Red Deer finished off 2021 with strong annual real estate sales of 1,924 units sold, up from 1,262 in 2020.
Average sale price was $328,081 for 2021 compared to $321,154 in 2020, according to the Central Alberta Realtors Association.
Larrissa Kalyn, board chair with association, said 2021 surprised everyone.
“At the end of 2020 we were listening to a lot of economic forecasters who were thinking the market would see another decrease in 2021. Turns out everybody was wrong, and that’s true right across Alberta,” Kalyn said.
She said Red Deer was among the communities that saw a jump in sales. While it wasn’t a record year, it was the highest year for sales since 2012.
She said a mild fall helped to keep the market going a little longer than usual into the winter. Red Deer had a total of 123 sales in December, up from 88 the same month in 2020, and 71 in 2019.
But when it comes to the higher average sale price, people need to understand that not everyone would have received more money when they sold their home, Kalyn said.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean all homes are going up in value. We’ve just seen a trend of some of those higher end homes selling which has definitely brought up the average sale price.”
The average sale price for apartments was about $197,000 and single detached homes averaged $384,000 for 2021.
She said 2022 was starting off with some markets very under saturated when it came to housing stock.
“There’s not a lot of options for buyers so we are starting to see a shift back to a sellers market. That will probably be one of the biggest, changing factors for 2022.”
She said Red Deer is starting to become a sellers market.
“We’re only running with about three months of supply which is down 35 per cent.”
She said the real estate market in 2022 will continue to be hard to predict because of COVID-19. Last year, the low lending rate and improved savings for those who weren’t quite as impacted by COVID-19 really helped sales. But now there’s talk of an impending the interest rate increase, and builders still expect to be impacted by labour and supply shortages.
Kalyn said if people are looking at buying, they should start talking to a mortgage broker to get a guaranteed rate. Brokers can hold interest rates sometimes up to six months.
For central Alberta, sales increased to about 6,000 units in 2021 from 4,000 in 2020. Average sale prices climbed to $326,000 in December, up from $318,000.