Central Alberta house sales stable in February

Slow and steady improvement expected in real estate market in 2017

Central Alberta Realtors Association president Danielle Davies

Central Alberta house sales remained on track last month continuing a trend of steady improvement.

There were 237 homes sold in the region last month, just under one per cent — or two houses — more than the same month a year ago, according to statistics from the Central Alberta Realtors Association.

The number of homes sold climbed 49 from the 188 sold in January.

Through the first two months of the year, house sales are up 5.5 per cent over last year.

Realtors Association president Danielle Davies said the numbers are a positive sign.

“There’s just stabilization and that’s what the markets need right now,” said Davies, a Century 21 Advantage realtor based in Red Deer.

“Slow and steady is a really good term to use.”

In Red Deer alone, there were 150 residential properties of all types sold through the first two months of the year, compared with 169 for the same two months last year.

The number of single-family homes sold in Red Deer climbed sharply in February to 58 from 38 in January, which is typically among the slowest months for sales.

The uncertainty in housing markets that was a theme through much of 2016 is being replaced by more optimism as the economy improves, said Davies.

A Century 21 report on the Red Deer market says house inventories are declining quicker than sales.

“Less for sale is minimizing the impact declining sales would normally have on price.”

Realtor Association statistics appear to bear this out. The average home sale price year to date is $304,263, which is virutally unchanged — down 0.2 per cent — from the same two months in 2016.

Stable prices and lower inventories suggests the market has already bottomed out and is now improving, says the report.