July home sales set record

July home sales in Central Alberta were as hot as the weather, with a record-breaking number of houses sold.

July home sales in Central Alberta were as hot as the weather, with a record-breaking number of houses sold.

It was the best July ever and the fifth best month of all time.

There were 582 houses sold last month through the Multiple Listing Service, a 12 per cent jump over July 2013, when 517 changed hands, according to statistics released on Tuesday by the Central Alberta Realtors Association.

Home sales in all of Alberta paled in comparison, rising only five per cent over the same month last year ago.

It is shaping up to be an excellent year for local realtors. In the first seven months of the year, home sales are up 13 per cent — that is only 1.3 per cent shy of 2007’s record year.

Association president Dawn Parent said there are a few positive factors that are giving home markets a boost.

“No. 1, our unemployment rate for all of Alberta is really, really strong,” said Parent. Statistics Canada listed Alberta’s unemployment rate at 4.7 per cent last month, one of the lowest in the country and well below the seven per cent national average.

Economically, the province and region are also doing well. A recent Alberta Treasury Branch report showed Alberta manufacturing exports were at an all time high. Most of that is driven by the oilpatch and that bodes well for communities such as Red Deer, which is a significant oilfield services centre.

Those kinds of economic good news stories have not been lost on job seekers, who are moving to the area and need housing.

“The majority of the people who I have found who are moving to Central Alberta are in some sort of oilfield-related work,” said Parent, a realtor based out of Lacombe with 11 years of experience.

“There are lots of new-built houses to keep up with what the demand is. The number of active listings remain stable.”

Also, despite occasional rumblings that interest rates are due to increase, it hasn’t happened. Fears that banks would tighten mortgage requirements enough to keep people out of the housing market also hasn’t materialized.

“It’s been fairly steady,” she said, adding few clients have been turned down for home loans.

House prices have mostly recovered from the economic downturn, with the exception of the highest end homes.

“It shows that the confidence is returning, or has returned basically, especially Central Alberta but I think all of Alberta.”

Parent said August has already been a solid month, although it has cooled slightly, which is typical because so many people are on holiday.

The fall push will indicate how close the year comes to the annual record.

“I think it will be close,” she said.

The number of listings is also up, with 932 available in July, up five per cent from a year ago and another record.

Average price of houses sold in the region is $304,270, a light 1.2 per cent drop from last year at this time.

Specific Red Deer statistics are no longer available through the realtors association.

Central Alberta Realtors Association is an MLS listing co-operative that represents 560 realtors in Red Deer and Central Alberta.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Central Albertans recall Hawaii’s false missile alert

Former Red Deer councillor Paul Harris was hanging out at the Ka’anapali… Continue reading

Human waste ‘backlog’ from Red Deer to be spread on farmers’ fields this spring

Council approved $1 million to compensate for loss of crops

Red Deer city council tries to find more cost-savings

Many spending proposals are queried, discussed

Advocate poll takers oppose plastic bag ban

Red Deer Advocate readers like their plastic bags. In an Advocate poll,… Continue reading

Red Deer man sentenced for child porn

Man sentenced to one year in prison after being arrested in major anti-child pornography operation

Replay Red Deer Jan. 14: Watch news highlights in pictures

Stories mentioned: Red Deer RCMP seize large quantity of cocaine: Read more… Continue reading

Advocate poll takers oppose plastic bag ban

Red Deer Advocate readers like their plastic bags. In an Advocate poll,… Continue reading

Photo: Chilly work in Veterans’ Park

What a chilly job but somebody has to do it.… Continue reading

Boy, 15, one of three hit in Vancouver shooting

Police believe a man in his 20s was the target of the shooting

UBCO psychology professor placed under supervision with focus on “boundary issues”

Dr. Stephen Porter has stepped aside from his teaching duties

Alberta elementary school teacher arrested on child porn charges

Investigators charged a 44-year-old Pincher Creek man with possessing, accessing, and distributing child pornography

Report: Health problems could arise as Alaska warms

Climate change in Alaska has the potential to create serious physical and… Continue reading

U.S. cold snap was a freak of nature, quick analysis finds

Consider this cold comfort: A quick study of the brutal American cold… Continue reading

Canadian Kennel Club seeking to add 12 more dogs to its pack

2018’s incoming class could include the Portuguese sheepdog, Tibetan mastiff, rat terrier and Spanish water dog

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month