All I Want for Christmas is a House: Home Buying Favours Buyers

With Christmas right around the corner, many people think “I better take my home off the market, people are simply too busy to come look at it over the holidays.” However, little do they know that Christmas is actually a great time to sell a home, as people are more serious about buying and doing it quickly. Over the past year, residential sales are slightly higher than last year’s, however the month of November was slightly below (CREB Now). New listings eased slightly, lowering inventories, and the issue of oversupply came down ever so slightly; however, the prices did not adjust much. Therefore, with all this real estate talk and fluctuation in the markets, home buying is still in favour of the buyer.


As of this November, home prices are statistically lower due to market oversupply, favouring the buyer. Sitting at two per cent lower than last year’s and slightly below last month’s, the citywide unadjusted benchmark price for homes was $419,100. However, the market has fluctuated greatly throughout the year, at times hitting a two per cent increase as well as dropping to an eight per cent decrease.


“Achieving more stable conditions will take time. Sales activity has been settling in at lower levels and is likely being influenced by the economic conditions and uncertainty weighing on our market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “While the amount of supply in the market continues to ease, the persistent oversupply continues to weigh on prices.” Therefore, as the market continues to see more new home sales and resales, prices will continue to decline in favour of the buyer as competition increases. Depending on where you want to live, sales activity varies per city:


The City of Airdrie saw improved sales activity in the month of November, as more homes have been sold this year compared to last, lowering the saturation and helping to return its housing market to equilibrium. However, this was not achieved soon enough as the average benchmark in Airdrie is still three per cent lower than last year’s price.


November sales eased in Cochrane, but not enough to offset the gains made earlier in the year. Cochrane did see lower inventory this month, easing the city’s numbers, however it still remains oversupplied, weighing on overall prices.


Okotoks is well on its way towards stable market conditions. Low activity was recorded in the previous year, however sales increased and allowed steady gain this year. Inventory levels eased as well as a reduction in new listings, so this market is looking good for sellers. Prices, however, are taking longer to adjust and are still sitting two per cent lower than last year, in favour of buyers.


As always, the housing market seems to fluctuate with the day, so it’s important to keep an eye on it when you’re serious about buying. Want a new house for Christmas this year? Well, this might just be your lucky day.



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