Real Estate

TrentPitner

Recession is a term misused in our vocabulary. I am asked almost daily by clients, family and friends what I think about the future of Airdrie’s real estate market.

I’ve had the opportunity to watch Airdrie develop into the family-friendly community that it is today. As a father, I am pleased to see how Airdrie has evolved into a safe place for our children to grow up and prosper. I continue to promote the message that Airdrie is a great place to live and invest.

Airdrie’s housing market is very robust. With the community’s continued population growth, residential construction is the city’s top business sector. Growth in residential permits and construction values remains strong. In addition to lifestyle choices, consumer demand for detached homes in Airdrie will continue to be fueled by the sector’s relative affordability and selection – particularly in lower price ranges. The $450,000-and-lower price range has been very active in the first quarter of 2015 and I suspect this will continue into the summer market. That said, sellers in the higher price ranges may have to sharpen their pencils with their asking prices in order to sell in the near future.

The MLS sales-to-listing ratio is a leading indicator for resale house prices. The indicator is trending downward, signalling that the average price for resale houses has reached a period peak and will decline moderately in coming periods. The sales-to-listing ratio is a reasonable proxy for the supply/demand balance in the resale market. A fall in the ratio indicates that listings are growing relative to sales. If this pattern holds, house prices should decline slightly in the coming periods. Some of the decline will come from fewer higher priced sales. I anticipate a small market correction this year and for the overall Airdrie market to be stable.

Airdrie faces a similar market headwind as Calgary, specifically in the amount of homes for sale. Inventory more than doubled to 368 in February, a 164.75 per cent increase from last year, while new listings were up 55.4 per cent. Although the inventory levels are continuing to climb, interest rates for prospective buyers are still very attractive. An April 13, 2015 update on interest rates provides a five-year best rate of 2.54 per cent, which is quite appealing for the Airdrie home buyer!

My advice is to take advantage of these low rates and make a move in 2015. If we remain optimistic about investing into the Airdrie real estate market, our city will continue to be the fastest-growing community in Alberta, ensuring that our largest investments hold strong!

Trenton Pittner, Trentshomes, Legacy Real Estate Services

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