Local housing market remains strained

·3 min read

Strathmore has had a record-breaking year in the housing market, according to realtor Hayley Poirier, but it hasn’t been entirely positive changes.

“We’ve certainly seen that we had an incredible increase in not only units sold in the spring, but also home prices going up in the area,” said Poirier. “Especially if we are talking Strathmore right now, there have been significant increases … from February to the end of June they were record-breaking.”

Currently, available housing stock in Strathmore is extremely low with only 90 residential properties are on the market, according to Remax real estate statistics for the town. Over a third of those houses for sale are occupied by detached homes.

There was already a shortage of available properties in Strathmore this past spring when the housing market explosion really kicked off in earnest.

“We already didn’t have enough inventory in the springtime and then we had record-breaking sales, so we have not been able to catch up,” said Poirier. “Usually, we would like to see what we call six months’ worth of product in the markets, and right now we’ve got (roughly) 1.7 months of inventory. We’re really below how much inventory we would like to see in the market.”

Between what Poirier and other realtors in the area are seeing, housing prices will not see a drop so long as available inventory remains low.

According to one statistic, the average price for a four-bedroom detached home in Strathmore has increased by 37 per cent over the course of the last year.

“We are still seeing buyers in the market looking for homes, buying homes, and if the inventory doesn’t bolster, we will continue to see this crisis stay steady,” said Poirier, who added that construction crews remain busy as well, building new properties in town — so much so that many are not taking on many additional builds, and that the materials needed to construct new homes continue to become more and more expensive.

“Roofing materials, appliances, wood, all of those things are a scarcity and so builders are being very cautious about how many new buyers they are taking on to ensure they can satisfy the needs that are out there,” said Poirier.

As far as sales are concerned, there has been a slight slow-down that Poirier prefers to call a “stabilization of the market.” Ideally, the scenario over the next few months to a year will be that properties for sale will be purchased within 30 days of hitting the market and offers accepted will be within a few thousand dollars of the listing price.

As far as buyer demographic goes, it has become a mix of people from all walks who are looking to pick up property.

Particularly, with Alberta’s oil prices being notably lower than much of the rest of the country, families and their elders are moving from other provinces to invest in Alberta.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times