Low oil prices affecting Edmonton’s real estate market: CMHC

Edmonton's housing market dropping after strong summer, Thursday, October 10, 2013. File photo, Global News

EDMONTON — Edmonton’s real estate market is beginning to feel the effects of low crude oil prices.

Home resales are down slightly and 2015 will be a slower year for sales than 2014, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The corporation is also predicting a 13.8 per cent drop over the next year in housing starts.

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“We don’t know for sure when oil prices are going to firm up, but we’re thinking perhaps in the second half of 2016 is when the economic fundamentals might strengthen up a little bit and that’ll translate to a bit of strength in the housing market at that time,” said Christina Butchart with CMHC.

Lower employment growth, a higher vacancy rate, and more selection on the resale market are being blamed.

What that means is that the Edmonton real estate market has shifted slightly in favour of the buyer.

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“If you look at right now the selection of homes, it’s definitely increased quite a bit in the market. In the last couple years, we didn’t have a huge amount of selection,” said Butchart.

There are also more active listings which could bring down sales prices by about one per cent this year.

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