Central Alberta’s home resale market dipped last month relative to July 2008, despite increased sales activity in Alberta and Canada.
The Central Alberta Realtors Association reported on Monday that 426 homes were sold through the Multiple Listing Service in July, down about five per cent from the 450 deals that closed a year ago. The drop resulted from sluggish sales in Red Deer, where the July tally fell to 179 from 208.
The median price of homes sold through the MLS system during the month was $266,000, which was also five per cent lower than the corresponding figure from July 2008.
Meanwhile, home sales across the province was up 14 per cent in July to reach the highest level ever for that month. Last week, The Canadian Real Estate Association announced that 50,270 homes sold through the MLS service across Canada in July, also a record for that month.
Derek Austin, president of the Central Alberta association, said the Red Deer region tends to trail sales trends in the much bigger Calgary and Edmonton markets.
“The larger centres start picking up faster, and then the rest starts to follow,” he said, pointing out that Alberta’s two biggest cities fell into the downward trend sooner than Central Alberta.
“Now we’re starting to see a little more activity too.”
Austin said the expectation is that September will be strong for Central Alberta Realtors, particularly with continued favourable prices and interest rates. If the oilpatch picks up, he added, the regional market could jump even faster.
The number of new listings in Central Alberta market continued to remain below 2008 levels. As of the end of July, there were 2,696 active listings on the Central Alberta Realtors Association’s MLS system — 10 per cent fewer than at the same point in 2008.
This should put upward pressure on prices, said Austin.
“Red Deer’s already in that type of situation. In certain price ranges there are multiple offers, numerous homes selling for full price or very close to list price.”