|Written by Delon Shurtz LETHBRIDGE HERALD|
|Friday, 03 April 2009|
“It was like someone just turned on a light,” said Audrey King, president of the Lethbridge and District Association of Realtors.
Home sales jumped to 103 in March, nearly 50 per cent more than the number of homes sold in February. Home prices are on their way up, as well, and the average house price at the end of March was $278,092, up 6.5 per cent from the previous month.
King points out that while the sale of just a couple of higher-end homes can skew the average price, there haven’t been many of the more expensive homes on the market yet. The most popular homes seem to be around $300,000.
The increased activity may not be signalling a turnaround in the national economy, but King suggests warmer weather and low interest rates may be adding to the optimism that already exists in the city.
“We’re seeing that the attitude of our clients is more positive.”
Residents, King says, are optimistic about the national economy and they recognize that, despite slower times, “Lethbridge is still a great place to live.” Even apprehension about job security isn’t stopping some people from buying their first home. And it doesn’t hurt that the federal government is providing incentives for first-time buyers.
The number of homes listed for sale is also up — 677 at the end of March — and that bodes well for buyers, as well, offering them a lot of choices and price ranges.
“I think it’s positive activity and there’s good choice for buyers.”
And because more homes are selling, and selling faster, it’s also a seller’s market.
“It’s good for buyers and sellers.”
King says it’s too early to tell for sure whether rising prices and home sales are the start of a trend, but now, before home prices climb any higher, is the perfect time to buy.
The housing market outside of Lethbridge isn’t rebounding quite as quickly, but it is improving, as well, King says.
While the numbers are still down from the same time last year, sales, listings and the average price in the first three months of 2009 are all slowly climbing.
Robert W May is a Real Estate Broker in Lethbridge Alberta, having now been in the industry for over 23 years. . He was also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta for the past 10 years. He is an industry leader always willing to help train and educate others in how to improve their business models for financial and personal benefit.