Residential home sales jumped significantly year over year to kick off 2022 in Red Deer.
According to data from the Alberta Real Estate Association, sales were up 24 per cent, from 100 units to 124 in the first month of the year compared to last year.
“The market in Red Deer showed little sign of easing as sales activity improved over last year’s levels. Some of the gains were thanks to a boost in new listings in January compared to what was coming onto the market at the end of the year,” read a report from the AREA.
While the number of sales was positive, the average residential real estate price in Red Deer dropped by five per cent in January compared to a year earlier, likely related to homeowners looking for smaller properties like condos or semi-detached units.
“The decline is likely related to shifts in composition, both from a price point and a property type. The share of detached sales dropped from 71 to 64 percent of all the sales in the market,” read the report.
Across Canada, the national residential property price jumped a record 21 per cent.
The average price in Red Deer was $312,526, compared to the national price of $748,450.
Red Deer was also the only large community in the province to see its average price fall in January.
Fort McMurray saw the biggest price increase at 14 per cent, followed by Lethbridge at 12 per cent, Calgary at eight per cent, Medicine Hat and Grande Prairie both with six per cent, and Edmonton at three per cent.
Alberta’s average residential price was $443,398, an increase of 9.9 per cent.
Larrissa Kalyn, board chair with Central Alberta Realtors Association, said the bulk of sales were in the $200,000 to $299,000 locally and none of the higher-end sales were seen last year.
“We’re still predicting that prices are going to go up due to the low inventories. We’ve just hit a pocket of those lower-end sales right now,” Kalyn said.
The Canadian Real Estate Association says national home sales in January fell 10.7 per cent compared with a year earlier. Sales totalled 33,166, from 37,137 in January 2021.
But sales activity for the month grew by 27 per cent in Alberta.
The Alberta Real Estate Association says sales activity increased because consumers were looking to purchase homes before any hike to the interest rate. Calgary saw the highest growth in sales at 66 per cent.
Kalyn said the pending interest rate hike in March will motivate buyers, but typically brokers will hold a client’s rate for about 90 days.
“Over the next bit, we should see an increase of people trying to get out and lock in before their 90 days expire now that announcement has come out.”
But be ready for prices to climb in the spring and do your research, she said.
“You have to be a prepared — buyer or seller. On both sides, have a plan of where you’re going. Be pre-approved for your next move. Things are going to move quickly.”
In January inventory was down 27 per cent in Alberta. In Red Deer inventory dropped 15 per cent, and new listings dipped by three per cent.
Kalyn said builders are still facing supply issues, increasing supply costs and labour shortages.
“There’s a couple of influences that are holding back that new construction. That’s going to affect the market this year.”
— with files from The Canadian Press