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Charlotte Renschler

Call Direct (403) 506-3141

Serving Central Alberta



December 1 2017 – Market Update – Lacombe

Mon, 04 Dec by charlotteyourrealestateagent

Sales in Lacombe in November were up compared to October’s and down slightly compared to last November. The number of active listings is also lower, but the sales to active listing ratio at 7.8% is keeping buyers in the driver’s seat. According to the Alberta Treasury Branch there are signs that the economy is gradually improving and we are hopeful that will translate into a more active market in 2018. The key findings or ATB’s latest economic Outlook are:

  • Alberta has emerged from two years of recession with real GDP growth of around four percent in 2017. ATB Financial’s Economics team is forecasting real GDP growth of 2.7 and 2.2 percent in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
  • Retail and housing sector performance has improved.
  • Oil prices have steadied, and have begun to inch higher (currently around $US 55 per barrel).
  • Alberta’s energy sector will grow this year.
  • Tourism, agriculture and agrifood will continue to show steady growth.
  • Net outmigration to other provinces is likely to taper off but continue at a slower rate next year.
  • Alberta is expected to see a strubbornly high unemployment rate in 2017 and 2018.

Showing Your Home to Potential Buyers

Tue, 21 Nov by charlotteyourrealestateagent
When your home is shown to potential buyers, every room is important. However, there are three types of rooms that buyers tend to pay particular attantion to: Kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms.

How do you make these rooms look great? Use these staging tips from professionals.

In the kitchen, make sure the stove, sink and countertops are spotless. In addition, the countertops should be clear of anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. You want to create the impression that there is a lot of counter space! In the cupboards, refrigerator and pantry, make sure all food items are facing forward.

In the bathrooms, make sure everything is clean and uncluttered, especially around the toilet and in the cabinet under the sink. Remove personal items from the countertop. If there is a shower curtain, Keep it open. Make sure that the towels match and are neatly hung on the rack. As a rule of thumb, the more you can make the bathrooms look like those in a nice hotel, the better!

In the bedrooms, make sure the bed is neatly made, preferably with matching covers and pillow cases. Make sure that items that are stored under the bed are not sticking out enough to be seen. Closets should be tidy with nothing on the floor except shoes (neatly arranged). It’s okay to have a lot of clothes, as long as they are all hanging neatly. If there are non-clothing items in the closet- such as loose files and papers – store them somewhere else. Don’t leave any clothes lying on the bed, chair or dresser, even if they are nicely folded. Don’t have anything in the laundry hamper. Want more staging tips? Feel free to contact me.

What a Buyer is Thinking While Viewing Your Home

Thu, 21 Sep by charlotteyourrealestateagent

Understand the buyer. Try to figure out what she’s thinking.

That’s good advice for you to consider when you’re putting your home up for sale. You need to imagine what a buyer might be thinking while viewing your property, so you can prepare your home more effectively for that Sale.
Here are some things buyers may be wondering:

  • Is this the type of home we’re looking for? Does it have the ideal number of bedrooms, etc.?
  • Are the rooms spacious enough for our needs?
  • Are there any repairs or other maintenance issues that need to be addressed?
  • How old is the property? Is there anything major, such as a furnace, that will need to be replaced soon?
  • What is the neighbourhood like? Will we be happy living in this area? Is it safe?
  • Is this home going to fit our lifestyle? Is there an area for the kids to play? Is there ample room for entertaining? Is the dining room
  • large enough for dinner with family and relatives?
  • Of course, these are only a few of the many questions a buyer may have while viewing your home.

The more you can anticipate these questions and prepare your home accordingly, the better the chances that you’ll sell it quickly and for a good price.

For example, remember that clutter will make a room appear smaller. So, make sure to de-clutter your home – especially the smaller spaces and cupboards.

If your house is in a desirable neighbourhood, create a list of area features (i.e. local parks, access to public transit, walking paths, etc.) to help buyers appreciate the value of living there.

Basically, when you’re preparing your home for sale, think like a prospective buyer!

Need help? Call today.

January 1 2017 – Red Deer Market update

Fri, 13 Jan by charlotteyourrealestateagent

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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.

 

CLICK ON THE CHART BELOW

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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.

CLICK ON THE CHART BELOW TO SEE LISTINGS/SALES ACTIVITY

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Creating the Perfect Study Space for Your Kids

Thu, 10 Nov by charlotteyourrealestateagent

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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.

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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.

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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