Alberta MLS sales to top country in 2012

Forecast growth of 6.7%

By Mario Toneguzzi

 CALGARY — Alberta will lead the country next year in the annual percentage growth for MLS sales, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.  The association on Monday said the province will see MLS sales increase by 6.7 per cent in 2012 to 56,650 units following a 6.8 per cent gain this year to 53,100 units.

At the national level, CREA is forecasting MLS sales to decline by 1.3 per cent this year to 441,100 transactions and rebound with 2.6 per cent growth in 2012 to 452,500 units.  The association is predicting the average MLS sale price in Alberta will rise by 0.1 per cent this year to $352,500 followed by a 1.6 per cent jump next year to $358,100.  Nationally, CREA said the average price will increase by 4.0 per cent this year to $352,500 followed by an increase of 0.9 per cent in 2012 to $355,800.

“Homebuyers expect mortgage interest rates to rise and are mindful of their current and future debt levels. They’re doing their homework to better understand how their mortgage payments and family budget might change down the road before they make an offer,” said Gary Morse, CREA’s president.  Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist, said that while interest rates are expected to rise later this year they will still be within short reach of current levels and remain supportive for housing market activity.

“Continuing job growth will underpin housing demand, keeping the housing market in balance and stabilizing home prices,” he said.  Year-to-date until the end of April, there have been 4,523 single-family MLS sales in Calgary, a decrease of 0.33 per cent compared with the same period last year. The average sale price of $465,076 is up 1.1 per cent. For condos, year-to-date sales of 1,882 are down 12.78 per cent from a year ago while the average price of $286,777 has declined by 0.66 per cent.

“All in all, the positive investments we are seeing in the energy sector and our economy will begin to translate into improved job prospects and growth for Calgary,” said Sano Stante, president of the Calgary Real Estate Board. “This will help contribute to a stronger demand for housing and a stable real estate market.”

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