Local real estate agents were kept busier last month than was the case a year earlier.
Statistics compiled by the Central Alberta Realtors Association indicate that 91 Red Deer homes were sold through the Multiple Listing Service in January, a seven per cent increase over the 85 residential deals that closed in the same month of 2010.
The jump in sales activity was even greater in the surrounding area covered by the association, with the 115 homes sold in January a 47 per cent improvement over the 78 transactions in the same period last year.
The average price paid for a home in Red Deer last month was $285,786, up 3.4 per cent from the $276,381 average in January 2010. Outside the city, the average price of residential homes sold last month was $208,876, a more than 12 per cent drop from January 2010, when the average price was $234,735.
Meanwhile, the number of residential listings processed by the Central Alberta Realtors Association in January was down, year-over-year, in both Red Deer and the surrounding region.
In the city, 224 listings were added, 15 per cent fewer than the 263 new listings in January 2010. Elsewhere in the region, new listings last month numbered 353, which marked a 35 per cent retreat from the 544 listings posted the previous January.
The increase in sales activity is consistent with the outlook provided last month by Central Alberta Realtors Association president Patrick Galesloot. He pointed to strong volumes at the end of 2010 and positive economic indicators — including improved oil prices — as reasons to expect “modest growth” this year.