Sluggish market leads to sharp decline

Home resales in Central Alberta declined sharply last month compared to July 2009, according to Multiple Listing Service statistics compiled by the Central Alberta Realtors Association, but prices held firm.

Home resales in Central Alberta declined sharply last month compared to July 2009, according to Multiple Listing Service statistics compiled by the Central Alberta Realtors Association, but prices held firm.

The association reported on Friday that there were 279 residential sales in the region last month: 126 in Red Deer and 153 in the surrounding area. That was down nearly 35 per cent from July 2009, when there were 179 sales in the city and 247 outside, for a total of 426.

“The sluggish market can be attributed to a number of reasons, like families going on summer vacation, the unseasonably wet conditions which has left buyers and sellers dealing with the aftermath of flooded basements,” said Central Alberta Realtors Association president Sandi Gouchie in a release.

“Central Alberta is still in recovery from the 2009 economic recession, however economic experts are forecasting an increased level of activity in the oilpatch in the fourth quarter, which should result in buyers who have been holding off buying to jump into the market to take advantage of lower interest rates.

“The plus side of this market is the highly favourable conditions for buyers — potentially the best they will be this year due to the ample number of properties currently listing on MLS.”

The association also reported that the average price for single-family detached homes in Red Deer last month was $372,902, up 4.5 per cent from $356,647 in June and 9.8 per cent from $339,495 in July 2009. In the surrounding area, the average single-family detached price was $313,172 — an increase of 11 per cent from $282,235 in June and 11.5 per cent from $280,788 last July.

There were 301 new MLS residential listings in Red Deer and 507 in the rural region last month, down six and 2.3 per cent respectively from a year ago. For the year to date, however, total home listings in Red Deer are up six per cent in 2010 and nearly 11 per cent higher in the surrounding area.

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