October strong month for local sales activity

Comparing 2009 real estate stats to 2008 figures has been a depressing exercise for much of this year.

Comparing 2009 real estate stats to 2008 figures has been a depressing exercise for much of this year.

Not so last month, when the 314 homes sold in Central Alberta marked a nine per cent improvement over the 287 deals from 2008.

According to the Central Alberta Realtors Association, this year-over-year jump was the largest in more than a year.

“October was a strong month for sales activity,” said association president Derek Austin, in a news release. “The market continues to firm up as rebounding sales and fewer new listings keep drawing down inventories.”

This decline in listings was reflected in the 675 homes that hit the Multiple Listing Service for Central Alberta in October. A year ago, the figure was 760, a year-over-year drop of 11 per cent.

It was the 10th consecutive month that new MLS listings were down from the corresponding period in 2008. The 2,233 active listings in the MLS system at the end of October was seven per cent lower than on Oct. 31, 2008, when there were 2,394 listings.

The association calculated that there was 7.1 months of residential inventory on the local market as of the end of October. That compares with a peak inventory last December equal to 17 months of demand.

Residential sales last month included 151 transactions in Red Deer with an average price of $293,269. That compared with 128 sales at an average price of $297,452 in October 2008.

For the area outside the city, there were 163 sales, with these averaging $242,055. Last October, there were 159 residential sales with an average price of $246,984.

The more active sales market was evident throughout Alberta in October, with 30 per cent more homes sold in the province than in October 2008.

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