How many times have we heard the expression, “buy low, sell high?” Since the novel coronavirus (COVID19) and the ensuing worldwide pandemic hit world markets, it’s been obviously tough; if not depressing to look at the daily market numbers. Hope you haven’t opened your online stock brokerage account or that letter from your investment firm; spoiler alert, things in the stock market are not pretty at the moment. Even news from the C.D. Howe Institute saying that Canada’s hit a recession hasn’t helped anyone feel any better. But there is hope.
I know it might sound cliche, but while the markets will undoubtedly go up and go down (TSX) and investors will always try and “time the market”.
Here’s why you should consider investing in real estate and where:
Locals have long said, “they’re literally not building any more mountains” when asked about the cost of living (re real estate) in the Canadian Rockies. Fact is outside of living in Banff (and by extension Banff National Park) Canmore does have a higher cost of living comparable to other parts of Alberta. The Bow Valley is unique and unlike any other part of the province. We’re surrounded by parks (provincial and federal) so developable land is at a true premium – pun intended. We’ve also been asked, given current events, “how’s the market?” Here’s the data:
The number of units sold so far in 2020 is close to a decade low. The same can be said so far in 2020 for the volume in value of these units, but the average price for hotel condos continues to increase. Something has to change. We believe based on the current COVID-10 health pandemic, Sellers are a) taking their listings off the market b) listings are expiring given the Bow Valley is essentially on lock-down. But don’t forget tourism will eventually come back. Banff National Park, Canmore and even the Calgary Stampede must go on (albeit the Stampede has been cancelled this year too).
Canmore’s residential market has also seen some shifts albeit all in a negative direction. Volumes, units and prices, in general, are down, across the board. Can this be blamed on COVID-19? The timing is hard to miss.
Canmore and by extension Banff National Park; namely the mountain parks of the Canadian Rockies might attract the largest share of tourism, no doubt. But for everyday people, whether you’re looking for a place to call home or maybe a long-term rental property (good tenants are worth their weight in gold!) Cochrane offers a choice. For those of you not familiar with this community, it’s located just 45 minutes east of Canmore; 20 minutes west of Calgary and it’s a growing community. Given the Bow Valley’s cost of living, many former residents have chosen to call this thriving Calgary suburb home.
In a broader context, Cochrane’s current real estate market is down. This isn’t so much related to COVID-19 but energy prices in general too (Cochrane’s economy is not nearly as tourism-driven as that of Banff or Canmore) but overall it’s been nearly a decade since the price of real estate has been where we are today.
So while the stock market may seem luring or at time stomach-turning, there’s always an alternative. Whether you’re looking to buy for yourself, invest in the long-term or even sell (timing and pricing is everything!) If you have any questions, concerns or would like some more information, get in touch!
Ever since the novel coronavirus, COVID19 caused a world-wide health pandemic, a new “normal” now exists for many around the world. Life in the Bow Valley has been no different. We know the communities of both Banff and Canmore are suffering.
With only essential businesses allowed to stay open, and with social distancing the new catchphrase, how have you coped?
We’ve long known, that the economic pulse of the Bow Valley has been driven by tourism. That’s never been in doubt. But now, more than ever, many, outstanding, local businesses need our help and support to stay open.
Here are some amazing local businesses, that we know, would continue to enjoy your support throughout these challenging times.
Eclipse Coffee Roasters is a speciality coffee roaster based in the picturesque mountain town of Canmore, Alberta. Established in 2014 with the goal of not only sourcing and roasting exceptional coffee but also to provide a personal touch and great customer service.
What can you expect from us? Honesty and transparency in everything we do. We understand that everyone has different opinions as to what makes a great-tasting cup of coffee and we try to be as accommodating as possible to those individual tastes. From light fruity Africans to bold chocolatey Indonesians we pride ourselves on having something for all without sacrificing quality. This is backed up by our numerous awards in roasting competitions across the continent.
We are an independent and local business, run by locals who are passionate about bringing an amazing healing experience to all of the athletes and tourists that visit Canmore and Banff and all of those who call this amazing location home. We take great pride in providing an amazing experience and answering any questions you may have about floating.
Whether you want to use floating for it’s health benefits, improved athletic performance or for personal development we believe floating has the ability to benefit your life. We also love that there is no skill or training needed to float and we have done our best to keep it affordable and well-priced compared to many other spa treatments.
Rocky Mountain Flatbread is a series of award-winning family restaurants serving forno fired pizzas.
We pride ourselves on incorporating local into everything we do. From our use of local Canadian organic flours, produce and meats, to handcrafting everything fresh on site. Creating a culture of empathy and sustainability has helped us grow into more than just a restaurant.
The overall trend we’ve seen this year could be best summed up as “transitional”. The real estate market for Canmore and the Bow Valley has gone from a very active fall to a winter market more quickly than was anticipated. Great news if you are in the market for a home as we are now in a buyer’s market for homes in Canmore. A caveat to the stats below, given we are such a small market, sample sizes can vary wildly. That being said, the trendlines are showing a shift in the market.
Month over month sales dropped 55% from October’s 63 sales to just 28 in November; year over year, sales are down 35%. The good news is that inventory levels continue to decline as fewer homes are coming to market and others are coming off the market for the winter. Currently there are 232 active listings, down 5% month over month; inventory is up 14% year over year.
This shifting market is a combination of the continued economic headwinds facing Alberta – other than locals moving within the market, our largest feeder markets are Calgary and Edmonton. The other challenge is most likely some post-election blues as those who were waiting out the federal election may decide not to pursue a secondary residence. Lastly, winter came in with a roar this year and the weather wasn’t ideal for looking at homes or making early ski season trips up to the mountains.
The single family home / duplex market has dramatically moved into a buyer’s market. At current absorption rates, there is 25 months of inventory on the market, the highest levels since 2011. Between the fall of 2016 and the fall of 2019, average prices for detached / semi-detached homes has been flat. The median price has however increased during this time. This is a reflection of the soft luxury market and stronger entry level market. The luxury market has been in buyer’s market territory for years and prices have softened. Whereas, the entry level market and mid-range market has had strong pricing pressure with low supply levels driving up the median price.
Townhouse absorption rates have increased significantly with almost 16 months of inventory at current sales and listing rates. Entry level townhomes remain scare while there is an abundance of supply of luxury townhomes and townhomes in Three Sisters. The three month average sale price of townhomes has decreased almost 8% year over year. This is a combination of fewer sales in the top end of the market and prices decreasing especially in the Stewart Creek area.
Over the next few months, we expect sales to be in the low 30s per month and listings to stabilize in the 220 range. Come spring, we do expect to see a surge of listings coming back to market that did not sell this fall. Pricing and being cognisant of the market and one’s competition will be very important.