Home sales down in January

Central Alberta January home sales were down almost 23 per cent from a year earlier as the oil price slump made its presence felt. “The sharp slowdown from very strong levels just one month earlier closely mirrors activity in the rest of the province, as low oil prices have shaken consumer confidence,” says Central Alberta Realtors Association president Lorna Moore in her monthly update released on Thursday.

Central Alberta January home sales were down almost 23 per cent from a year earlier as the oil price slump made its presence felt.

“The sharp slowdown from very strong levels just one month earlier closely mirrors activity in the rest of the province, as low oil prices have shaken consumer confidence,” says Central Alberta Realtors Association president Lorna Moore in her monthly update released on Thursday.

Across Alberta, sales were down 28.2 per cent from January 2014.

In Central Alberta, 202 homes were sold last month, compared with 260 a year earlier.

In dollar terms, the $62.8 million spent on housing is down 23.3 per cent.

New residential listings are up 25.5 per cent to 709 from 565. Active listings are at 2,007, up only four from a year ago.

“There were 9.9 months of inventory at the end of January 2015, up from 7.7 months reported at the end of January 2014 and above the long-term average for this time of year,” says the association. These numbers reflect the amount of time it would take to sell current inventories at the present rate of sales activity.

Central Alberta has just come off a strong year for sales, last month’s year-end statistics showed.

In 2014, sales of single-detached homes in Central Alberta through the Multiple Listing Service were up nearly 11 per cent over 2013, jumping to 3,465 from 3,133.