How is the Real Estate Market in Canmore doing in March 2015?

How is the Real Estate Market in Canmore doing?

A lot of people have been asking me this question since the beginning of the year. Obviously the dropping oil prices have created a lot of uncertainty in a market which is strongly influenced by buyers from Alberta. 2013 and 2014 were two strong years for Real Estate in Canmore with ongoing price increases and between 450 – 500 sales every year. But how about 2015?

While Jan 2014 saw 25 closings, Jan 2015 saw only 13 closings which is about 50%

While Feb 2014 saw 35 closings, Feb 2015 saw 25 closings which is about 70%

March 2014 has seen 52 closings. To date (16.03.2015) we have 13 unconditional properties and 14 conditional sales. Considering that we still have another two weeks, we might still catch up with the numbers of 2014. 

At the end of January the Bank of Canada surprisingly decreased interest rates which in consequence made mortgages more affordable.

So what is happening?

The drop in oil price did have a significant influence. A lot of potential buyers have been sitting on the fence, waiting to see how prices would develop in this market. However – although we have had less sales in January and February this year, we have not seen prices decrease and the number of active listings in Canmore is still only around the 220 mark.  Real estate associates are educating buyers that any abrupt price decreases seem unlikely and sales slowly seem to approach the numbers of 2014 again.

My conclusion:

With oil prices rather stable now and out of the main focus of the media, with the influence of cheaper mortgages and the understanding that prices in Canmore are not decreasing in the short run, we are starting to see buyers’ interest and activity come back.

We have in the past had lots of buyers from the US. This had stopped when we saw the housing market crash in the US in 2007. There is a chance that a strong US Dollar (1 $US = 1.28 $CD) together with a relatively strong American economy might also bring investors from the US back to Canmore.  

Real Estate more than any other market depends on consumer confidence which is influenced by lots of factors – not only oil prices. The unique characteristics of Canmore also add additional value and therefore a certain price stability to this particular market place.

I see the market move from a sellers’ market towards a balanced market with less or no price increase. I do not foresee any abrupt changes or even a crash in the market unless over the next few month we face a dramatic worsening of the economic situation in Canada and especially Alberta.