12, 2021. Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off the job or coming into work while knowingly sick could warrant discipline in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Risky pandemic behaviour off the clock could mean workplace discipline: lawyers

CALGARY — Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off… Continue reading

Vials containing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 are seen at the San Marino State Hospital, in San Marino, Friday, April 9, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Antonio Calanni
China, Russia using their COVID-19 vaccines to gain political influence

OTTAWA — China and Russia have been using their locally produced COVID-19… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Tuesday, March 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau announces donation to Duke of Edinburgh’s award ahead of funeral

Canada will donate $200,000 to the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award as… Continue reading

Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science) Will Amos responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. The Liberal MP who inadvertently flashed his parliamentary colleagues says the fact that a screenshot of him in the nude was leaked to the media sends a troubling message about the corrosive state of politics in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
Canada’s naked MP speaks out: leaked photo sends message ‘anything goes’ in politics

OTTAWA — The Liberal MP who inadvertently flashed his parliamentary colleagues says… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $10 million jackpot… Continue reading

Opinion: Canada’s self-esteem needs Trump

Well, it was fun while it lasted. For four years, with Donald… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Shenanigans on the links

It must be something about my Scottish heritage but I seem to… Continue reading

Most Read