Market Update – March
WHAT SELLS MOST?
There is a greater volume of houses sold in Grande Prairie than any other residential property type (see chart showing sales comparison for 2017 & 2018 – house sales dominate our market over any other residential type). New houses have been excluded from most of the stats included in this newsletter because there is an obvious distinction between new and pre-owned just as there is between houses and any other property type (e.g., Townhouses, Condos, and Vacant Lots, etc.). Reports can be populated just as easily that include ALL residential property types in both the City and County of Grande Prairie or with just any other specific segment, however, narrowing in on just pre-owned houses in Grande Prairie allows this newsletter to target the widest audience with the most fine-tuned information. Equally important, if I had chosen any other segment, a general feel would not be as reliable because the data set would be smaller and more susceptible to anomalies, if I would have included more property types, an increase of sales volumes for lesser expensive property types would have made the stats less reliable.
MORE SALES IN 2017. BUT PRICING WENT DOWN FROM 2016?
The more houses that sell, the higher the price, right? Not necessarily. Way more pre-owned houses sold in 2017 (890) than in 2016 (712), yet the average sale price stayed almost unchanged (311,960 in 2016, and 311,329 in 2017). Although demand is a crucial ingredient to price, so is supply, and because there was so much inventory, the average sales price didn’t go up, but rather stayed virtually the same.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN 2018 IN THE GP MARKET?
If the same volume of residential property in Grande Prairie sold in 2018 as it did in 2017, but the inventory was down, pricing would climb. February sales were a little dissapointing (I’m blaming the bad performance of February on the crazy cold and snow and the terrible road conditions), January was stellar; there has been about the same number of sales this year to date (Jan & Feb) as there was last year. Inventory was way down. March 1, we had nearly 40 less houses available (including new & used in this case) than we did last year. Average sales price for 2018, for both January and February was up over $4,000.
DOES THE CITY FORECAST OPTIMISM?
The City of Grande Prairie Economic Development Newsletter poses Grande Prairie in a pretty positive light. “Busiest January for Home Sales Since 2014”, “Unemployment Rates falls to 5.9%”, “Over-dimensional Vehicle Traffic up by 63%” as well as highlighted news articles including “Industrial park expected to pave way for Highway 40 twinning”, “TransCanada announces $2.4 billion NGTL expansion”, and “Grande Prairie Goes Boom” are all good reasons for optimism. And don’t forget about the Regional Hospital scheduled to open in 2019. In addition to all the other work being brought to our region, the Regional Hospital too will bring house shoppers to the city.
WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN WITH PRICING?
No one can tell the future. We don’t know with certainty if oil or forestry will stay the same, plummet, or hike, or if Fort McMurray is going to start on fire (external forces out of our control), or if a surprise government policy will arise like the stress test did when it showed up unexpectantly in October 2016.
SO YOU DECIDE
Have I included enough to make an argument for buying now, if ever? Can you think of what might be missing? – do you think the Grande Prairie market will continue to rise in 2018? What about interest rates, have you heard they’re rising? With only “the knowns”, I would rather shop now than when the hospital staff arrives and starts shopping for a home in Grande Prairie in 2019 – but if I were selling, maybe I’d wait until then. If you’re selling or buying, your answer to these questions can heavily influence your next move – oh ya, and for your next move – let me help you. It’s easy to contact me – I can’t wait to hear from you!
Are all the important considerations included in this newsletter? What’s missing? Or maybe you’d like to see stats for another specific segment, like for just NEW – or for just houses in the County. Did you know that the average sale price in the county is way higher than it was last year? – plus more new and pre-owned houses are being sold. Having all the stats for each segment is just too much to include in a newsletter. Please send your questions or input to firstname.lastname@example.org, or give me a call at 780-933-9233.
NOTE: this representation is based in whole in part on data generated from the MLS on March 1, 2017. GPAAR and the MLS assumes no responsibility for its accuracy