April open for business and business was...

Good. Sales were down from record 2007 sales volume, but well above 2006 numbers.

Here at Century 21 Advantage, we led the way with listings sold in Red Deer. Out of the 220 properties sold in April Century 21 Advantage sold 56 which is a little over 25%.

How does this compare to what the market is like or what is every one else doing? Well today we see a total of 785 properties available in the City of Red Deer with 70 of those with conditional offers. That is great selection for buyers, and increased competition for the sellers who are striving to be part of the 220 sold. The number of sales is down from the 242 in April 2007 (-9.09%).

We expect the story of increased selection for buyers to dominate the real estate landscape here in Central Alberta for some time. We are still in a buyers market, and what a buyers market it is. Now is a great time for people to buy. Interest rates have decreased a full point since early March. Oil prices and crop prices are high creating economic conditions favourable to those industries. The products available for buyers 25, 30 and 40 year mortgages are readily available as well as there still are zero down mortgages available through CMHC. The vacancy rate is less than 2.5% in Red Deer which is great for investors.

So if you are buying you can buy with confidence in my opinion. You have the luxury of selection, low borrowing costs, and negotiating power. The sellers should not be in a panic however patience and grounded expectations should be the norm. 2007 sales volume was a record, we may be down but we're far from out.

April Sales volume comparison:

2006: 176 properties

2007: 242 properties

2008: 220 properties

All stats are based on MLS sales and data provided by the Central Alberta Realtors Association. Business was good in April 2008, great in April 2007, and we expect that business to remain good for the foreseeable future. 

Century 21 Canada also released their Spring 2008 National House Price Survey recently. Red Deer remained stubborn with modest increases recorded from 2007 to 2008. "Canadian homes a bedrock of value". Red Deer consistently remains more insulated form dramatic upswings and down turns compared to Calgary or Edmonton.

CENTURY 21 Canada Spring 2008 National House Price Survey:
House prices hold value for Canadians during uncertain year
• Survey finds increases in 167 neighbourhoods, decreases in 21
• Booming Saskatchewan posts largest price increases
• Canada's solid housing fundamentals contrast with boom-bust U.S.

Vancouver - House prices have remained a bedrock of value for Canadians over the past year, despite
a steady flood of gloomy media headlines about the slowing Canadian economy, the volatility of the
world's stock markets, and the United States' housing crash and credit crisis, according to a national
survey by CENTURY 21 Canada brokers.

The CENTURY 21 Canada 2008 Spring National House Price Survey of typical homes in 198
neighbourhoods within 66 cities across Canada shows that prices over the past year have increased in
167 neighbourhoods, remained flat in nine neighbourhoods and declined in 21 neighbourhoods.
Don Lawby, President of CENTURY 21 Canada, says the survey results reflect the solid foundations of
Canada's housing markets versus the boom-bust excesses of the U.S. housing market.

"The Canadian housing market is based on conservative lending practices and regulations, strong banks
and Canadians' pride of ownership and diligence at building equity in their homes. These characteristics
will sustain our housing market as Canada's economic growth rate slows this year," says Lawby.

The CENTURY 21 Canada 2008 Spring National House Price Survey found that the largest price increases
over the past year occurred in Saskatchewan, where jobs in the booming oil and gas, grain and potash
industries are attracting record numbers of new residents.

The full press Release is at: http://www.century21.ca/Brokers/Content/News/NHPSApril08NationalRelease.pdf


Your Friend In Real Estate,

Patrick Galesloot

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