New forecasts for Alberta home sales have local brokers bracing for another wave of interprovincial poaching as mortgage professionals from B.C. and Ontario amp up their cross border marketing.
Alberta is, in fact, set to lead the country this year, with home sales primed for a 6.8 per cent climb compared to 2011, said the Canadian Real Estate Association this week.
That same report pegs national sales at a much more modest 0.3 per cent this year, with a decline of 0.3 per cent following in 2013. For oil-rich Alberta, next year’s growth will be closer to 1.7 per cent, according to CREA.
None of that has been lost on mortgage professionals across the country as they take advantage of new interprovincial trade rules allowing them to more easily gain licensing in another province. Others may simply be marketing to Alberta clients on the Internet, a deliberate attempt to grow their business from the increasing number of migrant workers attracted to Alberta.
Brokers in Alberta are offering their eager counterparts in B.C. a word to wise to the wise about the market where the average home price remains less than half that of Vancouver’s. It means commissions on originations – even if Vancouver brokers succeed at winning them – will be similarly modest.
“Obviously, two deals (in Calgary or Edmonton) at $250,000 are better than no deals at $1 million in Vancouver,” Daniel Alves, an associate broker at Link Lending in Edmonton, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “But there are two things that they need to consider. One: how many deals are they realistically going to be able to close without being on the ground in our market?
"And, two: closed mortgage business follows the effort made by a broker to win that business, and obviously there are mortgages closing in B.C. – maybe they should look more closely at what they are or are not doing to win the business happening in their own market.”
The comments echo those of other brokers in Alberta, also concerned that their Ontario and B.C. counterparts lack the requisite knowledge about the province’s mortgage and real estate markets to best advise them.
They’re also concerned about competitors who have no on-the-ground presence and the effect that could have on reducing the value proposition of the industry as a whole.
That argument may be lost on brokers facing challenges in their own slowing markets, especially with CREA also forecasting price increases in Alberta.