Real estate demand recovers

Residential sales in Central Alberta last month may have lagged behind activity in the boom years of 2005 to 2007 — but that’s it.

Residential sales in Central Alberta last month may have lagged behind activity in the boom years of 2005 to 2007 — but that’s it.

The 258 Multiple Listing Service deals closed in November marked the fourth highest tally ever for that month, and a 36 per cent improvement on the 190 homes sold during the same period in 2008.

“The large year-over-year gain underscores the extent to which demand has recovered from one year ago, when news of the global financial crisis hammered consumer confidence,” said Derek Austin, president of the Central Alberta Realtors Association, in a news release.

Last month’s residential sales included 114 in Red Deer and 144 in the surrounding area, as compared with 85 in the city and 105 outside one year ago.

The average selling price this November was $292,000 in Red Deer and $223,600 elsewhere. In 2008, the corresponding figures were $293,800 and $254,700.

The Central Alberta Realtors Association noted that 505 new MLS residential listings came onto the market last month — the first year-over-year increase in almost a year.

However, the 2,085 active residential listings as of the end of November represents an eight per cent decrease from the 2,256 active listings of a year ago.

The association has calculated the local inventory of residential properties at 8.1 months, being the length of time it would take for all listed properties to be sold at current sales rates. That compares with an inventory of 17 months last December, which was the peak.