Alberta house prices remain soft: survey

House prices in Red Deer area dropped about five per cent compared to last year

Red Deer realtor Richard Pochylko sometimes finds house sellers need a bit of a reality check.

People who bought their existing homes 20 or 30 years ago, could easily have seen the value double or nearly triple since then.

But the market has been correcting for several years now, and the new house value number is sometimes an eye opener, said Pochylko, president of the Central Alberta Realtors Association.

“There are still a lot of people who haven’t been thinking about house values,” he said. “If you talk to them, they’re literally shocked by what you tell them.”

The days of houses soaring in value in a few short years are gone — at least for the foreseeable future.

“We’re having some problems adjusting to the fact that this province has a changing economy that isn’t going to be as boom-y as it was before. It’s going to be different.

“We will see better days ahead. But we’re not going to see — for a long time, anyway — crazy boom times, where your house just escalates rapidly.”

Pochylko said the drop in house prices should be put in perspective, however.

“It’s not like we went back to houses being worth $115,000 to $150,000. When I started in Red Deer 21 years ago, most of the houses were selling between $95,000 and $140,000. They weren’t selling at $250,000 or $300,000.”

Pochylko says it is a good time to buy, but don’t expect a financial windfall if you sell in a few years, is the message.

“I think five years from now, you’ll start to see a minor growth in value. You won’t buy a house for $300,000 and sell it in five years for $500,000.”

“You’ll buy one now for $300,000, and in five years, you’re going to sell it for $325,000 or $320,000, and that’s going to be a pretty good increase.”

A Century 21 survey of house prices across Canada released on Wednesday estimates single detached house prices in Red Deer fell in the first six months of the year by about six per cent year over year — to $262 per square foot from $276. That would see a $414,000 home reduced to $393,000.

Pochylko says that number is not far off the mark. In Red Deer, between 2017 and 2018, house prices dropped about 5.5 per cent and are heading toward a seven per cent drop this year.

Multiple Listing Service statistics for all of central Alberta show that year over year median house prices have dropped 2.2 per cent to $318,000, continuing — with a few spikes along the way — a downward trend from the first quarter in 2015, when the median price was $350,000.

This region’s experience reflects the housing market in much of Alberta. Through six months, Calgary prices were down 3.59 per cent and Edmonton 5.55 per cent. Some communities did better, with High River prices up 11 per cent and Lethbridge seven per cent.

“This is the second consecutive year our survey found soft home prices in Alberta, obviously because of the economic challenges in the oil and gas industry,” says Brian Rushton, Century 21 executive vice-president.

“For buyers, the good news is that means Calgary and Edmonton remain a bargain compared to other major markets like Vancouver and Toronto.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Man arrested in 2014 drug bust finally getting sentenced

Convicted drug dealer unsuccessfully tried to get case thrown out because of delays

New trail being developed through North Red Deer woods

This forest belt is known for having rough sleeper camps

Moms visit Red Deer’s overdose prevention site

Moms Stop The Harm meet in Red Deer

Lacombe County land dispute to be resolved

Landowners next to new Kuhnen Natural Area feared trespassing and liability issues

Average fall, cold winter ahead, The Weather Network predicts

Canadians can expect average temperatures this fall that will give way to… Continue reading

WATCH: 2019 Canada Winter Games will leave a lasting legacy, say organizers

It leaves Red Deer with the infrastructure and confidence to host future such events

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

Opinion: City must aim for zero per cent tax hike

Red Deer city council is discussing the benefits of multi-year budgets, which… Continue reading

Rapid rise of co-working providing needed space as big cities feel crunch

TORONTO — When Rahul Raj was ready to move his small but… Continue reading

No Deal: Auto workers strike against GM in contract dispute

DETROIT — More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers walked… Continue reading

CREA reports August home sales up from year ago, raises forecast for 2019

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association raised its forecast for home… Continue reading

U.S. postal treaty exit would hurt Canadian e-commerce businesses

MONTREAL — U.S. President Donald Trump’s push to withdraw from an international… Continue reading

Saudi Arabian attacks linked to higher oil prices, spark energy stock rally

CALGARY — Higher oil prices spurred by an attack on Saudi Arabian… Continue reading

Health: Are North Americans wimps when it comes to pain?

How do people in other countries handle pain following various surgical procedures?… Continue reading

Most Read