“Some of the agents who did it part-time will drop out,” Duane Ritter, an agent with RE/MAX in Edmonton, told REP. “I can see it happening [on a larger scale], especially in the smaller towns that have been really hit.”
Many markets in Alberta have struggled for the past two years, with the oil industry – which the province has so heavily relied on as the major driver of its economy – suffering a downturn.
Overall sales across the province fell by 9.4% year-over-year in May. The markets that suffered the most were Grande Prairie (-40.1%). Lloydminster (-24.7%), and Alberta West (-19.2%).
And a drop in sales means fewer deals for agents.
“A good indication of whether or not agents are leaving the industry is in advertising costs,” Ritter said, noting he has seen fewer advertisements in local publications being taken out by agents.
According to Ritter, agents paid their CREA and AREA dues recently and most are paid up until the end of the year.
However, once they are due again, a culling may take place, as many agents may choose to exit the industry. Another deadline that could lead to a few agents opting out is also approaching, with RECA renewal due in late September.
As for the overall economy which, of course, impacts the housing industry, Ritter argues the lowest point is yet to come.
“I think the lowest point will be the fall,” he said. “If we don’t have an oil bounce back, fall will be the lowest point.”
The moment of truth is soon approaching, according to one veteran agent, who thinks many Alberta-based agents may soon leave the industry.