“Where we could start seeing a real increase [in foreclosures] is in the luxury market,” said Duane Ritter, an agent with ReMax in Edmonton
“We’re also seeing an increase in Calgary
but they’ve been relatively mild given that prices are starting to stabilize and there hasn’t been too much panic in the market.”
Residential properties in Alberta are staying out of foreclosure for the most part as many cities reported declines, according to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. The numbers and comments reflect a much different picture from a year ago.
Across the province, 453 homeowners are currently in the foreclosure process. Edmonton
reported the highest number of foreclosures at 181, which was down from 215 in the first quarter of 2014.
Meanwhile in Fort McMurray
, numbers remained fairly steady, representing a small fraction of sales in the market.
The total distressed sales equate to about 0.03 per cent of the current 5,400 listings on the Calgary Real Estate Board, which falls parallel to national mortgage defaults reported by the CMHC.
But recent numbers from the Calgary Real Estate Board point to a struggle in the luxury market with many homes listings for months at a time, some featuring price cuts of more than $500,000.
While the market for higher-priced homes is still facing lingering uncertainty among energy workers, Ritter is optimistic that the numbers will continue to stay steady as opportunity for investors remain.
“There could be some increases in foreclosures in smaller towns, but for the most part people remain steady," added Ritter. "This downturn is different from many others because people seem to be calm, even with the NDP government in power.”
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Investors waiting in the wings for foreclosure properties might have a harder time as the number of those distressed sales dropped in the first quarter – but, according to an industry vet, opportunities are still there.