Home sales climb

Central Alberta’s residential real estate sector continues to show signs of improving health.

Central Alberta’s residential real estate sector continues to show signs of improving health.

Home sales in the region last month climbed to their highest level since last fall, with 178 Multiple Listing Service sales in Red Deer and 163 in the surrounding region. Although the total was 25 per cent lower than the 456 homes sold in April 2008, the year-over-year difference has narrowed considerably since December, when the gap was 40 per cent.

Last month’s residential sales marked a 17 per cent increase over March, and the Central Alberta Realtors Association said in a news release that even on a seasonally adjusted basis, month-to-month sales rose 2.5 per cent.

With seasonally adjusted increases of 16 per cent in January and 10 per cent in February, total gains since December have been 28 per cent, said the association.

“The bridge between buyer demand and housing supply is continuing to narrow, which helps bring stability to housing prices, said Derek Austin, president of the Central Alberta Realtors Association.

Meanwhile, new residential listings declined on a year-over-year basis for the fourth consecutive month.

The 852 units added to the MLS system in April were 14 per cent fewer than a year earlier.

That reduced the number of active listings as of the end of April to 2,271 — down 13 per cent from the same point in 2008 and the biggest drop in more than two years, according to the Central Alberta Realtors Association.

The median price of residential MLS properties sold in Central Alberta last month was $263,000, down seven per cent from the $284,0000 median last April, said the association.

In March of 2009, the median price was $260,000.

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