Consumer confidence is one of the most important ingredients in a healthy real estate market and it’s been mostly missing since oil prices collapsed in January 2015. There has been some good news in the last year… oil prices back up to +$70US along with government assurances that the economy is on the mend, but every piece of good news has been negated by ongoing delays in pipeline development (that would reduce the discount on the price of Alberta oil) and the federal government’s inability to finalize a new North American Trade Agreement.
Those issues don’t directly impact every central Albertan, but they have been nagging issues in the backs of our minds and quite likely contributed to slower sales this year. The September market didn’t get any help from the weather either, which moved directly from summer to winter.
Good news! We have a new North American Free Trade Agreement as of Oct. 1st and we almost certainly have a massive new Liquefied Natural Gas project for Kitimat, B.C. that will put $40 Billion into the Alberta and B.C. economies. Those are huge confidence boosters that we believe can make a long term, positive impact on consumer confidence and the housing market. It won’t happen tomorrow, but maybe we’ve finally turned the corner.