July 21st, 2019

Local real estate starting to gain pace

By COLLIN GALLANT on June 12, 2019.

NEWS PHOTO EMMA BENNETT
The property market began 2019 on a down note, but has since drawn close to even, though condo sales continue to trail last year's pace.

cgallant@medicinehatnews.com@CollinGallant

Medicine Hat’s real estate market is firming up, according to its head, who says a new “positive” attitude is feeding into a market that has remained “fairly solid.”

“The change in government hasn’t hurt, I think it’s got people’s hopes up again and they’re looking at things fairly positive again,” said Norbert Klaiber, the president of the Medicine Hat and area Real Estate Board.

“We have a number of listings but we’re moving through them.”

That could signal a breaking up of seemingly stalling detached residential home sales. They had a sluggish start to the year, but now are the factor that’s closing a gap in the year-over-year comparison.

The recent May saw all sales in all classes total $42.4 million, though heavily weighted to residential home sales. That’s just below a similar figure from last year that included a host of farm and business sales.

Single-family home sales for the month (104 worth $32.4 million) actually topped last year’s mark, and were second only to a record-breaking May in 2014 over the past five years.

“We’re lucky to be in this part of the world where we don’t crash as hard or spike as much.”

The property market began 2019 on a down note, but has since drawn close to even, though condo sales continue to trail last year’s pace.

Other residential, a catch-all category that includes condos, townhouses, mobile homes and vacation property, shows declines year over year, though more activity in the spring.

In May, 32 units moved for a grand total of $8.75 million.

For the year thus far, a total of $22.7 million on 107 sales, sits $8.1 million less than at the same point last year. That’s a decline of 25 per cent in sales, but on a relatively small sample size and in a sector that been a strong performer for several years.

Sales of only single-family homes for the first five months total 356 units sold at an average price of $297,700, or $106 million in total. That’s on par with similar figures last year, with momentum building coming into the spring market.

“I think we’re heading in the right direction,” said Klaiber.

“We’re lucky to be in this part of the world where we don’t crash as hard or spike as much.”

In terms of activity, residential activity in greatest in price ranges around the general average sales price of $250,000.

The recent month included six sales close to above $600,000, including three above $750,000.

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