The Calgary Real Estate Market: the Time is Ripe for Buyers - By: M Shane
The terms “buyers' market” and “sellers' market” are tossed around frequently in the media, but what do they mean for you? A sellers' market is what we saw a few short years ago when there was a frenzy of new construction, and houses were flying off the market in a matter of days. A sellers' market essentially means that there are more buyers than available inventory, so buyers enter bidding wars, and property values soar.
Since late 2006, housing markets throughout North America have shifted and become buyers' markets.
Available inventory now exceeds the number of buyers looking for homes in the Calgary real estate market. Add to that the frightening number of foreclosures in the U.S., talk of an American recession, and stricter lending practices by mortgage companies, the result has been a near stand-still in the market.
After all, it's hard to watch thousands of homeowners in the States finding themselves in a financial mess now that they're feeling the pinch of their subprime mortgages. Learning from the mistakes of their American counterparts, Canadian buyers have become leery of entering the housing market.
Unfortunately, the more buyers that stall, the worse the economy gets. Real estate plays such an enormous role in our greater economic health, that a stagnating market can have a ripple effect on other industries such as construction and financial institutions.
Despite dire reports by the media in both countries, now is the optimal time to enter the market. Housing prices have dropped substantially, making it easier for first time buyers to get their feet wet. Condos in particular are more accessible than ever to lower income buyers.
There is also an abundant selection of properties to choose from, with sellers all competing for your money. Interest rates are low and sellers are willing to negotiate. As a buyer, you have a great deal of power right now, which will disappear as the housing market stabilizes.
You can take advantage of the soft housing market by offering less than the purchase price, adding contingencies to your offer, having the seller cover your closing costs, and even adding items to the deal such as appliances or home warranties.
Many sellers have had their houses on the market for months, and are eager to move on with their lives. You can help them do this as well as negotiate an excellent deal for yourself.
There are conflicting opinions among experts regarding when the housing market will reach rock bottom and swing in the other direction again. That's why it's wise to strike now, while conditions are ripe for buying.
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