There's a new way of buying land and it seems to be working out well. With things the way they are right now in the world, people have had to think of new ways to do things and that also goes for the sale of real estate in Alberta. People interested in buying land usually have a walk around it, but on-line auctions for acreages in the province are taking off like wildfire.
The province is doing some restructuring of its real estate regulator, less than a year after it gave the former regulating board the heave ho last October. Bill 20 is on the table and it sets out reforms to the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA), which licenses and regulates realtors in the province. It is hoped that with restructuring RECA will have improved transparency, accountability as well as a better governance system in general.
First quarter office sales in Cow Town are looking pretty positive. The overall real estate market in the province and around the country has taken a pounding amid a global pandemic, but the first numbers in from the office sector in Calgary look pretty encouraging. Commercial real estate sales rose about 17% in the city in the first three months of 2020 compared to the same time in 2019.
Despite the beating the economy has been taking, the housing market is slowly rallying. For the second consecutive month, real estate sales have improved in Alberta. That's partly due to numbers coming out of Calgary and Edmonton. Even with those gains, however, activity is nearly 3% lower than at the same point last year.
The economy continues to take a pounding. There are many variables affecting the Alberta economy at the moment and the real estate industry has not escaped any of them. Office buildings stand empty in Calgary and other areas of the province, and homes that have been on the market for months still aren't seeing any action. Landlords are taking a pounding and analysts can't say when things might change.
Home sales are being dampened by even more hurdles these days. With things like social distancing in place along with falling oil prices, the real estate market in Alberta continues to take a hit. Lower inventory, weak activity, job layoffs and a lax oil market haven't done the market any good and things aren't likely to change drastically over the next while, according to analysts.
Sales are up in Cow Town's housing market, although levels are still nowhere near what they were in the latter part of the 1990s. Although the real estate market has been rallying in Calgary and in other areas of the province, it's not near the level it was moving into 2014, prior to the recession. Analysts say the good news is the market is continuing to move toward balance between inventory and sales.
The housing game in Wild Rose country's two largest cities paint a very different picture. It seems that real estate sales in Calgary are up, while they're down in Edmonton. Some other areas of Alberta saw year-over-year increases in sales according to a report from the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA), but sales in the provincial capital eased slightly due to a decline in homes on the market.
A western-based investment company just keeps adding to its portfolio. Crestpoint Real Estate Investments Inc. recently added two large office buildings in Calgary to its real estate inventory. The company can boast about owning TransAlta Place and Stampede Station with an additional 498,000 square feet of space. It is Crestpoint's first foray into office space holdings in Cow Town.
The year looks golden for those thinking of selling their homes in Wild Rose Country. A recent market survey regarding real estate in Alberta shows that home prices are expected to rise, especially in two major markets -- Calgary and Edmonton. Home prices in Cow Town are expected to increase by 1.5% in 2020 over last year, bringing the median price for a single family home to about $477,000.