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Charlotte Renschler

Call Direct 403-506-3141

Serving Central Alberta

January 1 2017 – Red Deer Market update

Fri, 13 Jan by charlotteyourrealestateagent







The market favours: Buyers.

Call me before buying or selling a home, it is important to find out what type of market you are entering into. Your listing price, negotiations and expectations will all be affected depending on whether it is a buyer’s market or a seller’s market.

Click on the link below to check out the difference between a buyer’s and Seller’s Market.

The Difference Between a Buyer’s and Seller’s Market

In Red Deer the number of active listing came down again to levels we haven’t seen since last January, although not enough to keep the market in balance after being there for the last several months.

Total sales in Red Deer in 2016 were down  8.3% from 2015

A struggling energy industry was the biggest contributor to a slower market in 2016, but provincial government initiatives including minimum wage legislation and the new carbon tax also had an effect on business and consumer confidence. When business and consumers are unsure how government policies will affect them, business is reluctant to invest and consumers are unlikely to make large buying decisions. The federal government’s new mortgage rules also contributed by making it more difficult toqualify for a mortgage. All these factors may combine to offset what could have been substantial gains in 2017. Instead, we expect the 2017 housing market to be only slightly better than 2016 assuming oil prices stay above $50US



December 15 2016 – Market Update

Mon, 19 Dec by charlotteyourrealestateagent

Market Update – Sales in Red Deer in the first two weeks of December dropped by almost 50% compared to the first two weeks in November.  The number of active listings also dropped, back to levels we saw last year at this time and well below the peak reached in the spring of this year.

Last year at this time oil prices were headed into the $US28 range and optimism was not very high.  The outlook is much better this year, but we are now being impacted by the federal government’s tougher rules for mortgage qualifying that have reduced the average buyer’s ability to finance their home purchase.  It is an effort to curb rising prices in Toronto and Vancouver, but unfortunately, their country wide tinkering is negatively affecting Albertans who can least afford it.

Other than the new Alberta Carbon Tax, there has been lots of good news lately in addition to strengthening oil prices.  Two pipeline approvals, increased 2017 budgets on the part of several major oil companies, oil patch workers being called back and one of the most visible signs of all – oil company truck convoys on the highways.  Natural gas prices are also up, as indicated in the ATB article below.

Natural Gas Prices Jump Up …… Quietly  by ATB Financial Economics

In case you missed it, natural gas prices have climbed to levels not seen for about two and a half years. As of yesterday, the Canadian benchmark’s (AECO) spot price closed around C$3.40/MMBtu while the North American benchmark, Henry Hub settled around $3.50/MMBtu.

The reason? Supply and demand.

First, let’s start with supply. Natural gas is required by oil producers for upgrading purposes and to run oilsands operations. As these businesses start to piece things back together and pick up the pace, they have been forced to draw a bit more natural gas from inventories thereby reducing supply. But, it’s not just businesses drawing down stockpiles, it’s us, the consumers too!

With temperatures dipping around -30*C, this cold snap that has covered much of the province has caused many Albertans to crank the temperature on their thermostats. Doing so has increased the amount of natural gas required to heat our homes and run Alberta’s businesses which has also caused a drawdown on storage supplies.

Collectively, these draws on natural gas inventories have boosted demand and caused the price to rise. Of course, as supply diminishes, demand bumps up and causes the price of natural gas to increase.




November 15 2016 – Market Update

Mon, 28 Nov by charlotteyourrealestateagent

Red Deer Market Update-Strong sales in Red Deer in the first half of November compared to the same time last year continue to support our theory that we may be on the road to recovery. That theory is further supported by the lower number of active listings compared to last month. In a normal Market we expect to see lower inventories as we move into winter, but high inventory levels are a symptom of a slower market, that we might expect in spite of the season, if the market was still in decline.

Recent Alberta Treasury Branch economic updates are reporting some good news in various sectors – Vehicle sales in Alberta in September were up a little, manufacturing shipments from Alberta are only down 5% this year and were up a little in August and September, Travelers to Alberta are experiencing lower accommodation prices which should encourage more travel here and the economic gain that accompanies that, the new home price index in Alberta is unchanged over the last two years, and there has been a lot of positive news about added activity in the energy sector.



Creating the Perfect Study Space for Your Kids

Thu, 10 Nov by charlotteyourrealestateagent


While it won’t guarantee them a place at Harvard, having a room or designated space in your home for studying can help kids focus on their homework. Here are a few suggestions for putting together an A+ study space.

1. Brighter room, brighter mind
Lighting is one of the most critical features of a productive study space, especially as night comes early during much of the school year. Add a desk or floor lamp if the room’s main light isn’t bright enough.

2. A door – that closes
Shut out distractions – such as the sound of dinner being made or younger siblings watching TV – with a solid door that minimizes outside sound. If a door is not possible, foam earplugs, white noise machines or soft background music can help fight encroaching buzz.

3. Banish distractions
Make the room a phone-free zone and if there’s a TV, take the remote during study time to reduce temptation.

4. Consider color
The color of the room can affect kids’ ability to concentrate. Elementary school-aged kids do best when surrounded by warmer colors, like yellow and peach, while older students focus best with cooler hues, like blues and greens, according to psychological color studies.

5. Clear clutter
Towers of magazines, piles of mail and even baskets of laundry can distract kids from homework. Help them focus by keeping the space, especially the desk, as clutter-free as possible.

6. Talk to an expert – your kid
Perhaps the most important factor in creating a great study space is finding out your child’s unique preferences. You might love the expensive ergonomically correct chair, but your kid might find it easier to read for long periods from a giant beanbag on the floor.

Thinking of buying or selling your home? Make sure to work with a professional who has done their homework. Contact Charlotte Renschler, REALTOR® 403-782-4301

Lacombe Market Update – November 2016

Sat, 05 Nov by charlotteyourrealestateagent

Sales in Lacombe in October were down compared to September’s, but were much higher than last October. The number of active listings fell slightly which helped keep the market moving toward balance with a sales to listing ratio of 14 %. Year to date sales in Lacombe are down only 9% compared with the same time last year, a good indication that the market is slowley recovering.

The most active price range by a large margin last month was the $300,000-$350,000 range where the number of active listings also dropped. Largely due to a recovery in oil prices to around US$50, the ATB is predicting a modest rebound for Alberta of 2.1% growth after a contraction of 2.6% in 2016 in 2016. It’s not a boom for sure , but it is a move in the right direction. The contraction in our economy has been longer and more pronounced and there is no doubt it will take longer to recover. In addition to rising oil prices, strong agriculture, tourism and high tech industries and the rebulding of Ft. McMurray will contribute to a stronger Alberta economy in 2017. While the recovery will be slower, we are confident Alberta is still a great place to live and invest.


Penhold Market update – August 31 2016

Wed, 14 Sep by charlotteyourrealestateagent

August sales in Penhold were up slightly from July, but well down when compared to August 2015. The number of active listings is down a little and the market is working its way back toward a balanced territory. All in all, a very positive result in a difficult economy. The strength in the Penhold market is in the $250,000 – $400,000 Price range, and where demand is strongest, there is ample inventory to satisfy all buyers.

When the economy slows as it has over the past two years, the housing market is surely going to slow as well. Sellers have to adjust their expectations when there are fewer buyers and more competition. Recent sales results provide proof that there are still buyers for competitively priced homes. Very low interest rates are also contributing to better than expected market activity.

In spite of some continuing economic gloom, news of falling supply and increasing demand for oil in the world market provides hope that prices will get past the magic US$50 mark for good in the coming months. Energy companies have become streamlined and more cost efficient and will be able to generate profits at that price and put some of our unemployed workers back on the job. Ultimately that is what will help get Alberta economy back on track.

Thinking of buying or selling your home give me a call.  Ask for Charlotte Renschler 403-343-3020

Red Deer Market Update August 15 2016

Wed, 31 Aug by charlotteyourrealestateagent

Market Update –  Red Deer sales in the first two weeks of August were down slightly compared to the first two weeks in July.  The number of active listings is down slightly, so we don’t see anything in this market to be too concerned about.  We will only be concerned when the ratio of sales to listings goes below 10% for an extended period of time.  A slower market is a function of our current economic reality, but as long as supply and demand remain in reasonable sync, it’s just a slower market, not a calamity.


June’s wholesale trade numbers bring some good news, Nick Ford, Economist – ATB Financial

Wholesale activity managed to jump up in June. According to this morning’s wholesale report, June’s sales grew by $181 million, or 3.0 per cent from May (this figure is adjusted to account for seasonal variation). Despite the monthly incline, wholesale trade still remains 7.6 per cent lower than where it was at this point last year.
Wholesale trade is often forgotten, but is crucial to an economy. Wholesalers sell products to governments, institutions and other businesses and can be a strong force that works in conjunction with retailers. Like many sectors in our province, wholesale has had to battle strong economic headwinds.

But, today’s wholesale report does bring some decent economic news. While, virtually all types of wholesalers have seen activity dwindle from last year, sales are beginning to increase again. The value of goods sold from Alberta’s largest wholesale supplier, machinery, equipment and supplies merchants grew 18.0 per cent in June from May. In addition, the value of goods sold by building material and supplies (11.1 per cent) and food and beverage wholesalers (4.0 per cent) were up from May too.
Like June’s monthly Retail Trade Survey, June’s monthly Wholesale Trade Survey added three questions to assess the impact of the Fort McMurray wildfire. In June, about 1,250 companies responded to the additional survey questions. Of these companies, 147 wholesalers indicated that they had been affected by the wildfire, down from 212 wholesalers in May.

While the effects of the wildfire were felt across many wholesale subsectors, responses indicated that the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector had the largest share of companies reporting an impact in June, the same as in May. Responses to the supplementary questions also revealed that wholesale establishments in most provinces had been affected, led by those in Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia. Although the responses showed that many had been affected, the overall impact of the wildfire and evacuation on wholesale sales was relatively small.

Making a Small Room Seem Bigger to Buyers

Thu, 25 Aug by charlotteyourrealestateagent


When you’re putting your property on the market, you want to make it seem as big and comfortable as possible. After all, buyers are attracted to space. However, you probably have at least one room in your home — and perhaps even more — that feels small and a little cramped.

Of course you don’t want the buyer’s first impression of the room to be its size. Since it isn’t practical to be knocking down walls and renovating, what should you do? Here are some ideas for making small spaces seem larger and more comfortable:


  • Remove any items and extra furniture that make the room feel smaller than it really is.
  • Remove any obstructions near the entranceway. You should be able to open the door fully and walk in without bumping into a desk or bookshelf.
  • Don’t use heavy curtains on the windows. Let the light in.
  • Use soft light bulbs with enough wattage to fill the room with full and pleasant (but not blinding) light.
  • Less is more. Keep knickknacks, pictures and other décor items to a minimum.
  • Keep the door fully open during viewings.
  • Make sure there’s enough space for two people to walk in and move around without bumping into each other.
  • Give the room a purpose. “This is the home office.” Or, “This is the comfy reading nook.” If a small room doesn’t have a reason for being, it will seem like wasted space.

Want more ideas for preparing your home so that it will sell quickly and for the best price? Call me today. 403-506-3141



Penhold Market Update -July 1st 2016

Fri, 08 Jul by charlotteyourrealestateagent


Penhold sales in June more than doubled when compared to May, and matched the total for June of last year. The number of active listings dropped from last month, but is still somewhat higher than it was a year ago. Supply and demand did move into balance this month and hopefully is the start of a new trend to go along with higher oil prices.

The median sale price for central Alberta recovered a little more in the 2nd quarter and is now back to where it was at the peak in 2007. That means that in the 2nd quarter of 2016, when considering all the sales in Red Deer, Sylvan Lake, Lacombe, Ponoka, Blackfalds, Penhold and Innisfail, the sales price with an equal number of sales higher and an equal number lower moved up a little to $312, 900 from $308,000 in the 1st quarter of 2016.

Median price is used to define trends only. An upward movement in the median price doesn’t necessarily mean that the price of an individual home went up. It more likely means that there were more sales in the higher price ranges. We have seen strong activity at the high of the price spectrum in some markets this year. It isn’t possible to broadly define an exact percentage increase or decrease in prices for the overall market because every price range and every market is a little different based on the supply of active listings relative to the demand. Ask me for specific market advice for your property.


Phone: 403-506-3141


June 15 2016 – Market Update

Tue, 21 Jun by charlotteyourrealestateagent

Market Update –  Sales in the first two weeks of June were a little slower than last month as well as the same period last year, but there are two encouraging signs that the market is on the right track.  First, the number of active listings has dropped since last month.  Second, the number of pending sales is still strong, even though recent changes to regulatory policy allows sellers not to report pending sales.  That means that there are likely many more pending sales than actually show in our records.

We consider the overall central Alberta market to be stable considering the economic situation in Alberta.  That stable market can probably be at least partly attributed to the fact that people are staying here rather than leaving, as indicated in the ATB article below.  Apparently the job situation in other parts of Canada isn’t good enough to lure them away and they feel there is a future here.

Crude oil prices have fallen below the magical $50 US mark, which may be having some effect on consumer confidence.  We expect them to fluctuate up and down but most economists are predicting a gradual rise over the next few months and improvement in the Alberta economy starting this summer and fall.

Out-migration from Alberta Holding Steady, Todd Hirsch, ATB Economics – During a typical recession in Alberta, it’s common for people to move to other provinces for work. That trend makes what’s happening in the current downturn a bit surprising: so far the number of people leaving Alberta is relatively low.

The graph below shows the last 50 years of out-migration to other provinces, as a percentage of the population. The thin green line shows quarterly outflows that are subject to significant seasonality—people tend to leave mostly in the third and fourth quarters of the year. The heavy green line shows outflow averaged over four quarters, giving a better perspective of the general population movement.

Out Migration from Alberta

The outflow was quite high during some of the 1960s and 1970s—more than one percent of the province packed up and left. The outflow gradually ebbed lower over the decades, with only a slight bump higher during the nasty recession of the 1980s. The percentage of Albertans leaving has been remarkably stable since the mid-1990s at around 0.4 per cent per quarter. There was a slight jump in the 2008 recession to around 0.5 per cent. Despite the severity of the current 2015-16 downturn, out-migration from Alberta has risen only slightly above 0.4 per cent—mostly due to the fact that the job market in other parts of the country is not significantly better than it is in Alberta.


Red Deer June 15 2016


Charlotte Renschler, RE/MAX real estate central alberta
101, 5035 50 Street, Lacombe, Alberta T4L 1X9
Tel: 403-506-3141 Office: 403-782-4301 Fax: 403-340-3085
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