Real estate: As good a year as recent memory

·1 min read

The president of the Medicine Hat Real Estate Board says it’s been over a decade since he’s seen the local housing market as hot as it is this year.

Year-over-year data from the board reflects that with a more than 120 per cent increase in home sales in May.

Board president Frank Devine says it comes down to one thing, “interest rates.”

Even with increased stress tests for new home buyers, Devine says the current financial climate allows for people to pay less on mortgage payments than rent.

And it’s not just the city seeing rocketing sales.

“This is national,” said Devine.

All the more surprising is it wasn’t what realtors were expecting when the pandemic hit, with thoughts of a sagging market forecast to come as the crisis went on.

“We were caught off guard,” said Devine. “It did the opposite.”

The average price for a detached home in the city is currently sitting at more than $335,000 so far this year.

Devine says homes are getting multiple offers with many sellers getting close to their listed price.

But he says Medicine Hat remains an affordable market for buyers.

“This ain’t Toronto,” he said.

As for new home construction, Devine says he expects that to not increase substantially with material costs currently soaring.

Alex McCuaig, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

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