Sounding the alarm for certain landlords

Last year was a tough one for the real estate market in Alberta, and uncertain will prevail – at least for the time being – meaning investors may want to hold off on making any major purchases.

“We really are just starting to see the effects and have no idea how long this is going to last,” Duane Ritter, an agent with RE/MAX, told CREW. “We are just starting to see the ramifications of the oil change and layoffs, I believe in next couple months will be a better indicator of where we are and how long we (will be in this situation).”

Alberta home sales fell 21.3% year-over-year, according to CREA’s most recently released statistics. Of the 10 major markets tracked by the association, nine posted sales declines; all except Lethbridge, which posted a 4.5% increase.

And while price declines weren’t as drastic, many are already forecasting further drops in 2016.

Overall, average home prices fell 1.9% year-to-date in December; those declines were led by Fort McMurray, which posted a 6.2% average price decline.

Dollar volume was also down.

Overall, volume was down 22.8%. Again, that drop was led by Fort Mac, which posted a 47% volume decrease.

As for how 2016 will fare, it’s anybody’s guess at this point.

According to CREB, Alberta’s economy will remain weak in 2016 with oil prices expected to remain below $45 U.S. per barrel.

It also forecasts housing demand will be weak; sales activity is expected to fall by 2.2% below 2015 levels to 18,416 units.

The average price is expected to decline by 3.44% to $438,652.

“It's going to be interesting and not pretty,” Ritter said.
 

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