It’s a tale of two re-licensing processes, with Alberta escaping the agent cull that hit Ontario earlier this year.
October statistics from the Real Estate Council of Alberta indicate the number of mortgage professionals in the province remain steady as broker confidence in the unstoppable Alberta housing market appears robust even as the industry decelerates in other parts of the country.
“The number of mortgage professionals in Alberta has remained largely unchanged as of October 1,” said Natalie Collard, spokesperson for RECA, which ended its 2012 relicensing period at the end of last month. “Our broker population has been steady over the last couple of years.”
Mortgage associates that sought to renew their Alberta license this year numbered 2,107, a drop of 22 from the same period last year, while the number of brokerages grew to 320, up by eight from 2011, Collard told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. In Alberta, a mortgage brokerage can only have one broker, so in effect one brokerage represents a single mortgage broker.
Alberta’s broker retention is in stark contrast to Ontario’s slide.
One day after Ontario’s final deadline, April 1, some 21 per cent of the province’s 9,707 agents had failed to renew their licenses. The number of renewals has since risen as stragglers came forward. Still, the losses have been more than 1,700.
That just hasn’t been the case in Alberta, largely because of the optimism about its housing sector.
Brokers in other provinces have had less to cheer about.
Even as Statistics Canada reports continued housing price growth in the country’s biggest markets, fear of a price correction in previously white hot areas such as Toronto and Vancouver remain.
By contrast, the West continues to be a housing dynamo as Calgary leads the nation in home sales activity. For example, residential sales in Calgary for last month rose 11 per cent over the previous year’s number.
This had the effect of luring brokers from other provinces who are looking for better prospects.