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.”



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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

 

Just Posted

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is cancelling his planned trip to… Continue reading

Town of Ponoka facing lawsuit from pair of local residents

Ponoka town council members and administration have been served with a lawsuit… Continue reading

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

TYENDINAGA, Ont. — Hours of talks between the federal government and representatives… Continue reading

Red Deer County investing in fibre optics

County investing $7 million over two years to improve Internet connections

Fashion Fridays: Apple body types: What you need to know

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 6 A Perogie Supper is being held Thursday, Feb. 6 from… Continue reading

Woman loses 50 pairs of shoes after boyfriend accidentally donates them to thrift store

Cassandra Converse can’t wait to go shoe shopping. Last month, Converse’s boyfriend… Continue reading

RDC Queens fall in double OT to MacEwan University Griffins

Griffins 4 Queens 3 (2OT) The RDC Queens managed to salvage a… Continue reading

Trump takes Daytona 500 warmup lap in presidential limousine

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump gave an election-year embrace to… Continue reading

Canada expected to support heavy fuel ban in Arctic despite costs to northerners

The federal government is expected to support international measures that would reduce… Continue reading

Nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

OTTAWA — The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions is warning that the… Continue reading

‘Sonic’ speeds to $57M debut; ‘Parasite’ sees big Oscar bump

NEW YORK — The redesigned “Sonic the Hedgehog” showed plenty of teeth… Continue reading

Justin Timberlake on ‘trauma’ of being pelted with bottles at SARS concert

TORONTO — Justin Timberlake is still haunted by being pelted with what… Continue reading

Most Read