Prospective Home Buyers In Alberta Confident In The Market

CALGARY — A national survey of prospective homebuyers, who intend to buy within the next 24 months, indicates nearly one-in-five in Alberta are single people.

The RE/MAX Canadian Homebuying Trends Survey 2013-2014, released on Tuesday, said 42 per cent are couples and 38 per cent are families.

The report also indicated 22 per cent of them are first-time buyers, 32 per cent second-time buyers and 47 per cent multi-time buyers.

"Today’s real estate consumer is more experienced and financially prudent than in the past," said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president with RE/MAX of Western Canada. "Recent global events — in concert with new mortgage finance rules — have fuelled a more conservative mindset that will serve Canadians well moving forward. It seems the lessons of excess are being heeded."

In Alberta, the survey found that prospective homebuyers fell in the following age categories — 18 per cent are 55 plus years old; 40 per cent are 18-34 years old; and 42 per cent are 35-54 years old.

The survey said 50 per cent of them are looking to buy in an urban area, 24 per cent suburban and 10 per cent rural.

The vast majority intend to buy in the $250,000 to $500,000 price category at 58 per cent, followed by 21 per cent in the under $250,000 range and 17 per cent in the $500,000 to $1 million range.

The survey also found that 32 per cent of Albertans intend to have a down payment of more than 30 per cent.

"Serious equity gains have bolstered the level of down payment homeowners can put forth," said Ash. "As a result, they’re clearly in a stronger financial position."

The survey also said that 50 per cent of Albertans believe housing values will rise in their area while 34 per cent believe they will remain the same. Seven per cent believe housing values will decline.

"Canadians remain confident in the future of housing — and this was demonstrated nationally across all demographics — regardless of income, gender, age, or location," said Ash. "The level of enthusiasm bodes well, as a substantial barometer of market health. The outlook is positive."

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, month-to-date from January 1 to January 21, there have been 681 MLS sales in the city, up 6.24 per cent from the same period a year ago and the average sale price has risen by 12.84 per cent to $430,861.

mtoneguzzi@calgaryherald.com

Twitter: MTone123

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