Are We Balanced Yet?

2011 has been a transition year for sure.  Coming off of string buyer market conditions we are beginning to see signs of balanced market conditions.  However we’re not fully there yet.  Not all price ranges are displaying the same market conditions and regionally the hyper local real estate markets are vastly different.  For now I’ll be focusing on Red Deer.

November 2011 is seasonally a slower month.  Typically residential MLS sales volume for Red Deer declines as we get closer to Christmas.  Majority of people seem to be content with being settled for Christmas.  However sales occur daily and monthly throughout the year and November is no exception.

November 2011 Red Deer residential MLS sales volume was 11.5% higher than the sales recorded for November in 2010, 126 and 110 sales reported respectively.  If your home is on the market and not in the sold category you may be saying “what gives?”.  Here is where the sales were according to price range:

If your home is priced around the $300,000 price point, odds are you’ve been getting some viewing activity.  That is certainly the busier price range.  Conversely if you have a home priced above $550,000 November was a test of patience as it was a quiet month for sales in higher end homes.

Last year compared to this year was a bit more balanced with sales in more price ranges, however the January 1st to December 31st sales for Red Deer 2010 was 1376 homes sold compared to November YTD 2011 numbers of 1479.  YTD sales for Red Deer residential have already surpassed 2010 levels and year over year Red Deer residential MLS sales have increased by 25.49%.

November versus November for Red Deer residential MLS sales looked like:

All Stats are compiled from the Central Alberta REALTORS Association MLS data.  As you can see above, both 2010 and 2011 have good volume, I like to see the total volume up as well as all price ranges.  The higher end ranges just don’t have as many buyers right now.

Is Red Deer balanced? Here is a closer look at the trend with New Listings:

Compare that to the Sales trend:

So in summary,

No we’re not quite balanced yet.  We are much closer than last year and headed that way.  Typically a balanced market is characterized by displaying listing to sale ratios 60 – 75%.  The Sales to Listing ratio trends the last few years has been:

It’s interesting to see the positive trend to finish the year.  A strong finish is god and typically sets the pace for how the new year will trend.  Are you still on the fence with your real estate purchase decisions?  It can be distracting to follow global economic markets.  Real estate markets are a direct reflection of the economy as without strong employment and wages house sales simply do not occur.

The impact of the economic downturn and the impact increasing listing inventory has had might best be seen as a linear chart like below:

Your Friend in Real Estate,

Patrick Galesloot

twitter:  @pgalesloot

Caller Display, Do You Answer?

Do you answer your phone?

How many times have you called a place of business and got the automated menu to select an extension of a person that isn’t there?  It’s awesome isn’t it.

If your in real estate, answer your phone.  It’s simple.  You’ve advertised your phone number all over the internet, the yard sign, the yellow pages and handed it out on your business card so why is it so hard to connect?

Maybe this isn’t you.  You do answer your phone, but do you:

  • Answer your email and respond via email when some one emails you?
  • Respond on Twitter to direct messages and mentions?
  • Respond to wall posts and messages on Facebook?
Simple business tips that to often get forgotten in our quest to be all over the internet and maximize our exposure.  The basic business tip to follow is respond to your customers in the manner or medium that they contacted you.  If you do that simple basic business skill of returning messages using the same medium you received them it is surprising how you’ll actually be seen as engaged, on top of it and thoughtful.
Recently I have had an interesting experience using Twitter.  My goal was to secure a table reservation for my wife’s birthday supper for our family of five.  I follow a number of local businesses in Red Deer because this is where we live, work and go out.  If you’re local, a business on Twitter I’ll probably follow you if I don’t already and chances are I’ll engage in conversation on Twitter with you, frequent your place of business if we build a rapport or you offer a solution to my needs.  I like to do business with people who I know.
Back to my Twitter experience, Restaurant A:
  • Public reply/mention to restaurant A requesting a reservation a week in advance for a party of 5.  “Reservation recommended for Monday nov.28 6:30 for a family of 5 birthday? I’d like to book in plz”  No response.
  • Next day I send another reply/mention in the morning requesting a reservation for our party of 5, perhaps they got busy and didn’t see the mention in their timeline.  “I’d like to reserve a table on Monday November 28th at 6:30 for 5 people. Can I do that?” More specific and direct, No response.
  • They follow me on Twitter, so I decide to send a direct message.  “Not sure if you saw my request to book a table for 5, Monday November 28th at 6:30 doable?”  and well no response from them yet. 🙁 On Twitter you might insert #fail.
There maybe a logical explanation for them not seeing my attempts and getting back to me.  I’m not completely writing them off as a destination at this time but I have moved on to a different choice.  There are several fantastic restaurants in Red Deer.
Restaurant B:
I decided to be more direct with my request by sending a direct message to the folks at Redstone, in Red Deer @RedstoneRD on Twitter.  They are fairly quiet on my timeline compared to some other users, but they are consistent with their tweets.  They also include their website link in their profile http://redstonegrill.ca .  You may recall from my earlier post that I recommended that as a must, something Restaurant A also failed to include.
  • I DM’s the folks at Redstone “hey, can I book a table of 5 for Monday November 28th at 6:30 for a family birthday?”…
  • Response within minutes.  “I’m not I’m the restaurant so cannot see reservation desk. please call 342 4980”
  • Second response via Twitter “Sorry I couldn’t help”
  • Great a reasonable response actually.  They could have also directed me to http://redstonegrill.ca where they have an online reservation system, their phone number and a link to the “Open Table” reservation app.
  • I called and booked in.  They answered the phone promptly and politely.
Was I expecting a reservation booked through Twitter?  No, but I was expecting a response of some kind.
The point is why are you on Twitter?
We all know it costs money, time and resources to solicit a new client or customer than it does to maintain existing clients.  We also know that our advertising is expensive and we can’t throw away opportunities or leads otherwise we just wasted our time and money and possibly even worse damaged our reputation.
What if instead of me booking a reservation at a restaurant, that was a buyer requesting to look at one of your listings?  Or perhaps it was a potential seller who would like more info on selling their home?  You’d probably be saying “I had better respond to that lead!”
Not responding to Twitter, Facebook or Email, it would be like advertising that I call you and you never call me back after I leave 1, 2 or 3 messages.   How many clients/customers would stick around and still want to look at that house with you if after 1, 2, or 3 calls to you went unreturned?
Answer your phone, your messages, your email, and twitter mentions and you’ll stand out for the better.
Patrick
On Twitter @pgalesloot

Increasing Traffic Through Social Media

How do I use Twitter for business?
How do I use Facebook for business?

As the broker/owner and manager/coach to 50+ real estate agents I get asked those questions fairly often.  First thing is there is no “right way” to Twitter or use Facebook.

There is NO right way to Twitter or use Facebook.

You’ll probably run into several people telling you that there is a certain etiquette or “how to” when it comes to Twitter.  Ask them to refer you tot he Twitter rules section.  There is none.  If you want to syndicate your blog posts and provide a link to drive traffic to your site and that’s all you do, then that’s just fine.  If the local twitter police think you’re not engaging in a “social conversation” and missing the point, then let them think that.  If your blog is engaging, and has thought provoking content your followers would probably be interested in knowing when you post something new.  Don’t worry about having to follow hundreds of other people and read the 1000’s of daily tweets.  You can certainly engage them on your Blog and that’s fantastic.

The same can be said for your Facebook page.  I might want to follow an artist or sport team and I certainly don’t expect them to friend me on Facebook and engage in a conversation.  I just want to know about upcoming events or a new release.  If that’s all the use those pages for or their twitter account, that’s fine.

How Can I Increase Traffic, if there is no right way?

That would probably involve a consultation of some level and seeing what you’re doing now and what you want to accomplish.  But some tips that might prove beneficial are:

  • Complete your profile and link to your website.  If I’m the type of user that prefers to follow local people and find out more about the people I’m following, then I’m going to read your profile and click on the link to learn more.  Short of that link to you’re Google Places or Profile Page.  If I were to tweet about my business and not include information on how to contact me or find my business as part of my “bio” or profile or on the links I post then why am I there?
  • Use your name whenever possible.  I just think it should be easy to identify that my name is Patrick and I’m a Century 21 agent.  The only reason I don’t use my full name on Twitter is because it is long.  Patrick Galesloot is 15 characters long, pgalesloot is only 10. I do state my name is Patrick or Patrick Galesloot in my profile though.
  • Post content for static page if on Facebook.  You don’t need to post content there multiple times during the day.
  • Post at different times of the day for the Twitter timeline to catch the “eyeballs”.  I recommend morning, noon and night or some combination like that.  We’re creatures of habit and have our routines of watching the news, reading emails or social media sites at regular times through out the day.  We can’t all be tuned in to Twitter or Facebook at all hours.
  • Don’t fret about hiring a designer for your professional Facebook page.  Most users of social media access them on a mobile device using an app.  Check out how those professionally designed pages render on a mobile handset before you spend hours and $$ to make it look the way you think it will.
The last piece of advice I tell my agents is “be your self”.  You don’t walk into a party, meeting, or club event and start selling so don’t be that way online.  You don’t meet some one and constantly push content at them all day long every day, don’t do it online.  The reality is we ask questions, we offer assistance and we listen.  We extend a handshake or helping hand long before we ask if you want to buy or sell our service or product so why would you be anything different online.  If your annoying online I’m probably going to think your annoying in person and not want to do business with you.

The Best Time To Move Is?

It should be no secret that the busiest season in Red Deer real estate is April, May and June.  The answer to the question then would be the second quarter of any given year, or is that merely the popular time and not necessarily the best time to move?

2011 closely resembles a typical Red Deer real estate sales trend:

What makes the best time to move the best time?  A number of factors influence such as:

  • Weather
  • Selection of homes to choose from
  • Economy
  • Work schedule
  • School schedule
  • Vacation plans
  • Interest rates
  • House Prices and Housing Costs rising
  • Political uncertainty
Let’s break it down.
  • Weather:
It sucks to be trudging through the snow when it’s -40ºC carrying boxes and furniture into your new home.  So it certainly makes sense that we’d want to move when it is warmer and dryer.  However if you’re hiring a mover and concerned about availability of a professional mover/moving company then the colder months just maybe better.  The seasonal volume dictates that movers are busier in April, May and June and the availability of movers becomes more challenging to secure.  Colder months just may be better if you’re hiring a mover.  Not to mention the easier availability of the do it your self moving options and possible price breaks.
Do you like mowing the lawn and the other landscaping that comes in the spring, summer and fall?  Selling during those times of the year may by stressful for you.  The pressure of having to mow the lawn, rake leaves, pull weeds, plant flowers and trim the hedges.  During the winter yard care is much simpler.  It consists of shovelling the driveway and sidewalk.  Other than that a fresh clean blanket of snow makes the yard look pretty darn good.
  • Supply of homes to choose from:
The spring brings for sale signs faster than dandelions some years, so there are certainly more homes to choose from.  Conversely their are more sellers competing to sell, which is bad if you are selling.  Increased competition in the sales department makes it harder for your home to stand out and puts increased pressure on price.  Colder months historically have lower listing volume, so as a seller you could benefit from a stronger price market.  Sellers are also more serious in winter months as the warm market months bring out some sellers that will only sell if they get their price.
  • Selection of homes:
More to choose from in warmer months historically.  It’s like going to the mall.  More variety to choose from, so buyer can take their time and chop around.  However the historical trend also bring out more buyers so the likelihood you could be competing for a house goes up, as do prices.  Builders tend to set their prices in the new year and that is really evident when the volume increase in the spring.  The decrease in supply deters buyers that are more casual in their intent, but those buyers in the colder months tend to be more serious.  They may be more apt to buy because the “have to” versus “want to” however the same can be said for sellers.
  •  Economy:

Economy may not seem seasonal but in a resource rich economy and country like Alberta Canada there certainly is a busy season and a busier season.  The most notable slow down in Alberta seems to revolve around “spring break up”.  That time of year when the ground is in unthaw mode and its to soft to travel into pastures, and back country as well as gravel roads.  This oil field slow down actually tends to be when both heads of the house are around for longer periods of time and able to make the decision fuelling many of the purchases and decions that mark the Spring market.

  • Work Schedule:

Besides echoing the content above in the economy section, work schedules get longer in warm months with many industries working later and more often while the sun shines and the weather is great.  There tends to be more down time in the winter in industries other than oil & gas to make decisions.  Based on “down time” colder months may be more suited to making buying decision that are not rushed.  **Caveat** unless you’re a hardcore hockey player/fan. 🙂

  • School Schedule:

Typically parents will tell us they don’t want to move the kids during the school year, and/or they want to be settled before school starts.  However the largest volume of closed transactions happen April, May and June.  A “closed” real estate deal for us marks when the title is transferred and keys turned over for a move in.  So more people move in the spring and early summer.  That is during the school year, and in the middle of finals and graduation for many families.  Typically a busy time of the school year.  Cold months may in fact afford more free time than the spring months while the ideal months to move with school kids might very well be July and August.  The question may be is January less distracting time to move on your students?

  • Vacation Plans:

July and August are busy months in real estate especially compared to January.  IS it because we’re all going away in January or in the winter?  Not really summer tends to be more the vacation getaway months yet those months are consistently busier than October – February.  I don’t think vacation plans prevent sales it might speed the process up as the departure date approaches and stall things but if you’re planning on moving I don’t think that is a hurdle in most peoples processes.

  • House Prices and Housing Costs Rising:

Seasonally speaking housing costs rise in the winter with your gas/heat bill.  That should provide more motivation to secure a more efficient home to heat and operate.  House prices rise in the spring and new year.  Historically this seems to be the case as the volume of sales in April etc… set the pace or tome of the rest of the year and the reasonable price expectation of the market.  It also marks when home builders are busier with increased orders for new homes.  The increased activity also results in an annual price increase set by the builder and developer.  the increased demand for construction supplies also increases the building costs.  If people are not buying as much construction materials then we should see suppliers looking to move product and offer incentives for their saes to pick upo in the colder months.

  • Political Uncertainty:

I don’t think this is that big of a deal in Canada.  Given elections here don’t fall on any set scheduled date.  We certainly semed to have gone to the election polls regularly over the last 5 years.  Hoever each change or potential change does slow things down as we wait and see how things may change.  If you think that political change can’t “really” impact real estate and the economy here in Alberta then you need to talk to some one who lived and worked here in the 70’s during the “national energy program”.  That had a huge impact on Alberta real estate and teh economy.  Most recently their was a change in the Oil & Gas royalty program in Alberta which slowed growth in that indutry and changed market bench marks which impacted employment as well as income.  Global economy is still changing and the US economy has certainly hurt us since 2008 in many respects.  Is the worse over there and will that impact us?  That might be more reason to sell now, and buy now with a locked in fixed rate.  We know interest rate and financial market conditoin now.  A downturn may last a year or two, but of you lock in now you have secured your housing costs at low interest rates for the next 3- 5 years.  Not a bad idea.

It seems to me that now or during the colder months may be the better time to buy or sell real estate.  So why is it that isn’t reflected in annual real estate volume?

What do you think?


Patrick

 

Three Fired Guys

As the story goes, Three guys who worked for Upper Canada Brewing were fired when the brewery was purchased by Sleeman’s. The three guys decided to open a brewery of their own and call it “Three Fired Guys”. Sounds kind of cool, but along the way it was renamed to Steam Whistle Brewing. The legacy of 3 Fire Guys can still be found on each green bottle of Steam Whistle Pilsner as you will find an engraved “3FG” near the bottom.

That is one of the fun facts and pieces of history you get at the Steam Whistle Brewing Brewery Tour.
Steam Whistle Brewing is located in the historic Train Round House that used to service Steam Engines and is located down by the CN Tower and Rogers Centre.


Unlike many other breweries that make more than one kind or style of beer, Steam Whistle Brewing focuses on making one beer, they call Premium Pilsner.  I took the tour of the brewery and learned about the process, and the ingredients and some of the intersting fun facts.  I encourage you to do the same.  Short of that, stop by your local liquor or beer store, grab a bottle opener and enjoy.

Enjoy,

Patrick

Beer Appreciation

One of the perks of taking pictures of beer, posting those pictures and blogging about beer… My friends and family know I enjoy a good beer and keep an eye out or suggest places to enjoy  a tasty brew.

Sometimes it’s in jest “I told them to bring you the strangest named beer they have”.  I’m not really into strange beer but trying different beers… yes.

This Czechvar Beer turned out to be quite tasty.  I had some assistance from Tracey and Nancy who held their cell phones so I could get a better photo of the glass and logo.  The lounge at the Hiltpon Toronto was a little dim but served a tasty brew.

The Czechvar Beer website tells us a bit more about this fine lager and it’s award winning history:

Czechvar Beer Awards

  • 1897 Gold Medal – Stuttgart – Alimentary Exhibition
  • 1966 Gold Medal – Wels – International Trade Fair
  • 2001 Two Gold Medals – Portugal – The 40th World Quality Selections Competition
  • 2004 Beer of the Year – Prague – Beer of the Year Competition
  • 2010 Grand Gold – Wiesbaden – Monde Selection Quality Award

Also when you have an opportunity to go out for supper your friends and family will suggest place to eat.  My cousin Jeff drove in to Toronto to meet me for supper as I was in town for meetings for a couple of days this week.  He asked where I wanted to go and my response was somewhere that is not a major franchise that we have out west.  We have a rule in our house.  When we travel we do our best not to eat at a restaurant that we have at home.  Armed with that information and knowledge of my enjoyment of beer Jeff suggested…

The Bier Markt.

I may have been grinning from ear to ear when I saw the menu..

Now that’s a beer selection!

Here’s what I tried based on the recomensations from our server:

Juliper Belgian Beer.  Crisp Stella like beer.  Not a fan of the boot glass but it was kind of fun.  Why a boot?  Because it was Monday and…

“ZE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR DRINKING! JOIN US EACH MONDAY FOR DAS BOOT MONDAYS. WHERE THE BAVARIAN BOOT HAS MET IT’S PERFECTLY HOPPED MATCH”

This particular brew was very tasty and flavourful courtesy of Palm Breweries.  The number one amber ale in Belgium.  I quite enjoyed the flavour of this one.

“THE PALM “GOBLET” GLASS

It exudes roundness and conviviality, perfectly matching the mellow flavour and that unique PALM drinking moment.”

Staying with Belgium I concluded with:

De Koninck Brewery (Brouwerij De Koninck) is a Belgian brewery based in Antwerp. The glass in which De Koninck’s flagship beer is served is called a bolleke.

Maybe it was the third beer talking but this one was also very flavourful and enjoyable.  Definitely would order again.

Check out the Bier Markt next time your in Toronto.  The food was great and the beer most excellent.

Thanks for thinking of me.  Greatly appreciated.

 

Steve Jobs Impacted Real Estate

The iPhone is a phone I recommend to my agents when they ask “I’m looking for a new phone what should I get?”. I always say iPhone. Why? Because it’s easy to use. It’s just simple, not a lot of pages and menus and command gestures and it will do what we need it to do.

The biggest thing about the iPhone for me as a broker is that it is simple and easy to use.  Part of my day involves being the tech assistant to my agents.  Whether it is scanning and faxing, photocopying, connecting to the wifi, or setting up a “smart phone” it has to be simple and not break.  Apple iPhones are that.  Personally i use an Android, my wife has an iPhone and I used to have a BB, Treo as well.
New on the scene is the iPad, which is funny because it is new but yet it is old.  It’s barely been available for a full calendar year, the 2nd version is out and we can’t wait for the 3rd version.  I love the iPad.  Design is incredible, easy to use, fast and efficient and the touch interface makes signing documents easy.  I have yet to buy an Android tablet or any other type of tablet like this so my view is biased.  I may look at trying an Android once Ice Cream Sandwich devices roll out.
Real Estate agents can go paperless way easier on an iPad than those tablet lap tops.  I had a tablet HP lap top.  It was OK but the windows experience and the portability certainly is lacking.  The iPad allows us to email easily on the go, open PDF docs, fill out forms, and sign contracts with a stylus.
My favourite Apps on the iPad:
  • Evernote.  Great for taking notes at meetings, listings, clipping web articles and more.  The best part is that it syncs that info across devices.  The info I have on my iPad I have access to on my Android phone, my Mac Book Air, and my PC at the office. 🙂  Cost:  Free
  • Dropbox.  By far the best file back up, sharing and sync app out there in my opinion.  Great for taking my work files, and contracts with me and again access is across all the devices I use.  Also Free
  • PDF Expert.  It syncs with Dropbox and allows me access to my contract forms.  I can fill them out, save them and also sign them as needed.
  • Sign MyPad.  Not quite as robust as PDF Expert for filling forms out but for signing a PDF that was emailed to me.  Very easy.  I might even say the easiest for signing a document on the iPad than any other app I have tried.
  • Keynote.  PowerPoint on the iPad essentially.  Great way for sharing a listing presentation.
iPad Apps for real estate
I certainly use all the other features such as the email, calendar, and web browser.  It has almost replaced my lap top until I bought a Mac Book Air.  Now it supplements the Mac Book.  This post is an example of that.  I started it on the iPad, took the screen shot on the iPad, and finished on the mac Book because the screen is bigger, the need to type with a full keyboard in mouse is still needed form time to time and way easier.
Earlier today I had my iPad at an open house reviewing emails form my office, reviewing a stats power point, and more.  The combination of an iPad, and phone combined with the rest of my tech software, apps and devices allows me to be more of a mobile office than before.
Some other must haves are:
Email exchange to sync emails, contacts, and calendar items.  The push email and all the rest simplifies life on multiple gadgets. I like using the Google version Gmail for business, Google Apps Email.
Want some help using your iPad for real estate?  watch for an upcoming lunch and learn we will be hosting.  We’ll be sharing how to use these apps, some tips, tricks, and share some of the lessons learned.  I’m also available for a Starbucks if you want to chat one on one about how to use these tools and more in your real estate or work environment.

Steam Whistle

Steam Whistle by PGalesloot
Steam Whistle, a photo by PGalesloot on Flickr.

Steam Whistle

Gopher Lager.

image

Another easy drinking Big Rock brew. 

A good addition to your Thanksgiving weekend gatherings.

September 2011 A Balanced Market?

End of September heralds in the fall market, and the closing of the third quarter for MLS® statistics.  Here in Red Deer residential sales have been positive for year over year growth and the supply side, namely listings, has decreased year over year.  When we started 2011 our expectations were for modest growth and a trend to a balanced market.  With the economic conditions in Alberta looking increasingly favourable we were anticipating a robust end to 2011.

So where are we at for 2011?

The average price seems to fluctuate month to month, but that is a function of where the sales have been occurring.  The table below indicates that sales are certainly more plentiful between $200,000 and $350,000.  The fluctuation price is largely in part due to the presence or lack of sales in higher end price ranges as that mid or median group seems pretty consistent.

Average Price Comparison to Number Sold
2011 100& Under 100-150 150-200 200-250 250-300 300-350 350-400 400-450 450-500 500-550 550-600 600-700 700+ Total Avg. Pr.
JAN 3 4 8 12 25 14 15 4 4 1 0 0 1 91 $285,785
FEB 3 5 13 22 24 15 8 8 2 2 1 0 0 103 $268,133
MAR 4 6 10 26 35 32 19 13 1 2 0 1 1 150 $291,408
APR 6 7 11 14 36 27 9 7 5 4 0 0 0 126 $282,140
MAY 8 6 15 39 34 20 31 10 7 1 5 1 2 179 $291,395
JUN 4 11 8 32 46 23 19 16 6 1 1 2 1 170 $290,373
JUL 8 5 14 21 36 28 13 11 6 4 1 2 1 150 $291,228
AUG 8 9 13 28 29 26 10 4 6 0 2 2 1 138 $272,959
SEP 5 4 4 16 31 22 20 9 1 1 2 1 2 118 $303,513
TOTAL 49 57 96 210 296 207 144 82 38 16 12 9 9 1225 $286,326
Information based on Red Deer Real Estate Board MLS Stats 2011 only.

Graphically it looks like this:

How does this compare to last year?

MLS® Year-To-Date Comparison–2009-2011 for Red Deer
Year-To-Date—2010
Total
# Listings
2008
Total
# Listings
2009
Total New Listings 2010 Total new Listings 2011 2008
Total
# Sales
2009
Total
# Sales
2010 2011 2009 Average Sale Price 2010 2011
JANUARY 305 218 267 222 106 62 85 91 239,821 276,381 285,816
FEBRUARY 310 276 250 229 171 113 115 103 300,465 304,745 268,133
MARCH 394 280 321 232 168 123 120 150 285,407 314,215 291,408
APRIL 410 305 323 281 220 178 156 126 295,447 321,008 282,140
MAY 388 331 334 299 214 197 151 179 309,492 306,011 291,395
JUNE 357 299 370 316 204 213 133 170 291,287 287,950 290,373
JULY 350 281 300 281 208 179 126 150 289,213 326,077 291,228
AUGUST 274 250 291 236 204 163 94 138 289,122 316,845 272,959
SEPTEMBER 272 269 249 241 184 122 121 118 297,656 300,488 303,513
OCTOBER 314 256 239 128 151 76 293,268 304,618
NOVEMBER 361 206 195 88 114 113 291,957 309,608
DECEMBER 103 124 119 58 85 99 298512 268818
Total 3838 3095 3258 2337 1953 1700 1,389 1225

We are fairing quite well compared to the two previous years.  We are certainly on track to record a better year than 2011 and we may be close to returning to 2009 sales volume levels.  It will be interesting to see how the final three months turn out.

It is important to note that real estate is hyper local.  The surrounding bedroom communities and areas have a slightly different result for the year than the City of Red Deer and as we’ve noted above, different price ranges are experiencing higher rates of sales than others.

The question on how well or balanced the market must include a look at the absorption rate which answers is, “Is the current inventory level shrinking or growing”?

Quite simply the absorption rate is a number shows the rate at which the inventory of homes for sale are being sold. A declining figure indicates people the inventory is decreasing as more homes are being sold than are coming onto the market. A rising absorption rate implies that there are more homes coming onto the market than there are buyers willing to buy at the market prices.

The absorption rate lets you know how well the market is absorbing the current inventory of listings.

Current Residential Absorption Rates:

Area: Current Active Listings Sales in September Absorption Rate
Red Deer 587 118 4.97
Blackfalds 70 19 3.68
Sylvan Lake 248 27 9.19
Lacombe 153 29 5.28
Penhold 29 4 7.25

Almost 5 months of inventory in Red Deer at the current sale rate.  The market with seemingly the best balanced conditions right now appears to be Blackfalds, while Sylvan lake continues to struggle with large inventory volume and low sales volume.

If you’re looking at selling The lower absorption rate would indicate a betetr chance or odds at selling than those communities with higher absorption rates and lower sales volume.

In Red Deer the inventory level is definitely shrinking:

Active Red Deer residential MLS listings as of September 30, 2010: 709

Active Red Deer residential MLS listings as of September 30, 2011:  591

In our supply and demand picture for real estate in Red Deer the supply of properties for sale has been declining throughout 2011.  An indicator that were have been and are transitioning from a buyers market to a balanced market.  Below is a look at weekly listing inventory levels for residential MLS real estate in Red Deer.

The other side of the equation being sales:

Sales have been stronger in 2011 and contributing to balanced market conditions.  Positive news for buyers and sellers.

 

Patrick Galesloot

Patrick on Twitter: @pgalesloot

**Note all stats are MLS® residential stats for the city of Red Deer, Blackfalds, Penhold, Lacombe and Sylvan Lake***

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