A young Calgary couple says real estate agents wouldn’t give them the time of day a few months ago.
Now that it’s a buyer’s market, 21-year-old Lyndsay Peters and her common-law partner, Kyle, are glad they have waited to buy a house — they say that they now hold the power.
“Real estate agents didn’t even want to talk to us,” Peters said, in reference to just a few months ago when the economy was booming.
“They would just try to sell the house to us right away. It’s a lot easier now because we know the house isn’t going to sell in five hours anymore. The real estate agents are a lot more willing to sit down and talk to us, because they know we could walk out and find someone else.”
Calgary’s housing prices were down 7.6 per cent in December 2008 compared with the same month last year, according to the National Bank housing-price index.
Peters plans to wait until summer to buy a home, hoping that prices will drop even further.
“There’s a $15,000 to $20,000 difference in prices from when we first began looking. That’s really substantial, especially when you’re young and planning to buy your first house,” she said.
Calgary Real Estate Board president Bonnie Wegerich says the economic slowdown is actually a good thing for the housing market, as it has become more stable and balanced.
“A door may be closing, but a window is opening,” she said. “The window of opportunity couldn’t be better for buyers right now.”
Wegerich also predicted prices of single family homes will drop two per cent in 2009 for an average sale price of $451,120.
But she warns buyers like Peters not to wait too long — she predicts people will begin buying again by the latter part of the year.