The Drumheller Mail
July 23, 2008
Despite naysayer predictions, the Drumheller real estate market continues to be strong. The Drumheller/Brooks Real Estate Board released its June numbers and year to date totals. While there is an obvious slow down compared to the boom of just over a year ago, it is not as drastic as most would have anticipated. "I think we had a little bit of a lull, but overall I think the market appears to be quite strong," said Gary Chambers of Century 21 Power Realty. "Transactions are barely down and our numbers, while they are not going up by double digits, the fact that we are still going up while a lot of markets are stagnating, shows that it is still pretty healthy."
This year to date, Drumheller urban has seen 79 sales, down just seven sales compared to the same time frame in 2007. The average price of $217,358, is up 2.4 per cent. Drumheller rural saw a drastic 22.4 per cent jump in average price, although the number of properties overall dropped from 38 to 32. According to Kelly Boyko, broker/owner of Home-Town Realty, Drumheller remains a secure market. "The farming is good, we have the penitentiary here and tourism, even though it is down a bit," he said. "I think overall we are not going through any major downturns so it just keeps steady. I think predictions of oil and gas are strong for 2009 as far as the drilling aspects of things. There is lots of work and as long as that stays constant and people are excited about that, I don't think we'll have any major downturns." What has also changed is the number of listings.
Currently www.mls.ca, has 118 properties listed for sale in Drumheller. This has made buyers more discerning. The average selling time for a home is 94 days. "It seems slower than usual because we have more listings than we have had for a while," said Dave Wood of ReMax. "As a result buyers want to look at everything within a given price range. You do spend a lot more time, and because there is more they are a lot less anxious to jump on things." He says with the inventory, sellers have had to be a little more careful to price competitively. "There has probably been a lot more reductions in prices in the last 10 months than we saw in the past, but that is because sellers were coming in with thoughts of 2006 prices, and then have had to reduce them, but they are still getting a pretty good dollar." According to the report, there has been an increase in the cost of servicing new properties as well as higher construction costs, making new homes even more expensive.
Chambers, who deals in the new home market, says builders are becoming more cognizant of price points. Not long ago homes being built had more luxuries than what the market today seems to call for. "The builders are aware of it and they are getting their trade prices in line, and getting everything set up so they can continue to build houses," he said.