2014 home sales see improvement over 2013

“Our prices are still lower than the other towns are. You get more bang for your buck.” Jane Wierzba, Ponoka realtor

Ponoka’s home sales have seen steady growth in 2014 over the previous year.

As of Dec. 22, 138 homes were sold with an average listing price of $252,000 and an average sale price of $238,000. That’s an increase of 33 homes compared to 2013. The average price of a home went up by approximately $4,000 as well.

While Ponoka is not seeing large numbers compared to Lacombe and Blackfalds, which sold 243 and 311 in 2014 respectively, it still shows growth, explained Jane Wierzba, realtor with Re/Max. Lacombe’s sales are slightly down compared to 2013.

“Our prices are still lower than the other towns are. You get more bang for your buck,” said Wierzba.

She says Ponoka has developed lots ready for homes to be built, so anyone wishing to move into a new house could do so in a short time. A relatively mild fall and winter appears to have been good for business.

Wierzba said June and July were her best sales months for 2014 but November and December, typically slow times in the industry were her next highest months. With the price of oil dropping at a rapid rate, there could be some concern over the housing market but Wierzba says she has heard both positive and negative forecasts.

She feels low interest rates and little to choose from in rental properties in Ponoka are factors that may help the housing market in Ponoka. “There’s little choice when it comes to rental properties from what I hear.”

A press release from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) projects a 2014 annual increase in sales of 5.1 per cent, approximately 481,300 units.

“While this places annual activity eight per cent below the record set in 2007, it marks the strongest annual sales since then,” states the release.

The CREA forecasts British Columbia will have the largest sales increase followed closely by Alberta. There may be some downward pressure in the market over consumer confidence in the prairies depending on oil prices and how long they stay down.

It did also state the national average price of a home is expected to increase by 0.9 per cent.