A low inventory Calgary market is creating a seller’s paradise in that city, and placing more pressure on brokers to push the paperwork through underwriting deals.
“Inventories are really tight here, and three of my clients have run into situations of multiple offers on a single property,” says Kelly Wardle, president of Pro Link Mortgage. “It is definitely a seller’s market, and that means we are having to work a little harder and a little faster to get the underwriting done.”
Typically Wardle asks for a seven-day turnaround on deals, but the low housing inventories in Calgary have placed sellers in the catbird’s seat – and those sellers are pushing for quick closing dates on deals.
“I have my documentation ready ahead of time before it goes to underwriting, because I’m seeing deals that require a five-day turnaround now,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “Calgary is a very strong market – it isn’t out of control, like the silliness of Toronto’s condo craze a few years ago – but nice, steady growth.”
A Royal LePage House Price Survey released yesterday showed that housing prices have remained relatively flat in the first quarter of 2013 across the country compared to the same period last year – with the noticeable exception of Calgary, where low volumes have placed upward pressure on prices by as much as 6.8 per cent.
For Wardle, he is seeing a definite uptick in clients giving up on the resale market and choosing new construction.
“Last year I did two new builds at this time; this year, I’ve done nine deals on new construction,” he says. “There are a lot of clients prepared to make a commitment on new builds eight months down the road.”
Ironically, Edmonton prices have remained in sync with the rest of the nation, with an average decrease of 0.2 to a slight increase of 1.7 per cent for various housing types. The nationwide average price has increased between 1.2 per cent and 2.4 per cent.
Vancouver numbers sagged as much as 5.6 per cent, reflecting the price correction that has been occurring for months out on the once red-hot Pacific coast housing market, as buyers continue to sit on the sidelines and on their wallets.
Wardle, who does 60 to 70 deals a year on average, has a chuckle that sellers are only now realizing the position of power they have in his backyard.
“What’s funny is we usually see the activity pick up in January, February and March – and now that the media are reporting the low inventories, it is like stock (prices),” he laughs. “People now realize that there aren’t a lot of resale properties, and the sellers are getting their (asking) price.”