Home sales are increasing in central Alberta at a pace strong enough to make local realtors feel the market is balancing out after years of slump.
From Jan. 1 to Aug. 6, 90 homes were sold in Ponoka, compared to 64 in 2013 for the same time period. The average sale price is up as well at $247,000 compared to $233,000 in 2013. Sandra Lyon, realtor at First Choice Realty says the real estate market has not seen an upswing since the market crashed in 2009.
She feels there are companies expanding in Ponoka that have helped drive sales but also sees movement from Filipino families buying homes in town. “Everything in the $200,000 to $300,000s. They really have become a big part of the community.”
Ponoka is also in an ideal spot being between Red Deer and Edmonton and along Highway 2. While the town is not seeing sales in numbers such as Lacombe and Blackfalds, Lyon suggests Ponoka’s growth will continue with development in its industrial areas.
Realtor Jane Wierzba agreed.
“My business was good last year, too. I think we’re seeing improvement in the activity and volume,” said Wierzba.
“It’s starting to become a more balanced market,” she added.
Communities such as Blackfalds and Lacombe are seeing even greater home sales; Blackfalds has seen 198 houses sold this year in the same time period and Lacombe sold 159. The average sale price has increased for both Blackfalds and Lacombe with the average sale price at $330,000 for the former and $313,000 for the latter.
“Blackfalds has the highest starts of anybody, that’s including Red Deer,” explained Lyon.