Housing market shifts from a buyer’s to a balanced market

With our spring-like temperatures this month, it’s created a frenzy of buying activity, but why?

February isn’t typically a month that one would call a “market making month” in the housing industry. If it’s anything, it’s a month that would tell us more of the pulse and attitude out there by how much mortgage pre-approval volume a mortgage professional is getting.

The phone’s been ringing, but not just with people wanting their pre-approval. They’ve been actively house hunting, and they’ve also been making offers to buy their dream home.

It’s easy enough to say that our office is busy, because it could be just a one-off. But the underwriters (basically the decision makers to whether you get your home or not) are also slammed trying to keep up with the demand.

The question is, is it the warm weather that had people bustling about at show homes and open houses? Or is it because people are confident and comfortable with their current positions to buy a home?

The housing market activity during the past couple of Februarys has been busy, but only because of the government decisions that drastically affected the market. Those new government regulations made people get off of their butts to get into the market before they were fully prepared to make a decision. Meaning more people bought earlier than they originally anticipated.

It’s different this year, there are still rumours that the government is going to make changes (and they are definitely keeping a close eye on the market) but haven’t yet, rates are going to stay relatively flat- by this I mean the BOC prime rate isn’t budging until 2013 and the fixed interest rates are likely going to stay under 4%.

With no outside factors influencing people to make buying decisions, the market is doing it all on its own. This would indicate that the Alberta housing market has shifted from a buyer’s market to a balanced market.

This is great news for everyone and has been the goal for the economy for many years. Having the housing market move on its own without any outside intervention means that the house you are buying should grow in value and the house you are selling need not be discounted as deeply as it would have just a year ago.

It’s exciting to see many happy faces coming through my door buying their new dream homes, and the excitement should continue in Canada’s west barring any government intervention or major global economic events.

Jean-Guy Turcotte is an Accredited Mortgage Professional with Dominion Lending Centres-regional Mortgage Group and can be contacted for appointments at 403-343-1125 or emailed to jturcotte@regionalmortgage.ca . Jean-Guy will be speaking at the Red Deer Home Show on March 18th at 12:30 p.m.

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