Monthly Market Update

Monthly Market Updates – Shooting It To You Straight!

Welcome to our Monthly Market Update where our Realty Aces team provide unfiltered opinions, statistics and insights into the local real estate market.

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February 2024 Market Update

Hi Friends,

 

Last month we talked about how the market was positioned to experience a rise in home prices and that is exactly what is happening. Despite what some other agents and groups are saying, prices are on the rise folks and the buyers who buy in the next 30-45 days will be purchasing at lower prices than those that wait until spring, in my opinion.

But before we dive into the market, I have some BIG NEWS!

I want to introduce to you all a long time friend and new partner with the Realty Aces, Ryan Wood. 

Ryan has been a good pal for years and he has a decade of real estate experience giving him killer instincts, 5-star service that few can match and a wealth of market knowledge that quite frankly just makes our Realty Aces team incredibly powerful! It is also worth mentioning that he wears his heart on his sleeve – his integrity and care for his clients makes him a perfect fit.

We plan to fly the same Realty Aces brand with the ethos of collaboration to utilize each other’s experience and different skill sets to make us a team that not only has the right strategy at our fingertips but also a team that can outperform our competitors! We are competitive by nature and we are always doing whatever it takes to be at our best for our clients, so this was a no brainer move to join forces.

Alright, let’s dig into this market and see what we can expect leading into the spring market. To me it feels like a flashback to a few years ago when agents and buyers were lining up on front lawns to have a chance at viewing and buying properties. We are maybe not quite there yet but that’s where we are heading if we do not see an increase in the supply of listings on the market.

In January prices began to inch up and they’re continuing to rise this month. The leader is homes priced under $600k and for obvious reason as they’re the more affordable options. As the prices for apartments and townhouses continue to aggressively rise, this will put upward pressure on the duplexes and detached homes, inherently pushing those prices up as well! 

Here is an example of what I am experiencing in the market right now. Recently I had a buyer write an offer on an apartment and we saw value in writing an offer $25,000 over list price and we lost to another offer. That is wild that a seller is choosing something better than $25,000 over list price and this is an example of how competitive the market is right now. This is not the case for every property as they all are marketed and priced with different strategies but it’s happening more often than you think. So for anyone who says prices are not in the midst of rising, well they’re dead wrong. 

Yes, interest rates are higher than recent years but so is the rental rate. The cost to rent a home right now is wild  (just go look on rentfaster.ca if your’e curious to see what homes are renting for!) and rents are also projected to rise further in 2024, pushing more renters to buy a home and begin gaining equity. Also, if/when we see the interest rate drop in 2024, this will fuel the market even further.

It is truly a housing crisis – there are not enough homes for the amount of people migrating to Alberta, Canada, our local market etc. We need more homes and this supply of homes will take time!

I have been speaking with multiple local home builders and most have confirmed that they’re raising prices. This is a clear indicator of where the market is going. The large demand we have for homes right now is astounding. I mean maybe I shouldn’t be surprised anymore but I truly thought we would’ve balanced out by now. However, prices will rise again in 2024.

Different projections from third party resources seem to be saying between 5-10% increases in prices for most home types for 2024. I think this is modest considering the low level of supply of homes that we have right now, especially for the more affordable segment of the market that will see major gains in 2024.

I predict that nearly all homes that are fairly priced are going to be in a multiple offer situation and selling above list price. Pricing your property correctly is critical to ensure you capture the growth we are about to experience. It’s not as simple as just listing the property – the right strategy and execution is the ticket to selling for top dollar and selling very quickly. 

Therefore, we know that the market and home prices are on the rise. The stats below for the analytical folks will display the seller’s market we are experiencing.

If you’re thinking about selling this spring and you want top dollar then you have to take the right steps. Understanding the market and your true competition is key to ensuring you squeeze every dollar out of your property. This means preparing the home to show at its best and having a strategic marketing plan in place to capture as many buyers as possible. Marketing and preparation is the key ingredient for success in this market for sellers.

For buyers, if you can buy now before prices rise then do it. If you have to wait then you should be preparing for battle and this means having your finances figured out with a pre-approval and also beginning to dial in your target property type/needs and your desired community now. This way when it’s time to act you have done your homework and you’re ready to succeed. This is where we can help, it’s never too early for us to get you prepared!

January was a great start to 2024 for us and we are grateful for the support we have amongst our community and our clients. As mentioned many times, our success depends on your support – you are the best! We love being your go to real estate professionals to answer your questions and advise when needed.

Have an awesome February everyone and if you’re thinking about making some real estate moves this spring then buckle up for a wild ride!

Cheers,

Your Local. Realty. Aces

January 2024 Market Update

Hi Friends,
Surprise surprise – the market is still flooded with buyers and prices will likely rise, again!

I purposely wanted to wait a few weeks into January before sending this newsletter so I could watch how the market shapes up for the beginning of 2024 and to see if we can expect any major shifts in Q1.

And I say with absolute confidence that it will remain a seller’s market and we can expect home prices to rise in Q1 and probably Q2 of 2024. If you’ve been reading previous newsletters then you’re well aware of the housing shortage we are dealing with, or rather the “housing crisis” as I have previously named it in our local market. The demand of buyers FAR OUTWEIGHS the supply of homes available and furthermore, when you factor in our continued record breaking net migration to Alberta, you have the perfect storm to see prices rise in 2024.

How much can we expect prices to rise in 2024?

The honest answer is that I do not know and in fact, nobody does. It is pure speculation and if someone gives you a number and says it is a sure thing then they’re full of you know what. None of us have a crystal ball, however, what I can tell you is that when I see numbers like what you’ll see below with demand far outweighing our supply of homes, it is simple economics that we are going to see prices rise. There is no way to determine by how much because it truly depends on how many sellers list their homes in the next few months, and the supply level of properties we are then inherently dealt. IF we see enough properties listed then perhaps we can balance out the market by mid-2024, however, this is going to take a considerable amount of time and is likely a long shot.

Also, IF we see interest rates fall throughout 2024, then this will add fuel to demand by putting even MORE BUYERS back into the market.

Let’s switch it up this month….instead of ranting about how I have in previous months about topics such as migration, interest rates, the amount of buyers in the market and how prices are going to rise, I want to shift focus to why most real estate agents fail in the first year and why very few agents make it past the 5 year mark. Isn’t it crazy that no one talks about this?

Let’s talk about the influx of new agents who have entered the industry in the past few years and all the agent social media stars you see out there.

You may or may not know this but the truth about real estate agents is that the barrier to entry into the industry is very easy. What I mean by this is that the licensing process/ education component isn’t too costly, it doesn’t take too long to complete and the requirements to gain entry into the program are low, in my opinion. The Calgary Real Estate board which governs Realtors in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane and surrounding areas is a machine that pumps out new agents weekly. The real estate board is a business and their mandate is of course to make money, therefore, they are licensing new agents weekly and collecting fees despite most of the agents will not last long in the industry.

I tell you this not because they’re doing anything wrong but because it’s very confusing to the consumer on who to choose with so many choices. Also, it’s disheartening to watch all these hard working bright eyed new agents enter the industry, just to quickly fail and leave with a bad taste.

So how do you choose a professional real estate agent with so many agent options?

It’s simple, choose someone who has skills. Do not choose someone based on social media or their perceived image – dig deeper than just that and find an agent who instead of marketing themselves has instead focused on educating themselves to be a leader in the industry. 

It doesn’t matter if they’re a new agent or a veteran agent, choose someone who truly understands the market, they understand data, they know how to market a listing properly,  the have killer instincts when assisting buyers, they have processes, technology, they’re highly motivated, they possess strategies that suit your needs and they’re honest!

I always tell my clients that I believe 95% of the business in our industry is done by 5% of agents. So find someone in the 5% because they’re going to provide the smoothest process and best results. And to be clear, any new agent can get into that 5% in the first 1-2 years in the industry, if they focus on their skills. I did and I am not a genius and I watch others do it all the time.

A buyer or seller is going to hire someone (or should) based on their skillset. We are talking about major assets (sometimes people’s largest investment/ nest egg) so why leave it to someone who isn’t skilled? Would you give your investments to a financial advisor who isn’t skilled? Why would this be different?

The agents who have had (or who are going to have) a LONG successful career are the agents who are skilled, honest, transparent, high integrity and they truly care about helping out their clients.

I always tell my clients that I am not sales driven, or driven by commission. Of course this is how I get paid but instead of counting the pay cheques I focus on how I can help as many families as possible with the highest level of skills and in return the organic referrals and reviews I will receive will create an influx of business.

Like any business, a referral business is the best route to longevity and much easier to run to have a healthy balance sheet to run a tight business.

I am not a social media star and nor do I care to become one (I actually really treasure my privacy which is incredibly hard to do as a Realtor), and I do not judge any other industry member who is a social media star, everyone can run their business however they like and I respect that.  I will continue building my business based on skills, results, reviews and referrals and I hope that other colleagues will do the same.

Lastly, I want to give credit to a colleague named Ted who has had an incredible career in real estate. When I entered the industry years ago I hired Ted as a coach and he taught me that skills pay the bills. There is no secret marketing trick, it’s simply having the highest level of skills possible. He taught me how to become more skilled than my competition and in return I rose to the top naturally because consumers want skills. So Ted, thanks buddy!

I hope everyone is off to a great start in 2024. Obviously this weather is brutal right now but in true Alberta fashion it will be completely different by next week. Stay warm everyone and please reach out anytime with your real estate questions.

Cheers,

Justin & Your Local Realty Aces

December 2023 Market Update

Hi Friends,

 

2023 has been another whopper of a year for our real estate market! Whether you’re on the sidelines watching or you transacted then you’ll know the market came with its share of challenges and triumphs.

Migration continues to feed our market while interest rates have become a thorn in the side of buyers and also homeowners looking to refinance. And there is no guarantee that interest rates will begin to fall in 2024, only speculation, so in my opinion we should assume the status quo as there is no certainty with interest rates.

In summary of market stats, all of our markets had significant gains as below:

Calgary: Year-to-date, the average benchmark price has risen by over five per cent.

Airdrie: Year-to-date price gains have been the highest in the apartment sector at 17 per cent, with detached and semi-detached prices rising by nearly six per cent.

Cochrane: On average, year-to-date benchmark prices have increased across all property types, with the most significant gains occurring in the apartment condominium sector at over seven per cent.

What should we expect in 2024?

In my opinion, our market will heat up in Jan/Feb 2024 and IF migration to Alberta continues at a similar pace that we experienced in the past few years, then we will see further gains.

I do not foresee the market and home prices declining in the first quarter of 2024 and I do believe that we are primed for a sizzler of a spring market. There is simply too much pent up demand for our housing right now and it will take more time for it to level out. Perhaps it does in 2024, however, do not expect it to happen in the first quarter as we have too many buyers eager to get into the market.

I was reading this article this morning in Real Estate Magazine and we are truly dealing with an influx of population growth and our market is booming because of it. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“The country’s population saw an average annual growth of 553,568 between 2018 and 2022. In contrast, only an average of 205,762 new homes were constructed each of those years. This has created a 50-year high gap between the two figures, as per the Fraser Institute’s research.”

A 50 year high gap, wow! It’s going to take time for the housing market to level out in order for us to have enough homes for everyone. Until then, buckle up folks!

Of course interest rates and foreclosures will play a major role as well in 2024. Unfortunately many homeowners will be forced to sell if they do not qualify at the new interest rates and cannot afford their home any longer. This will be a bit of a storm and disheartening to see homeowners forced to trade down in the market to something more affordable (or the rental market). This will inherently continue to fuel our resale market, especially the lower priced segment that is already experiencing hyper growth and demand due to the large pool of buyers chomping at the bit.

In summary, 2023 was an awesome year for our market gaining further strength and putting a substantial amount of equity into homeowners pockets.

2024 will be a much different market, maybe not right away but by spring I do expect us to see a new market as we do every year, with different home types and price points out performing others that didn’t in 2023. As the lower priced housing market pushes upwards, this pressure is going to push the higher priced housing options up as well. For example, while we had apartments and townhomes make larger gains in 2023, let’s watch the result of this upwards pressure on higher priced detached homes come spring 2024. Couple this with a speculative interest rate drop(s) and continued migration rates and boom we will have a frenzy on our hands – again there is no guarantee of lower rates.

As mentioned last month, our real estate market is seasonal. As you will see below the amount of active buyers and showings decreases in mid-Dec for the holiday season and then typically jumps up again in January. So if you’re seeing less listings online or listings sitting for a bit longer, then there is a good chance that it’s just seasonal.

Thanks to everyone for the continued support year over year. Every year has been completely different for us as the market is constantly changing and we appreciate everyone for sticking by our side as we shift with the market. Without your support our dreams of being top agents serving our community year after year wouldn’t be possible.

I hope everyone is looking forward to a great holiday season with friends and family. It’s a special time of year and I hope that you and your family enjoy every moment of it.

All the best to you all in 2024!

Cheers,

Justin & your Local.Realty.Aces

 

November 2023 Market Update

Hi Friends,
Our real estate market is still leading the way as the hottest market amongst major Canadian markets in and in my opinion, we will continue to do so in the next quarter! And, here is why.

Before we jump into the market update, most of you have likely noticed that we’ve upgraded our team name and brand to the Realty Aces at Grassroots Realty Group. For years we were the JW Realty Team and we decided that we wanted a more suitable name that represented us and that was more than a few initials.

Also believe it or not we had people over the years mistake the JW in our name as “Jehovah Witness”, therefore we felt that the best time to make an adjustment was now during a seasonally slower market. Also, we think it looks pretty darn cool and we plan to be a household name  in your community, if we aren’t already. Local. Realty. Aces 

Are you getting sick of me talking about the amount of people migrating to Alberta yet?

I will keep this comment simple, we are experiencing the largest mass migration to Alberta that we have experienced in my lifetime and likely yours as well.

Here is a chart that illustrates why our market is so hot right now:

Many of these new Albertans are leaving the BC and Ontario markets because we are much more affordable. But how long will this last? 

We “may” be at the tail end of this migration. I personally think we’ll continue to have this mass migration to Alberta throughout 2024 but some key metrics across the country are hinting at a slow down in migration.

Check this out, published yesterday (RealEstateMagazine.ca):

“October marks another month of bad records for Toronto real estate. With sales down 5.8 per cent since the same month last year, the region has posted one of the lowest numbers of October home sales to date. This suppressed sales figure is a clear sign that the Toronto real estate market is in a state of recession.”

If these other markets that are currently feeding our market have prices soften then perhaps buyers will opt to stay or migrate to these other markets. It will take time to see this unfold, but maybe, just maybe this is the beginning of a slower migration period.

On Oct 25th the Bank of Canada announced that they would not make any changes to interest rates, which was a relief for many who are trying to buy into the market, or that have upcoming mortgage renewals. It seems that the general consensus from consumers right now is that they expect interest rates to go down in 2024. There is of course no guarantee that this happens and if it does it may fuel the market for further price increases. However, I would expect that we don’t see major interest rates decreases in the first quarter of 2024, in my opinion.

Foreclosures! I touched on this last month and how many homeowners are up for a mortgage renewal in the near future. Many homeowners will be able to absorb the higher interest rates and higher monthly payments, however, I do expect a major shift towards homeowners being forced to foreclose. I do not expect this to balance out the “sellers market” that we are in, but it will certainly help buyers by providing buyers with more options to choose from.

If you’re in a position of needing to renew your mortgage I suggest working with a great mortgage broker who can coach you into the right solution. There is usually a way to avoid foreclosure if you have a good team helping you!

There are rumblings about how we’re moving into a balanced market, which essentially means there is a balanced amount of buyers and sellers. I call it an equal opportunity market. These rumblings ARE FALSE. In fact, we are far from a balanced market, in my opinion.

Unfortunately, many analysts and other agents mistake our seasonal market for a weaker market which is not factual. It’s simply seasonal, always has been, always will be. People typically do not want to move in Dec and in X-mas season – FACT!

Here is a recent comment from CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie:

Despite some recent improvements in new listings, supply levels remain challenging in our market. It will take some time to see a shift toward more balanced conditions and ultimately more price stability.”

One trend I have noticed over the past quarter is sellers/agents listing properties without a strategic plan in place. The ol’ let’s just get it online and over price it strategy  because the market is hot right? NOPE! We are seeing more and more listings sitting on the market and this is because they’re overpriced and/or marketed poorly.  If you’re ever wondering if a property is actually priced correctly just fire me a text or an email and I would be happy to give you my opinion. I have people message me almost daily saying, “the new price of this listing down the street can’t be correct right?

As mentioned last month and also above, our real estate market is seasonal and this is “The Last Dance of 2023”. As you will see below the amount of active buyers and showings decreases in Nov/Dec and then typically jumps up again in January.

Now, does this mean that now is a bad time to sell? 

It depends! If there are limited options for your home type on the market this may mean you have little to no competition so it’s a great time to take advantage of the market. However, if there is substantial competition then maybe you’re best to wait until that buyer pool increases again in the new year.

If you’re a buyer, you are dealing with incredibly low inventory of homes on the market so if the right one comes up, you should act on it, otherwise you may be waiting a long time before the right one becomes available again. And depending on how long you wait and IF the market continues to climb price wise, you may be kicking yourself for not purchasing at a more affordable price point.

So far 2023 has been another incredible year of assisting our clients to achieve their real estate dreams. We feel incredibly grateful for everyone’s support! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Enjoy this mild November weather folks!

Cheers,

Justin & Your Local. Realty. Aces at Grassroots Realty Group

 

October 2023 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Our local real estate market is incredibly dynamic and it continues to exceed expectations. Are you surprised? Probably not, if you’ve been following our monthly market updates. Much of the comments below are new deeper insights to things such as upcoming foreclosures and migration but many are thoughts reiterated in previous recent newsletters.

Let’s not forget that our market is cyclical and ALSO seasonal, and we are beginning to see this come into play this fall. I believe that our market in general and the home prices will be stable for the remainder of 2023 and in 2024 we will likely see the lower priced segment of the market continue to increase while the luxury portion remains stable with little to no increases.

The lower priced segment such as townhomes are what is affordable to the masses and with higher interest rates and a ridiculously high rental market I predict that this segment, let’s call it properties priced under $500k, will likely continue to climb into 2024. 

Now, it’s interesting what I am experiencing in the higher priced end of the market, there is still positive movement and we are still selling $1M+ homes, however, the supply of homes is increasing while the demand seems to be slowing, according to recent sales data. Which makes sense considering the cost of borrowing money right now is much more difficult.

Also, our market is seasonal! Let’s not forget that our market typically begins to slow down in November (or early December) once winter has set in. This seasonal slow down is not always a long slowdown, such as what we experienced in 2022 when the market skyrocketed in early January. Therefore, we will have a seasonal slow down but it may be as short as 1-2 months and we won’t see this for at least another month. The market in October is strong and will be an opportune time for sellers specifically to capture record high prices before the market goes into a seasonal period of lower sales volume.

Let’s talk about foreclosures and how they will impact the market in 2024! The amount of homeowners with missed mortgage payments is up and rising, some foreclosure lawyers are stating it’s the highest they’ve seen in 15 years! AKA 2007/2008 and we all know what happened then….. Homeowners who are locked into lower fixed rate mortgages are likely to survive with their lower payments, especially if they have 2-5 years of terms left at a lower rate.  However, homeowners who are struggling with higher variable rate mortgages may/will be forced to sell and this will be interesting as it unfolds in 2024 because it will increase the supply of homes entering the market and some believe it may be enough to level out our market and bring this boom to a bust. Time will tell.

In my opinion, the added foreclosures will help service the incredibly high demand of buyers that we are experiencing, but without a slow down in immigration and interprovincial migration, the upcoming foreclosures will not be enough to cool down our market.

As stated by Calgary Real Estate Board Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie in her recent October statement. “Supply has been a challenge in our market as strong inter-provincial migration has elevated housing demand despite higher lending rates.”  

There you have it, the amount of people migrating to our market right now is too high and unless this changes we will not see the market cool anytime soon, even with higher interest rates.

And to further support this point of view, here is a recent article from Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) To achieve housing affordability by 2030, Canada requires an additional 3.5 million homes. This estimation stems from a recent report by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC). Yet, if the trend of welcoming approximately 500,000 new permanent residents each year continues until 2030, the demand is projected to rise to 4 million homes, surpassing the initial 3.5 million estimate.” 

The federal agenda to sustain this level of immigration will continue to fuel our market and until there is a change in the number of new Albertans inter-provincially and internationally, we are in for a strong market with sustained prices in the short term and continued year over year price gains. It is simple supply and demand economics and with a shortage of homes and more people needing homes, the market will remain strong and likely in favour of sellers over buyers.

With 2023 remaining the status quo, as we approach 2024 we will begin to see the true strength of our market or lack thereof.

The past 3 months have been our best quarter EVER in terms of home sales. We are so grateful for our supporters, clients, friends and family as you are the reason we can continue to live our dream of helping as many families as possible achieve their real estate dreams.

My focus outside of real estate is how October is shaping up to be a beauty and we are not always fortunate to have this weather, so get outside and enjoy it with family and friends! Soak in that sun, BBQ (steaks hitting the grill tonight, woo hoo), go for walks and spend time with loved ones outdoors, it’s beautiful out there.

Have a great October everyone!

Cheers,

Justin

September 2023 Market Update

Hi Friends,

As predicted in the last newsletter, our market has continued to climb. Not to sound like a broken record, but we simply have way too many buyers in the market and not enough homes available for these buyers.

Our local market had record sales for August amidst historic low inventory of properties on the market, once again pushing prices higher.

But how is this all possible with higher interest rates?

Supply and demand. The amount of buyers in the market to the amount of  properties available, is incredibly lopsided. Sure, interest rates have eliminated a large chunk of buyers from the market and they will continue to do so, especially as lower interest rate holds expire this fall. This may stabilize our market this fall/ winter during a historically slower real estate sales period, however, if we do not see more balance amongst the supply of homes and demand from buyers by early 2024 then we will likely continue on this upward trend.

I predict our market will be relatively stable for the remainder of 2023, we have most likely seen most major price gains/changes within the marketplace.

2024 will be interesting and I feel strongly that the health of our market will all hinge on Canadian Immigration Policy and Overall Migration to Alberta. We are still affordable compared to most other cities in Canada which is why you are probably in shock every time you check Realtor.ca and see what properties are selling for.

I recently read this excerpt below from the REM Editorial Team (realestatemagazine.ca) regarding a recent report from TD Economics. I feel that this truly paints a picture of what is happening right now and I wanted to share it with you. Immigration to Canada and Migration to Alberta is truly driving our real estate market right now:

The sudden population surge has had a substantial impact on various aspects of Canadian society. One major concern has been the effect on the housing market, exacerbating affordability issues across the country. Even with government efforts to accelerate construction, TD economists estimate that continuing a high-growth immigration strategy would widen the housing shortfall by about a half-million units within just two years.

The increased population has also strained Canada’s healthcare system and infrastructure. The country ranked low in the number of acute care hospital beds per capita, even before the recent population boom. This has necessitated a more balanced approach to infrastructure development, considering not only housing but also medical capacity and social support platforms.

The report’s authors write, “While the right hand has been solving for labour market shortfalls, the left hand has not put in place the appropriate infrastructure to absorb this large influx of people, particularly if the intention is for a continuation on a longer-term basis.”

Our Immigration and Migration is simply out of control right now and it’s creating housing shortfalls country wide and especially in our local market which continues to trend upwards as higher prices and increased buyer competition continues to squeeze local buyers.

What about when current homeowners need to renew mortgages at these higher interest rates?

Option 1: They accept the higher rate and adjust their finances accordingly

Option 2: They’re forced to sell and leave the market

Option 3: They make the choice to sell and downsize to a more affordable choice

As time passes we will certainly see more properties hit the market due to interest rates and it remains to be seen whether or not this added supply of properties to the market can counteract the increased rate of migration that I mentioned above. This could be what balances our market in 2024.

With that macro outlook established, let’s now get micro.

Despite what many articles or people may tell you, our entire market is not as strong as you may think. 

For example, the higher end luxury market above $1m. Although it’s very strong compared to historical sales trends, homes are not selling as quickly as you may believe.

I recently listed and sold a home in the luxury segment and we had 37 showings before we sold. That’s right, 37 showings in 3.5 weeks which is a wild feat in itself for this price point. But the crazy thing was that it took 37 showings to get it sold to the right buyer which tells me that the buyers are out there but with the lack of options they’re still not very active in the above $1M segment because although we had 37 buyers view the property we didn’t see competing listings selling. So it’s not like they were viewing ours and then buying something else – luxury buyers are viewing but they’re not transacting!

I ran numbers on the amount of sales compared to active listings in the luxury segment and it supports this assumption above. Depending on your market area the amount of sales to active listings can be as low as 10-15% in some markets. The luxury market is alive and healthy, however, homes are not selling near as fast as the lower priced segments. AND you still need to prepare the property to show 10/10, market it correctly with a strategy in place on how to execute/manage the listing and price it correctly or you’ll be sitting on the market for a long time.

Similar to last month, the apartment and townhouse markets are driving our market right now. And it makes sense because with higher interest rates, these are what is still affordable. If you’re considering selling an apartment or townhouse then you’re in the driver’s seat right now and you may be surprised what they’re selling for!

We had a great August enjoying family time and also selling a good chunk of real estate. As always we are only successful because of your support and we are incredibly grateful for everyone who continues to refer us out and utilize our services.

Although many of you may be embracing kids being back to school and a new change of pace from summer, September weather looks to be great and let’s be honest, we know it can change very quickly so please get outside and enjoy this while you can. Make plans with family and friends to enjoy a beautiful Sept, just do it! You’ll be happy you did once the snow flies (sorry I mentioned snow).

As always, if you have any questions or comments, we are always happy to chat real estate.

Cheers,

Justin

August 2023 Market Update

Hi Friends,
Buckle up folks because the ride isn’t over yet! Our real estate market just witnessed its strongest July sales on record, mostly due to strong gains and sales in the apartment and townhouse sectors which are arguably our hottest segment right now. The takeaway here is that this is the strongest market we have on record. Rising interest rates are yet to impact sales, especially for lower priced properties which have the highest demand right now. Coupled with strong continued migration numbers our market is still on an upswing and as predicted in the last newsletter it’s breaking records and likely will continue to do so.

How long will this boom last? 

Rising interest rates will make a larger impact by cooling our market but it is unlikely to be a major impact until late 2023 or early 2024. Especially as many buyers have lower interest rates locked in for 1-2 more months and they’re hungry to BUY NOW (and likely can’t afford the rental market right now).

As mentioned in the past, it’s all about supply and demand – we have significantly more Buyers (demand) than we do Sellers (supply) across all market segments and home types. Until this can level out we are experiencing a home crisis as we truly do not have enough homes for everyone right now. Builders can’t build homes fast enough, sellers won’t sell until they’re confident on how they will buy back into the market and then we have thousands of people migrating here looking for homes as well = the perfect storm.

Honourable mention goes to townhouse sales which are absolutely wild right now. I recently listed a townhouse that had 60 showings in 2.5 days and many offers. It sold 20% above list price and the most recent comparable sale in that complex was $55,000 lower! The townhouse market in Calgary, Airdrie and Cochrane has experienced a major gain in prices over the past 45 days and will likely continue the surge in August.

I’ve had many people ask me recently whether this market is sustainable and my answer is no, this is not sustainable long term. 

I do not think the market will stay this hot and I believe that our market is cyclical and prone to the classic “Boom & Bust” economic cycle. However, I do think that these current prices are here to stay in 2023 and likely to remain stable (at minimum) in 2024 unless interest rates in 2024 can make enough of an impact to slow down buyers and out of province migration to Alberta. There will be a bust, however I do not see that bust happening in 2023.

Listing a property in this market and ensuring that you get top dollar requires a rock solid process and a strategy that can be executed well. Every property needs a unique strategy to ensure we get as many buyers as possible in the door, to in return get you the strongest offer. No corners can be cut and I really mean it. Sure the market is the best we’ve ever seen but that also means that you have an opportunity to get the best value for your home and we are loving this opportunity to help our sellers out by ensuring they seize the opportunity! I shake my head when I see a listing come online that is poorly executed and I am not shocked that it receives an average sale price. Getting an average sale price is easy, but right now it’s about getting the best price and being ABOVE AVERAGE! This data then changes the market by pushing up the benchmark price, so you want to be above average right now if you want to beat the market. 

As mentioned in the past few newsletters, BUYERS NEED A PLAN. This means being focused on a specific market, being pre-approved and ready to view homes ASAP and ALSO write offers before the market changes and swallows you up. Yes, it’s a ton of pressure but the only way to beat the other 10 buyers out of your dream property is to be more prepared. We’ve had many smooth buyer transactions over the past month and have also had to lick our wounds a few times when we lost in multiple offers situations – but we always come back stronger. Buyers need to be resilient right now to find the right opportunity because the right property does exist (or will soon), therefore having a strategic plan on how to obtain it is absolutely critical.

July was one of our personal best July’s ever, for the amount of clients we were able to help out. We were very busy selling and buying properties and we are incredibly thankful to the many clients who supported us and trusted in our process! We may be a bit tired and we may have a few new battle scars but we are still as motivated as ever! Especially because as mentioned above, this market will not last forever so we are loving the opportunity to navigate it and to help so many people out.

It looks to be another hot August weather wise and also real estate wise – we are looking forward to it! Have an awesome August everyone and please reach out anytime to chat.

Cheers,
Justin

July 2023 Market Update

Hi Friends,

 

Let the good times roll as our real estate market is continuing to break records!

Last month we saw Calgary detached home prices hit a benchmark high and now Airdrie & Cochrane detached homes have both also hit an all time benchmark high. Simply put – this is a historical market.

The entire market is hot right now but the hottest tickets in town are townhomes and apartments, simply because they’re the most affordable housing segment. With rising interest rates (including another 0.25% hike today by the Bank of Canada) buyers are flocking to get into these lower priced homes while they can. The result of this is a home segment that is experiencing surging prices as buyers compete for them.

As a buyer in today’s market if you’re searching for a home under $500,000 you need to be prepared to be in multiple offers (and above $500,000 too, just not as much) – if the listing is priced correctly it will almost certainly have multiple buyers bidding on it. I’ve seen as many as 25 offers on a listing over the past month, it’s absolutely wild stuff happening right now.

Sure, home prices are at a record high and the market is continuing to exceed expectations, but why is this still happening and how long will it last?

The hottest topic in town right now is Interest Rates. While the feds try to cool down inflation by hiking interest rates it’s fuelling the lower priced homes and it will eventually cool down the market, in theory. However, I predict that the prices of these homes will rise significantly before the impact of the interest rates take effect. And in a short period of time too, I am talking about in the next few months! Buyers and sellers need to strike now while the iron is hot.

I predict that the rise in interest rates, including the most recent one, will fuel buyers to get into the market while they can before they’re priced out of the market. And if you haven’t heard, the rental market is absurd right now, it’s not fun trying to find a rental, especially with the rise in rents we’ve had in the past year.

Inherently all of this is going to make the next 1-2 months surely a chaotic frenzy. Eventually as pre approval interest rate holds with lenders expire (see chart below for a breakdown of the impact on a mortgage) the buyers fate will be that they now need to rent and wait for a more appropriate time to enter the market which will cool the market. And the price points we land at once we hit the peak market will be higher than they are today, even in just a short period of 1-2 months from now.

Then will it all come crashing down?

No, it’s unlikely that the market will crash because we simply have too much pent up demand and our migration is still at record levels. We have a housing crisis on our hands, there are not enough homes available for sale or for rent in our market. Until we have a larger supply of homes this is what we can expect.

Therefore, I predict that the market will stabilize in the last quarter of 2023, likely will be a flat market and 2024 remains to be seen. But what I am confident in is that our market is going to have one more small surge across all price and home types and then it will likely stabilize in 2023 as the weather cools and the snow flies. Making it another record year.

For sellers this an incredibly opportune time to be selling property but it needs to be done right. It doesn’t matter what price point you are at, you can’t cut corners if you expect top dollar – this means having a strategy in place to market the home to its fullest potential, timing the day of the week and specific week that you list the property on the market based on competition etc and then having a strategic plan in place on how to get the most buyers into the property and have them subsequently write offers to drive up the price and create a historical sale. We have quite a few listings coming up in the next 3 weeks and we are very excited to exceed expectations!

This is prime time for our 2023 real estate market, however, you need to take the right steps and that’s what we are all about. After all, strategy is nothing without execution.

For buyers, I feel your pain. Trust me, it’s not fun as an agent to know that the home you want may not be attainable at current prices and interest rates. That being said, we are still managing to find all of our buyers awesome properties. Hard work always pays off, especially for buyers competing on properties with multiple offers. This is where having a realistic plan is critical, we need to be quick and be ready when the correct opportunity presents itself.

Our team has had a great past few months with many happy clients and nearly all of them came to us from referrals from past clients. This is what fuels us to get up every day and kick ass. So thank you all for the continued support and for thinking of us.

To recap, July is already off to a hot start with the market showing no immediate signs of cooling and we expect it to be an awesome month for all of our clients. It’s likely that we’ll see a slower fall season market so we’re excited to keep the good times rolling with you as we continue to navigate this historical market.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy some Stampede festivities then make sure you get out and enjoy some much deserved fun. We personally love the rodeo, if you haven’t been yet then you should try to make it out.

Enjoy the sunshine and have an amazing July everyone!

Cheers,

Justin

June 2023 Market Update

Hi Friends,

 

So now that we are back at the peak, will we actually stay at the top this time? Or are we about to witness a massive dip in the market? Let’s discuss…..

Our real estate market prices have officially climbed back to the peak and we are now flirting with breaking new records on many different home types. There has been a ton of “fear” and “doom and gloom” around us since mid 2022 when interest rate hikes began and although we had a slight correction in the second half of 2022, we are now another trip around the sun and we are back to 2022 peak prices. AND likely to surpass them this month.

Close your eyes and imagine one of the hottest real estate markets EVER….. and then open your eyes back up and there it is. We are living it.

We are not going to see a real estate market crash in our local market in 2023 unless a major global event (like Covid for example) happens again. There is simply too much demand  for a home and not enough homes for people to live in, both for purchase and also for rent. It’s actually a crisis in my opinion, we need more homes and we currently have a home crisis! There is a shortage of homes, it’s going to take many months and into 2024 at the earliest before we can likely provide these homes.

Although the volume of homes sold is significantly down in 2023 vs 2022, this is not an accurate indicator of the health of the market because IF there were more homes on the market and more sellers in a position to sell their properties, then they all would’ve sold and increased that volume. However, many sellers (and I don’t blame them), are on the sidelines waiting for the right timing or opportunity before pulling the trigger on selling their property.

You need to have a game plan as a seller, more than ever! Because you can’t just sell your home and easily buy another if the home you want doesn’t exist! This is where working with an experienced and high integrity real estate professional is critical, so they will tell you the truth and reality of the given market and what truly is a viable plan to secure your new home.

Maybe I sound like a broken record if you’ve been following my newsletter – there are not enough homes for buyers to purchase! We are incredibly short in the supply of homes and the demand far surpasses what we have available on the market.

This is driving up prices but prices are not skyrocketing at an accelerated pace because we need more homes to sell first, which will create sold data, which will push up prices. Because as we all know a home is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it and the sold data needs to exist to give buyers confidence to purchase at those prices and to show them that the market is on a definite upswing.

Apartment sales are leading the way in Calgary, Airdrie and Cochrane. Many of the listings we are seeing have been rental properties for the last 5-10 years because sellers couldn’t get the price they needed to make it worthwhile to sell, but now they can! Now is the time for these sellers/landlords to cash in. I have my finger on the pulse and am watching very closely as this market continues to sizzle and it will be interesting to see how apartment prices are influenced in summer 2023 or whether we have hit the top for them already.

My Prediction= There is still room for apartment prices to grow this summer! There is simply too much demand and not enough supply of apartments to purchase.

The name of the game is affordability! Basically anything under $575,000 is selling very quickly and likely selling in multiple offers. It’s simple, with rising interest rates and also a very unaffordable and competitive rental market, buyers are competing for homes – inherently driving up prices and also rents.

Also I will mention, homes priced above $575,000 are also selling like hot cakes, just on a lesser scale.

If the rental market was as soft as it was a few years ago we would likely be experiencing a different real estate market today. However, with rentals being scarce and tough to find at affordable rents, it is continually pushing many renters into the market to purchase and they are purchasing while they can before interest rates jump even further. It’s a Catch-22!

We just had an interest rate hike of 0.25% this week and there is rumour of another coming as soon as July. It’s a mad dash! Especially for families who are looking to secure their next home this summer before school begins again in Sept. Whether it be home ownership or the rental market both options are fiercely competitive so you need to have your game plan set and look to be executing it NOW! 

There is no perfect statistic for how competitive the market is right now but on most of our listings we are still experiencing multiple offers which tells a clear story.

I am telling buyers that for every home that we view and that they like, we are likely competing with 5-10 other buyers in the same situation, if it’s priced right. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to have your finances sorted out and to be prepared to write the most strategic offer in order to give yourself a chance at success. The other option for these buyers is the rental market, which is much more costly in the long run from a financial perspective, in my opinion.

May was an awesome month for our team as we helped many buyers and sellers navigate an incredibly complicated market and we expect similar conditions as we enter the summer months. It certainly is challenging but we are up to the challenge and it is why we are here, to help you succeed with your real estate goals. So don’t be shy, if you need help or if you simply have some questions then take advantage of us. We are always happy to chat.

Thanks as always to our incredible support system of past/current clients, friends and family. None of this would be possible without you :) We are now approaching 100 Google Reviews which I am sincerely grateful for all of you who have taken the time to tell the world about us. This is hands down one of the most important ways to support us, so thank you!

Maybe the most important message of all is – Get outside, enjoy this weather, bbq some great food, drinks some delicious drinks and spend time with family and friends because that is truly what this time of year is about!

Hope to see you around.

Cheers,
Justin

May 2023 Market Update

Hi Friends,

 

You are not alone if you are wondering what the heck is going on right now with home prices in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane and the surrounding area. We are in a market where we are experiencing SOME OF THE HIGHEST PRICES WE HAVE EVER SEEN! In April, Airdrie & Cochrane were 2% behind previous highs, while Calgary is at an all time record high! If you’ve been following our newsletter then this likely isn’t a surprise to you though as this was predicted months ago.

Why are prices still rising even though interest rates are so high?

Because not enough people are listing their home right now! With not enough properties on the market buyers are fighting over what is available. As mentioned last month, overall we are experiencing the lowest inventory of properties on the market since 2006.

Even though sellers can get a peak price for their home there is a really large problem with selling –> How do you buy back into this market when there is not many properties available? For this reason I do not blame my dozens of upcoming sellers who are on the sidelines waiting for the right property because in my opinion you must have a plan on where you’re moving to OR in this specific market you must have your next home secured before you even consider selling your property. As much as I would like to sell my 25 pocket listings right now, I am not in the business of making people homeless so they’ll be on the market when the time is right for them.

Additionally, many sellers right now likely have a much lower interest rate secured on their home and if they were to trade to a new home, they would potentially be inheriting much larger living costs with a higher interest rate (or blended rate), so financially many sellers are opting to stay put, for now.

So how do we find a home in this market?

We need to be prepared. This means that your finances are rock solid with a pre-approval and budget in place, we have narrowed down your search criteria to corner in on a specific market and you work with an incredible agent who will get you in the door faster than everyone else. Yes, we had many buyers in April who lost on multiple offer bidding wars, HOWEVER, we also had many buyers who were successful in securing their new home and they did it at the right price too.  It is like anything in life, if you work hard at it then you’ll be rewarded but if you sit back then you can’t expect results. Hard work always pays off.

Yes, bidding wars are going wild right now….. But do not fear, because if you’re a seller then this is a positive thing (especially with a pro agent who can manage it to get you a sale price above market value), if you’re a buyer then we need to manage the situation to ensure you stand a chance at finding and securing the right property. This means having a plan and there is no one size fits all approach, we need to custom tailor the plan to you.

There is a provincial election coming up and yes it will impact our market. Perhaps not an instant impact but depending on which political party wins the election it will have a major impact on migration, foreign investment, agriculture, trade, oil & gas and health care, to name a few major items I am personally following. While all of these driving forces are impacted by the next provincial power, this will shape our real estate market over the next few years. So whether you like it or not, it does matter who wins this election, it actually matters a lot. I will stay apolitical on this but I encourage everyone to go do their own research, and go vote!

Are you waiting for the market to come crashing down? Get cozy then. 

Our real estate market is volatile just like any other market and yes we will see prices fall at some point, but when?

It’s simple economics and what I can say is that in 2023 the market is not going to crash. In fact I think prices are going to continue rising. With simple economics in play of supply & demand, our demand for homes far outweighs the supply of homes on the market. In some cases we are seeing properties get 10+ offers which is demand of 10 to 1, wild! If you’re a seller right now, and especially a seller who isn’t buying as well, then you’re selling at peak prices!

Our business is always evolving and we are always looking at ways to improve the customer experience and to ensure we are educating our clientele and followers with as much useful information as possible. That being said, we have some big announcements coming this summer. Here is a clue–> It has to do with the game of Monopoly and Hockey. Yes, you’ll have to wait ;)

As always, we are incredibly thankful to our many clients and supporters who continue to come along for the ride while we strive to do real estate better and while having a darn good time while doing it with our clients. Our many Google Reviews once again brought in more business in April and I want to thank you all for the support, your efforts literally allow us to live our dream of being your local aces of real estate. THANK YOU!

Enjoy this awesome weather everyone and make sure to get outside to spend time with family and friends. Have a great May!

Cheers,
Justin

April 2023 Market Update

Hi Friends,

 

With some listings getting 20+ offers on them right now I think it’s safe to say that the spring market frenzy is in full effect, buckle up folks!

Not to sound like a broken record, but as I have been saying for the past few months – there are not enough properties on the market to meet buyer demand right now. With the lack of home supply we are now seeing crazy bidding wars on some properties (similar to spring 2022) and it’s causing a rise in prices across the board. Apartments and townhouses are leading the way because they’re the most affordable options for buyers who are dealing with higher interest rates.

Existing homeowners are reluctant to list their home unless they have a plan in place for where they’re going to be moving next. And I don’t blame them for sitting tight until they have that figured out. I have met with dozens of sellers over the past month and nearly all of them are working on the plan of “where they’re going to go next”  before we list and sell their home. Needless to say, this is a very tricky market because you can likely get a peak price for your property this spring but if you don’t have somewhere new to move to, then you’re not really getting ahead. And the rental market is insane right now, therefore selling and then paying high rents until you find something new isn’t appealing to most sellers either.

So how do we sell your house and get you in a new one?

We need a custom strategy specific to you – we need to find you the right option or options first so you’re comfortable to list and sell your property for top dollar without fear of where you’re going next. We have been doing this with many of our clients and although it’s not the traditional method of selling first and buying second, with now buying before selling and matching up the closing dates, we have managed to make sure risks are mitigated and our clients successfully achieve their goals with a smooth as butter process.

Although this 2023 market has shades of similarity to 2022, it is very much a different market. New markets create new challenges, new risk and require new strategies and new solutions.

The main challenge has been centred around supply. As a result, existing homeowners may be reluctant to list as they struggle to find an acceptable housing alternative in this market. At the same time, higher lending rates can also reduce the incentives for existing homeowners to list their home.

Sellers–> So the market is hot – must be easy to sell a property right?

No – A hot market means that yes we can sell your property BUT we still need to take all of the right steps if you expect top dollar. This means proper preparation of the property, pricing it right, marketing it like a boss and having a strategy on how to manage showings and offers in order to maximize opportunity to the seller.

Buyers–> So the market is hot – is it too hard to find/buy a property right now?

No – Buying a property just requires a strategy to ensure we can get into homes as quickly as possible to have a chance to compete for them. This may mean that my partner Damien is helping with showings to ensure we don’t miss out on any property in a very fast paced marketplace. Or this may mean that we are making sure we understand the market better than the competition so we are making strategic offers, especially in a bidding war situation (that you’re likely to be in if you’re buying a property right now).

Overall, we are going to have a frenzy in our market with some rising prices until either a major global event or major political event happens OR sellers decide to capitalize on high prices and a sufficient influx of properties hit the market at the same time to curb buyer demand and curb the bidding wars.

A special thanks to all of our supporters. We have been fortunate to live our dream of being real estate professionals year after year because each of you.

Spring is here so get outside, get some fresh air and enjoy some sun :)

Cheers,

Justin

March 2023 Market Update

How about this for a headline, “Lowest February inventory since 2006”. Yes, you read that correctly. We are experiencing some of the lowest inventory levels of homes for sale SINCE 2006!

Welcome to the danger zone! Please queue up some Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone” as you read the rest of this newsletter for the full desired effect.

We are entering what I personally call the “Danger Zone” in the Calgary, Airdrie and Cochrane real estate markets. Week over week we are experiencing the swing towards lower inventory of properties and a stronger seller’s market. It is overwhelming how fast it is changing, it’s like someone flipped a switch and it’s showtime.

I’ll let these simple statistics speak for themselves:

At the time of writing this newsletter (March 6th), in the past 7 days in Calgary there have been only 476 new listings, while 465 properties sold firm PLUS another 528 accepted conditional offers. To summarize, 476 new properties hit the market, HOWEVER, 993 properties total left the market in the past 7 days.

In the past 7 days in Airdrie there have been only 29 new listings AND 50 properties sold firm PLUS another 31 accepted conditional offers. To summarize, 29 new properties hit the market BUT 81 left the market. That is an astounding 2.79:1 ratio for sales/accepted offers to new listings! Nearly 3x more sales/offers are happening than new listings entering the market (in the past week). I would say that it’s rather obvious what happens next IF we don’t see a ton of properties listed ASAP. Prices are going to go up! We are diving deeper into a seller’s market as inventory of properties trends lower and lower every week.

In the past 7 days in Cochrane there have been only 20 new listings, while 21 properties sold firm PLUS another 22 accepted conditional offers. To summarize, 20 new properties hit the market but 41 left the market, a 2:1 ratio of sales/accepted offers to new listings.

I think you get the point, right?

We are still behind the peak price levels of spring 2022, so it’s not like we are blowing the roof off of real estate prices right now. However, I would argue that it’s safe to say we have a darn good chance of getting back to minimum the peak prices of spring 2022, in spring 2023.

The real winner right now is apartment sales. We are now only 7% behind prices of the last peak market in 2014 in Calgary and more or less on par in most Airdrie/Cochrane complexes. Many sellers thought that they’d never see the day that they could recover from 2014 purchases, but that day is on the horizon folks.

Sellers—>With the hot market this does not mean you can just list anything, price incorrectly, save on proper preparation or cut corners, you still need to take the right steps if you want top dollar. The fun part is that if we list a property right now and you do it right by following our process and NOT cutting corners, we can make you a lot of money. For those of you who have worked with us, you know that we don’t cut corners and getting top dollar in the quickest amount of time is ALWAYS the goal.

Buyers—> It’s really about being prepared so when the right property comes up, you are ready. As it may be a very long time until “the right one” is available again if you miss out. Simply put, there is very little available right now for properties, so if you need a home in the coming months then you best be prepared and also have your finances in order or you’ll be standing on the sidelines all spring/summer long or you will be forced to enter the over inflated prices in the rental market. So position yourself for success! And if you need a good mortgage broker, just ask, we can get you in touch with someone we trust.

Although the market is wild right now and we are operating in the so-called danger zone, there is no reason to panic. With proper preparation, the right strategy and by following the right process for buying or selling, it can be (and always should be) a low stress process.

Thanks to all of our past clients who continue to write us GOOGLE REVIEWS. We are getting close to 100 reviews and I mean it when I say that it drives our business. Every time we get more reviews the phone rings, so THANK YOU for the continued support!

I hope everyone stays warm in March and remember, we are on the verge of spring, woo hoo! It’s first and goal, so keep your chin up.

Cheers,

Justin

February 2023 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Affordability is the name of the game in our real estate market right now as we are experiencing the buyer demand shift to the lower priced segment, especially to apartments and townhomes as the market responds to higher interest rates in 2023. Simply put – lower priced homes are leading the market. And perhaps the most interesting headline of all is that the level of new listings in January 2023 fell to the lowest levels seen since the late 90s. Holy smokes!

I suppose this paints a picture that the market is only in high demand for lower priced homes, however, I would argue that the higher priced homes have slightly less demand because sellers are afraid to list their homes and “trade up” because trading up means the right home needs to be available to have the confidence to list/sell your current home in the first place.

Additionally, I have been in contact with multiple home builders over the past month and they are selling new builds like hot cakes again. It’s only a matter of time until the builders cap out as their inventory of homes is depleted (similar to Jan 2022) and that buyer demand will be shifted into the resale market. Sound familiar to last year?

And then there is the rental market which saw a significant increase in rents in 2022 (Calgary rents spike 22 per cent in one year, third-highest rise in Canada – Calgary Herald Dec 14, 2022), whilst rents are expected to continue rising in 2023 driven by migration and higher interest rates. Therefore, the rental market is not necessarily an appealing option for buyers or renters right now so I would argue that the resale home market is going to heat up and be on fire by spring.

Who will blink first, buyers or sellers? 

I think the buyers will blink first and what I mean by this is that we are experiencing an extremely low inventory of homes on the market and as time passes and the options do not significantly increase, I believe buyers are going to start panicking a bit and purchasing whatever they can, while they can, as people need a home or they will be forced into the rental market. Similar to spring 2022.

The only saving grace for buyers would be if the new builds that are currently in construction that were all purchased in 2021/2022 with 12-16 month build times hit the market this spring once they’re completed. There is no stat for how many investors purchased new builds last year with intentions of flipping them in 2023 once they get possession of them but I do know that they could purchase the properties at lower 2021/2022 prices in most cases and they’re trying to play the market. This will end poorly for many who purchased at the peak in 2022 or for those who are late to the market this spring if it is flooded with new builds. The savvy buyers who picked the right product and price will be looking to cash in the second the builder passes them the keys. I predict that we will see an unusually high amount of brand new homes hit the resale market this spring/summer and this may be what gives buyers the options that they’ve been waiting for. The caveat with this theory is that there is no data to prove that it’s going to happen, it is simply knowing that new builds were bought up by investors last year and we should feel the effects of that this year on the resale market when it’s time for them to cash in, once the keys are passed over to them by the builders. Stay tuned for more on this folks!

In summary, the market in 2023 is certainly much different than any market we have seen in recent years, although there will be shades of similarity do not expect it to feel the same as 2022. Home prices do not appear to be softening, they’re actually slowly rising again and it’s possible that we will return to the peak prices of spring 2022 by spring/summer 2023. If you’re looking for a lower priced home, or an apartment/ townhouse especially, then prepare for strong prices as we enter spring. If you’re looking for a detached single family home then expect prices to remain stable or even slightly rise by spring. If you’re looking to sell a property then depending on what you are selling you might be in a position to cash in, especially in the lower price segment. If you’re trading up to a better property then you need to ensure that the right home is out there for you and if you’re trading down then you need to be prepared for higher competition for those lower priced homes.

Although this is a completely different market from what we’ve seen in February of recent years, I believe that this will be when we begin to see buyers blink and jump into the market. As more buyers transact and tighten up the home supply even further this will give sellers the confidence that they’ve been waiting for to list as they will want to capture a high sale price (while they can) and this will excite buyers as more options enter the market. And boom, the spring market will explode with home sales. It’s a game of dominoes.

Thank you to our amazing clients and followers for the continued support. Your Google Reviews and word of mouth continue to be the #1 tool that drives our business. Simply put, we are successful because of your support, so THANK YOU!

Have a wonderful February everyone!

Cheers,

Justin

January 2023 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Happy New Year!

Alright, let’s jump right to it – IGNORE THE NATIONAL NEWS HEADLINES when it comes to real estate in Alberta. Measuring Canada as a whole and thinking that it applies directly to Airdrie, Calgary, Cochrane or the surrounding area markets is absurd and the headlines are simply not applicable to us. For example – I have been speaking with contacts in Ontario and many sellers have lost a quarter million in the past 6 months on their home values, yes $250,000 in 6 months. Their markets have experienced hyper growth for many years, whilst ours have not. Therefore they have way more room to deflate than we do even though 2022 saw record-high sales and double-digit price growth in our market.

That also means that our homes, quality of life and our affordable home prices compared to the rest of Canada, is still very appealing. I realize that I probably sound like a broken record regarding to the net migration we are experiencing but it’s real data, and data is what helps us make informed decisions.

Check this out:

“Alberta’s population jumped by 119,000 since the first quarter of 2022 and 135,190 since the fourth quarter of 2021, according to Statistics Canada’s third-quarter population estimates released Wednesday morning. Alberta’s population has increased by 1.3 per cent in the past three months, the highest rate in the country — an increase of 58,203 people.” -Calgary Herald Dec 21, 2022

Now that is a local headline that catches my attention and it is based on facts by Statistics Canada. As many of you know, basing decisions on data is how I operate. I am not saying to trust the local media outlets for real estate decisions, (definitely talk to us first as we’re the boots on the ground), however, almost daily I am meeting people who ask if our market is crashing like other parts of the country. The answer is NO – at least for the first quarter of 2023. It is impossible to perfectly predict the market outside of the first quarter of 2023 (in my opinion), because there are some major influences that will be hitting our local market this spring:

  • Provincial Election in May –>  I do not care what colour of politics you bleed, each party will have pro’s and con’s to our real estate market and overall quality of life.  I’ll stay apolitical on this and let you decide for yourself, but do know that the election results will have a major impact on our province and the stability of our real estate market.

 

  • Recession –> This is a scary term to most so let’s break it down a bit further.  Alberta certainly is not recession proof, however, our home prices are not inflated like other areas of the country and a recession typically hammers the over inflated markets more than others. Our energy focused economy is firing on all cylinders right now – I understand that this makes our economy volatile without a breadth of diversification, so our economy reliance on Oil & Gas is not a sustainable long term plan. However, I believe Migration offsets the risk of Oil & Gas prices falling, not to mention that Oil & Gas prices are projected to remain strong in 2023, likely even rising.

 

  • Migration –> Our homes are affordable to Canadians, Refugees and Immigrants, whilst offering a quality of life that is arguably one of the best in Canada. As mentioned above Statistics Canada is predicting that net migration to Alberta will continue to be strong in 2023. To me it’s simple, more people coming to live here means more need and competition for homes. Inherently resulting in stable or rising home prices.

 

  • Interest Rates –> I am no interest rate expert so let’s be clear that this is not me saying to buy or not to buy with current rates, that is your decision to make with your trusted mortgage advisor. Yes, interest rates are likely to remain high for 2023, let’s not expect them to come down anytime soon. That being said, the demand for homes in our market is still well above historical levels, even at these current rates and I believe that buyers need to transact in all types of markets because everyone needs shelter. Coupled with net migration trending upwards, buyers are figuring out ways to still get into the market and they will continue to do so.

 

Lastly, as mentioned in my market reports this fall, affordability is the name of the game. The more affordable housing segments have plenty of buyer demand and they will continue to outperform the higher priced properties. Especially as more people immigrate to Alberta looking for affordable housing.

Obviously there are other influences that will affect our local real estate market but these are the ones that I believe will have the largest influence in the first quarter of 2023. As mentioned above, I do not see the market crashing in Q1 of 2023. We will experience stable prices, at minimum and unless we see an aggressive amount of sellers list homes all at once, we will continue to have a shortage of homes on the market.

The market will not be as wild as the record breaking levels in the first half of 2022 but it’ll be busy for home sales and the numbers should be above historical averages. With net migration continuing to trend, along with the pent up demand of sellers/buyers waiting for spring to list/buy, it’s going to be a strong market going into spring. All it would take is one of the influences bolded above to change significantly and the market would react but I personally do not think the start of 2023 will have an influence strong enough to cripple our market. I do not have a crystal ball, what happens going into summer is still too hard to predict but I do expect the next 3 months to be a strong and stable market without a collapse.

2022 was a dynamite year for the JW Realty Team because of our loyal supporters, you folks truly are the best! We’ve been awarded the Top Producing Team in all of Alberta at Grassroots Realty Group and our clients, friends & family are to thank for our continued success & milestones. Our approach to business is to deliver a service that is superior to the average agent & in return we are naturally awarded with positive reviews (check them out on Google!) & referrals from past clients. THIS IS WHERE 90% OF OUR BUSINESS COMES FROM, PAST CLIENTS! Referrals from past clients are the backbone to our business, there is no magic formula to being successful in real estate other than just doing a great job & we love it that way!

Thanks as always for the continued support and for reading this market update. If you’d like to discuss further or if you have any questions please feel free to shoot me an email or give me a call, I am always happy to discuss and debate.

Have an amazing 2023!

Cheers,

Justin

December 2022 Market Update

Hi Friends,

2022 has been a record year for our real estate market. Net migration to Alberta is the highest it’s been since 2014. To put it into perspective, in the second quarter of 2022, net migration into Alberta was 34,883 people, compared to 1,049 in the same quarter of 2021, an increase of 3225.4%, holy cow! (Pretty cool graphs here if you’re a data nerd like me –> https://economicdashboard.alberta.ca/NetMigration)

To me this paints the picture of what has happened with our market in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane and surrounding areas – the rest of the country is coming to Alberta and it’s completely lit our market on fire this year. And even though much of the country is experiencing a market contraction, our market has weathered the storm much better so far. With net migration expected to continue to be strong in 2023, this may be what steers the ship.

Two other topics I would like to touch on this month are interest rates and a provincial election in May 2023 that will impact our real estate market.

Let’s start with interest rates. We are expecting the Bank of Canada to announce another small rate hike tomorrow (Dec 7) and then it’s possible that we see more in 2023. However, many experts are predicting that this may be the last rate hike (I sure hope that they’re right, time will tell). With the current interest rate floating between 5.25 to 6+% (each buyer qualifies differently, please talk to your mortgage broker to confirm what rate you qualify for) we are still seeing homes sell very quickly.

In fact, a few weeks ago I had a listing that received 5 offers and sold for $20k over list price, in just 24 hours on the market. Therefore, our market is alive and strong even with these higher interest rates.

There is no doubt that the higher interest rates have pushed some buyers back into the rental market, but for buyers their choices are simple, they either buy at the current interest rate or they rent. The rental market and rents in general have increased significantly in 2022 and for many buyers they may feel more security in owning and building equity long term versus paying these high rents with no equity later. I don’t see rents coming back down near as quickly as they have gone up, therefore, I predict that we will continue to see renters looking to purchase, especially as rental leases expire each month and landlords then try to raise rents with a new lease, to try and match a more current market rate.

In May 2023 we have a provincial election coming that will have a major impact on the future of our real estate market short and long term. I do not care what colour of politics you bleed, each party will have pro’s and con’s to our real estate market and overall quality of life. When you go to vote in May, please ensure that you do your research and if you are as invested into real estate myself, then I think you’ll find a clear answer for how each parties economic platform may impact our market. How much this weighs on your decision is of course up to you. Again, I’ll stay apolitical on this, just know that this may cause concern in the market depending on the election results and a market shift in Q3 and Q4 of 2023. Something for us to keep an eye on.

The supply of homes on the market is lower than it was last year at this time. AND we all know what happened in January of this year when we still had a low supply of homes and buyer demand went bananas. I am certainly not predicting an exact repeat in Q1 of 2023 that we experienced in 2022, however, I do think that simple economics and the law of supply and demand will hold true in 2023. If we do not experience a significant increase in the supply of properties on the market in early 2023, then we will have a very strong start to 2023, as net migration is expected to continue on an upward rise.

It’s simple – people are moving here, they need homes and we do not have enough homes right now! 

We’ve been very fortunate to have another wonderful year of helping many clients with their real estate needs. We’ve stayed consistent and once again have sold over $30 million in real estate. We’ve also grown our family, made many new friends and overall just had a kick ass year! THANK YOU to each of you that read this update every month and thanks for the continued support.

Have an awesome holiday season everyone!

Cheers,

Justin

November 2022 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Our local real estate cycle historically tends to slow this time of year and we are certainly experiencing that, compounded with the likes of interest rate hikes creating a unique market this fall compared to previous years.

The hot topic is interest rates, so let’s start here. The Bank of Canada announced another rate hike of 0.5%, bringing fixed mortgage rates to between 5 to 6% depending on what you qualify for. It’s likely that we will see another rate hike in December of 0.25% – 0.5%. As per 2023 it’s less likely to see continued rate hikes if the higher rates serve their purpose and drive down inflation in the coming months.

Full disclosure- I am no expert on interest rates. Therefore, I have been speaking with professionals such as experienced mortgage brokers and I seem to be hearing the same general consensus. Interest rates will go up at least one more time, then as we get further into 2023, likely mid-2023, we will hopefully see rates come back down. BUT, it’s unlikely that we will go back to the super low rates we have experienced the past few years, so don’t get too excited. However, we should see some better rates at some point in 2023, hopefully.

What does this mean for home prices as we enter 2023? Give me a second while I fetch my crystal ball…..

There is no concrete answer, but based on simple economics purchasing power for buyers will be lower in the coming months and IF sellers flood the market with homes then we can expect some lower prices as supply of homes begins to out pace buyer demand. But here is the caveat–> Unless we see an influx of listings we won’t see a steep drop in home prices and if we have continued strong migration inter-provincially to Alberta this will keep demand high, inherently creating a stable market in the first quarter of 2023. It’s all supply and demand and as of today supply is still very low.

That being said, if sellers all decide to sell at once and the buyers simply don’t exist, then we’ll see a steeper drop in home prices in early 2023. Time will tell as the data becomes available.

Out in the daily market grind I am still experiencing quick sales at stable prices that are comparable to this summer for properties that are marketed properly, show well and have value. Properties that have major flaws or that are just a naturally tougher sell, are struggling in this slower market. Obviously the lower priced more affordable segments are performing best as buyers purchasing power is dropping due to high interest rates.

The take away here is that although a majority of the buyers have been knocked out of the market by higher interest rates, we still are not experiencing a major shift from a Sellers Market to a Buyers Market. Until we see sellers list properties at a much faster pace and until supply begins to out pace demand, we will remain stable and balanced.

My prediction for 2022 hasn’t changed much from the past few months. We will end 2022 with it being a banger of a year for sales and with a major rise in home prices in most segments. Yes, we may see some home prices slide 1-2% in the meantime but that’s kind of minor considering many home owners have earned a home price increase between 10-20% depending on your local market/community.

A potential looming recession–> Is it time to hit the panic button? 

Definitely tighten up your expenses and prepare for 2023 to be a bumpy road economically. If you need to sell your home in the near future, then now is a great time, but if you have patience we should see a strong market in the latter half of 2023 or  in 2024 if demand gets pent up in the meantime. And maybe even sooner if migration ramps up with people flocking to Alberta for our cheaper home prices (compared to the rest of Canada). There is still much optimism for our local market, we are in a much different position compared to most other provinces, so I wouldn’t panic like they are right now.

The past few months have been very special for our family with the addition of our second daughter and I sincerely appreciate everyone’s continued support and kinds words throughout. Our business relies on you all and we plan to continue providing value to you with our real estate services for years to come, even if we add another 5 kids..right Erica? JK (I don’t think she’ll find that funny)

Thank you everyone for reading and a big thanks to all of you that keep referring us to your friends and family, we are forever grateful.

Stay Warm!

Cheers,

-Justin

October 2022 Market Update

Hi Friends,

It truly depends what you read right now when trying to figure out what is really happening in our local real estate market. Much of it is garbage, in my opinion. For example, I was just reading a national news article about how the market is tanking and we are in for a heck of a downturn across Canada. Sure, if you live in Ontario or in Vancouver then you better buckle up. And sure, our market will see prices come down too, just not near as much. Our market is going to weather the storm much better than those other over-inflated markets for two very distinct reasons…migration & affordability.

Migration to Alberta is going gangbusters and we have seen the largest wave of interprovincial migration since 2014. Let’s put it into perspective, in the last 12 months 23,132 people have moved to Alberta from other provinces! On top of that, Alberta and particularly Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane and the surrounding area is an incredible place to live with amazingly diverse communities AND our housing is much more affordable than most other provinces, which inherently gives Canadians migrating to Alberta a much better quality of life. The Alberta Advantage is alive and well.

So what is selling?

Simply put, affordability is the name of the game right now! Buyer demand has eased in our market, however, the more affordable options are still performing extremely well. This includes townhomes and apartments but also well priced detached homes or detached homes under $600,000. Homes $500,000 and below are selling like wildfire due to a lack of supply in the market.

The market has cooled since it peaked mid-year, but many market segments are holding steady as new price points were set. Amongst our 3 major markets, Calgary, Airdrie and Cochrane, all 3 of these markets are either balanced (essentially meaning that buyer demand is being met by seller demand) or there are segments still in a sellers market (meaning there are more buyers than sellers).

With that all being said I do not think our market is going to crash in these last months of 2022. I do think that it’ll continue to balance out and we may see some more minor price declines month to month of 1-2% is many segments. The major caveat to everything is interest rates and inflation. If the feds continue to use interest rates to battle inflation then theoretically over time it will cool the market and we can’t ignore simple economics. I just don’t think it’ll be a quick and ugly crash like our provincial neighbours are in for.

As for the market in 2023, it’s still too early to give a honest answer as there are just too many moving parts that will influence our market. Recession, interest rates, oil and gas, migration etc. Nobody could’ve perfectly predicted the insane growth our market has had in 2022 back in Oct of 2021.

Fall is here & we are incredibly thankful for our clients & their continued support. Almost all of our business is coming from past client referrals or Google Reviews that our past clients graciously created for us…. so THANK YOU to all of our supporters as you are solely the reason that we can do what we love and love what we do. Have an amazing fall everyone

Cheers,
Justin

September 2022 Market Update

Hi Friends,

The playing field has changed! As mentioned last month, we are now in a completely different market compared to the first half of 2022. It’s changing week by week and there are many factors playing into where the market will go next, so let’s dive in!

First off, apologies for a later than usual monthly newsletter as I wanted to see what the interest rate hike would be on Sept 7th and then to have a few days to digest it before writing this newsletter. AND my amazing wife had a beautiful baby girl last week :)

Alright, let’s go! The interest rate hike last week of 0.75% is a major determinant to where our fall market is likely to land. This is not a small increase and since March we have now seen a 3% increase, WOW! This has significantly depleted the buyer pool in our market, it has pushed away the out of province interest and it has left sellers forced to begin dropping their prices.

Another consideration is that home prices never decline as fast as they increase. So it will take a lot of time for us to see a significant drop to get back to even 2021 pricing. We won’t see it in 2022, in my opinion.

The past few weeks I have had some listings go into multiple offers, YES BIDDING WARS ARE STILL POSSIBLE! So it’s important to know that if you price according to the market you will still sell quickly and for top dollar. That being said, it’s a tough pill to swallow for sellers that their properties are worth less than just a few months ago and they are steadily dropping compared to spring.

On a positive note! Home prices in all segments have all had price gains in 2022 and although they may shrink a bit this fall/winter, we should still end 2022 way ahead!

As mentioned last month, the time for buyers with low interest rate holds is now and I believe most of these buyers have now either found the right property or they are opting to sit on the sidelines to watch where the market lands in the next few quarters. And I don’t blame them.

For sellers, the time is now! I can almost guarantee that your home is worth more today than it will be worth next week. If you need to sell, get on it. If you don’t need to sell you can simply ignore this as it’s irrelevant to you.  2023 and beyond will provide new opportunities.

Below you’ll see that many market segments have shifted out of a seller’s market. The market overall is still strong for most segments. Buyers now have more choice than they did the first half of the year and we are now seeing buyers be more picky – the best properties are still selling and very quickly for top dollar. However, the less desirable properties that maybe need some work done to them or updates, they’re at a standstill.

Historically September is a strong month for our local real estate market and I believe that we will still see some solid numbers this month. AND THEN…. I predict it will fizzle out in Oct and go very quiet for Nov & Dec.

But what about 2023?

It’s too soon to make a solid prediction at this point. At least I am not confident to do so. Too many factors will play into 2023 market conditions and here are the main ones that I am watching:

  1. Interest Rates–> More increases? Decreases? Inflation….
  2. A Possible Recession? Or not…
  3. What will happen when all the new-builds are completed in 2023? Will sellers/investors hold or sell? Everyone selling at once could turn the market upside down!
  4. Geopolitical influence and largely the war in Ukraine
  5. Local Politics. No matter what colour you bleed, each party will influence the 2023 market differently

 

As always, THANKS to our amazing clients for the astonishing support. Your referrals and Google Reviews are the #1 thing that drives our business, we literally could not do this without you!

Have a wonderful September!

Cheers,

Justin

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August 2022 Market Update

Hi Friends,

We are on a rollercoaster in 2022 with our local real estate markets and what a fun ride it has been!

To recap – we kicked off 2022 with an exceptionally large influx of out of province buyers entering our market, combined with an already low supply of homes and low interest rates this boost lit our market on absolute fire. We have seen gains in ALL property types across our market and not small gains, we are talking about some hyper growth gains.

But, what is going to happen next?

With interest rates reaching a 31-year high, this is a GAME CHANGER. Interest rates have shot up quicker than most of us had expected, including myself. Looking back to earlier in the year I predicted that interest rates would reach this point, however, I did not think that we would see it until late fall or winter.

There is no need to hit the panic button and here is why. We still have a unique market to the rest of Canada, we have room to grow as we are still affordable to the rest of the country. Whereas much of the country has had years and years of major gains, while we sat back since basically 2015 until 2021.  I still believe that we have more room to grow – it just won’t be in 2022.

This does not mean we are “recession proof” or that we will not see declines in home prices this fall. In fact we are already seeing some home prices balance out and slightly decline. For Example: This spring you could expect to sell your home over list price, however the strategy now is listing your home precisely at market value and being ecstatic about getting list price. I predict by Sept that most sellers will be happy to get within 1-2% of their desired list price and that August will see the market drop by 1-2%.

The market will likely trend towards declining home prices for the remainder of 2022. This will not offset the massive gains we recorded in the first 6 months of the year. So although home prices are going to slip in the coming months, they’ll still remain significantly higher than in 2021.

To put it into perspective, the benchmark price of detached homes in 2022 in Calgary is up nearly 20%, Airdrie is leading the way at over 23% and Cochrane is nearly 19%. 

These benchmark home price gains WILL DROP for the remainder of 2022. But they won’t drop by more then 1-2% a month.

So if you’re a buyer, you’re going to see some better home prices in the coming months, HOWEVER, your interest rates are going to stink so you’re truly not going to save much, if anything, by waiting.

If you’re looking to sell a property. Well it’s simple, you’re going to get more for your home today than you will in Sept forward.

We’ve been blessed with an amazing following of supporters and we could not do this without you. Over the past month 100% of our business was referred to us by past clients. AMAZING! THANK YOU THANK YOU!

August is going to be a scorcher, get outside and enjoy the weather while it’s sizzling hot.

Cheers!

Justin

July 2022 Market Update

Hi Friends,

As expected, the federal governments agenda to raise interest rates and to slow the economy, is beginning to cool the market – but the market is still exceeding expectations, for now.

June was an incredibly strong month for our real estate market and although most of the public felt that is “was slow”, that is just because we had all become used to the frenzy that Jan to May was, which was the most intense real estate market and volume produced during that time period this decade -just to put it into perspective. Therefore, we are now moving along at a pace that I personally feel like is closer to what we had for most of 2021, which is still an incredibly strong and competitive market.

That being said, the longer we have these high interest rates, the more the market will cool as buying power is significantly reduced. This also means that higher priced homes will begin to bleed the most as consumers are pushed towards more affordable options, inherently giving a spike in demand to those lower priced homes.

In my opinion, anything under $600,000 will continue to be a strong market until at least the fall. And the lower the price of the home, the stronger the market will be. It’s simple, this is all that many of the buyers will be approved to buy with higher interest rates.

As mentioned last month, there has been a large transition of out of province buyers leaving our market as their local markets are now on a decline, which has many thinking that we may be next. If history repeats itself in Alberta then we will certainly follow a “boom & bust” trend. However, this time around it will be different because our housing is still WAY MORE AFFORDABLE then other top Canadian cities. Even if we see our market shift this fall, the bleeding will be a fraction of what markets like Vancouver and Toronto will see because we are still affordable, even with higher interest rates. Logically speaking, if you can’t afford to buy a home in those other markets, doesn’t it make sense to consider Alberta? Let’s face it, this is a great place to live with excellent benefits from just being an Albertan – the rest of the country is noticing.

On another note, Airdrie continues to lead the way with a stronger Seller’s Market compared to Cochrane or Calgary. There is still just a complete lack of inventory to match the demand from buyers. It’ll be interesting to watch this over the few months as we likely move into a more balance market.

As a reminder, July is typically a bit of a slower month for real estate because kids are out school and families simply have other plans and ideas on their mind. Also it’s summer and we all want to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean real estate sleeps, it never ends but we will likely see a bit of a slower month now that the sun is out and I then expect a stronger August/ September, before what I am expecting to be a slower fall for the market, especially if interest rates remain high. If interest rates ease by fall then we’ll have a strong finish to 2022.

What a spring we had and THANKS to all of our incredible clients it was a ton of fun. As always, you are the reason we love what we do and do what we love.

Get outside and enjoy Canadian Summer, it’s the best!

Cheers,

Justin

June 2022 Market Update

Hi Friends,

It depends who you ask right now about the real estate market and where it’s going for the rest of 2022, as everyone has a different opinion, a different level of insight or experience with a market like this. No on has a crystal ball but historically Alberta booms and busts, it’s simple economics, but are we about to bust? Not yet, but maybe by 2023. Maybe not, it depends as you’ll read below.

Throughout the first quarter of 2022 we were flooded with out of province buyers, mostly from Ontario & BC and this inherently gave our market a massive boost to record price gains in many segments. In the single family detached home sector we have seen the Benchmark Price in Calgary rise 18.49% so far in 2022 and in other communities it is EVEN HIGHER such as in Airdrie where the Benchmark Price for a detached home is just shy of a 32% gain in 2022! Wow! To put it in perspective, 2021 was a year of records and growth was only 12.5% in the Benchmark Price, and in 5 months we smashed it with 32%. So this out of province interest certainly played a large role in the first quarter of this year to record serious gains but it is drying up.

We are seeing less out of province buyers in the market and the two reasons are because interest rates are now significantly higher AND the Ontario/ BC markets which are hyper inflated are taking a beating this past month, with values decreasing and freaking out the Buyers which is lowering consumer confidence in real estate as an investment.

Don’t hit the panic button just yet! So the rush from out of province has stalled, but that is okay and here is why. Alberta real estate is still UNDERPRICED compared to the rest of Canada. We still have affordable housing compared to most Canadian cities. This will continue to attract out of province interest and unlike other parts of the country we have not had years of hyper-growth so although our growth has been hyper in 2022, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to places like Vancouver or Toronto who have had years of it.

I personally think that we have achieved a new price point across the board for all home types. I don’t think that we will see major gains for the rest of 2022 and I also don’t think that everything is going to come crashing down, at least in the next quarter. This summer will be steady-eddy with some minor gains and declines. Come fall I think we will see a small boost in September followed by a quiet fall and maybe some declining home prices in the later part of 2022.

2023 will largely depend on two things:

1. Interest Rates–> Will they continue to rise above 5% or 6%? This will bring the economy to a halt eventually if they go too high.

2. New Builds, Now Being Built–> Remember how all home builders sold their annual inventory in 2 months between Dec & Jan and have had next to nothing for sale since? Well a ton of those sales were investors, and investors from out of province. So I predict that if for example the Ontario and BC markets are in a recession come Jan 2023, then the investors from these regions will panic and DUMP all of the new builds that they purchased in early 2022 that are now built in and ready for an early 2023 possession (most bought in Dec/Jan were 12-14 months out from being built). For Example: Imagine if the market is still relatively low for supply of homes, or even if it’s balanced and then we have dozens or hundreds (maybe thousands?) of brand new homes hitting the MLS at the same time? I think this could crash our market, maybe only temporarily but this will be incredibly interesting to watch in 2023.

May was a wild month for the JW Realty Team, we were all hard at work helping our clients and you’ll see below that we kicked butt. That being said we couldn’t have achieved such a glorious May without the continued support from all of our following, and this includes YOU for taking the time to read the newsletter, THANKS!

It is summertime and it is short so get outside and enjoy it folks. Have an awesome June!

Cheers,

Justin

May 2022 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Despite what you may have heard through the grapevine, the real estate frenzy is still breaking records! The only difference is that it appears that there is light at the end of the tunnel due to rising interest rates and also the Vancouver/ Toronto area markets have begun to cool, therefore, the influx of out of province buyers isn’t as plentiful as it was a few months ago. The peak amount of buyers in the market was in March and since then we’ve had less action but it’s still at historical record levels so we are very much still in a sizzling hot market.

 

As mentioned in previous newsletters including Dec 2021’s newsletter, the market will be strong until Mid-2022 which has proved to be correct. Late summer and early fall will continue to be strong as buyers with interest rate holds of 90 or 120 days will be panicking to get into the market while they can before their low rate holds expire. Come late fall and winter, this is the scary part because it could go either way and it’s too early to tell what will happen – it seems many “believe” the market will begin to go down and not as many are now believing that it will “go to the moon”. 

It’s no secret that the market has had incredible inflation, to put it in perspective the average detached home in Calgary has increased by 13.58% in 2022 in just 4 months, compared to 9.5% in all of 2021. That’s incredible growth! Airdrie is even more incredible with 19.72% growth in 2022, compared to 12.58% in all of 2021 – combined the average home price in Airdrie has risen by 32.3% since the beginning of 2021, WOW!

So with this inflation it’s no secret that we need to level out and maybe even come down a bit at some point, it’s simple economics right. I believe that if/ when we see interest rates of say 5-6% at the end of 2022 that this may be what it takes in order to tame the beast. One thing to consider, with growth like 32.3% above, it will take much longer to come down than it did to go up, so even if the market corrects downwards, it will take a very long time to see prices reflect any major downward changes. The new price of homes has been set, in my opinion.

And here’s something that may completely fuel the market despite everything mentioned above – THE RENTAL MARKET CRISIS! 

Right now it is incredibly tough to find a property to rent, there is simply not enough rental properties available. This has caused what I would consider a crisis and it is causing rent increases to record levels. Landlords are making out like bandits by doing two things:

  1. Landlords are charging more rent, because they can and they’re profiting from it. This is also causing more investors to buy properties, fuelling the resale market. It is still easy to find a cash flow positive property in our market depending what your budget is and what you’re looking for.
  2. Landlords are also selling their rental properties like crazy. Landlords who want out of the market or that have been waiting for the value of their properties to reach this level are now selling to take their profits. This is causing less rental properties to be available on the rental market because they’re now sold, which is also contributing to the rental market crisis. Less homes to rent means more competition to find a place to rent and higher rents charged. This is pushing more renters into the resale market because they want or need to be a homeowner versus deal with high rents and the rental market volatility.

 

So unless this rental market crisis is sorted out it will continue to fuel the price of homes. It will also assist in ensuring lower priced homes are stable because it’s what will be affordable, especially as interest rates rise.

So what does this mean if you’re a buyer?

It’s simple, there is an expiry on purchasing a home with a low interest rate and then you’re going to be paying much larger monthly mortgage payments if you wait. And if your plan is to rent, then just expect to pay higher rents and know that you’re renting, not building equity every month. The time is now as your purchasing power is about to be significantly cut down.

So what does it mean if you’re a seller?

It’s simple again, if you’re considering selling or if you need to sell then you need to sell now because we are at the highest prices of all time in many segments and markets. Yes, the market may inch up more this summer, BUT as buyers can no longer secure lower interest rates we will see the market cool and therefore your home prices should too.

As always thank you to our incredible following and our clients for the continued support, we owe all of our success to you and your trust in us.

Have an awesome week and hopefully the sun kisses us soon.

Cheers,

Justin

April 2022 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Spring Market is here and records are still being broken in terms of sales activity and one of this months most exciting updates is that there have been excellent gains in ALL PROPERTY TYPES! This is what has me particularly excited because most of the focus in this recent boom of hyper growth has been focused on detached homes or attached homes but we are now seeing the rebound of apartments! We still need this market to persist for months for most apartments to regain the value they once had, but it’s beginning to feel like a reality for 2022 if conditions persist into the summer/fall.  This will be fun to keep an eye on!

Despite a strong start to the year there are multiple economic indicators that we are keeping our eyes on. Our local economy is in growth mode, but due to hyper-inflation and not necessarily for the right reasons. We do expect that interest rates will continue to rise in 2022, and as mentioned in the previous newsletter this will have a massive impact on real estate in 2023 – but for 2022 I believe that it will actually fuel the consumers appetite to buy while they can at attractive rates. To summarize: The market is extremely volatile right now and with some major influences happening globally it can change very quickly so let’s not get used to it, it will change! 

Although spring market is now here and we are seeing more homes listed, it’s still not enough to meet demand. We’re no longer seeing the crazy bidding wars of $100,000 over list price (for the most part…) but the bidding wars are still happening. I think that this is the new normal until at least mid summer, that any home listed with good marketing, managed properly by the agent and with a realistic price will sell, and likely with multiple offers.

I mentioned back in December 2021 that the market would be strong until mid-2022 at minimum and I still believe that will be the case. Come July when summer vacations kick off I think that we’ll see a bit of a slowdown in the market but for the next 3 months I think that this will be the last big rush of buyer’s trying to capitalize while rates are attractive and before home prices potentially grow out of reach. The race is on so let’s buckle up for the second quarter as it’s going to be BUSY!

Airdrie & Cochrane

To sum it up, these two cities are leading the way in the market right now. The growth we are seeing and the amount of demand is simply incredible, continuing to out pace Calgary as well. Cochrane has next to no homes available and when they hit the market they are gone within hours if they are listed property. In Airdrie we had similar conditions to Cochrane in Jan/Feb but now we are seeing a surge of listings hit the market which has provided some breathing room. Although homes are no longer selling in hours, they’re now only taking 1-4 days to sell if they’re listed, managed and marketed properly which is still an incredibly strong market! The sales volume in Airdrie is the strongest we’ve ever had!

At the JW Realty Team there are many moving parts and people involved in order to ensure we can do a great job and we want to thank our followers and clients for continuing to support us/ our small family business and for believing in our processes.

Enjoy the spring weather, fire up the BBQ and get ready for an amazing second quarter of the year!

Cheers,

Justin

March 2022 Market Update

Hi Friends,

The market continues to surge upwards and sellers are taking advantage of new record high home prices. Many believe that this is only the beginning, while others think we are at the peak, it’s all pure speculation and the truth is – NOBODY KNOWS!

I will speculate and continue saying what we’ve said since the start of this year, the market will be strong until minimum mid-2022, after that we just don’t know. What I do know is simple economics can tell us the future in the short term, and with supply of homes being so low and demand remaining high, the price of homes will continue to be strong and likely even continue to inch up this spring.

That being said, the market can gain more momentum or could take a turn and here are the biggest headlines that you need to be following, as they will impact our real estate market this spring:

1. Oil Prices –> The price of oil is way up and even though our economy has diversified away from Oil & Gas in recent years, it is still the #1 industry that drives our economy and with higher prices there is going to be more action in this sector. This is good news for us (except for at the pumps of course)

2. The War in Ukraine–> I won’t speculate exactly how this is going to shake out because it’s changing very quickly, however, what I will say is that this is a volatile situation and the “fear” it gives the western world to see this happening may change consumer confidence if the war escalates. The speed that the world is handcuffing Russia with sanctions is showing that this is also a digital war and it’s causing fear and could create a more hostile situation if it’s not resolved quickly.

3. Supply Chain–> Supply chain of goods is still a mess that is on the mend, which continues to drive up the price of goods. With the pandemic hopefully coming to an end I do think that our Supply Chain will balance out and this will help stop driving up prices at a hyper growth rate.

4. Home Builders–> New Home Builders are still capped out and literally can’t build the homes fast enough! However, with the supply chain of supplies hopefully becoming stronger this spring perhaps they can ramp up to meet more demand.

5. Interest Rates–> As rates rise this may cool the market. I am of the opinion that they won’t rise enough to cool the market in 2022, however they will have a large impact in 2023. For now the consumer will watch these rates and try to get into the market while the rates are low, inherently feeding the market even more.

6. Out of Province Buyers–> We continue to see an incredible surge of out of province buyers investing or migrating here. This capital injection is causing home prices to rise as we just don’t have enough homes on the market as of today. If the Ontario and B.C markets cool this spring, then this will have a ripple effect on our market, cooling it down here at home as well.

So to summarize, we are in a record market right now and it’s very exciting for some people and also frustrating for some buyers who have been priced out of the market or whom are overwhelmed by the competition. If you are unsure how this market impacts your real estate goals just give us a call, you know how we roll – we will always just shoot it to you straight!

Thanks as always to our incredible clients who continue to refer us to their friends and family, this is the backbone of our business model and we are so grateful for you all.

Spring is around the corner and we cant’ wait. Take care everyone and have a wonderful March!

Cheers,
Justin

February 2022 Market Update

Hi Friends,

BUCKLE UP FOLKS, out of province investment is pouring in!

Also later I will touch on the possible resurgence of the condo market?! Say what!?

Over the past month the real estate market has drastically changed in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane and Surrounding Areas.

We have been noticing those 20-30% annual growth numbers in other provinces (Vancouver and Toronto specifically) for years and our growth is never even close to theirs. HOWEVER, we think that we’re also going to jump into some wild growth numbers in 2022 and here is why.

In 2021 the average price of a detached single family home in Calgary rose 9.5% while other areas such as Airdrie rose 12.58%, and Cochrane 8.26% which are excellent numbers but perhaps just the tip of the iceberg.  With the current conditions we are experiencing with an incredibly low supply of homes on the market we think these numbers are going to get shattered in 2022.

To put it into perspective…. 

In Calgary the benchmark detached home price in Jan 2022 compared to 2021 annum rose by 5.73%

In Airdrie the benchmark detached home price in Jan 2022 compared to 2021 annum rose by 8.35%

In Cochrane the benchmark detached home price in Jan 2022 compared to 2021 annum rose by 5.16%

YES I AM ONLY TALKING ABOUT JANUARY 2022!

And this hasn’t slowed, the first week of February continues to break records.

WHY? The biggest development over the past month has been the alarming amount of “out of province interest” in Alberta. We’ve spoke with multiple home builders who are selling new homes at record paces and multiple have said 80% of the buyers are from Ontario or out of province, that is insane! They are here, the investment is pouring in and most people have no idea!

With no new homes available buyers are forced to the resale market which is causing hyper growth in prices. The demand far outweighs the supply of home, so naturally prices rise. No different than the broken supply chain with lumber or any other product.

You may have heard, all listings that are priced at market value right now are getting 5-20+ offers on them and selling within a few days. And most are going over list price and not just be a little bit, some are going $100,000+ over list! In 2021 it was common to see up to $25,000 over list if a property was marketed really well but that was about the ceiling and now it’s common to see between $50,000 – $100,000 over list.

Our housing relative to Canada is still affordable and the rest of the country is now moving in on the opportunity to buy in the next hot spot close to the Rockies. It’s happening, whether anyone wants to accept it or not, we are possibly on the verge of a major home price correction. The only way to avoid this would be for our supply of homes to meet demand which will take months and would mean we need people listing about 10X the rate than they currently are (especially because builders have next to nothing left to sell to make up for the lack of homes on the resale market) or this could be cooled with a major global event, which of course is possible but unpredictable.

With the current conditions and if they persist until Spring, we don’t think that it’s crazy to see major growth by then and if it continues, well then buckle up because it’ll just keep climbing to those aforementioned numbers that never seemed possible here right at home. Sure there is some speculation here, but we may just have the perfect storm happening that is going to blow up our market. BUCKLE UP!

Of course this could all come to a screaming halt though right? I don’t think so just because the demand out weighs the supply by so much that this will take time to level out and then more time for prices to potentially deflate and come down.

As mentioned in the previous month’s newsletter, home prices are likely going to rise until mid-2022 and beyond that we need a crystal ball. Right now we are in hyper-growth mode and that hyper growth may not last until mid-2022, however we will be in growth mode until then, in our opinion.

THE POSSIBLE RESURGENCE OF THE CONDO MARKET—>

So this is interesting because right now there is very little available for detached homes and many people are now priced out of the market, so by default they then look at attached homes, which are also in hyper growth, people soon will be priced out of that market too and will begin to look at the condo townhouse market, then they’ll eventually be forced into the condo apartment market.

IF this current level of growth continues we may see condo sales ignite in a serious way by spring. See below, Apartments in Calgary are now in a balanced market, no longer a Buyer’s Market!

BUT WON’T RISING INTEREST RATES CRIPPLE THE MARKET?

Nope they will not, at least in the short term. The demand is so strong right now that an interest adjustment will price some people of the market, but the majority will be fine. Perhaps long term if they rise drastically, then yes this will cool the market down. However, as speculation looms that interest rates will rise, it fuels the market as buyers want to get in now while rates are low. So rising interest rates in theory will cool the market but highly unlikely that they will in 2022, if anything it’ll have the opposite effect. Long term having high rates could be dangerous but for 2022 it won’t have a major impact.

Alright this has been one of the longest updates because so much has transpired in the past month, so if you made it this far you are awesome!

As always thank you to everyone for your continued support. We are running a business that we are so passionate about and it’s only possible because of YOUR SUPPORT!

Cheers,

Justin

January 2022 Market Update

Hi Friends,

So long 2021 you saucy devil you, delivering record real estate numbers and also a tidy pandemic to navigate, that sure was interesting. Although 2021 was an incredible year for real estate I think I can speak for us all that we’re ready for 2022 and hopefully a year that feels more normal – more balanced, whatever the heck that is. Although we’re off to a rocky start due to our nemesis named Covid, the real estate market is still sizzling hot and it will continue to melt down records in many communities well into 2022.

First let’s recap 2021 before we move into 2022 real estate predictions:

Simply put, 2021 was A RECORD YEAR FOR HOME SALES on an annual basis. The average price of a detached single family home in Calgary rose 9.5% while other areas such as Airdrie rose 12.58%%, and Cochrane 8.26%. Throughout the year the market bounced up and down (mostly up) and we dealt with some incredibly interesting variables that inherently kept fuelling the fire. Let’s break down these variables a bit:

1. Supply Chain –> From lumber, vehicles, plumbing materials, electrical materials, appliances, groceries etc etc etc. The supply chain of goods was broken (and still is). Without goods being supplied in a timely fashion this created two things, a buyer mentality to buy now while supply exists and two is the rising prices because if the supply of goods is low, demand is high. For example: If there is only 1 house available in a market and 5 buyers, the price will get driven up.

2. Low interest Rates–> Some of the lowest interest rates in history created a buying frenzy for buyers to take advantage of cheap money while they can. The change in rates will be an important headline in 2022, keep your eyes on this.

3. Fear of Missing Out–> The ol’ FOMO! Fear of missing out on record low interest rates and also that there will not be a home available or an affordable home in the future has caused buyers to get into the market while they can.

4. The Pandemic–> Now this is a weird one because you might be like “wait the pandemic fuelled the market?”… It sure did, in my opinion. People are working from home more than ever before and people want to have a nice work space, so they’re upgrading. PLUS they are spending more time than ever in their home so they’re putting more value on having the home they want/need for their new lifestyle. And don’t forget that the supply chain as above is wacky so it’s too expensive to renovate your current home, so sell it and buy something better was the theme.

5. Rising Price of New Builds–>Builders in 2021 had to charge more for a new home because with a broken supply chain it cost them more to build it! Interestingly enough, many builders will not even take your money right now and sell you a house because they’re waiting for more clarity on the cost of materials in Q1 2022 and I’ve heard rumblings from different sources that we should expect a 2.5% minimum increase in new home pricing this month. And let’s remember if the new homes are rising in price then the resale homes are too because the resale market follows and is propped up by the new build market. Also if there are no new builds to buy such as the case right now, buyers then turn to the resale market.

Now it’s time for 2022 real estate predictions! 

We are currently experiencing an incredibly low supply of homes on the market which is creating high demand, and in return it is continuing to increase prices. What I do know is that prices will continue to rise in the short term and likely until at least mid-2022 in most market segments and communities. Especially for detached single family homes.

If the supply chain of goods is repaired, interest rates rise aggressively and the supply of homes has a steep influx of homes enter the market, then we will find some balanced conditions and slower growth. However, these are all some powerful economic drivers that need to coincide together in order to cool the market, in my opinion. And as a bold prediction I do think that the market will cool in 2022, but not right away and it won’t cool completely off. My bet is on the market being hot until at least mid-2022. And it’s not like the other shoe will drop if it does cool down a bit, I predict that we’ll see a balanced market at some point and once the dust settles from this pandemic and we can understand the effects of a new supply chain, we will then be able to once again understand where the market is going.

So all in all it’s good news. If you’re a buyer on the sidelines then we need to get cracking before interest rates rise along with home prices. If you’re a seller, then this is obviously a wonderful time to sell your home for top dollar.

If you’ve made it this far into this update then great job, you rock!

2021 was one heck of a year burning rubber to thousands of appointments (unfortunately my tire man Jeff loves when I call for new tires) & selling way more homes than we originally thought we would, around $38 million in sales which crushes the original $25 million goal for the year. It was a long year with a lot of work, a lot of things sacrificed by being on the road, like precious family time. BUT we pulled it off & we are ready for an even more bad ass 2022 with even better balance. We will learn from the ups & downs of 2021 by managing everything even more efficiently with such extreme amounts of home showings, listing presentations, buyer presentations, negotiations, offers, walk throughs, property inspections, thousands and thousands of phone calls, key releases etc.

The past year was exhausting. However, hard work always pays off so that’s exactly what we’ll do in 2022 is put our heads down to build our business to be stronger, wiser & to continue to provide as much value for our clients as possible so you continue to support us.

Thank you to everyone for your incredible support, we love you all & we owe everything we’ve achieved to you for believing in us. So long 2021, we welcome 2022 & can’t wait to crush it. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Cheers,

Justin & the JW Realty Team

December 2021 Market Update

Hi Friends,

It’s December already?!?

Yep that’s right, December is here, the snow is flying, the holiday season is upon us and we’ve had a record setting year in the real estate market.

As we reflect on the past 11 months there is only one place to start –  let’s begin with what keeps us going day in and day out, our incredible support! Thanks to all of our clients, friends and family who continue to support and refer us to their friends and family. We are truly thankful for you and without your support 2021 would not have been nearly as amazing as it has been for us. You are the reason for our success, thank you!

Okay so here’s a quick thought to get the brain juices flowing…. In most new development areas the home builders are not able to keep up with the current demand for new homes, especially at lower price points and for quick possession options, which inherently has buyers flocking to the resale market on the MLS, which is in the same boat with a low supply of homes. It’s our opinion that since “most” home builders have depleted their supply of new homes by successfully selling the majority of them, that this will in the short term prop up the resale home market well into 2022. People who would’ve bought new are going to turn to a used home on the MLS, giving the market another boost to continue on its current steak.

Alright, so this bubble has inflated and inflated beyond most people’s expectations. We’ll be honest that at the start of the year we thought it would’ve popped by now but it has instead stabilized which is actually a much better scenario for us all.

Driving market factors continue to be the lingering pandemic which is increasing consumer demand for many products including homes, a broken global supply chain that is driving up prices of literally everything and low interest rates (which are projected by most finance professionals to rise throughout these next few quarters).

Perhaps the forthcoming reality of lower interest rates will be the deterrent to cool down this sizzling market, perhaps. But truly to just shoot it to you straight, we do not see the market making a major shift from current conditions until likely mid-2022. The current inventory of homes (new or old) is much too low to make a quick shift and we’re deep into this market now and most consumers are getting used to it, even Buyer’s who’ve been on the sidelines waiting are now capitalizing while they can. What we can say is buckle up for a great start to 2022 as we project these strong market conditions to persist until spring or summer minimum. And what happens mid to late 2022 is too early and volatile to predict at this moment.

We do not think that home prices will significantly rise in the next 6 months, we see more modest gains coming compared to the start of 2021. Although it is possible of course for aggressive gains and many markets still have larger gains that are coming, we do project that most communities and markets will at minimum be stable with the current prices and gains from 2021. Some specific markets such as Airdrie or Cochrane where the inventory of homes is incredibly low, will for sure see more price increases amongst most sectors over this next quarter.

Thanks again for such an amazing year everyone and have an absolutely awesome holiday season with friends and family :)

Cheers,

-Justin, Erica, Damien, Mike

November 2021 Market Update

Hi Friends,

First of all, today is Remembrance Day. We hope that everyone has plans to enjoy their day with loved ones and to enjoy the freedoms that our countrymen and countrywomen have fought for in the past, present and future. Thank you for your service and thank you for our freedoms.

We are still having a blast buying and selling real estate, this market is fun! The 3rd quarter of the year was the best we’ve seen since 2014. In Calgary the market is still incredibly strong, however, it has eased a bit and almost all segments are now experiencing balanced conditions which means it’s equal opportunity for Buyers and Sellers versus heavily favouring one or the other such as the Seller’s Market we had the first three quarters of the year. The detached home market is still flirting with a sellers market and likely will continue to do so well into December which will allow the market to finish off 2021 with some record numbers. The city is buzzing right now with the price of oil, real estate booming and we personally get the sense that people are feeling like if we can get through the hurdles of 2020 and then reinvent ourselves like most have in 2021, we are ready for anything that 2022 brings, bring it on. We can’t underestimate the strength and power that we have gained from some recent adversity.

As Calgary continues to balance itself out, other markets such as Airdrie are still experiencing an incredibly low inventory of homes. Airdrie has had low inventory since the beginning of the year which continues to drive up prices that have historically lagged behind Calgary’s home pricing (also a reason that many continue to migrate to affordable Airdrie from Calgary making it one of Alberta’s fastest growing cities). Seller’s in Airdrie continue to make out like bandits on their home sales that would’ve been a tough sell just one year ago and as this continues to stranglehold buyers, we have still been able to assist our buyer’s in making informed decision and with patience finding the right home to purchase at the right price. There is opportunity for everyone, in every market!

We predict that this current market will linger into December and likely the new year. Of course less buyers and sellers will transact in December as the snow flies and the holidays take over people’s priorities but come January we will feel a small reset and depending on interest rates, supply chain issues (we predict that this is the largest economic factor that will drive the markets in 2022, supply chain, and not just real estate, the lack up supply of all goods may drive up markets and prices amongst most industries) and a few other factors we may have a balanced 2022 or it’ll dip into a Seller’s market again. If you’re not familiar with what is happening in the global supply chain right now then review your grocery bill, try to buy a new vehicle, or a new appliance, or find decent labour or a great contractor, that isn’t overwhelmed, these things have become rare commodities in 2021! We do not see a heavy Buyer’s market coming in the first quarter of 2022 and until the supply chain sorts itself out we will continue to be at the mercy of low supply and high demand. Low supply & high demand= rising prices

At the JW Realty Team we have already begun reflecting on 2021 and how amazing our year has been due to our continued support by our clients. We are operating on a referral and review business model which is of course the ultimate goal. The majority of our business is referred by past clients or comes through the efforts of our clients Google Reviews. So when you make that Google Review, please know that this is incredibly important to our small family business and you are quite literally putting food on our table by supporting us. Thank you thank you thank you!

November is an awesome month, we are in full fall mode and it truly is a season that is important to reflect on the year before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season in December takes over. Take a moment today to reflect on your successes of 2021, spend time with your loved ones and also take a moment to be thankful for the freedoms you have today on Remembrance Day. Have a wonderful day everyone.

Cheers,

Justin, Erica, Damien, Mike

 October 2021 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Hopefully as you read this you are thankful for exploding with Turkey, throw the idea of dieting out the window because it’s Thanksgiving and it’s time to eat too much. Case Closed.

As the weather shifts we are also seeing shifts throughout the market which is exciting and fun to analyze. There is a stark contrast amongst market segments but overall we are seeing balanced conditions in Calgary while surrounding areas such as Airdrie is still sizzling hot. If you follow the dials below on the infographics you’ll notice that different property types are all performing differently and this is super important to realize as the general consensus is that everything is selling right now, which isn’t true no matter what most real estate agents will tell you, it’s just not the truth.

The truth is, in Calgary everything other than the apartment segment is a balanced market meaning that supply is keeping up with demand so the conditions favour BOTH the Seller and Buyer. In Calgary the exception is apartments/ condos which are still a heavy sellers market. In Airdrie (and similar in Cochrane) detached homes, semi-detached homes and row homes are extreme (like Damiens biceps) Seller’s Markets, however, apartments in Airdrie are still a Buyer’s Market.

Daily we are asked when or if Airdrie and surrounding communities will follow suit with Calgary market trends and now that we are entering the colder months of the year  (simply put, most people prefer not to move in winter months) with historically lower supply available during these months we think that we are going to experience this current market until at least the end of 2021. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t opportunity for Buyer’s as we have been able to help nearly all of our prospective Airdrie Buyer’s purchase a great home at a reasonable price (some are still waiting and being patient which we totally respect). And yes, we are still seeing multiple offers on properties with prices being driven up which is great for Seller’s who are making hay while the sun shines.

Thanksgiving is an underrated holiday, it’s one of the best holidays of the year because it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the everyday rat race and this holiday stands for the opposite of that. We all need to take a break sometimes to be thankful for our families, friends, lifestyles and achievements. At the JW Realty Team we are thankful for these things and in 2021 we’ve been blessed with amazing clients who continue to support our small family business. Our clients are extremely appreciative of our swift communication/commitment to them and we are thankful that they return the favour by appreciating us and being thankful that we work 7 days a week and miss a ton of family time to serve them. Overall, Thanksgiving to us is a moment to take a step back to see that our success is solely owed to our clients who trust in us and when we have these short breaks we need to spend it with family and friends in order to have a healthy balanced lifestyle :)

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone. Hopefully you’re full of turkey or soon planning to be, remember that diets are strictly forbidden this weekend and that is not debatable. Eat and drink too much, wayyyyy too much.

And enjoy the precious family time, that’s what it’s all about!

Cheers,

Justin, Erica, Damien

September 2021 Market Update

Hi Friends,

So long summer heat and welcome to fall market frenzy!

The best way to explain the overall current market is as a balanced market – for the most part. We are experiencing stability across the Calgary and surrounding area markets, and to no surprise since we had such an aggressive run the previous 8 months, it’s just not sustainable so we had to cool off a bit. Statistically speaking, 2021 has arguably been the strongest year recorded since 2014 and we still have 3.5 months to go which is pretty exciting to see how everything shakes out. Key drivers are still the incredibly low interest rates and the low supply of homes (and low supply of everything else it seems from vehicles to building supplies). During the previous 6 months the supply of homes could not keep up to demand but we’ve now moved into a more balanced market as you’ll see below with the infographics. Which is great for both buyers and sellers because sellers can sell at the new high prices while buyers finally have a bit more choice in the market.

Calgary has retained stability and balanced conditions over the past month, while Cochrane is still dipping its toes into a Seller’s market. Meanwhile Airdrie is still on fire, Airdrie has slowed a bit which is encouraging for the buyers on the side lines waiting for more options. However, Airdrie is still one of the hottest markets in Alberta so this will be fun to see how fall market potentially cools the market – or not. Either way, bring it on!

The next newsletter will come post-federal election. We will keep our political thoughts apolitical and focused on real estate, we do encourage all real estate enthusiasts to ask us about how each platform may impact the future of real estate. Just give us a call, there are some large changes potentially coming.

The first 8 months of the year have been record breaking, exhausting and exciting, but now it’s time to switch gears into fall market and we expect it to be a bit of a frenzy until the snow flies. We predict that this strong market will continue into minimum late October. And we do believe that the market will be balanced, but it’s still barely balanced and closer to a sellers market than a buyers market. November and December historically slow down as the weather turns cold, and we do expect that we’ll see a slower market again this year in the ladder months, even with low interest rates and low supply of homes.

We are incredibly thankful for our clients and for their continued support. Almost all of our business is coming from either client referrals or from the efforts of our client reviews. If you are keen to write a Google Review then please know that this helps support our small family business so so so soooooo much, we are incredibly grateful for you!

The amazing summer weather is still upon us so we encourage you to get outside with your loved ones and enjoy it while you can! Obviously the pandemic has once again resurged, so counteract it with some sunshine and laughter!

Cheers,

Justin, Erica, Damien

August 2021 Market Update

Hi Friends,

As predicted in last month’s newsletter we are now experiencing some stabilization in the markets and this does not mean home prices are going down, it simply means that in most communities we have achieved the major annual gains in the first half of the year and we are now stabilizing and selling at these new price points consistently. “Most communities” is the phrase to focus on as some places such as Airdrie totally missed the memo and the market is still red hot. Typically as the Calgary market cools down/balances out we see the surrounding communities such as Cochrane and Airdrie follow suit shortly after and in the past month we’ve watched Cochrane fall in line with Calgary but Airdrie seems to be doing it’s own thing with homes selling very quickly and it’s due to a lack of homes available on the market which is creating an opportunity for sellers, not so much for the buyers who still need to be patient in order to find the right home at a reasonable price.As the overall market trends towards more balanced conditions it’s a breath of fresh air because we’ll be honest, it’s been banana’s trying to keep up with the market and not only are our buyers and sellers exhausted but us at the JW Realty Team are excited to experience some more balanced conditions, although this has been a really fun ride in 2021 so if it were to continue then bring it on! That being said, we have had multiple listings in the past few weeks go into multiple offer scenarios and sell well above market value so that is still happening, just not as often as in the spring. We are now also beginning to see many listings come online that we call “swinging for the fences” listings, these are seller’s who are trying to achieve a sale price that is not supported by market data and if the market is going up as it was this spring then this can work sometimes because the future value in 1-2 months can support the valuation, however, with more balanced conditions this strategy simply is not working right now and we are seeing lot’s of inventory on the market that just doesn’t make sense with price drops inherently coming soon. When these price drops happen our buyers will be able to feast, it’s only a matter of time until the market dictates that these homes are overpriced. And in the meantime at the JW Realty Team we will continue to urge our sellers to price their listings correctly so our clients can get top dollar (and hopefully even well above market value) in the shortest period of time.

You may be wondering, what will happen in the markets this fall? We predict that we’ll continue to be balanced but some undervalued communities will continue to see growth until they are eventually balanced. Therefore, there is still incredible opportunity for buyers to purchase before some markets rise further and for Sellers to experience more price gains on their properties. We expect that the main driver that will influence the market this fall will be interest rates and whether or not they rise. Assuming we do not go into another lockdown and we continue to see a return to normal supply chain for products (such as lumber etc) versus a shortage on everything, then it will be interest rates potentially making a large increase that cools the market. But if they remain low, or relatively low then we’ll stay balanced.

We are incredibly grateful for the continued referrals this summer. Other than a handful of clients finding us from things like our outstanding Google Reviews (THANKS to everyone who has taken the time to fill one out!), we were 100% referrals from past clients which as you know is our long term business model so THANK YOU to all of our supporters for continuing to help us drive our family business forward (Damien is basically family right).

Enjoy the tail end of summer, it’s not over yet no matter what anyone says and take advantage of the blue sky days!

Cheers,

Justin, Erica, Damien

July 2021 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Well that was fun, now what?

As predicted last month many markets were about to plateau and that is certainly the case, especially in lot’s of Calgary neighbourhoods. Some other markets such as Airdrie or Cochrane are still going nuts, however, they will eventually follow Calgary as well.

The Calgary market year over year is up 11% and similarly in surrounding cities which is quite an incredible achievement. This is comparable to 2014 gains which was driven by some logical economic factors such as Oil & Gas prices being high which essentially fuelled our local Oil & Gas dependant economy at the time. But now in 2021 it’s not so much Oil & Gas prices causing these real estate gains (although the price of oil has rebounded woo hoo!), our growth in 2021 has been caused by a pandemic creating a fundamental shift in consumer mentality and demand to upgrade their home since they’re spending so much time in it, or to get into the market versus renting because interest rates have been so darn low! This amongst other reasons have driven an incredible rally so far in 2021, BUT, the pandemic appears to be over and interest rates are on the rise therefore we do think that we are plateauing and it is likely that we will soon move from a Seller’s Market back into more Balanced Market conditions. Which is okay as there is tons of opportunity for both Buyers and Sellers in this type of market.

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that this market is unpredictable short term, so if we stay in a Seller’s market for a few more months then that’s cool but we do think that there is a shift happening right now and some communities are unlikely to see further gains this year. Take your win and enjoy it :) And for those of you still in hot Calgary communities or in Airdrie, Cochrane or surrounding areas of Calgary, enjoy the rally while it lasts.

To summarize, 2021 has been a win for real estate buyers and sellers. For Buyer’s it has been trickier but patience and perseverance has allowed almost every buyer to get the right home at the right price. For seller’s, keep enjoying it while it lasts, we sure are having fun together aren’t we!

Our business is almost completely now operating on referral based clients, so THANK YOU to all of our past and current clients who continue to spread the word about our real estate services, YOU ARE THE BEST!

It’s summer and things finally feel the more normal than they have in the past year, so get your butts outside and enjoy this weather and time with your friends and family. You deserve it.

Cheers!

Justin, Erica, Damien & Shay (Trainee)

June 2021 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Has the market peaked? In some neighbourhoods it probably has in our opinion, others still have tons of room for growth. As far as the general public is concerned everything is hot right now…. Well that’s just not true. In the detached and semi-detached segments if you market your property correctly and price accordingly then you’re going to sell but if you’re too greedy or cut corners then you’re going to be wasting your time. The attached segment is picking up steam as well, meanwhile the runt of the litter is apartment condos lagging behind. BUT if we continue to experience this market long term, say until the end of this year then we will see all sectors increase further, probably even the condo apartment sector.

How long will this market last and is it about to explode? No one knows for certain, however let’s consider these 4 factors,:

1. We are just entering a new era of stress test mortgage rules as of June 1st making it tougher for buyers to purchase real estate

2. The pandemic appears to be coming to an end (hopefully!) so maybe people will spend their savings elsewhere, and as crazy as it sounds ..maybe on travel?

3. It is now summer meaning people are no longer couped up in their homes finding reasons to upgrade, reno or move

4. Historically families want to move and be settled prior to the next school year, so by the end of July this window closes to sell and buy prior to Sept

5. If the pandemic truly ends and supply chain is corrected to pre-pandemic conditions then we may see lower construction material pricing in the coming months, meaning that builders may stop driving up prices. This is a wild card that will be interesting to watch unfold. 

Spring market was one of the strongest in recent history which is awesome and now these new factors above that we have upon us in June are coming into play and we are just as eager as you to see if this cools the market a bit in the next 4-6 weeks. Although it may be very short term thinking, we are quickly learning that this market is not built on sustainability, so we need to consider what is right in front of us.

To summarize, we are still experiencing a uniquely strong market and the opportunity to sell and buy real estate is magnificent. For the most part these conditions favour the seller but we have still been able to help dozens of buyers in making excellent decisions and investments this spring.

On another note, welcome to the team DAMIEN BERG! You’ll find a write up below about how smart, handsome and strong he is :)

As per usual, a special thanks to our amazing clients for continuing to trust in us and for continuing to refer business to us, you are the reason we are able to succeed!

Have a wonderful June and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible!

Cheers,

Justin, Erica, Damien, Shay (Trainee)

May 2021 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Are you having Fun? We sure are! April was another wild month in your local real estate market and May will be no different (and it’s already going haywire). The market is showing no signs of slowing down just yet, although it’s possible we’ll see this chaos stabilize this summer and we hope that it stabilizes because what is currently happening simply is not sustainable long term. There is no way of knowing exactly what is going to happen because what is currently happening in the market defies basic economics, which is scary as this could mean it’s a bubble going to pop, however nothing surprises us anymore after what has happened in the past year so perhaps this growth is here to stay which would be excellent for us all! Additionally, builder prices will continue to go up due to the cost of building materials, inherently propping up the resale market. And let’s not forget about interest rates being low and tougher lending rules that come into effect soon – these 3 things are indicators to watch closely in the coming month:

1. Price of building materials such as lumber 

2. Interest Rates 

3. New Mortgage Rules and a Tougher Stress test – Will this limit buyers enough to cool the market?

In April we experienced a new record high for the month in terms of homes sold, as Calgary’s housing market continues to bounce back from the pandemic lows recorded in 2020. I find that most industry professionals are focusing only on the “record sales” but let’s remember that we’re making up for not just 2020 but the prior years of suppressed markets. We are not trying to be a negative Nelly about it but just realistic and of course we are pumped because we are quickly getting back to previous home prices we were experiencing in 2014 and 2015! So if we can get back to where we once were AND THEN surpass those previous market highs across every market and sector in terms of home prices then that will be absolutely amazing, this is what we’re cheering for over here at the JW Realty Team!
The Cochrane market is one of the strongest right now, with increased demand to live the Cochrane Lifestyle, there are more buyers than homes available and everything is selling. In Airdrie the market is hot as well with anything that is priced fair and marketed properly is selling right away. Another interesting thing right now is the demand for lake or water communities, with the past year of being stuck in our homes everyone now wants to live the lake or canal life so the demand is reaching record highs!

ATTENTION BUYERS & SELLERS – THERE IS A SOLUTION! Ok, so buyers are scared to buy because of the “bidding wars” and lack of options… And sellers are scared to sell and then having to buy. These are both legitimate concerns but like with anything in life you can mitigate the risk! Buyers, if you’re working with an agent who is ready to jump at an opportunity quicker than others then we will get you the right house (unless your search criteria is so slim that you’re looking for a “unicorn”). In the past few months we have beat the competition to the punch and had our offer accepted before the rush got into the house. And for sellers, we can mitigate your risk by ensuring that we get top dollar for your house and also that we get a longer possession date of perhaps 60-90 days if possible, which takes the pressure off to have to “buy now”. These “buy now” buyers are typically the ones in bidding wars because they have no time or options and they’ll happily pay a premium.

Thanks to all of our amazing clients who continue to trust in us, nearly 100% of our business is referral based which has always been our goal and is truly the backbone of our business model. We are so incredibly grateful for each and every one of you.

Have an awesome May!

Cheers, 

Justin, Erica, Shay (Trainee)

April 2021 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Spring Market is here and it’s B-A-N-A-N-A-S!  The housing market had the best March sales in over a decade in terms of volume of homes sold, we are now roughly 5% behind 2014 prices overall which was arguably the peak of the market. The low lending rates (which will rise again) and consumer appetite to improve their home after spending a lonnnng year in it due to a pandemic are still fuelling the market demand. As mentioned in previous newsletters, the cost of building materials is also driving up the prices for home builders and this is pushing people into the resale market.

So it’s a hot market, how long will it last? Is it a bubble?

Well first of all, it’s only hot in certain sectors and home types. The media is excellent at blowing up the success of particular segments to make it seem like “everything” is doing well. Fortunately most detached homes are experiencing strong market conditions, and since detached single family homes are so competitive right now we are seeing an overflow to semi-detached homes beginning to gain traction as well. Row Townhouse homes  & condos are stable – they’re not on fire, which in all fairness is a win after years of sliding. Perhaps we have hit bottom!

Buyer demand in the $300,000 – $550,000 price segment for detached homes is amazing right now. It’s funny because we are experiencing overpriced listings “swinging for the fences”, which still doesn’t work and then we’re seeing homes priced very well that sell firm in less then 30 days and ALSO we are seeing many Realtors underpricing homes to get 15-20 buyers through on day one to create multiple offers and drive the price up. BUT they’re typically getting the same price end result as just pricing right to begin with and if you price right and get multiple offers then you’re truly building extra value on top for your sellers. Anyways, it is interesting times in the Calgary and surrounding cities real estate market and fun to be deploying lot’s of unique strategies.

Human nature is a funny thing, when playing the stock market and a stock catches on fire then everyone all of a sudden wants it and real estate is no different. A fact of the stock market too is that “most” stocks go up and they ALSO go down, it is cyclical and picking an investment that goes up MORE than it goes down over a long period of time is called picking a winner. So why does this matter to mention this in a real estate newsletter? It’s important because we believe that we are IN A BUBBLE. When the bubble pops some homes will still be great investments, but others will lose value and come back down. Therefore, when navigating a market like this it’s incredibly important to ensure that you’re buying or selling with a long-term mindset in place and that you’re considering criteria such as location, community development,  trends in the neighbourhood, and historical market trends etc. Understanding the market and where it may go in the short and long term can allow you to make a wise investment and buying/selling real estate is the same as playing the stock market. The market is on a heater right now and hopefully it lasts but it’s not sustainable, so eventually it’ll cool off.

To summarize, there is INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY right now in our real estate market, BUT JUST AS MUCH RISK so before you invest or divest give us a call to chat because as you know we will always shoot it to you straight.

March was a whooping month of home sales for us, we had our best month to date and it has rolled over into April. Thank you to all of our clients who gave us the opportunity to help them achieve their real estate goals in a very complicated market, you’re the best!

Enjoy the spring weather, get some sun, go outside and get ready for an excellent summer!

Cheers,

Justin, Erica, Shay (Trainee), Lucy (Shay’s Trainee)

March 2021 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Holy smokes that was one heck of a wild February in the real estate market. You’ve probably heard or read about the spike in sales last month which was the best February since 2014, particularly for detached homes as the Attached Home and Condo Sectors are still lagging. But how is this growth possible during a pandemic and the current economic turmoil or is it a bubble? Let’s dive deeper into it below!

The traditional indicators such as unemployment, small business failure, struggling GDP etc all point towards the market being suppressed, however the under $600,000 detached home market is absolutely on fire. There are a number of reasons with these below being the main ones:

1. Low Interest Rates (which are on the rise by the way)

2. Covid Stir-Craziness & Vaccine Confidence (People want more space and an office too, compounded with the increased consumer confidence from the Vaccine rolling out)

3. e-commerce is here (what would’ve taken 10 years to achieve happened in one year, many people may even work and shop from home forever now!)

4. Supply Chain Issues Driving up Builder Pricing (Builders cannot build as cheap as pre-pandemic as material costs have skyrocketed, making new builds more expensive and propping up the resale market) ps. Remember last fall when we predicted this would happen ;)

5.DEMAND! Buyer demand right now is strongest in the more affordable $300-$600k market, so of course it’s doing well (see Market Distribution graph below), it’s what the majority of consumers want. Additionally there has been a fundamental change with buyers who would’ve been happy living in the downtown core who now want more space and are moving outwards.

IS THIS JUST A BUBBLE THAT IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE?

The honest answer is that nobody knows for sure and if they say that they do know, well then they must have a magic crystal ball that we want to get our hands on! The truth is that the market will only stay hot “IF” spring market does not provide enough supply of homes to meet the current increased demand from these 5 factors above. Right now most Sellers are aware of what is happening and they’re gearing up to take advantage, therefore, if more homes are listed than needed (and as interest rates go up) this will cool down the market. But nobody knows how many thousands of homes will be listed over this next month and whether it will meet demand, only time will tell.

One thing that comes to mind is that Jan – March 2020 pre-covid, it had seemed as though we had hit bottom at the end of 2019 and that we would see a growth year….but then Covid happened. Now we are 2 months in 2021 and it once again appears that we may see growth and spring market will be the determining factor, and it’s likely we’ll see some growth.

If you’re a seller, you need to call us ASAP as you may shocked what we can do for you right now. We’ve been able to achieve some incredible things for clients lately. If you’re a buyer, you also need to call us because as interest rates rise you may need to get shopping and if you do go shopping we need to discuss strategy as it’s insanely competitive. Or if you’d rather sit back to ride this wave to the moon and watch to see if this bubble pops or keeps growing, then that’s cool too, it’s going to be a wild ride.

February was amazing for us as you’ll see below and we once again have our amazing clients who continue to refer us to friends and family, we are so grateful for your support, THANK YOU.

Have a great spring everyone!

-Justin, Erica, Shay (Trainee)

Feb 2021 Market Update

Hi Friends,

As mentioned last month, super low interest rates are pushing for a more stable market. We are officially in a Balanced Market in most regions versus the Buyer’s Market of 2020 (and a seller’s market in some segments!). There’s no way to say how long this will last because so many crazy outliers such as Covid Restrictions, Unemployment, Political Turmoil & The Price of Oil all play such a huge part of where real estate prices will be by summer. One thing though that we are confident to say is that we are likely to be in this balanced market until spring – this will be a stable first quarter in the market, which is a huge win in our opinion.

Come spring we expect to see an aggressive surge of homes hit the market (especially if Covid restrictions are lifted & homeowners are more comfortable to list) and with low interest rates hopefully we have enough buyer demand to gobble up the supply of homes.

Every segment of the market is different right now, if you’re selling a condo then you’re almost certainly still in a Buyer’s Market, if you’re selling a $350,000 detached home then you’re likely in a Seller’s Market. If you’re selling a $650,000 home it’s likely going to be a balanced market and the higher end luxury segment is still a Buyer’s Market. Sorry for repeating this every single month but it’s just so incredibly important to understand that even though the market as a whole is balanced, that is just an average and your specific market segment may be a Buyer’s or Seller’s market. Long story short, just ask us and we will shoot it to you straight because there is a ton of questionable information being published right now and when you hear other Realtors or people in the media declaring that it’s a “Seller’s Market”, well that is just false in our opinion, it’s Balanced unless they’re specifically speaking to a community and the precise price point that perhaps indeed is a seller’s market.

In a nutshell, 2020 was a beast with aggressive spikes up and down in the market, it was very volatile. In 2021 so far (as predicted last month) we are seeing stability and as restrictions ease and small businesses hopefully survive and interest rates stay low, then just maybe we will see some growth, AKA our home values going up! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.

Rewind to the start of 2020 – we were predicting growth and we were on track for it too, well until Mid-March of course when you know what happened. So will we pick up where we left off almost a year ago? Likely not, but the economic indicators so far in 2021 aren’t too shabby so the chance of a stable market with potential minimal growth is pretty awesome.

Thanks for all of our clients for making January our busiest one yet. We are off to a solid start in 2021 ready to shatter real estate records and it’s all because of our amazing clients who love that we are real estate nerds, thanks for continuing to support us.

Coming hot out of the bullpen sometime next month is Mr.Spring Market and rumour has it he is going to be throwing some heat.

Have an awesome February everyone!

Cheers,

Justin, Erica & Shay (Trainee)

Jan 2021 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Happy New Year!

We loaded this months newsletter with pictures and infographics, because they’re way more fun to look at rather than reading :)

But first, it’s time for the BIG QUESTION….What’s going to happen with Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane and surrounding area real estate in 2021? Everyone wants to know!

The answers depend on who you ask and be careful who you ask or what you believe, we have seen some very misleading predictions lately. Factors currently shaping our market include COVID-19, low interest rates, low housing supply, builder prices rising in 2021 due to increasing materials cost meaning the resale market will be propped up, and a still questionable oil and gas industry, with some recent consolidation that could spell more layoffs. Our prediction is that we will see a balanced market in 2021, the positive factors above such as crazy low interest rates are off setting the negative factors. If someone says it will go up or down an exact percentage, well then that’s simply a guess, in our opinion (unless they have a crystal ball). We advise that everyone should expect a balanced market with minor increases and decreases depending on what market segment you are in, especially in this first quarter of the year.

Meanwhile, Canadian economists and other realty firms are saying 2021 should be “similar to 2020” or “up” slightly. On pricing, many analysts expect the average to increase by 4% to 6% nationally, keyword here is “nationally”. Alberta’s economic conditions are not comparable to the National averages. Here in Calgary, industry watchers anticipate that a possible increase to be about 3%, (keyword “possible”) keeping the YYC average price somewhere in the mid- to higher-400’s for the year. Again, take this with a grain of salt, it’s completely a guess to say 3%. Hopefully they’re right but these industry watchers saying 3%, how do they know what is going to happen with Covid, High Unemployment Rates, Small Businesses Failing due to Covid Restrictions, or Interest Rates 6\six months from now? They’re guessing. Long story short, expect balanced conditions! Which is super awesome considering the Calgary Real Estate board last April was predicting a largely inaccurate 10% decrease in home prices by Jan 2021, which didn’t happen. Instead we saw mostly minor decreases in the market.

Lastly, anyone thinking of selling should know that there is low supply of housing on the market right now. Typically there is a lower level of supply this time of year but year over year it’s even lower. Meaning that it’s a great time to sell because Buyers are quite literally waiting for more listings to come on, there’s not even choice for them in some segments of the market!

Thinking of listing soon? January/February 2021 could be a great time to do so with such little competition before everyone floods the spring market, likely creating a competitive landscape. Looking for a new place with more space (for the swanky home office and gym)? We know where you can find it.

We hope that everyone is off to a great start in 2021. Stay healthy and be safe.

Cheers!

Justin, Erica & Shay (Trainee)

December 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

2020, it may have been a tough year for you or maybe it was a great year, but we know one thing for sure, let’s stop talking about it,  WHO CARES anymore. Regardless of how challenging or rewarding it may have been we all need to put it behind us and begin thinking about how important it is to spend time with family over the holidays (pending restrictions of course). AND then 2021 is going to be a great year for all of us. Mindset is incredibly important and we truly believe that each and every one of us can have the best year yet if we have that positive vision, we take care of each other and we all work our butts off, so we encourage you to take the reins to dominate 2021.

The real estate market continues to break normal seasonal trends. This past quarter has been higher in terms of sales year over year, however we still haven’t made up for the original spring losses in sales volume. We are close though only 3% lower in total sales over 2019 which in our opinion is a HUGE WIN considering the wrenches thrown our way in 2020.  Furthermore, overall home prices are stable in the $500,000 and below sectors while there is a ton of volatility in the luxury segments. Overall 2020 has still been a great year to buy or sell a home, it was just trickier than usual to navigate the market and many sellers got out of the market at a strategic time while some buyers took advantage of the market conditions.

What does this mean for 2021? Well in our opinion it’s going to be a busy market and that may be a good or bad thing depending on what market segment you are buying or selling in. We still have record unemployment and job loss across Calgary and the surrounding cities and we are smack in the middle of a second Covid wave that will inherently cripple many more businesses and create more job loss. Remember that real estate moves in line with the economy, let’s not all be too naive to forget this. This means that there will likely be more supply of homes hitting the market in early 2021 as homeowners may no longer be able to afford their homes, but this also means that more buyers are going to be salivating at the mouth to take advantage of the new inventory with record low interest rates! It’s just a matter of whether the demand from Buyers can match the increased supply of homes on the market…..At the time of writing this some lenders are offering mortgages for 1.69% (note that we are not mortgage professionals so talk to your mortgage advisor directly for what rates are applicable to you), that’s insane and that alone is fuelling much of the demand in the market.

Another interesting theory that pertains to our market conditions is the threat of interest rates rising in combination with people who have secure jobs. These people are eager to get into the market to upgrade their home with low rates. While some are playing it safe and burning through the doors at Home Depot to do a quick renovation to appease their appetite for change, many others are taking this as an opportunity to buy at record low rates, something like the lowest in 20 years! People are saving more money right now due to Covid restrictions and they’re sick of sitting in their current homes, they’re looking to improve their living conditions. Additionally,  we will also add to this theory that people are spending way more time in their homes than usual due to Covid, and unless their home is spectacular already it leads to people wanting a change. And they’re saving money on top of this all and if they feel financially secure they are utilizing the extra time on their hands to upsize or downsize accordingly.

One more interesting tidbit to chew on. Due to the inability of home builders to gain enough access to building materials right now, the price of materials are rising across the board. This means, in our opinion, that in 2021 the builders are going to increase their new home pricing to account for the extra cost in materials. Naturally this may boost the resale market on the MLS! To explain, if you can buy a new house for say $500,000 in a similar community then the resale home will likely be lower, let’s say $480,000, because it’s not new and less sought after. But if builder pricing goes to say $525,000 for that same home then your resale home may have stronger demand pushing you closer to $500,000. Please keep in mind that this remains to be seen, but it’s a solid scenario that we may see in 2021 if building materials remain high.

So long story short, we are in unusual market conditions due to 2020 and it’s creating opportunity for both Buyers and Sellers. We believe that the first quarter of 2021 is going to have an aggressive amount of listings hit the market and “if” interest rates stay this low it’s going to be strong market conditions for most people. If you’re unsure how this will impact you, just ask us!

2020 was the best year yet for JW Realty, we doubled our clients and doubled the amount of people we were able to help out! THANK YOU to everyone who has trusted in us and continues to support us as we embark on our mission to just do real real estate better, with solutions that actually make sense for 2020. And 2021 too ;)

Happy Holidays Everyone!

-Justin, Erica, Shay (Trainee)

November 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

We imagine that everyone is sick of hearing about how “weird” (or bad) 2020 has been so we’ll skip doing that this month with a different approach that will hopefully leave you feeling inspired & get those wheels turning. 2020 has had some major victories and is also the dawn of a new age, the digital age of e-commerce. Never before has the world mobilized so quickly so everyone can digitally work from home during a pandemic. Many offices may never open again, and that may be a great thing for the companies bottom line and also allow workers more freedom to avoid commuting/ rush hour traffic, providing the ultimate victory of all —> spending more time with family!

Now why does this matter in a monthly real estate market report? Well because everything is shifting to e-commerce and those who do not jump on the train will be left behind. With people working from home this means that the type of homes people want will change, to maybe have an office space, or more outdoor space for example. This also means that when selling a home, it must be marketed properly with the intention of it showing to the best of it’s ability online in order to attract the right buyers!

The days of print brochures and sign branding to sell homes are done. Sorry Re/Max, you may as well call yourself Fee/Max until you change your business model for the future. And to be clear we are NOT mocking Re/Max agents specifically as some of those agents are the amongst best in the game, we just do not believe in the brokerage model of Re/Max and the marketing power behind the brand is soon to be ancient history, in our opinion. Furthermore,  the days of just popping up a listing on the MLS are dead and although many of those agents are still in business, they too will become obsolete soon like many of the offices that are now empty. It’s so incredibly important in our opinion to market real estate digitally in a way that you maximize the amount of buyers stepping foot in the door, after all that’s truly our job, to maximize the amount of buyers viewing the property.

Additionally, the digital age of e-commerce that we’re entering means that it’s easier than ever before to research real estate and to make a wise investment decision. Although it’s easier than ever before to find a great property, there are still many aspects to consider that a wise agent can assist with like the future potential of the land, rentability, or what is trending in that community. Most agents focus on helping their clients find a house right? Well that’s part of it but they should be focusing on helping people find the right community, the right land/lot and then the right house comes third. The recipe for success includes all three of those pillars, not just one or two. To summarize, we will see the real estate industry take a heavy shift into e-commerce in 2021 and we will be there to ensure we’re on the bleeding edge of the sword with innovation so please watch for updates as we adjust to a new world of real estate.

If you don’t believe us, maybe this will solidify some validity. With growth of 475% in the past 2 years Maclean’s & Canadian Business have named Grassroots Realty Group a top 500 Canadian Business, ranked 51st in Canada! Started in Northern Alberta by some extremely motivated entrepreneurs, we were fortunate to team up with them to lead the expansion into Calgary and it feels great to have the recognition we deserve for changing the game and doing exactly what we all set out to do. Innovation and the digital age of e-commerce for real estate has already begun.

So far in 2020 our local real estate market has had a decent rebound considering the initial hole we were in from the pandemic but we are still behind last year with total sales roughly 6% below last years levels and prices about 1% lower overall. That’s a victory, take it because we’re still in a pandemic whether we like it or not! Also take the numbers with a grain of salt because your community may be 5% down (or up) for example, the market is still incredibly fragmented so the overall numbers do not truly mean much, it comes down to the specific community you are invested (or investing) in.

Despite uncertainty in the market, last month we had record sales for the JW Realty Team and it appears to be continuing into winter. We are so incredibly thankful for our amazing clients who continue to work so hard with us. It’s no secret that our business model is built around the simple concept of REPEAT & REFERRAL…. And it’s working! There’s no secret ingredient, it’s called doing an excellent job, working hard, always shooting it straight and then our clients refer us. So thank you to everyone who continues to support us as we aspire to change the game with how real estate should be done. Much love to you all and your families!

Cheers,

Justin, Erica & Shay (Trainee)

October 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

What an amazing Fall we are having so far with this weather. We hope that everyone takes advantage of these last weeks of warm fall weather, we sure plan to!

In a normal year the real estate cycle would be much easier to predict moving from Fall into Winter, however, this is not a normal year. Instead of predicting the market we would rather look at the facts and express our optimism towards market conditions while being realistic that there are major global, political and economic influences that can significantly impact our market in a heartbeat.

2020 has certainly been an “odd” year in the Calgary and surrounding area real estate markets. We have seen the market crumble and then rebound (in some segments, not all). Although the market as of today is seemingly stable, it’s also very volatile. This can be a good thing or bad thing depending on how and where you’re investing or selling your property. The volatility is being influenced by the local economy, the pandemic and record low interest rates. We have seen some markets adjust downwards with significant decreases, BUT others in the lower price segments are actually trending up which is great to see. Really it’s not a surprise that more affordable housing is doing well during a time of economic, political and global uncertainty.

One thing that is driving us NUTS is how some Realtors are saying “Record Sales”, “The market is HOT!”, yadda yadda. #Classic

YES, we did have more sales activity June to September 2020 versus 2019, however this was simply making up for an absolutely horrible March – May that was crushed by the pandemic, and we’re still behind if you look at March to September versus just June to September. Realtors can sway numbers in their favour to be deceiving and that’s not what we are about at the JW Realty Team, we cut through the noise to shoot it to you straight. So we urge you to take these headlines with a grain of salt and to instead look at the long term numbers.

Year-to-date sales activity remains nearly nine per cent below last year’s levels, but the positive side is that prices are only just over one per cent LOWER than last year, which isn’t bad considering the curve balls we have been thrown in 2020.

We are not in a bad market by any means. Although it is very volatile, much of the market will remain stable so there should be little to no fear for most people, depending on your community and price point.

September was a busy month of sales for us and we are incredibly thankful for all of our amazing clients who trusted in our business model and processes.

Seriously, THANK YOU!

Make sure that you spend lots of time with family and friends this October, while staying safe and enjoying some great weather.

Cheers,

Justin, Erica, Shay (Trainee)

September 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

We are now nearing the end of a wild summer, hopefully you had a great Sept long weekend with family and friends as that is what it’s all about. We also hope that everyone has taken advantage of all the sunny summer days versus the previous years of rainy or smokey weather. 2020 has been an “odd” year so the decent weather has been a victory, soak it up and take the win!

September 2020 will be an interesting month in our real estate market. With kids back to school, a world pandemic still in motion, mortgage deferrals ending, extremely low interest rates and high Alberta unemployment rates, we are riding a rollercoaster of ups and downs. June to August we experienced a rebound in the real estate markets (specifically due to the under $500k market having high demand, see chart below) after everything was suppressed in the spring months due to Covid-19. This rebound means that we had a high volume of sales for these months compared to the previous year, to make up for what was lost in previous months, but we’re still behind year over year so take it with a grain of salt.

We have been watching other Realtors post about “record sales” happening in their brokerage or local markets but that’s not reality because it’s such short term thinking. We need to be realistic and we all need to continue working our butts off to get back on track. We are Albertans which means we work hard and we must keep our foot on the gas. Long term we’re still making up for the damage done. AND, it’s naive to believe that we are back on track already and that it’s all sunshine and rainbows. Calgary’s unemployment rate sits at 15%, which is well above the national average of 11%, and many businesses are holding on by a thread and this fall is likely when we’ll see some more fade away…. AKA more job loss.

By nature we are optimistic people at JW Realty, but we also believe in being realistic and shooting it to you straight. Yes, June to August has been unbelievable for home sales, trust us, we know as we broke records too for volume of homes sold. September will likely be decent as well pending no further major disruptions in the market. However, in our opinion, this fall we will see an adjustment in the markets overall. Some communities and markets will escape unscathed due to higher demand, but overall we’re going to see a drop in home values. Don’t panic, it may be minor or stable for your specific home value, and if you’re buying then I bet you’re just salivating at the potential opportunity.

The past few months have been awesome for the JW Realty Team in terms of amazing clients who have trusted in us to get the job done, we’ve been very fortunate. We remind everyone to understand that we are not yet through 2020 and that there are hardships to come, but also some victories so keep your chin up! Brace yourself for an interesting fall and please do not panic as there is a solution to any real estate need that you may have. And probably more opportunity than you suspect…when there is uncertainty, there is opportunity.

August was a busy one and it’s all thanks to our wonderful clients trusting in our process and supporting our business model to achieve the sale they needed and then referring us to others, you rock!

Enjoy September folks, it’s going to be a great month and don’t forget to soak up some sunshine while you can :)

Cheers!
Justin & Erica

Hi Friends,

After a rainy beginning to our summer we’ve finally been getting the sunshine (and hockey!) that we deserve & we hope that you’ve been taking advantage of it. In 2020 we haven’t experienced too many “victories” for us Albertans so if we can get some good weather then heck yes lets enjoy it! The Calgary and surrounding area real estate market is going through an “unusual” period right now. Typically the real estate cycle slows down significantly in August as buyers & sellers go on holiday, plus many buyers want to buy before August if they have kids so they can be moved in prior to September when school starts. With Covid suppressing the market this spring we are likely to have some elevated numbers in August in terms of showings & demand because we’re still on the tail end of a wave making up for a lost spring market.

That being said, you may be wondering what the fall market is going to look like? What we can say is that it’s not going to get better than it is today for home prices. The Calgary Real Estate Board chief economist is saying to brace for a 3% drop overall in the market. Now, this is a stupid number because some markets may change by 0.5% while others change by 10%, so please take it with a grain of salt. What we can take from this 3% prediction is that there is much uncertainty in our economy right now & this will inherently have a negative impact on the markets this fall when it compounds together. Government assistance for many will end, mortgage deferrals will end causing an influx of listed homes (increasing supply without the demand to meet it), we have record unemployment rates, many businesses will fail due to being suppressed during the pandemic and the energy sector which drives our economy is a wild card, to name a few…..

To summarize, and it’s probably no surprise to you, we predict that our real estate market is going to trend downwards for the remainder of 2020, and likely into 2021. For how long? Nobody knows. I wish I was saying the ladder, however the truth is that we are going to feel the repercussions of the above economic factors this fall. But DON’T PANIC, you may be in a market that will escape unscathed. For example, homes priced in or around $400k are on fire right now, the demand exists for this price point, therefore you may have nothing to worry about. If you’re priced at $700,000+ then there will likely be more volatility in your market. Or you perhaps are in a market with a unique home that is in high demand, therefore prices remain stable. To no surprise, the most important factor to sell a home right now is to understand the market and price your home right.

If you’re curious what your home is worth, how the downturn will impact it, or if you’re curious how a prospective home purchase will be impacted this fall, then please just let us know as we will ALWAYS shoot it to you straight.

On another note, despite being in a pandemic and wacky 2020 chaos, we continue to break records at JW Realty Team selling homes like crazy and it’s all because we have amazing clients who trust in us, so THANK YOU to the amazing people who have given us the opportunity to work together.

Enjoy the last month of summer folks :)

Cheers,

Justin, Erica, Shay (Trainee)

July 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

2020 has been a real curve ball for Calgary & Area real estate including spring market in July!? Somewhere around June 10th we began to see the amount of daily showings actually surpass last year at this time. Now keep in mind that we were down roughly 80% at one point this spring so it’s no surprise that we had an increase once all the suppressed buyers entered the market once again in June. To be clear, just because we have more buyers in the market this does not mean that it directly equates to more sales. Sales are certainly improving the past month but we are actually about 2% down year over year in June which isn’t bad considering the variables we’re dealing with.

Truth be told, in our opinion, we are living in a bubble right now. We are yet to feel the effects of unemployment (that is in the double digits!), the energy sector is a wild card that drives our economy and let’s not forget that Coronavirus is not gone just yet, it’s still tanking global markets with repercussions coming. There recently have been some economists writing articles projecting that we’ll see a massive drop in Calgary home prices but to us that is pure speculation. Yes there will be an adjustment but it may be 1% in your community while it’s 10% in others, therefore take those articles with a grain of salt and ask us instead what we think will happen in your local community market. What does this bubble mean for real estate in general? If you need to sell then you better capitalize on this bubble because who knows how long it will last before home prices adjust and if you need to buy then there is more supply of homes entering the market then demand so you can have your pick of the best listings.

June was a busy month for us at JW Realty, we were slapping up sold stickers on signs like crazy and helping many buyers achieve their goals. Thanks to everyone who gave us the opportunity to assist them, you rock! Also, we were incredibly busy training a new member of the team, Shay. After rigorous training and many sleepless nights we finally have her pulling her weight and chipping into the family business. Below you can check out some pics of Shay’s first day on the job. She’s a natural.

Have an amazing July and try to enjoy some summer sun, you deserve it :)

Cheers!

Justin & Erica

June 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Welcome to the “Now Normal”. The past few months have been nothing short of weird and it has been tough for everyone to transition during these challenging times. However, we are happy to report that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Now Normal is very different from the Old Normal and we certainly have not fully recovered, nor will we in 2020 (in our opinion) but what we can say is that the market is slowly stabilizing and buyers/sellers are once again entering the market. Which is great news! Below you will see a graph showing how Coronavirus caused a devastating dip in home showings, inherently this suppressed sales over the past few months but we are now seeing the line on this graph improve. It’s not perfect, but it is positive news so let’s take a small win and run with it!

In May there was a 44% decline in sales from last year’s figures and to no surprise much of the activity has shifted towards more affordable homes. With significant job loss, business failure, oil & gas struggles, low consumer confidence, political turmoil and still many unknown variables, there is no timeline to when we will see a recovery. What we can say is that 2020 will not see any growth, we will be licking our wounds well into 2021. What does this mean for sellers and buyers? Sellers need to act now, in our opinion, or they need to wait until 2021 or maybe even 2022 to once again be able to sell at today’s home values. For buyers, you can lick your lips in excitement because there is ample opportunity today to find a great home and it’s going to be great for the rest of 2020.

An interesting theory we have is that since we had a suppressed market in April & May when we typically see the highest volume of home sales, AKA “spring market”, is that we will have a late spring market in June – August. As of today sellers now seem to have the confidence to list their homes and to have buyers enter their homes once again. On the flip side, buyers now feel comfortable entering people’s homes. To summarize, there is still a need for many people to achieve their real estate goals and those goals will be achieved, they were just delayed for many people!

Thanks to all our amazing clients for riding out the past few months with us and trusting in us to assist them during a challenging period. We are extremely grateful for you all!

Cheers,

Justin & Erica

May 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Well that was by far the weirdest April we have ever experienced! There is no perfect way to summarize how odd everything has felt, we are simply in uncharted waters. We hope that everyone is safe, taking care of their families and we wish you nothing but happiness this spring. That being said, we believe that there is also more clarity this month versus last month. We entered April with intense fear of what may happen and as a community we are persevering. We are yet to be in the “safe zone” from Covid-19 and we by no means are declaring that we are. However we have all adapted to a lifestyle that is needed to fight the virus so we can get back on track and we just think that it’s incredible how everyone is coming together as a community.

In terms of the real estate markets, as projected over the past month, they are suffering. April sales declined 63% over last year. This isn’t a surprise since real estate moves directly in line with the economy and Alberta is facing some challenges with a Covid-19 economy and the state of the energy sector. We are going to see some decreases in home values over the next few quarters. BUT don’t panic, the drop in your home values may be minor (or major drops depending on how over supplied your market segment is) and if you’re not selling your home then who cares! If you plan to sell a home this year then you need to get on it ASAP, because the remainder of 2020 won’t be better than it is today for your home value, so get top dollar while you can. If you’re buying, well then you’re going to see some great options!

In terms of Canadian real estate, there are two important pieces of good news at the moment: The first is that you can defer mortgage payments for up to six months if you need to. The second is that the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has begun to purchase mortgage debt from the banks in order to provide them with cash and keep them in the black.

Although April was certainly an odd month, we are thankful for all of our clients who continued to work with us despite the challenges we faced. You are our heroes for persevering. Now it’s spring and we should all be excited for the sunshine, the outdoors and for normalcy coming soon.

Take Care,
Justin & Erica

April 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

The most important message that we can express right now is that we must all stay safe, stay home, take the proper precautions seriously and take care of each other. Of course this means listening to our provincial leaders and social distancing, but in our opinion, it also means that it is imperative that we pull together as a community to support small businesses when possible, help out our neighbours when possible, all while respecting the guidelines we are under. There is no single person who isn’t affected by this Covid-19 pandemic, therefore, we must all work together so we can be stronger as a united community.

Just as an FYI in case you haven’t already heard, the buying & selling of Real Estate in Alberta (AKA housing), banking, lawyers and land titles, have been deemed essential services. Therefore the markets will remain open in April. Now this does not mean that everything is “normal”, it is actually far from normal, we are living in a brand new world that none of us have ever experienced. Buyers and sellers who need to move, sell or buy a home still have the option, however there are some extreme precautions in place to ensure it is done in the absolute safest possible manner. If you do not need to be buying in April then now is not the time to be out shopping around, but if you do then we can still make it happen. Once the dust settles in a month or whenever that may be, real estate is going to be extremely busy while the markets shift to a new normal that is influenced by job loss, business failure and low consumer confidence. to name a few variables. The best positioned sellers and buyers who are ready will be able to take advantage and achieve some amazing real estate goals in the short term. Long term however, there will be some challenges……

In terms of the state of the market today, you can probably guess without us telling you what is happening right now. In March we had levels of transactions that haven’t been this low since 1995. (The only constant here is that the Pittsburgh Penguins were also the best team in 1995!) Simply put, demand is way down and supply is still up. We are in a buyer’s market and will be for all of April.

Normally this is an opportunity for a monthly rant on shooting it to you straight on what is truly going on in the markets and why most media updates (and many other real estate professionals) are misleading. However, with so much uncertainty around how long these changing variables such as low oil prices, suspended businesses and Covid-19 will exist, we will hit the pause button for a month and revisit much more in depth this coming May in order to avoid speculation or offending anyone during a sensitive transition. For this month’s newsletter we want focus to be put on all of us working together so we can all get through the pandemic and support each other during & after.

If it is time sensitive to you to learn more about what we think about the current market because you are currently in the market, then send us a quick message. We are happy to inform you on where we believe the market is going in the short/long term and what to expect this summer, because we certainly do have a strong opinion on this. If it’s not urgent to you to know this information then please stay home and focus on taking care of yourself, your family, your business and your neighbours during these challenging times.

Thanks to all of our incredible clients who persevered in March during a global pandemic to achieve their real estate goals. You truly are heroes in our eyes for staying the course until you found success.

Take Care Everyone,
Justin & Erica

March 2020 Market Update

 Hi Friends,

Welcome to Spring, a peak season for home sales, prematurely planning camping trips and firing back up those BBQ’s!

As you may have heard, the Calgary & Area real estate market is off to a positive start in 2020. After the first two months we are currently ahead of 2019 by 12%, however, take this with a grain of salt because February 2019 was our worst February since the 90’s. So let’s not get too excited just yet, but lets absolutely take this small win for now and dig a bit deeper into what is really going on below.

A few months back we predicted a very “fragmented” market in 2020, well that is absolutely what we are now seeing. Some specific home classes such as inner city infills North of the Bow have 50+ Active homes competing for only 1-ish sales per week while other segments have 75%+ of homes selling each month, and many with multiple offers.

Obviously it’s more fun to be on the quick sale/top dollar for your home side of the spectrum, but even if you’re planning to buy or sell in a hot market you still need to understand how to be positioned. We are seeing hot markets right now with some of the best homes not being positioned properly and unfortunately those homeowners are missing out on all of the fun. The old school Real Estate Agent tactic  that is not so secret or at least shouldn’t be a secret of “List your home high and then we’ll do price drops so I can keep my sign in the ground and market myself longer” is still very much a real thing. We’re not saying that there is anything wrong with those agents that choose this as their business model. But we will say that we would rather sell your home and preferably do it quickly for top dollar versus messing around for months.

So even though we are working with this “fragmented” market it is tough to see through all of the noise because so many listings are either overpriced, not marketed properly or have become stale. This leaves buyers and sellers who are looking from the outside in confused to whether the market is truly improving or not. If 10 for sale signs go up in your neighbourhood that may be a good thing, or a bad thing for you. Curious about your street? Just ask us for our honest opinion. That aside, we can tell you that the market is certainly improving, however it’s only relative to what you compare it to. If we compare to last year, then yes we’re kicking ass, but if we are to compare to 10 year averages then it’s a different story.

The point here is that yes we are seeing some awesome growth and some markets are becoming ripe with opportunity for the picking, while others are becoming more over supplied with no demand to keep up. Confusing? Well it’s a fragmented market, there is no one term to describe what’s happening right now in the Calgary and Area real estate markets other than that you must understand the market data and be able to see through the noise.

Lastly, we wanted to mention how we’re starting to see a trend of people “accepting” that today’s market is the new norm. In Alberta for years we got used to the Alberta Advantage, boom & bust, big gains – but now we’re seeing a steadier cycle and buyers/sellers have seemed to accept this versus last year when it seemed that lots of people were still holding on to some hope for a miracle boom. We personally think that this is a good thing, a nice reset for us all. And we also think real estate is cyclical, runs in line with the energy sector and yes we do believe that we will someday see a boom again. But without a crystal ball the timeline for a boom remains uncertain.

Lastly, a huge THANK YOU to all our clients in 2020 so far for allowing us to fulfill our goal of helping as many families as possible with their real estate needs.  If you know of a family member or friend who could use some help to fulfil their real estate needs, we are happily accepting more clients in 2020 and would be grateful for the referral.

Justin & Erica

February 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Just like that the first month of this decade has cruised by! We hope that everyone has had a solid start to the New Year by sticking to those resolutions and crushing your goals.

We’ve been busy getting a jump on the new year with helping our clients navigate the 2020 real estate market but behind the scenes we have been working on some stuff and we have a few big announcements this month that we are excited to share with you!

First announcement, Justin is now licensed to trade in Commercial Real Estate.  We would like to announce that we are officially opening the Commercial Real Estate arm of our business to coincide with our Residential side of the business. The commercial real estate market is completely different from the Residential Market and it’s exciting for Justin to be able to actively put his business skills to work with a new real estate challenge.

And heck while we’re at it, why not announce a third arm of the business that we’re kicking off in 2020, flipping homes! Not only will we be working on projects ourselves flipping homes in the Calgary market (HGtv, here we come!), we are also working with investors to help them structure the right strategy to flip homes, including how to buy the right home, what renovations to complete to have the highest ROI and how to sell at optimal margins. We now have three arms of business at JW Realty, however we don’t like odd numbers……so you’ll have to stay tuned to hear what the 4th arm is :) Coming Soon!

If you recall our market update from last month, we focused on how the market is going to be extremely fragmented in 2020, not “stabilized”. I hope that you’ve been ignoring the mish mash of media saying that we are balanced, or a buyers market or that we’ve hit bottom. That’s all a crock because it’s not specific enough. The truth still is that it depends on which market you are buying or selling in. There is little to no consistency that warrants saying that the market as a whole is stabilized, it’s just too fragmented and there are too many styles of homes.

So with that note, let’s remember that in order to sell for top dollar or purchase at or below market price, 2020 will be a year that understanding the economics of real estate is extra critical. That being said, don’t be afraid to use us as a resource or as a sounding board, we understand the data very well (#RealEstateNerds) and we can 100% help you achieve your real estate goals or at least give you the information that you need to make an educated decision.

Lastly, a huge THANK YOU to all our clients in January for allowing us to fulfill our goal of helping as many families as possible with their real estate needs.  If you know of a family member or friend who could use some help to fulfil their real estate needs, we are happily accepting more clients in 2020 and would be grateful for the referral.

Cheers!
-Justin & Erica

January 2020 Market Update

Hello Friends,

Happy New Year!

Welcome to a new decade! We hope that your holidays have been the perfect measure of food, wine, family, friends, fun and laughter.

This year at JW Realty we are focusing on having a 20-20 vision, pun intended. We are looking forward to growing our team of real estate professionals, introducing some new divisions of the business (stay tuned in the coming months!) and also continuing to provide industry leading service and skill. Currently we (Justin & Erica) are working as a team to better service our clients and we are committing to a level of service and skill that freaks out traditional real estate teams. We feed on our aggressiveness to be better, different, value driven and modern with our business model because we are in a decade that will thrive on having stale business models disrupted. And let’s embrace it because this is what will make 2020 part of the most interesting and exciting decade yet!

Instead of writing a long boring update on how 2019 overall home prices declined by 3%, marking a 10% decline since the 2014 slowdown in the energy sector and overall sales volume was up by 1% (which are true stats by the way), rather lets focus on 2020 and discuss how home values will be affected this year instead of last year, including a “stability myth” to look out for.

Although most headlines from the media or other Realtors will read that the real estate market in Calgary is “stabilizing”, this is very narrow focused because the truth is that when you dissect the market, there are many communities that are far from hitting bottom, in our opinion. Additionally, some communities are now balanced, while others are in an upswing. Our point here is that we are at a point in the real estate cycle where there is little consistency across the market as a whole to signal stability.

For example, in 2014, almost every piece of the market was in an upswing, while in 2017 most of the market was depressed, yet in 2020 we will have a diverse mix. So yes it is true that the overall real estate market is “stabilizing” compared to the year before because some pieces of the market have indeed hit bottom and we are seeing some communities recover, however, be careful how you interpret that because the market you are currently invested in, or plan to invest in, may not have even hit bottom yet. Therefore, instead of being like every other Realtor and just saying that the market is stabilizing, we are saying that it is fragmented. Fragmented in a way that you simply can’t listen to headlines and believe that they for sure apply to you, you must dig deeper.

We predict that every community in Calgary will perform differently causing huge inconsistencies. Meaning that 2020 more than ever if you are buying or selling real estate will present huge risks AND more importantly, huge opportunities. It is extremely exciting to think about the opportunities that exist in a market like this, especially when you can buy under valued properties, trade up to a better property, do flips, sell your home at it’s highest value, acquire income properties etc, just by having an edge on understanding the market. Opportunity exists in 2020, we just need to block out the noise of a so-called stabilized market in order to see it.

To summarize, 2020 will be a fragmented year in the real estate markets we live and invest in. At JW Realty we believe that 1. geopolitical influences on industry, especially Oil & Gas, 2. growing net migration and 3. Albertans getting back to work with optimistic attitudes in order to spike consumer confidence, all need to coincide together first in order to be able to say that we have a true stabilized real estate market. Until then, let’s enjoy the opportunities presented right in front of us, because there is much fruit to bear!

For the analytical folks, i’ve included some extra stats below to highlight how Airdrie and Cochrane have performed over the past 10 years compared to Calgary, year over year.

Lastly, a huge THANK YOU to all our clients in December for allowing us to achieve our goal of helping as many families as possible with their real estate needs.  December was one of our best months of 2019 for transacting homes, which is great to have in a season where real estate can sometimes slow down, so thank you for allowing us to achieve this! If you know of a family or friend who could use some help to achieve their real estate needs, we are accepting more clients in 2020 and would be grateful for the referral.

Consider what 20-20 vision you want to follow and then get out there and make it happen :) Again, Happy New Year everyone!

Justin & Erica

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