By Tom Albrecht | Nov 17, 2019 | Buyers Advice
October 2019 brought with it a most important election. How did the political atmosphere affect Fort McMurray's housing market last month? A-Team leader (and economist) Tom Albrecht analyzes the month's stats.
In a nutshell, April of this year was a very busy month, but the summer, in general, did not do well for sales so it was bad for sellers but good for buyers because you have less competition. The A-Team tries to look at things as analytically as possible and we don’t tend to bias or favour sellers over buyers, etc when we’re giving information - just numbers. Sales were high in April, but low in summer, however this period from August until the end of October it got a little busier. On average, there were about 100 transactions a month over this three-month period. If you looked at the last four years, typically the market has been generating about 85 sales per month, so that’s been up a little bit.
New listings are running around 160/month which is down quite considerably compared to the five-year average, which is more like 200/month during this part of the year. Days-on-market for the market as a whole is up. The median listing’s days-on-market is about 75 days if it sells. Since the A-Team results are a lot better than this, last time I checked, the listing agents had a success rate of over 75%, more like 82%, so our listings sold quicker than the market as a whole. You can talk to those guys about that, feel free to reach out to us!
What about the elections? What’s going on there? I think there was a decent subset of buyers who were probably holding off to see who won the election. They were probably telling themselves if it was one result they might not buy, if it was another result they might buy. But what’s actually happened is that, in the last week, so since the election, even though it was the result that would cause them not to buy, a lot of those potential buyers have come and said “hey, I’m ready to buy.” I have a Masters in Economics and I’ve always been really interested by economics - economics happens at the kitchen table which is where the decisions are made. I never really fully understood until this week what economists mean when they say “markets don’t like uncertainty” and I think that is exactly what happened. There was uncertainty, now there’s certainty, and it might not be the news that a lot of people were looking for, but it’s certainty nonetheless and so people have come out of the woodwork and have started purchasing, so that has been kind of interesting. The listings that are going pending right now, those sales will not follow through until November, so it will be really interesting to see how this November’s sales do compared to last year’s, for example. I am willing to bet there will be more transactions.
Prices have been falling, in the higher price ranges they have actually been falling pretty steadily, probably around $5000 a month for your more expensive homes. And, of course, even homes with condo fees over $250,000 (apartments, townhomes) have still been eroding as well. But I do think the base is in for a lot of the more entry-level properties - homes without condo fees under $500,000. It appears that the base is in, we are not seeing too many price decreases.
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