We finished 2009, the end of the first decade of the "New Millennium". This month we've been busy returning to work focusing on new goals for the new Year. At Century 21 Advantage we have also been preparing for our kick off meeting. This is the meeting where we present tips, tools and information to our associates so that they can better serve your real estate needs. This year that involved gathering not just a month or years worth of data but packaging that for a decade and really comparing last year to where we have been in the real estate market for Red Deer.
The real estate data for the last year compared to previous years tells us a great deal. We can't dwell on the first three months of 2009, as we know we experienced an economic down turn not like another. We are still building from that.
The chart below illustrates the supply and demand of the Red Deer MLS real estate market. All data was collected from the Central Alberta REALTORS® Association.
As you can see from above, there was a sharp increase in "inventory"/supply (the number of listings). That occurred two years ago and we're still dealing with the effects. While sales rose with the increased real estate activity that rise was not enough to absorb the excess supply of properties for sale. As the market slowed down the investors (flippers and speculators) left the market first leaving less buyers available to purchase the homes offered for sale.
Sales volume for Red Deer totaled 1701 residential properties which was slightly higher than 2004 and less than 2005. The big difference and what put downward pressure on the price was the number of listings. 2009 was a very competitive year for pricing if you were looking to sell your home. The good news is we had a large number of home sthat did in fact sell. 2009 was still a buyers market year overall and had moments and trends that showed the real estate market moving into a "balanced market"
So what were people buying or more specifically price ranges?
Buyers were active in all price ranges. The most active price ranges were:
- $200,000 - $250,000 with 301 sales
- $250,000 - $300,000 with 412 sales and
- $300,000 to $350,000 with 335 sales respectively.
It should be no surprise then all those sale centered around $300,000 our average sale price for 2009 was $290,187.
How does this compare to 2008?
2008 definitely had more sales recorded with a total of 1950 MLS sales in 2008 versus 1701 in 2009. With more sales in higher price ranges in 2008 the average price fell to $290,187 from in $301,363 average sale price in 2008. 2009 experienced a 12.77% decrease in sales volume and a 3.7%% decrease in the average price.
I think Red Deer real estate performed quite well despite the adverse market conditions. The average price drop was not as bad as some predictions and we certainly faired better than other markets. So was 2009 all bad or a real mixed bag?
It was a mixed bag.
Supply and Demand improved through out 2009 aided by interest rates, and a strengthening economy.
Interest rates were the big story of 2009. If you are a home owner or you purchased anything that required financing I think a big thanks is in order to the Bank of Canada and the Finance Minister. The decision to reduce interest rates and committed to hold them until mid 2010, was a tremendous boost to the real estate market. New buyers came back with confidence knowing that the rates they were locking in at were incredibly low and that mitigated any risk that price decreases would have.
Along with low interest rates came mortgage penalties in the form of interest rate differentials. We had many more clients that wanted to move and take advantage of market conditions only to be held back due to the large cost of discharging the existing mortgages.
Overall the slide in price slowed down and should turn around in 2010 with modest increases expected. Buyers can go ahead knowing that they still have the luxury of selection and bargaining power for some price ranges. It is important to note that inventory levels dropped significantly December 31 and many of those homes have not been re-listed creating an environment with more sales close to list and more competing offers occurring.
2010 prediction: 3.5% increase in sales and price, and natural gas demand recovering and strengthening gas prices.
Your friend in real estate,
Watch for a slide share power point show with more stats to follow.
All data was collected from the Central Alberta REALTORS® Association.