Busy housing market for December?

December can go either way, it can either be slammed busy as people rush to get into their new homes before Christmas or it can be downright slow and we bring out the putting greens like in December 2008.

I realize it’s only the third day of the month, and it’s hard to tell of the month’s pulse ahead, but I gather it’s going to be a year whereas people rush into a new home and then after the middle of the month it dies right off as people get into ‘holiday mode’.

Albertans are some of the heartiest of shoppers in the country, and I don’t imagine this year is going to be any different. There’s been a lot of positivity with my core group of realtors and new home builders, meaning they’ve been busy. However, on the flip side, there’s still many out there that aren’t as positive about the economic reality. I’ve noticed somewhat of a trend though, those that are complaining are comparing these years to those of some of the best economic years ever, 2005-2007.

The reality is I think it’s going to be a very long time if we ever hit those global economic numbers again, and fair enough, if we do, we need to realize that a falling of sorts comes shortly after. What we actually require is simple, global economic stability.

With stability comes more certainty, with more certainty comes more confidence, and more confidence means the masses are more positive and feel that their futures are also stable.

The past few years are like none that the few living generations have ever seen, but history has seen many times like it. There have been many recessions, depressions, bank failures, and global catastrophes that have crippled many parts of the world, and we as a species have come through them all.

In Alberta, we’ve been fortunate, some will argue that, but mostly economically speaking we’ve currently got a lot of natural resources that the economic engines of the world want, which has propped up our housing values.

Some cities and towns have extremely high values, like Calgary, Fort McMurray and Bonnyville and others average home values that are more stable, such as ours in Central Alberta. We haven’t seen the high fluctuations that those towns and cities have been experiencing, and that’s a great thing.

We want to see the stability with nominal growth in the 3-6% range, as opposed to large gains in the 8-15% mark. It’ll make our market more attractive and we’ll be able to sustain the growth, as 8-15% will typically not.

It’s the drilling season in Alberta, and the natural resource crews are busy, and what I hear is, once January hits with oil companies’ new budgets, look out!

I’ve been very fortunate with my chosen career, I’ve been able to grow and sustain the growth with my clientele during the uncertain times, while many in my industry have come and gone, I never take it for granted…and I sure hope we never have to bring that putting green out again.

Jean-Guy Turcotte is an Accredited Mortgage Professional with Dominion Lending Centres-Regional Mortgage Group.

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