There are the market fundamentals and then there are headlines. In today’s 24/7, always-on world, most pay attention to the headlines more than the fundamentals. This is understandable given most people are not knee-deep in economics or even real estate figures for all of their waking hours (like some of us 😉 )
Today’s real estate fundamentals in Alberta are certainly cause for concern. Employment levels are down accross much of the province due to low oil, and buyer confidence is shaky at best. The recent wildfires in Fort McMurray will also put a significant dent in both provincial and national GDP.
However, the Lethbridge economy does not share these ‘headline’ fundamentals with the rest of Alberta.
Total building permits, year over year, are up. Employment is stable (4.0% unemployment in 2015 versus much higher figures across Alberta.) And local GDP, along with population growth, continue on a positive growth trend.* More to the point, the pace of sales on single-family homes remains brisk, with just 4 months’ inventory available overall.
Of course, this does not automatically mean a “seller’s market.”
Supply and demand at the neighbourhood level dictates all. It’s so easy to forget this when headlines are shouting gross generalizations about one market or another.
Prices are in fact softening (overall), year to date. And this may be driven by a number of factors such as intense new-construction activity in certain neighbourhoods, and/or weakening consumer confidence overall (emotion shapes behavior). Moreover, Lethbridge is stable, but it’s not booming.
While we are not immune to the greater economic forces at play in Alberta, we have good reason to stay positive and remain confident in our local economy and our city’s ability to weather any future storm. An excerpt below, from the Economic Development Lethbridge Spring Report, lays out the numbers very clearly. And it really IS a good-news story in Lethbridge.
Before you heed the advice of a headline, research the fundamentals… and of course, schedule a call with me to if you want to understand how this market impacts YOU, in real life, at the street level. It’s your money. And it matters!
Lethbridge – Single Family Homes
- Sales to active listings ratio: 24% (141/581)
- For same month last year: 19% (112/601)
- Average sale price: $310,032
- For same month last year: $304,792
- Average Cumulative Days on Market: 76
- For same month last year: 103
- PENDING sales as of this post date: 51
April 2016, Year-to-Date:
- Total number of sales: 418
- For same period last year: 387
- Average Cumulative Days on Market: 85
- For same period last year: 97
- Average sale price: $298,874 << -1%
- For same period last year: $302,069
City of Lethbridge – Condos
- Sales to active listings ratio: 22% (26/117)
- For same period last year: 15% (18/123)
- Average sale price: $229,912
- For same month last year: $185,979
- Average Cumulative Days on Market: 102
- For same month last year: 107
- PENDING sales as of this post date: 9
April 2016, Year-To-Date:
- Total number of sales: 60
- For same period last year: 67
- Average Cumulative Days on Market: 103
- For same period last year: 104
- Average sale price: $213,502
- For same period last year: $196,598
*Noted figures and the above chart from Lethbridge.ca and Economic Development Lethbridge’s “Economic Trends & Indicators” report, Spring 2016
Lethbridge real estate market data provided by the Lethbridge and District Association of REALTORS® and compiled by Karri Flatla. Information herein deemed reliable but not guaranteed.