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Summer Moves

After a long period of disconnect between supply and demand, Airdrie’s detached housing sector is finally in balanced territory. As I’ve said before, real estate is similar to a roller coaster; there are ups and downs.

Demand in the Airdrie market has remained fairly robust relative to longer-term averages but significant increases in the amount of sales for single family homes below $425,000 has really been the catalyst for the first quarter of 2017.

The most recent repetitive question I’ve been asked by clients, family and friends is, Have we seen the bottom? I believe we have seen the bottom and we should expect a very moderate incline in sales activity throughout the remainder of 2017.

Recently I’ve noticed that properties priced correctly and presented like “showhomes” are flying off the shelves and in some cases seeing multiple offers in only a few days of being on the active market. This might go to show you that going the extra mile with touch-ups when getting your place ready to hit the market pays off.

Historically it is very typical for inventory levels to climb in the spring market. The local builders scaled back Airdrie home starts in 2016 which in turn will help limit the inventory gains in the market this year. It was reported there were almost 30 per cent fewer housing starts from January to October compared to the same period the year prior.

Interest rates for prospective buyers are still very attractive. An April 21, 2017 update on interest rates provides a five-year fixed mortgage best rate of 2.69 per cent and a five-year adjustable of 2.35 per cent, which is still quite appealing for the Airdrie homebuyer or investor.

Unfortunately, the market conditions are quite different in the apartment sector. The current inventory levels are very high and not flattering to an optimistic seller. Apartment sales were at the lowest Q1 level since 2009.

Any sign of continued recovery in the energy sector could result in a faster rebound in housing demand, as homebuyers may start to realize rock bottom has come and gone. In addition, the weather plays a role with getting buyers out and actively looking to invest in the local market. So I say bring on the sunshine!

My advice is to take advantage of these low rates and “make a move-up” this summer. If we remain optimistic about investing in the Airdrie real estate market, our city will continue to be the fastest-growing community in Alberta, ensuring our largest investments hold strong.

Trenton Pittner, Legacy Real Estate Services.

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