The past 12 months has been a wild market ride, low rates, increased demand and rising prices in the housing market, sure kept us busy (but we are never too busy to help your referrals). As 2014 draws to a close, we want to thank you, our valued clients, for another great year. As always, we feel very blessed to be your trusted advisor with your biggest investment-your home. Part of the ongoing commitment at Mortgage Connection is to give back to the communities in which we serve. We are happy to launch our 5th Annual Charity Campaign over the Christmas and holiday season. How it works is that MCI donates 3000 dollars each to five deserving organizations, as nominated by our clients. We do this "on behalf of the clients of Mortgage Connection" To date this campaign has contributed 60,000 dollars. So, here is your chance to nominate a deserving cause. Simply reply to this email and let us know where you would like Mortgage Connection to help.
Here is a list of organizations that have received the 3000 dollar donation over the past 4 years:
Foundation for Prader Willi Research, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Alberta Association of Community Living, Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter, Hull Services, Right to Play, The Mustard Seed, The Poppy Fund, Seva Canada, Children's Cottage, The Salvation Army, Water School, KidSport, Inn from the Cold, Veterans Food Bank, Alberta Children's Hospital, Southern Alberta Flood Relief, Alberta Cancer Foundation.
If you are interested in other areas in which Mortgage Connection is serving the community on an ongoing basis please follow this link: MCI In Your Community
Housing and the Markets:
So what is to come in 2015? It looks like it will be a year of uncertainty. Most forecasts see modest growth across the board, but many markets remain flat-with increases fuelled by major centres. Is the Canadian housing over-inflated? The generalization of the market as a whole misses some key points of interest. There certainly are pockets in Canada, especially in the major centres that could see a correction. The same old story of the over condoization in Toronto and Vancouver seems to be a growing concern. However, Calgary and Edmonton might be joining this party. Edmonton experienced a steady decline is starts, but after a record in 2013, there is still some absorption of units that needs to happen. Calgary experienced a 70 per cent increase in multi-family starts in 2014-70 per cent! With strong demand and net-migration into Alberta at over 60,000, most units are being absorbed, but with falling commodity prices and a weak dollar that helps manufacturing in the east-the pull of the West should subside in 2015 and the gap economic growth gap between the West and East should narrow. In short, a worker in Ontario will be less inclined to pack up and head West. Alberta, is still in good shape, but not the beacon of light that it has been for the past several years.
This is not doom and gloom for the Calgary and Alberta markets though. Projects in oil production could be put on hold and we will not see much of this reaction until the 2nd quarter of 2015. If commodity prices remain low, or continue to fall, Alberta will no doubt be hurt and in turn the real estate market will react. Less projects, less jobs, less net-migration, less demand for housing. At this point, the most likely scenario is a drop in sales, but not a huge price drop. We have already seen the market in Calgary become more balanced and we expect this to continue in 2015. So, time to be cautious-sure, time to scream the sky is falling-no, not yet. A bit of a slowdown is good news for buyers. A bit more inventory and less demand should make for a more favorable buying experience. There shouldn't be the need to be dealing in a multiple offer situations and over list price sales. The housing demand is still very strong and should continue, but the rush of 2014 is over.
The Bank of Canada has certainly changed their verbiage the last few rate announcements and indications are to see rates rise in late 2015. However, with the markets crashing, a real concern in the Eurozone-China, India and Japan in recession and dropping rates and commodity prices and countries where currency and GDP strongly depend on this (see Canada and Australia)-the world does not look ready to have rates rise anytime soon. The one nation that looks to again be leading the way is the US. However, this is a bit misleading. With precious metals tanking, the US dollar and long term US treasury bonds are where investors are going. However, sustained US growth with the global economy on the decline is not likely.
So, is 2015 a time to panic? No, not yet. There likely are some real opportunities in the markets and real estate. However, now is the time to ensure your house is in order. There are record low mortgage rates and if you have other debts a consolidation is likely a capital idea. If you are concerned of rates rising (at some point they will), or have a mortgage renewing in the next 12-24 months, a hedge strategy securing today's low rates is worth looking into. We encourage a mortgage review in early 2015 to make sure your mortgage plan is still best suited for your needs and goals.
Thank you again for a wonderful 2014 and all the best this Christmas and Holiday Season from your team at Mortgage Connection.
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