Alberta MLS sales expected to increase. Prices forecast to climb.

MLS sales and average prices are forecast to increase in Alberta this year and next year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

In a new forecast released Tuesday, CREA said sales in the province will increase by 7.3 per cent this year over last year to 53,350 units and rise by another 6.8 per cent in 2012 to 57,000 sales.

The year-over-year percentage hikes are the highest in Canada in each of the next two years.

The association also predicts the average sale price in Alberta will jump by 1.5 per cent this year to $357,500 and by another 1.8 per cent next year to $364,000.

At the national level, CREA is forecasting overall sales across the country to increase by 0.9 per cent this year to 450,800 units but fall by 0.7 per cent next year to 447,700.

It is forecasting the average MLS sale price in the country to rise by 7.2 per cent this year to $363,500 and remain flat at $363,600 in 2012.

“Even though our stats are looking stronger this year over last it is still a buyer’s market with so much inventory to choose from,” said Tanya Eklund, a realtor with RE/MAX Real Estate Central in Calgary. “Pricing a home properly to begin with is very important.

“I am hopeful that the fall market will be stronger than the summer market has been as buyers will settle back into work from vacationing and be seriously looking to purchase. Next year’s market is hard to say as the U.S. economy is struggling. I am hopeful Alberta’s oil and gas sector will continue to bring strength to our real estate market.”

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, there are 4,766 single-family and 2,068 condominium current active listings in the local MLS market.

According to CREB data, up to the end of July, there have been 8,380 single-family MLS sales in the city for an average price of $469,902 so far this year. Sales are up 8.0 per cent while the price has increased by 0.56 per cent compared with the same period a year ago.

In the condo market, year-to-date sales for the first six months of the year are 3,418, down 2.73 per cent, while the price is $288,548, down 1.22 per cent.

In July, CREA said Calgary had 1,975 MLS sales for an overall average price of $397,613. Sales were up 22.5 per cent from July 2010 while the price was down 1.3 per cent.

Across Canada, overall MLS sales for the month increased by 12.3 per cent from last year to 39,420 units while the average sale price jumped by 9.3 per cent to $361,181.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

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