Hot market enduring impact of oil crash

by Jordan Maxwell24 Jul 2015
 Calgary’s housing market may have slumped along with employment and oil prices but in Lethbridge, activity among buyers and sellers is experiencing brisk growth, one industry vet told REP.

”While Edmonton and Calgary’s housing market have had its share of challenges with oil and its economy, Lethbridge is remaining popular among investors and people from Calgary because the prices are more affordable and there are opportunities to make solid returns,” Clark Paul, a real estate agent from the southern city told REP.

“As for the oil crash, we haven’t suffered here in Lethbridge because we don’t have the amount of rigs and people per capita working in the field so there’s a lot more balance here.”

His comments certainly reign true as Lethbridge has reported a record increase month after month over the last several months. The same can’t be said about a city like Calgary which, according to CREA, recorded the smallest gain year-over-year in prices since 2011. 

Paul refers to the market as ideal for buyers and sellers and are seeing demand from people in Calgary and even provinces like B.C. and Saskatchewan. Agriculture is one of the city’s biggest markets so the lifestyle resonates with those looking for the quiet life.

With employment and significant population growth, agents are capitalizing and convincing potential buyers that it’s a solid market for them, especially investors with interest rates at an all-time low.

Over the first half of the year, members of the local real estate board completed 1,313 residential sales, averaging $269,391. The average resale value has increased to $277,000 compared with $240,000 by the end of June in 2014.

The agent’s comment come as the number of homes sold increased 6.7 per cent this year while the average sale price is 4.3 per cent higher than a year ago.

According to Paul, MLS sales of Lethbridge-area homes passed $353 million by the end of June, up 11.2 per cent from a year earlier.

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