Property prices are continuing to decline. In fact, they're dropping so much in Canada that February's real estate transactions set a record for the heftiest decline in years in a non-recessionary time. The price index used by the National Bank of Canada indicated that prices fell by 0.4 per cent in February over the same time in 2018.
One the nation's leading property investment companies continues to heat up the market with its high-end acquisitions. Fiera Properties Ltd. has been involved in a number of real estate transactions in Alberta and across the country recently and it has no plans on stopping to build its portfolio. The company set a record last year for acquiring property.
A well-known economist believes that imposing a land transfer tax isn't the way to generate revenue. The Alberta financial expert says Alberta would be better off instating a provincial sales tax or increasing property taxes. A land transfer tax, he says, might hurt the already shaky economy even further by curtailing real estate transactions in the province.
The real estate market is in transition. In Alberta where the oil industry has been sluggish, unemployment rates are escalating and the federal mortgage stress test has been a nemesis to many would-be homebuyers, real estate transactions have also been fewer. Alberta residents -- especially those in urban centres like Calgary -- are choosing to rent, rather than to buy, at least for the time being.
Apparently, many Canadians would love to live in a mansion. A woman from Millarville decided to run a lottery with the winner getting her luxury Alberta home worth $1.7 million. She is asking those who would like to take over the digs to write a letter as to why, along with a $25 entry fee. In terms of potential real estate transactions, that's pretty cheap.
It's the same old, same old where real estate in the central part of Wild Rose Country is concerned. Apparently, real estate transactions in central Alberta last year pretty much mirrored those in 2017, according to the latest statistics from the Central Alberta Realtors Association (CARA). The relatively flat market trend is expected to continue.
Is it incumbent upon a real estate agent in Canada to divulge information about a property that could make the difference between a sale and a property sitting on the market for a while? That actually depends upon what that information entails. Disclosure rules around real estate transactions in Canada are definitive.
Alberta's two major cities saw increases in investment sales in the third quarter of this year. Some investment real estate transactions in both Calgary and Edmonton have been pretty large scale in 2018 with corporate investors making some pretty impressive purchases. In fact, a recent real estate report indicates that investments in the province exceeded $1 billion for two back-to-back quarters.
A softening economy in Alberta is affecting various sectors, including the housing market. Real estate transactions in Alberta have slowed since oil prices have dropped. A report recently released by one of the country's main banking institutions said the housing market remains weak in the wake of oil production cuts in the province. In fact, the bank stated that oil output will be about 1 per cent less in 2019.
The cost of borrowing is rising in the country. No doubt real estate transactions in Alberta will be affected by the hike in interest rates. The Bank of Canada rate is hovering just below 4 per cent -- that's up almost 16 per cent from the same time last year and 32 per cent from two years ago. That change may affect a person's decision about whether to buy at this time.