According to a federal housing agency, MLS housing sales will be down about 10 per cent in the Medicine Hat area this year, the average housing price will dip by four per cent, and housing starts will decline by about 21 per cent. The good news, reported by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Thursday in its quarterly Canadian housing market outlook, is that all three areas should start improving in 2010.
Calgary-based CMHC market analyst Lai-Sing Louie said Thursday that although 2009 will be a slower year for all real estate transactions, it’s expected that economic stability will return in 2010 and increases will be seen.
“We can’t pick an economic bottom point in 2009,” he told the News. “We know that we’ll be getting close to it, but we won’t quite be there.”
Louie pointed out that Canada’s federal government has an expansionary fiscal policy, the U.S. has approved a spending package of hundreds of billions of dollars, and that banks around the world are co-ordinating lower interest rates.
“All of these things take time before slowly filtering through to the economy, and we expect to feel that impact in 2010,” he added.
CMHC forecasts that MLS sales in Medicine Hat will be about 1,350 in 2009, compared to 1,522 in 2008. Anticipated economic growth is projected to increase that to 1,425 in 2010.
Local housing prices are expected to drop about four per cent to around $250,000, compared to $260,144 in 2008. In 2010 the overall average price is expected to reach about $260,000.
Housing starts in 2009 are expected to be around 500 units, down from 635 unit starts in 2008. A 10 per cent increase to 550 units is forecast for 2010.
In Lethbridge, MLS sales are expected to decrease to 2,200 in 2009, compared to 2,335 in 2008. They’re expected to increase to 2,250 in 2010.
Average housing prices are expected to drop about 3.5 per cent in 2009 to $235,000, compared to $243,585 in 2008. The CMHC forecast sees that rebounding to $244,000 in 2010.
Lethbridge housing starts are expected to decrease to 750 in 2009, compared to 913 in 2008. That’s expected to then rise to 800 in 2010.
Nationally, housing starts are expected to drop to 160,250 starts in 2009, compared to 211,056 units in 2008, before slowly increasing in 2010, as the economic downturn levels off.
Alberta and Saskatchewan are expected to see their real estate boom contract by 39 and 34 per cent respectively — the highest percentage decline in the country.
Still, both provinces are forecast to lead the rebound in single-family home construction in 2010.
This means that 2009 represents a great opportunity to purchase real estate for yourself or for an investment. Not to mention that I have interest rates available at historic low levels. There has never been a better time to purchase revenue property, and anyone who has their money in the stock market instead of real estate is well advised to examine their portfolio and plan accordingly.
Here are a few of my favorite past articles from my Lethbridge real estate and mortgage blog you might have missed or wish to recommend them to a friend.
Common Financial Problems - Avoid these financial mistakes
Get Your Credit Score UP - Invaluable insight into your credit score
Mortgage Guidelines Get Tighter - Harder and harder to borrow money
Is Your Mortgage Company Out of Business in 2009? - What to do when your bank goes broke
What is wrong with MLS - Is your info being abused?
Survivor - Real Estate Edition - Let's vote a few more off the island
Robert May is a Realtor, as well as the broker and owner of Rainbow Realty of Lethbridge Alberta. He is also a licensed mortgage associate and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta. He has been in the real estate industry since 1993 and offers full MLS real estate services to Lethbridge and surrounding area, as well as mortgage financing, refinancing/renewals, preapprovals, and home equity financing to Lethbridge and Southern Alberta. He can be found online at www.LethbridgeLoans.com
Let me share my 15 years experience in the local Lethbridge real estate and financing market with you! It is the first step towards making a profitable real estate decision.
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Robert W May is a Real Estate Broker in Lethbridge Alberta, having now been in the industry for over 23 years. . He was also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta for the past 10 years. He is an industry leader always willing to help train and educate others in how to improve their business models for financial and personal benefit.