Realtors remain cautiously optimistic for Lethbridge housing market

LETHBRIDGE-

After Lethbridge set a record for both homes sold and the prices they sold for in 2022, some realtors are hoping for a repeat of last year’s trajectory, but supply chain issues may create challenges.

“We have news from the Bank of Canada that interest rates are likely to rise three times through 2022, so we expect that to cool things down somewhat, but not hugely,” the owner said. of Atkinson Team Realty. owner, Courtney Atkinson.

“The idea is that we can still maintain strong sales throughout the year. Hoping to overcome some of the supply chain challenges we have encountered, while having success in the real estate space .

Atkinson says 2021 has been the busiest year in real estate around Lethbridge he has seen in the past 13 years, and believes the pandemic has contributed to that.

“People haven’t traveled a lot, they haven’t spent that much money on restaurants, and they’ve really been like, ‘Hey, how do I like my space at home?'” said Atkinson.

“Do I need more of this?” And really, I think it comes down to fitting in, wanting to be in a different space, feeling like you have more space to work in, and for all those people who work from home, who are looking for that home office.

And the statistics back it up.

More than 2,300 homes were sold in and around Lethbridge last year, a solid jump from 1,666 in 2020. According to the Lethbridge and District Association of Realtors, the total value of all homes sold reached a record $1.1 billion.

As expected, the average cost of a home jumped from last year.

“The average price in the District of Lethbridge and the Association of Realtors, which encompasses a multitude of different communities, has gone from about $293,000 to $315,000, but if you look just in the city of Lethbridge, the average is around $335,000,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson says the current seller’s market creates an interesting landscape.

“There’s tight inventory, not a ton of new listings coming to market, and when they do, there’s huge demand from buyers, and so generally you’ll find yourself in situations of competing offers or at the very least selling very close to the asking price, if not above it,” Atkinson said.

Although the outlook for real estate looks good, persistent supply problems could create construction and renovation problems.

“Whether it’s electrical, mechanical, steel or wood, all of these facets have been affected,” said Darren Guenther, president of the Lethbridge Construction Association.

“Not only in terms of extended delivery times, but certainly also in price. Prices continue to rise, so it’s a challenge on all levels. All signs seem to indicate that this is continuing.

But as Alberta created 130,000 jobs last year and the economy continues to recover, local industry players hope this will also help boost the real estate market.

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