January 2015 home sales much lower than 2014 (-29%). February 2015 sales climbed closer to February 2014 numbers (-11%). Now, the third month of 2015, with so many people waiting for the sky to fall, March 2015 sales numbers are only 2% lower than March 2014.
What’s going on? Wasn’t everyone in Central Alberta not going to be able to buy property with oil prices low? Hmmmm… it looks like there is still some confidence with our economy and the real estate market in Red Deer and Central Alberta. Of course the oil prices have had some effect on the real estate market but there are some industries benefiting from it. (see this article by Myke Thomas in the Calgary Sun March 28th, 2014, where he quotes ATB economist Todd Hirsch)
“Alberta’s second, third and fourth largest industries — forestry, agriculture and tourism — are all probably set to have record-setting years in 2015,” he said. “They all do really well with low fuel prices and they really benefit from a 79- or 80-cent Canadian dollar and, particularly in the case of forestry, they benefit from the availability of labour that they compete for with oil and gas.
“In 2015, those forestry producers in northwestern Alberta are going to see some nice, juicy resumes coming through the door. Lumber panel board prices are close to record highs, the U.S. housing market is surging back (so) all the planets are aligning in the right way for forestry in2015.”
Working as a Realtor® in Central Alberta with Century 21 Advantage I watch closely what’s going on with our market. For example; I think the low sales numbers we witnessed in January and February weren’t low only because of people’s “low oil caution” but because we also had a lower number of properties available for sale. Inventory numbers were low in January and February but there were still a lot of buyers looking with interest rates low. Now as inventory numbers increases we see sales numbers normalize somewhat.