Home sales this year in Red Deer started off strong, averaged out in the middle of the year and slowed substantially starting the 4th quarter. I attribute higher sales at the start of the year to buyers rushing to purchase before mortgage rules tightened. January and February sales were the result of December 2017 offers closing and some buyers, pre-qualified before the new year, were locked in with the pre-2018 rates and rules.
As the year progressed sales slowed but remained similar to 2017, with hopes of 2018 sales coming in higher than 2017. The speculation of higher sales was exciting because it hadn’t happened since 2014. March through July sales came in 1% higher than the same months in 2017 but right after that things changed. August, September and October sales were 14%, 22% and 23% lower respectively than in 2017.
With sales up 8% overall coming out of July things looked promising. Three months later Red Deer real estate sales are -3% lower overall. From 8% up to -3% lower, it’s interesting what can happen in a short time period. It happened and we probably won’t see sales reform during the last two months of the year when sales are almost always lower these months.
October sales were the lowest of any month this year at -23%. Let’s hope we see improvement through the rest of the year to break the sales decrease trend year after year since 2014.