Fort McMurray Housing Market: January 2020 Update

By Tom Albrecht | Feb 08, 2020 | Fort McMurray - Market Analysis

*Since this VLOG was posted, we've written a long-form blog. Check it out for more detailed information on this topic!*

A-Team leader Tom Albrecht takes a look at the market after the first month of 2020, and gives us a bit of an insight on inventory and market shift.


Hey there! It's Tom Albrecht here with The A-Team RE/MAX® Fort McMurray. It is Tuesday, February the 5th, 2020. If this is the first video you've seen, you might want to check out our Housing Market December 2019 Update. To get a bit of a background, it might also be useful to check out our latest blog that talks about whether the Fort McMurray Market rebounds in 2020.

So, essentially the themes we talked about last month are ongoing. There are fewer new listings this year than this time last year. Sales are also up 25% this January vs. last January. All of this has led to a shortage of inventory in several price ranges. At this time, it is especially difficult to find quality houses under $600k. We've got about three months of inventory in those price ranges, which would be anything under $600k. Technically, this would be considered a seller's market because you need about five months of inventory for markets to hold their prices. It is possible we'll see some price appreciation; we are seeing some properties change hands for more than they would have in December 2019. This would most likely be due to the fact that buyers are having a tough time (in those prices ranges) finding homes that are of decent quality, well priced, and with no condo fees. If you are a buyer thinking about purchasing a home, we do have specialist buyer's agents who optimize in finding that perfect home for you. So do reach out to us whenever you want!

Due to this shortage of inventory, this will probably lead to people willing to pay a little bit more for homes that they really want to purchase. We are definitely at a turning point for the market. We've got more confidence for a number of different reasons, which you can read in the news. 600k-$800k has been a very quiet price range up until recently because it has been busier. We have got about 6-7 months of inventory, so now it seems likely that prices will hold. Above $800k is where my confidence level seems to stop. The other big news is the insurance issues that condominium properties have been facing. There is now public awareness about these (as REALTORS® we started hearing about them last summer). So there has been a continued shift away from properties with condo fees. There is a lot of supply for anything with condo fees right now, so we are still very much a buyer's market for those types of properties.

It is definitely a very mixed picture. If I was purchasing or selling a property here in Fort McMurray, I would definitely want to associate myself with someone who is very knowledgeable about the market. All of the agents on our team do know what they're doing, and we meet regularly to talk about the market. We have a statistic-led approach to how we do our business. This year, we have helped approximately 1 person/day buy or sell a property and our numbers speak for themselves.

We know what we're doing, we price lots of houses as we're methodical professionals. We definitely think there's an opportunity for sellers to sell their houses for a little bit more than what they could at the end of last year, so that's good news! As for buyer clients, it's a bit of a conundrum as to what to do at this point. We advise to gaining some insight by having deep discussions with your REALTORS® and reach us at any time to book a free consultation. We are here to serve you because it's what we do. Thank you very much and have a great day.

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Tom Albrecht founded The A-Team with his wife, Breanna. He holds a Masters in Economics for Developing Countries from The University of Oxford. Tom is licensed at RE/MAX First, and is a specialist buyer's agent in Alberta - specifically, Calgary, Fort McMurray, Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks & Chestermere. He was rated #1 Calgary agent in 2022 & 2023 by