2013 no 'write-off' for brokers

2013 no 'write-off' for brokers

Breathe easy, brokers, especially you in Alberta: a new report on Canada’s housing market is attempting to fell the “doom and gloom” prophecies now taking root.

The RE/MAX 2013 Outlook was pieced together with surveys tracking Realtor perceptions in 26 markets, which indicate that while the market can expect a mild correction in 2013, a crash is unlikely.

"Despite all the negativity surrounding residential real estate, the sky is not falling," said Gurinder Sandhu, regional director of RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. "Home sales have moderated, but remain within healthy levels.”

National sales are expected to fall another 1 per cent by the end of 2012, and then moderate throughout 2013. Flaherty’s mortgage rules may have slowed the market somewhat, but 454,000 units are still expected to change hands in 2013.

The market trends examined in the report such as interest rates being at an all-time low and immigration and population growth expected to continue bode well for investors. The report also revealed a strong pull-back in activity in Vancouver, but strengths in Western provinces such as Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Although the investment landscape may look decidedly different heading into 2013, it is one that still hosts opportunities for brokers, especially those tapped into the mature buyer market, say analysts.

While the number of first-time buyers is likely to remain down through the first half of the year, the expectation is homeowners will move to capitalize on any drop in prices by buying up, creating an in for brokers they may have used for an earlier purchase.

That's where maintaining contact with past clients pays off, say a growing number of seasoned brokers, sending out monthly newsletters and now signing a mountain of Christmas cards.