Hey Smith & Griffith followers!
Hope you’ve had a great start to the year and are looking forward to what this year has in store. Spring is almost here!!! We are excited to celebrate Cassidy’s one year anniversary with our team in April – what a difference she has made to our team’s marketing and customer service. With the sunny weather and longer days making an appearance this March, Spring and Summer are not that far away!
The Spring market is here but there does not appear to be a wave of new inventory hitting the market. This means Buyer demand should stay strong which will lead to price increases and a continued Sellers’ market.
In February, inventory levels remained amongst the lowest levels the market has seen since 2006. When inventory is low, the homes that show well and have compelling prices will attract a lot of attention. Keep in mind, that the real estate market is complex, and each micro market should be measured based on its own activity. Overpriced properties are sitting on the market without selling, which continues to make pricing a critical component to maximizing the value in a sale.
Sales in Alberta have been strong in the first two months of the year. In fact, it looks to be the third best start to the year for sales in comparison to the past ten years. These numbers would be higher if there was more property available on the market. With a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 73% and ‘months of supply’ under two months, the market has struggled to move into balanced territory causing further upward pressure on home prices.
“While higher lending rates are impacting sales activity as expected, we are seeing a stronger pullback in new listings, keeping supply levels low and supporting some stronger-than-expected monthly price gains,” said CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Prices are still below the May 2022 peak, and it is still early in the year. However, if we do not see a shift in supply, we could see further upward pressure on prices over the near term.”
On the Rise
In recent news, Canada’s foreign homebuyer ban went into effect on January 1st, 2023, and will remain in place for two years. This ban prevents both commercial enterprises and individuals from outside of Canada from buying residential properties and investment homes. As foreign buyers have been a consistent driver of increased housing prices in recent years, it will be interesting to see if this government intervention will lead to cooling of home prices in the most affected areas such as Toronto and Vancouver. Non-Canadians who violate the ban can be fined up to $10,000 and may be required to sell the property they purchased. Those who knowingly assist a non-Canadian with their purchase can also be fined.
Housing affordability remains a concern for Canadians and interest rates are still rising. Those with variable-rate mortgages are paying much more per month then they are used to, and those with fixed-rate mortgages, who have yet to renew, are fearful of continued rising interest rates. According to the Parliamentary Budget Office, the average cost of a home is 67% more than what the average Canadian household can afford.
Continuing into 2023, we are looking forward to working with more of you to buy and sell real estate. We appreciate all the trust and loyalty our existing clients have put into our team! Please remember that our team is currently available to help anyone, at any stage of life, reach their real estate goals. It has been a pleasure to receive a number of referrals already this year from past clients and friends. Thank you for thinking of us! We are truly grateful for any referral we receive and will treat them as if they were family.
We Want to Hear from You!
In addition to the referrals, Cassidy and Kari have been working diligently on gathering testimonials from our clients. Thank you to those who have taken just a moment out of their day to leave us a review – we wish you could see the little happy dance that happens in the office when one is posted! Positive reviews from past clients like you help others feel confident about choosing the Smith & Griffith Real Estate Team. If you have not left us a review yet, please take a moment and share about your experience working with us. Please click here to leave us a review on Google, and if you do not have a Gmail account click here to leave a review on Facebook. We would really appreciate your feedback!
Aside from tax season, we love this time of year. This is the perfect time to plan, set goals, and start working on your home for the spring. If you’re looking to do something in real estate this year, it’s never too early to contact us.
Looking for the Perfect Home or Investment in 2023?
If you are planning on BUYING, let’s set up an automatic MLS search email for your buying criteria and you will receive an email from us as soon as new listings hit the market. If you are thinking of LISTING and looking for an honest conversation about the real estate market, our team is here to help. Combined with our years of experience, expertise, and market intuition and team approach, we can provide the most comprehensive evaluation/comparative market analysis of your property. We have the tools and skills to bring you top dollar for your real estate! Give us a call!
Here’s hoping warmer weather arrives soon!
Rees and Kari
“Opening Gates To The Country And Doors To The City”