As homes become less affordable, many are turning to the rental market -- at least for now. Real estate transactions in Alberta have tapered off since the economic slump and the introduction of the federal government's mortgage stress test. Calgary, in particular, has seen more activity in the rental market than recent years.
The latest Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) statistics show that the economy is a factor in keeping people in rentals for longer. Not only are Calgarians -- as those in most of Alberta -- faced with unemployment, but disposable income is at an all-time low. The good news is that the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) estimates that home prices are likely to fall by more than 2 per cent this year.
Alberta's politicians are lobbying the federal government to revisit its mortgage stress test rules. This rule makes it more difficult for many to get into the real estate market. A potential purchaser must be able to afford a mortgage at the Bank of Canada rate even though he or she may qualify for a mortgage at a lower rate. Many say this is a sharp major knife in the side of many would-be purchasers.
Purchasers and sellers in Alberta are still inking deals, though not as voraciously as in the past few years. With those real estate transactions comes the need for an experienced real estate lawyer. A lawyer will not only assist in the closing of deals, but will also make sure a client's best interests are looked after in any contractual obligations.