Whether it’s the longer days, the warmer evenings, or the arrival of tax refunds, by far the busiest time of year for homebuyers is late spring. In a typical year, almost three times as many homes will pass hands in May and June than during the early winter. So, what are the main reasons Albertans hunt for a home?
A recent survey of Alberta households conducted by ATB Financial asked respondents if they were actively in the market to purchase a home—and if so, to indicate their primary motivation. About two thirds of respondents indicated they were either relocating or were first time homebuyers. Of the remaining third, most wanted to move up the property ladder, or to downsize (i.e. go from a detached dwelling to a condominium).
It was feared that first time homebuyers would be hit hard by the tighter mortgage rules introduced last year. This might be true elsewhere in the country, but it doesn’t appear to have hurt Alberta’s housing market too much. The mortgage changes may have discouraged some property investors in the province, however, since very few survey respondents indicated that this was their primary motivation for buying.
A high percentage of individuals indicated they were in the market simply because they were relocating, which is a positive sign for the economy in general. It shows a general willingness on the part of Albertans (or newly arrived Albertans) to move to where there are good job opportunities.*
*Courtesy of Will Van’t Veld, Economist, ATB Financial