Alberta has been hit hard over the last few years with the dramatic decrease in the price of oil. Even though many have lost their jobs, companies have scaled back on projects, and consumers have been very cautious, the housing market seems to be ready for a bit of stability. The Edmonton Journal recently reported that the expectation for housing prices in 2018 is set to decline by 1.5%. Comparable sources commented similarly on the Calgary market as well, which means a slight decrease in prices is expected for the majority of the real estate markets in the province.
Given this tidbit of information, it is a fantastic time for anyone looking to purchase a home! The economic cycle will always continue to rotate between a buyers' market and sellers' market. Currently, buyers are in favour this season! The Alberta economy has definitely stabilized, but the labour market needs to see significant growth before it can flip back to a sellers' market again.
Advice For Buyers in Alberta
As a buyer you have the upper hand when you are negotiating your next home purchase in the current Alberta housing market. You will be able to get more for your money in this type of marketplace. You can take a bit more time to find that perfect home. However, if a property is priced to sell there's still a chance of someone else purchasing it before you have a chance to snap it up. It is also still a good idea to have all your financing with a pre-approval amount to spend in place before you start shopping.
The condo market has been one of the hardest hit over the years, but also presents you with a good investment opportunity. Condos are great for renting out as they are maintenance-free, with the only concern being the interior of the unit itself. However, keep in mind that in a recent article in The Globe And Mail it states that 45% of all empty housing units in Alberta are apartment condos. If you go to sell your condo in a similar downturn Alberta market in the future, you may be in a similar position that many sellers are in right now.
Advice For Sellers in Alberta
The market may be on a downturn for 2018 but the decrease is only 1.5%, which essentially has houses pretty much holding their value. The key to selling in a slower market is to listen very carefully to the real estate agent's advice. The value of your home is not what you think it is worth, but what the market dictates. Do your research first and price your home according to the market. Some other tips to keep in mind in a sellers' market include:
- Declutter all rooms and store excess possessions off-site
- Keep the home light, bright, and airy
- Review the real estate agents marketing plan and set realistic expectations for the sale
- Stage the property appropriately and remove personal effects so the buyer can image themselves in the home
No matter how savvy a buyer is, many of them still tend to purchase a home with emotion. Set the scene and keep it clean! That is your biggest job as a seller. It may be stressful to keep the house in tip top shape, but in a buyers' market, you'll have to keep this up until the property is sold. Your efforts will be rewarded and your home will sell faster than if you don't do any of these recommended steps.