How much have oil declines impacted housing?

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It may be the hardest-hit housing market, but things may not be as dire as some are suggesting; at least according to one lender’s foreclosure stats.
Alberta foreclosures are up only slightly year-over-year for one western-Canada based MIC. In August 2015, Alberta accounted for 35% of all foreclosures for VWR Canada, up a mere 3% from 2014’s figures.
As of November 19, 37% of the lender’s foreclosures were in Alberta. However, foreclosures in its entire portfolio fell from August to November.
“If properties are priced correctly they will sell, even in today’s market,” Dimitri Kosturos, a vice president with VWR Capital, told “It’s really the high-end properties that have been the hardest hit.”
Kosturos admits MICs likely have higher foreclosure rates than more traditional lenders, such as monolines and banks, but that his particular company has risk adjusted and tightened its lending standards in a bid to minimize foreclosures.
It also works with clients to find a solution.
“We work with clients who are at risk of foreclosure,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense to take a loss if we can find a way to allow the client to keep the property.”
Alberta has been the hardest hit province in the wake of sagging oil prices, especially in Fort McMurray.
According to CREA’s most recent stats, dollar volume for home sales is down 47.8% year-to-date in that region. On a year-over-year basis, dollar volume fell 52.8% in October.
However, Kosturos is cautiously optimistic about the province, as a whole.
“There are concerns about Alberta right now but, knock on wood, things are still good,” he said. “We’re being cautious, so we’ll see.”
  • Ross Kay on 2015-12-02 10:26:38 AM

    Alberta home prices have already deflated by over 14% so far this year. It really is amazing to see the stakeholders in the home selling infrastructure continue to mislead consumers with the use of faulty readings of the market.

    Mortgage Brokers in Alberta who had the correct market intelligence have been able to structure their clients mortgage debt portfolio to mitigate the risk on falling prices now for over a year.

    CREB and EREB is still telling everyone it's OK to buy a home right now and thus OK to absorb 10's of thousands in losses before they even close.

    Mr. Kosturos is clearly either a puppet of organized real estate or he is protecting his company by trying to calm fears.

    Instead proactive solutions should be being provided to Albertans on how to whether this latest devastation to their personal wealth.

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