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Even keel in real estate lately – Medicine Hat News

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By COLLIN GALLANT on January 16, 2020.

The real estate market in Medicine Hat stayed even through 2019 with the previous year.–NEWS PHOTO

cgallant@medicinehatnews.com@CollinGallant

Medicine Hat’s real estate market stayed on the same track in 2019, and according to the new head of the local real estate board, more of the same should be expected moving forward.

According to new year-end figures, activity and value essentially stood pat with the previous year — home prices increased just 0.5 per cent – with only listing showing some minor fluctuation.

“All our numbers are very similar to last year,” said Dionne Todd, the incoming president of the Medicine Hat Real Estate Board.

“My personal opinion is that we’re going to be similar to where we are and have been for a while.”

The talk throughout Alberta’s real estate sector in early 2020 is that markets are seeing a “new normal” with more cautious and price conscious consumers across the province in a buyers market.

Poor economic outlook and continuing woe in the oilpatch is affecting markets, according to a report by the Alberta Real Estate Association.

That doesn’t necessarily translate directly to Medicine Hat, said Todd, who felt the local market was more insulated, but locals shouldn’t expect to see big fluctuations either.

“The past (strong markets) aren’t going to present themselves anytime soon, considering the economy and gas and oil leaving the city,” she told the News.

“I don’t anticipate seeing booms or fluctuations, but we’ve never really followed the trends in the large cities either. We definitely have our own dips and valleys.”

In Medicine Hat during 2019, a total of 1,290 properties changed hands for a total of $271.8 million, which is eight fewer sales than 2018 and $1 million less in receipt value than the whole-year figures in 2018.

That’s essentially even, considering the size on the market, and again on par with figures in three of the previous four years – the outlier being a minor market uptick in 2017.

The average home price rose slightly to $278,700 during the past 12 months, less than a percentage point higher as listings eventually rose through the year, likely keeping prices in check.

That supply adds to the resale market as Medicine Hat saw a severe downturn in new home construction last year.

New year-end figures from the city planning department state only 20 new home permits were issued last year, fewer than half the previous year and only one-fifth the total from five years ago.

That likely represents a more cautious approach from builders, and could mean better conditions for a buyers.

“There’s more to view and choose from, interest rates are still low – there are still a lot of positive things happening,” said Todd.

The Alberta Real Estate Association presented its year-end picture for the entire province this week, stating that inventory levels eased late in the year in the major centres of Calgary and Edmonton, but not enough to fix a situation that analysts say is oversupplied.

Most rural regions saw losses as the economy sputtered, Lethbridge made small gains, while Medicine Hat gained listing late in the year, causing prices to fall. It wasn’t enough to offset stronger results in the summer, however, a summary stated.

Specific to the Hat in December 2019, a total of 66 single-family homes and other residential sales closed for a grand total of $16.8 million. The month’s aggregate figure was pushed higher by four commercial transactions valued at $1.4 million.

One year earlier, higher-priced home sales, compared to condo sales and business sales set the December figure at $18.2 million, while each month recorded 70 transactions.

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Canada’s Real Estate Bubble Is Getting Even More Irrational: US Federal Reserve Data – Better Dwelling

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New Zealand Real Estate Investors Pull Back After Policy Changes, Price Growth Slows – Better Dwelling

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Real estate board donates to Inn of the Shepherd – Woodstock Sentinel Review

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Members of the Sarnia-Lambton Real Estate Board presented a cheque for $2,000 to the Inn of the Good Shepherd as part of Realtor’s Care Week celebrations on Nov. 19.

During the national week, local realtors are encouraged to do good turns in their community.

Funds given to the Inn will help feed the 170 individuals in the care of the Inn, up significantly since the beginning of the pandemic.

Representatives of the Inn thanked the realtors for their donation as well as for their involvement year round in activities such as the annual CANstruction fundraiser as well as food drives.

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