May 4th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 18
Housing market remains resilient in Crowsnest Pass
Rick's Corner
Feature Writer
Our slow and steady real estate market keeps defying the negative economic forces which are crippling the rest of the province and there are very good reasons for this.

Alberta Real Estate Association sends us complete market statistics each month and the latest to land in my in-box, on April 20, makes for bleak reading. Declines are everywhere right across the province but our local numbers tell a different story.

Up until the end of April this year, we had a total of 37 MLS sales. In 2015, during the same period, we had 36 MLS sales and in 2014 we had 37. Stats which go all the way back to 2005 are interesting.

Our real estate market peaked in 2005, held steady for 2006 and 2007 and then declined with the rest of the markets as the financial crisis and recession took hold in 2008 and 2009.

As Alberta emerged from the recession, we saw a rapid acceleration in the volume of sales and price increases almost everywhere but not here in Crowsnest Pass.
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An important reason for this is because our market is tied more to what is happening in British Columbia than in Alberta. As you recall, the price of metallurgical coal retracted much sooner than the collapse of the price of oil.

TECK, our major employer, has been coping with the low price of met coal for a few years now, and this has been a time which has witnessed the closure of many mines throughout North America and elsewhere. Teck, on the other hand, is emerging not only as a survivor but also as a global met coal industry leader.

Metallurgical coal is slowly recovering for the simple reason: the world needs steel.

Just imagine, more than 100 tonnes of met coal goes into manufacturing steel for just one windmill. And the amount of steel re-bar needed for the world’s infrastructure projects is hard to envision. Anyone who has seen a foundation poured under a windmill, or an overpass being constructed, has a good idea of the steel needed.
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So, while our community missed much of the oil fuelled price rises in housing, we are not missing the economic contraction which is now underway in the rest of Alberta.

Since the recession of 2009 our prices have not changed much and we remain very affordable when compared to anywhere else in the province. Since our housing market is reasonable, we continue to attract buyers.

While no one has a crystal ball to predict the future, our slow and steady market statistics tell us that Crowsnest Pass is a very good place to be.
May 4th ~ Vol. 85 No. 18
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