Despite high home prices, Alberta sales activity rises in third quarter

Monday, December 16, 2013

home-for-saleBuying and selling behavior in Alberta's real estate market was robust in the penultimate quarter of 2013, according to the latest data released by the economic research division of the Royal Bank of Canada.

Craig Wright, senior vice president and chief economist at RBC, indicated that the Western Canadian province was in strong territory heading into the third quarter, thanks to its rising population and strong economy, which provided the fuel the sector needed to take off.

"Third quarter home resales increased by 7.8 per cent from the second quarter, the fastest pace in nearly three years," said Wright. "The province's unrelenting economic boom bodes well for continued solid housing market conditions next year."

What was particularly notable about the period between August and September was the pace of sales despite the province's largest city being known for having expensive listing prices on for-sale homes. But what helped offset those steeper costs was the region's low unemployment rate.

"Much like the rest of Alberta, Calgary's hot labor market, increasing population and booming economy are the key factors underpinning housing market activity," said Wright. "The flooding that hit the area at the end of June had very little impact on resales, which clearly demonstrates the market's resilience and continued strength."

In addition to a Calgary home insurance policy, proof of employment and a current credit report are among the details lenders typically need before they can approve a mortgage request.

In most other parts of the country during the third quarter, home prices trended upward, particularly in the most heavily populated province of Ontario. RBC found that home prices rose approximately 1 percent for bungalows, 0.7 percent for two-story homes and two basis points for condominiums.

Whether buying or selling, there are a few basic rules of operation in the real estate market. The following tips may provide some clarity on the topic for those who are new to home owning or selling:

  • Don't hire the first real estate agent you meet. It's likely that you'll want to begin the buying or selling process right away, eager to get things going quickly so that the next phase of life can begin. However, by selecting the first salesperson you come into contact with, you may be severely limiting your ability to see what the market has available. Meet with several agents before coming to a conclusion on one agent, asking for any documentation that corroborates their professionalism or testimonials from former clients.
  • Be sure to dot all your i's and cross all your t's. When selling, it's easy to look over crucial selling points that needed to be taken care of before putting a home up for sale, such as having a professional inspection done or getting it appraised. Meanwhile, buyers can be hasty about buying a property if they're particularly pleased with one component of the residence. Always go into any buying or selling deal having already completed research. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation's website has a lot of data on all the steps involved in buying and selling a home.
  • Make sure everything is in writing. There are a lot of papers to sign in the real estate process, so much so that the litany of agreements may seem unnecessary or superfluous. Resist the temptation and avoid verbal endorsements. Anything that requires two parties consent should be put in writing so that there's traceable evidence regarding the nature of an agreement if an issue arises.