Monthly Market Update

Monthly Market Updates | Shooting It To You Straight!

October 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

What an amazing Fall we are having so far with this weather. We hope that everyone takes advantage of these last weeks of warm fall weather, we sure plan to!

In a normal year the real estate cycle would be much easier to predict moving from Fall into Winter, however, this is not a normal year. Instead of predicting the market we would rather look at the facts and express our optimism towards market conditions while being realistic that there are major global, political and economic influences that can significantly impact our market in a heartbeat.

2020 has certainly been an “odd” year in the Calgary and surrounding area real estate markets. We have seen the market crumble and then rebound (in some segments, not all). Although the market as of today is seemingly stable, it’s also very volatile. This can be a good thing or bad thing depending on how and where you’re investing or selling your property. The volatility is being influenced by the local economy, the pandemic and record low interest rates. We have seen some markets adjust downwards with significant decreases, BUT others in the lower price segments are actually trending up which is great to see. Really it’s not a surprise that more affordable housing is doing well during a time of economic, political and global uncertainty.

One thing that is driving us NUTS is how some Realtors are saying “Record Sales”, “The market is HOT!”, yadda yadda. #Classic

YES, we did have more sales activity June to September 2020 versus 2019, however this was simply making up for an absolutely horrible March – May that was crushed by the pandemic, and we’re still behind if you look at March to September versus just June to September. Realtors can sway numbers in their favour to be deceiving and that’s not what we are about at the JW Realty Team, we cut through the noise to shoot it to you straight. So we urge you to take these headlines with a grain of salt and to instead look at the long term numbers.

Year-to-date sales activity remains nearly nine per cent below last year’s levels, but the positive side is that prices are only just over one per cent LOWER than last year, which isn’t bad considering the curve balls we have been thrown in 2020.

We are not in a bad market by any means. Although it is very volatile, much of the market will remain stable so there should be little to no fear for most people, depending on your community and price point.

September was a busy month of sales for us and we are incredibly thankful for all of our amazing clients who trusted in our business model and processes.

Seriously, THANK YOU!

Make sure that you spend lots of time with family and friends this October, while staying safe and enjoying some great weather.

Cheers,

Justin, Erica, Shay (Trainee)

September 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

We are now nearing the end of a wild summer, hopefully you had a great Sept long weekend with family and friends as that is what it’s all about. We also hope that everyone has taken advantage of all the sunny summer days versus the previous years of rainy or smokey weather. 2020 has been an “odd” year so the decent weather has been a victory, soak it up and take the win!

September 2020 will be an interesting month in our real estate market. With kids back to school, a world pandemic still in motion, mortgage deferrals ending, extremely low interest rates and high Alberta unemployment rates, we are riding a rollercoaster of ups and downs. June to August we experienced a rebound in the real estate markets (specifically due to the under $500k market having high demand, see chart below) after everything was suppressed in the spring months due to Covid-19. This rebound means that we had a high volume of sales for these months compared to the previous year, to make up for what was lost in previous months, but we’re still behind year over year so take it with a grain of salt.

We have been watching other Realtors post about “record sales” happening in their brokerage or local markets but that’s not reality because it’s such short term thinking. We need to be realistic and we all need to continue working our butts off to get back on track. We are Albertans which means we work hard and we must keep our foot on the gas. Long term we’re still making up for the damage done. AND, it’s naive to believe that we are back on track already and that it’s all sunshine and rainbows. Calgary’s unemployment rate sits at 15%, which is well above the national average of 11%, and many businesses are holding on by a thread and this fall is likely when we’ll see some more fade away…. AKA more job loss.

By nature we are optimistic people at JW Realty, but we also believe in being realistic and shooting it to you straight. Yes, June to August has been unbelievable for home sales, trust us, we know as we broke records too for volume of homes sold. September will likely be decent as well pending no further major disruptions in the market. However, in our opinion, this fall we will see an adjustment in the markets overall. Some communities and markets will escape unscathed due to higher demand, but overall we’re going to see a drop in home values. Don’t panic, it may be minor or stable for your specific home value, and if you’re buying then I bet you’re just salivating at the potential opportunity.

The past few months have been awesome for the JW Realty Team in terms of amazing clients who have trusted in us to get the job done, we’ve been very fortunate. We remind everyone to understand that we are not yet through 2020 and that there are hardships to come, but also some victories so keep your chin up! Brace yourself for an interesting fall and please do not panic as there is a solution to any real estate need that you may have. And probably more opportunity than you suspect…when there is uncertainty, there is opportunity.

August was a busy one and it’s all thanks to our wonderful clients trusting in our process and supporting our business model to achieve the sale they needed and then referring us to others, you rock!

Enjoy September folks, it’s going to be a great month and don’t forget to soak up some sunshine while you can 🙂

Cheers!
Justin & Erica

Hi Friends,

After a rainy beginning to our summer we’ve finally been getting the sunshine (and hockey!) that we deserve & we hope that you’ve been taking advantage of it. In 2020 we haven’t experienced too many “victories” for us Albertans so if we can get some good weather then heck yes lets enjoy it! The Calgary and surrounding area real estate market is going through an “unusual” period right now. Typically the real estate cycle slows down significantly in August as buyers & sellers go on holiday, plus many buyers want to buy before August if they have kids so they can be moved in prior to September when school starts. With Covid suppressing the market this spring we are likely to have some elevated numbers in August in terms of showings & demand because we’re still on the tail end of a wave making up for a lost spring market.

That being said, you may be wondering what the fall market is going to look like? What we can say is that it’s not going to get better than it is today for home prices. The Calgary Real Estate Board chief economist is saying to brace for a 3% drop overall in the market. Now, this is a stupid number because some markets may change by 0.5% while others change by 10%, so please take it with a grain of salt. What we can take from this 3% prediction is that there is much uncertainty in our economy right now & this will inherently have a negative impact on the markets this fall when it compounds together. Government assistance for many will end, mortgage deferrals will end causing an influx of listed homes (increasing supply without the demand to meet it), we have record unemployment rates, many businesses will fail due to being suppressed during the pandemic and the energy sector which drives our economy is a wild card, to name a few…..

To summarize, and it’s probably no surprise to you, we predict that our real estate market is going to trend downwards for the remainder of 2020, and likely into 2021. For how long? Nobody knows. I wish I was saying the ladder, however the truth is that we are going to feel the repercussions of the above economic factors this fall. But DON’T PANIC, you may be in a market that will escape unscathed. For example, homes priced in or around $400k are on fire right now, the demand exists for this price point, therefore you may have nothing to worry about. If you’re priced at $700,000+ then there will likely be more volatility in your market. Or you perhaps are in a market with a unique home that is in high demand, therefore prices remain stable. To no surprise, the most important factor to sell a home right now is to understand the market and price your home right.

If you’re curious what your home is worth, how the downturn will impact it, or if you’re curious how a prospective home purchase will be impacted this fall, then please just let us know as we will ALWAYS shoot it to you straight.

On another note, despite being in a pandemic and wacky 2020 chaos, we continue to break records at JW Realty Team selling homes like crazy and it’s all because we have amazing clients who trust in us, so THANK YOU to the amazing people who have given us the opportunity to work together.

Enjoy the last month of summer folks 🙂

Cheers,

Justin, Erica, Shay (Trainee)

July 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

2020 has been a real curve ball for Calgary & Area real estate including spring market in July!? Somewhere around June 10th we began to see the amount of daily showings actually surpass last year at this time. Now keep in mind that we were down roughly 80% at one point this spring so it’s no surprise that we had an increase once all the suppressed buyers entered the market once again in June. To be clear, just because we have more buyers in the market this does not mean that it directly equates to more sales. Sales are certainly improving the past month but we are actually about 2% down year over year in June which isn’t bad considering the variables we’re dealing with.

Truth be told, in our opinion, we are living in a bubble right now. We are yet to feel the effects of unemployment (that is in the double digits!), the energy sector is a wild card that drives our economy and let’s not forget that Coronavirus is not gone just yet, it’s still tanking global markets with repercussions coming. There recently have been some economists writing articles projecting that we’ll see a massive drop in Calgary home prices but to us that is pure speculation. Yes there will be an adjustment but it may be 1% in your community while it’s 10% in others, therefore take those articles with a grain of salt and ask us instead what we think will happen in your local community market. What does this bubble mean for real estate in general? If you need to sell then you better capitalize on this bubble because who knows how long it will last before home prices adjust and if you need to buy then there is more supply of homes entering the market then demand so you can have your pick of the best listings.

June was a busy month for us at JW Realty, we were slapping up sold stickers on signs like crazy and helping many buyers achieve their goals. Thanks to everyone who gave us the opportunity to assist them, you rock! Also, we were incredibly busy training a new member of the team, Shay. After rigorous training and many sleepless nights we finally have her pulling her weight and chipping into the family business. Below you can check out some pics of Shay’s first day on the job. She’s a natural.

Have an amazing July and try to enjoy some summer sun, you deserve it 🙂

Cheers!

Justin & Erica

June 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Welcome to the “Now Normal”. The past few months have been nothing short of weird and it has been tough for everyone to transition during these challenging times. However, we are happy to report that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Now Normal is very different from the Old Normal and we certainly have not fully recovered, nor will we in 2020 (in our opinion) but what we can say is that the market is slowly stabilizing and buyers/sellers are once again entering the market. Which is great news! Below you will see a graph showing how Coronavirus caused a devastating dip in home showings, inherently this suppressed sales over the past few months but we are now seeing the line on this graph improve. It’s not perfect, but it is positive news so let’s take a small win and run with it!

In May there was a 44% decline in sales from last year’s figures and to no surprise much of the activity has shifted towards more affordable homes. With significant job loss, business failure, oil & gas struggles, low consumer confidence, political turmoil and still many unknown variables, there is no timeline to when we will see a recovery. What we can say is that 2020 will not see any growth, we will be licking our wounds well into 2021. What does this mean for sellers and buyers? Sellers need to act now, in our opinion, or they need to wait until 2021 or maybe even 2022 to once again be able to sell at today’s home values. For buyers, you can lick your lips in excitement because there is ample opportunity today to find a great home and it’s going to be great for the rest of 2020.

An interesting theory we have is that since we had a suppressed market in April & May when we typically see the highest volume of home sales, AKA “spring market”, is that we will have a late spring market in June – August. As of today sellers now seem to have the confidence to list their homes and to have buyers enter their homes once again. On the flip side, buyers now feel comfortable entering people’s homes. To summarize, there is still a need for many people to achieve their real estate goals and those goals will be achieved, they were just delayed for many people!

Thanks to all our amazing clients for riding out the past few months with us and trusting in us to assist them during a challenging period. We are extremely grateful for you all!

Cheers,

Justin & Erica

May 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Well that was by far the weirdest April we have ever experienced! There is no perfect way to summarize how odd everything has felt, we are simply in uncharted waters. We hope that everyone is safe, taking care of their families and we wish you nothing but happiness this spring. That being said, we believe that there is also more clarity this month versus last month. We entered April with intense fear of what may happen and as a community we are persevering. We are yet to be in the “safe zone” from Covid-19 and we by no means are declaring that we are. However we have all adapted to a lifestyle that is needed to fight the virus so we can get back on track and we just think that it’s incredible how everyone is coming together as a community.

In terms of the real estate markets, as projected over the past month, they are suffering. April sales declined 63% over last year. This isn’t a surprise since real estate moves directly in line with the economy and Alberta is facing some challenges with a Covid-19 economy and the state of the energy sector. We are going to see some decreases in home values over the next few quarters. BUT don’t panic, the drop in your home values may be minor (or major drops depending on how over supplied your market segment is) and if you’re not selling your home then who cares! If you plan to sell a home this year then you need to get on it ASAP, because the remainder of 2020 won’t be better than it is today for your home value, so get top dollar while you can. If you’re buying, well then you’re going to see some great options!

In terms of Canadian real estate, there are two important pieces of good news at the moment: The first is that you can defer mortgage payments for up to six months if you need to. The second is that the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has begun to purchase mortgage debt from the banks in order to provide them with cash and keep them in the black.

Although April was certainly an odd month, we are thankful for all of our clients who continued to work with us despite the challenges we faced. You are our heroes for persevering. Now it’s spring and we should all be excited for the sunshine, the outdoors and for normalcy coming soon.

Take Care,
Justin & Erica

April 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

The most important message that we can express right now is that we must all stay safe, stay home, take the proper precautions seriously and take care of each other. Of course this means listening to our provincial leaders and social distancing, but in our opinion, it also means that it is imperative that we pull together as a community to support small businesses when possible, help out our neighbours when possible, all while respecting the guidelines we are under. There is no single person who isn’t affected by this Covid-19 pandemic, therefore, we must all work together so we can be stronger as a united community.

Just as an FYI in case you haven’t already heard, the buying & selling of Real Estate in Alberta (AKA housing), banking, lawyers and land titles, have been deemed essential services. Therefore the markets will remain open in April. Now this does not mean that everything is “normal”, it is actually far from normal, we are living in a brand new world that none of us have ever experienced. Buyers and sellers who need to move, sell or buy a home still have the option, however there are some extreme precautions in place to ensure it is done in the absolute safest possible manner. If you do not need to be buying in April then now is not the time to be out shopping around, but if you do then we can still make it happen. Once the dust settles in a month or whenever that may be, real estate is going to be extremely busy while the markets shift to a new normal that is influenced by job loss, business failure and low consumer confidence. to name a few variables. The best positioned sellers and buyers who are ready will be able to take advantage and achieve some amazing real estate goals in the short term. Long term however, there will be some challenges……

In terms of the state of the market today, you can probably guess without us telling you what is happening right now. In March we had levels of transactions that haven’t been this low since 1995. (The only constant here is that the Pittsburgh Penguins were also the best team in 1995!) Simply put, demand is way down and supply is still up. We are in a buyer’s market and will be for all of April.

Normally this is an opportunity for a monthly rant on shooting it to you straight on what is truly going on in the markets and why most media updates (and many other real estate professionals) are misleading. However, with so much uncertainty around how long these changing variables such as low oil prices, suspended businesses and Covid-19 will exist, we will hit the pause button for a month and revisit much more in depth this coming May in order to avoid speculation or offending anyone during a sensitive transition. For this month’s newsletter we want focus to be put on all of us working together so we can all get through the pandemic and support each other during & after.

If it is time sensitive to you to learn more about what we think about the current market because you are currently in the market, then send us a quick message. We are happy to inform you on where we believe the market is going in the short/long term and what to expect this summer, because we certainly do have a strong opinion on this. If it’s not urgent to you to know this information then please stay home and focus on taking care of yourself, your family, your business and your neighbours during these challenging times.

Thanks to all of our incredible clients who persevered in March during a global pandemic to achieve their real estate goals. You truly are heroes in our eyes for staying the course until you found success.

Take Care Everyone,
Justin & Erica

March 2020 Market Update

 Hi Friends,

Welcome to Spring, a peak season for home sales, prematurely planning camping trips and firing back up those BBQ’s!

As you may have heard, the Calgary & Area real estate market is off to a positive start in 2020. After the first two months we are currently ahead of 2019 by 12%, however, take this with a grain of salt because February 2019 was our worst February since the 90’s. So let’s not get too excited just yet, but lets absolutely take this small win for now and dig a bit deeper into what is really going on below.

A few months back we predicted a very “fragmented” market in 2020, well that is absolutely what we are now seeing. Some specific home classes such as inner city infills North of the Bow have 50+ Active homes competing for only 1-ish sales per week while other segments have 75%+ of homes selling each month, and many with multiple offers.

Obviously it’s more fun to be on the quick sale/top dollar for your home side of the spectrum, but even if you’re planning to buy or sell in a hot market you still need to understand how to be positioned. We are seeing hot markets right now with some of the best homes not being positioned properly and unfortunately those homeowners are missing out on all of the fun. The old school Real Estate Agent tactic  that is not so secret or at least shouldn’t be a secret of “List your home high and then we’ll do price drops so I can keep my sign in the ground and market myself longer” is still very much a real thing. We’re not saying that there is anything wrong with those agents that choose this as their business model. But we will say that we would rather sell your home and preferably do it quickly for top dollar versus messing around for months.

So even though we are working with this “fragmented” market it is tough to see through all of the noise because so many listings are either overpriced, not marketed properly or have become stale. This leaves buyers and sellers who are looking from the outside in confused to whether the market is truly improving or not. If 10 for sale signs go up in your neighbourhood that may be a good thing, or a bad thing for you. Curious about your street? Just ask us for our honest opinion. That aside, we can tell you that the market is certainly improving, however it’s only relative to what you compare it to. If we compare to last year, then yes we’re kicking ass, but if we are to compare to 10 year averages then it’s a different story.

The point here is that yes we are seeing some awesome growth and some markets are becoming ripe with opportunity for the picking, while others are becoming more over supplied with no demand to keep up. Confusing? Well it’s a fragmented market, there is no one term to describe what’s happening right now in the Calgary and Area real estate markets other than that you must understand the market data and be able to see through the noise.

Lastly, we wanted to mention how we’re starting to see a trend of people “accepting” that today’s market is the new norm. In Alberta for years we got used to the Alberta Advantage, boom & bust, big gains – but now we’re seeing a steadier cycle and buyers/sellers have seemed to accept this versus last year when it seemed that lots of people were still holding on to some hope for a miracle boom. We personally think that this is a good thing, a nice reset for us all. And we also think real estate is cyclical, runs in line with the energy sector and yes we do believe that we will someday see a boom again. But without a crystal ball the timeline for a boom remains uncertain.

Lastly, a huge THANK YOU to all our clients in 2020 so far for allowing us to fulfill our goal of helping as many families as possible with their real estate needs.  If you know of a family member or friend who could use some help to fulfil their real estate needs, we are happily accepting more clients in 2020 and would be grateful for the referral.

Justin & Erica

February 2020 Market Update

Hi Friends,

Just like that the first month of this decade has cruised by! We hope that everyone has had a solid start to the New Year by sticking to those resolutions and crushing your goals.

We’ve been busy getting a jump on the new year with helping our clients navigate the 2020 real estate market but behind the scenes we have been working on some stuff and we have a few big announcements this month that we are excited to share with you!

First announcement, Justin is now licensed to trade in Commercial Real Estate.  We would like to announce that we are officially opening the Commercial Real Estate arm of our business to coincide with our Residential side of the business. The commercial real estate market is completely different from the Residential Market and it’s exciting for Justin to be able to actively put his business skills to work with a new real estate challenge.

And heck while we’re at it, why not announce a third arm of the business that we’re kicking off in 2020, flipping homes! Not only will we be working on projects ourselves flipping homes in the Calgary market (HGtv, here we come!), we are also working with investors to help them structure the right strategy to flip homes, including how to buy the right home, what renovations to complete to have the highest ROI and how to sell at optimal margins. We now have three arms of business at JW Realty, however we don’t like odd numbers……so you’ll have to stay tuned to hear what the 4th arm is 🙂 Coming Soon!

If you recall our market update from last month, we focused on how the market is going to be extremely fragmented in 2020, not “stabilized”. I hope that you’ve been ignoring the mish mash of media saying that we are balanced, or a buyers market or that we’ve hit bottom. That’s all a crock because it’s not specific enough. The truth still is that it depends on which market you are buying or selling in. There is little to no consistency that warrants saying that the market as a whole is stabilized, it’s just too fragmented and there are too many styles of homes.

So with that note, let’s remember that in order to sell for top dollar or purchase at or below market price, 2020 will be a year that understanding the economics of real estate is extra critical. That being said, don’t be afraid to use us as a resource or as a sounding board, we understand the data very well (#RealEstateNerds) and we can 100% help you achieve your real estate goals or at least give you the information that you need to make an educated decision.

Lastly, a huge THANK YOU to all our clients in January for allowing us to fulfill our goal of helping as many families as possible with their real estate needs.  If you know of a family member or friend who could use some help to fulfil their real estate needs, we are happily accepting more clients in 2020 and would be grateful for the referral.

Cheers!
-Justin & Erica

January 2020 Market Update

Hello Friends,

Happy New Year!

Welcome to a new decade! We hope that your holidays have been the perfect measure of food, wine, family, friends, fun and laughter.

This year at JW Realty we are focusing on having a 20-20 vision, pun intended. We are looking forward to growing our team of real estate professionals, introducing some new divisions of the business (stay tuned in the coming months!) and also continuing to provide industry leading service and skill. Currently we (Justin & Erica) are working as a team to better service our clients and we are committing to a level of service and skill that freaks out traditional real estate teams. We feed on our aggressiveness to be better, different, value driven and modern with our business model because we are in a decade that will thrive on having stale business models disrupted. And let’s embrace it because this is what will make 2020 part of the most interesting and exciting decade yet!

Instead of writing a long boring update on how 2019 overall home prices declined by 3%, marking a 10% decline since the 2014 slowdown in the energy sector and overall sales volume was up by 1% (which are true stats by the way), rather lets focus on 2020 and discuss how home values will be affected this year instead of last year, including a “stability myth” to look out for.

Although most headlines from the media or other Realtors will read that the real estate market in Calgary is “stabilizing”, this is very narrow focused because the truth is that when you dissect the market, there are many communities that are far from hitting bottom, in our opinion. Additionally, some communities are now balanced, while others are in an upswing. Our point here is that we are at a point in the real estate cycle where there is little consistency across the market as a whole to signal stability.

For example, in 2014, almost every piece of the market was in an upswing, while in 2017 most of the market was depressed, yet in 2020 we will have a diverse mix. So yes it is true that the overall real estate market is “stabilizing” compared to the year before because some pieces of the market have indeed hit bottom and we are seeing some communities recover, however, be careful how you interpret that because the market you are currently invested in, or plan to invest in, may not have even hit bottom yet. Therefore, instead of being like every other Realtor and just saying that the market is stabilizing, we are saying that it is fragmented. Fragmented in a way that you simply can’t listen to headlines and believe that they for sure apply to you, you must dig deeper.

We predict that every community in Calgary will perform differently causing huge inconsistencies. Meaning that 2020 more than ever if you are buying or selling real estate will present huge risks AND more importantly, huge opportunities. It is extremely exciting to think about the opportunities that exist in a market like this, especially when you can buy under valued properties, trade up to a better property, do flips, sell your home at it’s highest value, acquire income properties etc, just by having an edge on understanding the market. Opportunity exists in 2020, we just need to block out the noise of a so-called stabilized market in order to see it.

To summarize, 2020 will be a fragmented year in the real estate markets we live and invest in. At JW Realty we believe that 1. geopolitical influences on industry, especially Oil & Gas, 2. growing net migration and 3. Albertans getting back to work with optimistic attitudes in order to spike consumer confidence, all need to coincide together first in order to be able to say that we have a true stabilized real estate market. Until then, let’s enjoy the opportunities presented right in front of us, because there is much fruit to bear!

For the analytical folks, i’ve included some extra stats below to highlight how Airdrie and Cochrane have performed over the past 10 years compared to Calgary, year over year.

Lastly, a huge THANK YOU to all our clients in December for allowing us to achieve our goal of helping as many families as possible with their real estate needs.  December was one of our best months of 2019 for transacting homes, which is great to have in a season where real estate can sometimes slow down, so thank you for allowing us to achieve this! If you know of a family or friend who could use some help to achieve their real estate needs, we are accepting more clients in 2020 and would be grateful for the referral.

Consider what 20-20 vision you want to follow and then get out there and make it happen 🙂 Again, Happy New Year everyone!

Justin & Erica

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