The Transitional Market

What is a transitional market? How does it affect you as a buyer or as a seller? What’s happening in our Canmore market?

People always say that real estate is a great investment because the value of homes is always going up. To some extent, there’s truth in that. But it’s also a fact that the real estate market fluctuates. Sometimes it’s a buyer’s market and sometimes it’s a seller’s market. And there are actually other times when the real estate market is in transition. A transitional real estate market poses certain issues for people who are buying and selling homes and you should be aware of them. This is especially true for anyone involved in real estate right now because the real estate market in many areas is either in transition or could be in transition shortly.

A transitional real estate market happens during the interim between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market. There’s this funny period of time in which the market isn’t particularly good for either party. In a way, this gives each party some leverage in the real estate transaction. And yet it also puts them on solid ground. If you are buying or selling a home in a transitional real estate market, there are some things that you can do to help give you a leg up in the interaction.

Tips for Buying or Selling a Home in a Transitional Real Estate Market

1) You should know whether it’s going from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market or the reverse. Being aware of this helps you to position yourself and sell yourself appropriately. For example, if you are a buyer and real estate is transitioning to a buyer’s market, you can point out to the seller that he’s going to have a harder time selling in two months and therefore should make the sale to you at a good price. Likewise, if you realize that it’s a transitional real estate market that will soon be in your favor, you might make the decision to hold off on the transaction all together.

2) Understand ‘fair market value’. When you are buying or selling a home during a buyer’s market or seller’s market, the value of the home is based significantly on the supply and demand issue. When you are buying or selling a home in the transitional real estate market, the home’s sale price will be based more closely on the fair market value of the home. You should learn this concept inside and out and work with appraisers in your area to determine the FMV of the home you’re buying or selling.

3) Be aware that terms are more solid in a transitional real estate market. There’s going to be less negotiating during this time so you shouldn’t make false offers on either end hoping to manipulate the other party. Be more direct in your dealings during a transitional period.

4) Work with a professional who understands the transitional market. You’ll want realtors (and lenders if you’re buying) who understand the transitional real estate market which means that you’ll need to look for people who have been in the industry for a long time.

It’s possible to get a good deal on either buying or selling a home during the transitional real estate market period. But to do that, you need to know what a good deal is and you need to be able to position yourself in the interaction based on that knowledge. Working with professionals who know the transitional real estate market is a good start to getting that good deal.”

2012 Canmore Year End Market Review

Now I know we can all interpret the data in our own way but I see an active more “balanced” market for 2013. When I look at the comparison chart for the past 5 years, 3 key stats immediately catch my attention:

1.    The total number of sales for 2012 is up by 85 properties, or just over 30% from 2011.

2.    The average and median sale price for both single family and non single family sales was the lowest in 2012 as it has been in the past 5 years.

3.    The number of non single family home sales for 2012 was up by 69 properties or almost 40% over the previous year.

As we enter 2013 our total number of active listings is less than 250. This compared to close to 400 at the end of 2011 is a significant drop in our inventory. With fewer properties for sale sellers can expect the Days on Market for their properties to be lower, as well as sale prices to start to increase. The key however is still to ensure the property is priced “correctly” to catch the attention of a buyer.

This past year saw 17 single family home sales over $1,000,000. However, compared to previous years there was not as many over the $2,000,000 sale price and so the brings down the average and median sale price.

The hotel condominium market had a strong year for sales as sellers realized the need to be aggressive with their pricing. With strong competition from developers needing to sell off units we have seen sale prices down over 35% for the highs in the mid 2000’s.

Moving forward it has been reported that Calgary expects close to 25,000 new residences to move into their city in 2013.  With the oil and gas sector remaining a very large part of Alberta’s economy, I suggest we will also see more second home purchases in 2013.



Don’t get caught thinking you can reduce your asking price after a few weeks. You need to be aggressive if you really want to sell!

As a buyer, you need an agent that is a good negotiator. An agent that can provide the market history and defend your offering position when it is time to present your offer.


From Canmore Graphs Jan 2013



From Canmore Graphs Jan 2013

If you would like to be kept up to date on the value of your Canmore investment, or just wanting to know what is happening in a particular area of town – just send me an email or give me a call.


“Skating on the pond in Canmore at Christmas has become a great way to enjoy family time.”

Happy New Year to everyone!

For a family friendly evening join the festivities of New Years Eve on the Pond in Canmore. Food, skating and fireworks.

Canmore - Skating on the Pond

I am too old and too weak for a journey to re-visit your marvelous country, but it remains my best souvenirs.

Being a real estate professional in Canmore, Alberta allows me to work with wonderful clients from all over the world. About 10 years ago I got a call from a person in his 60’s, with a very definite French accent. Francis asked if I could meet with him and help him sell his condo.

My client had been employed in Calgary for a number of years and enjoyed his time in our mountains immensely. Just before retiring Francis bought a new townhouse in Canmore so he could also call Canmore home as well as his residence in France.

For several years, even after our sale in 2004, Francis would visit Canmore. While he walked with a definite limp and a cane some days, he would leave first thing in the morning for a full day of X Country skiing at Lake Louise. This was one of his favorite spots. We would meet on each visit to Canmore and have a coffee.

I lost contact with Francis back in late 2009 when I stopped sending out a newsletter. Just last week, I received a note via email. It said:

Very happy to receive news and photos from Canmore. I am too old and too weak for a journey to re-visit your marvelous country, but it remains my best souvenirs.

Have a nice new year.”


 Every time I read these few words, I get a tear in my eye. I will miss Francis.


Skiers at the Canmore Nordic Centretre

Jazzy Big Band Christmas at the Canmore Legion

Join the Valley Winds Music Association and the Royal Canadian Legion Canmore Branch for a fun afternoon of live music.

Date: Saturday December 15

Where: Canmore Legion

Time: 4:00 – 6:00 pm


Festive Holiday favourites will be arranged for the 19 piece big band and feature Lee Ann Decoteau on vocals with Ben Miles Directing.

This event supports the Bow Valley Food Bank and the Valley Winds.

Admission is free with a non perishable food donation. All cash donations benefit the Valley Winds Music Association/

I’m rebuilding my website…

Sorry for the inconvenience as I build out my new website with new features and information.

Real Estate listing and search information will be available and updated on a regular basis. As well I will be publishing local news and lifestyle items in this blog. Expect to see reports and useful information about the Canmore real estate market.

Thanks for your patience.

Bob Aishford,
Canmore Alberta REALTOR®
Royal LePage Rocky Mountain Realty
#101 710 10th street, Canmore, Alberta
Office Phone: 403-678-1069
Mobile Phone: 403-678-1069
Fax: 888-404-3471


Elevation Place Opens in 2013, Traffic Woes Anticipated

The long awaited Elevation Place will open in Canmore in 2013. The municipal complex, which cost $39 million, will offer an aquatic center, fitness rooms, climbing gym, meeting space and a library. Since the center may only be accessed by Railway Avenue, it will also bring an increase in traffic.

As of yet there are no traffic signals at said corner, which means longer waits for those wanting to turn left into the complex. It is expected that the traffic lights at Railway and Main Street, and Railway at the Bow Valley Trail will help somewhat.

The Town of Canmore decided against putting new lights at the center entrance. They were considered, but it was thought another set of lights would make things even more complicated because of the nearness of the other two lighted intersections. Andy Esarte, manager of that city’s engineering services, noted that a pedestrian crossing, signal controlled, some 75 meters southwest of Elevation Place would give pedestrians a safe access route.

Esarte did note that cars turning left into Elevation Place would not have an easy time of it, and that solutions would be looked at in the future. That future may come sooner than expected, since the city has already heard complaints from an Esso Station across from Elevation Place. No doubt other businesses will chime in about the difficulty faced by drivers as they try to enter the complex.

Canmore Tourism Group Overcomes Deficit in 2012, Looking Ahead to 2013

The tourism industry in Canmore is seeing a healthy uptick, as reported by the Canmore Business and Tourism organization in a meeting this past Tuesday. Andrew Nickerson, CEO and president of the group noted that the reorganization of the board and its responsibilities has helped turn things around. More leadership has been shown and a new auditing agency has been hired. Basically the workings of the CB&T are being looked at with fresh eyes.

A deficit in the funding side was found from last year, putting the agency in the red. Apparently the prior auditing agency had missed something, pronouncing the organization fiscally sound and in the black each year. After some reorganization, the CB&T is now officially back in the black overcoming a deficit of $162,000 and turning it into an asset of $83,000 in net funds.

Plans are afoot to keep marketing Canmore as the destination of choice in Alberta for both foreign and domestic tourists, even those in nearby locales. Advertizing will gradually increase as the budget likewise increases. Ways to improve and grow the Destination Marketing Fund are in the works. One of those is a proposed three percent tax on accommodation and tourist activities, beginning in 2013. This tax would be paid by the consumer and not affect the bottom lines of local businesses. CB&T estimates this tax will bring in over $1.5 million by the end of 2013. Council will be taking a look at the proposal during the fall session.

Octopus Mountain Fire under Watchful Eye of Parks Canada

The heat wave being experienced across much of Canada is keeping fire fighters on their toes. Heavily forested British Columbia is no exception. One large blaze in the Kootenay National Park has been labeled the Octopus Mountain blaze. As of the early hours of August 16th the fire had consumed 80 hectares of forestland.

Parks Canada is watching this blaze closely because the area is adjacent to the Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. Currently the agency has two helicopters and fire crews keeping an eye on the fires. Efforts are being coordinated with B.C. Wildlife Management and B.C. Provincial Parks.

Fire communications officer Julie Millen noted the crews are looking for specific trigger points in order to complete a plan of containment. Firefighters are being helped by some light rain brought in by a cold front that is keeping the fire localized. But with that cold front comes the threat of lightning strikes which could cause additional fires. The Octopus Mountain Blaze was started by a lightning strike. The forecast predicts lightning storms through this coming Sunday.

Travelers driving along Highway 93 South and in Sunshine Village, about 20 kilometres away to the northeast, may see smoke. Millen noted that at present no structures are threatened except for one cabin belonging to Parks Canada. A sprinkler system has been set up to protect it. Parks Canada has also closed trails in the Simpson Creek and Lachine basins as a precaution. Anyone planning on visiting the area should check the websites for Parks Canada or the B.C. Provincial Parks for the latest on the fire, road and trail closures.

Octopus Mountain got its name from photographer and surveyor Robert Daniel McCaw in 1913. He was working on what would become the Banff-Windermere Highway, or Highway 93 South, part of the Great Circle Tour of national parks throughout Canada and the United States.

Bob’s Photos

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