January 16th, 2019

More homes listed, fewer sold in city in 2018


By Mabell, Dave on January 10, 2019.

Dave Mabell

Lethbridge Herald

dmabell@lethbridgeherald.com

More Lethbridge homes were listed for sale during 2018, but fewer were sold.

Despite the slowdown, real estate officials report the average selling price declined little more than $2,000.

Year-end figures from the Lethbridge and District Association of Realtors show 2,774 properties were listed during the year, while 1,513 were sold. That compares with 2,582 listings and 1,608 sales in 2017.

The average Lethbridge selling price softened to $284,587, down from $286,642 a year earlier. That put the cost of buying an average Lethbridge home just a little higher than Coaldale (now $279,099) or Coalhurst ($255,029).

Federal officials’ “stress test” initiatives put something of a damper on sales, says Realtors board executive officer Cathy Maxwell. Total sales volume was down 6.3 per cent from 2017.

But real estate markets in Calgary and other cities saw a greater impact, she noted.

“In Lethbridge, we’re rather insulated because of the diversity of the economics we have here,” Maxwell says. “We’re keeping pretty stable.”

Single-family homes in Lethbridge commanded top dollar, $314,409 last year.

Buyers looking for one side of a duplex home paid an average of $241,406, while those wanting to purchase both sides paid an average $335,333 per unit.

Townhouse units were next highest, at $219,922 on average, while a typical apartment or condo unit sold for $185,357.

While 205 of the region’s homes sold were in the $220,000 to $240,000 range – and 201 in the $260,000 to $280,000 band – local agents also sold 106 homes in the $500,000 to $750,000 band, and 13 that went for more than $1 million.

For owners listing their Lethbridge homes for sale, the report shows an average of 69 days on the market until a sale changed little from 2017. Duplexes were in greater demand, with a 58-day average while full duplexes (both sides) were sold after 33 days on average.

Apartment or condo units averaged 77 days on the market, while townhouses took 83 days to sell.

With southern Albertans experiencing a relatively mild winter so far, the real estate industry’s typically busy spring could arrive a little earlier.

Says Maxwell, “It’s going to be exciting to see what the new year will bring.”

The Lethbridge and District Association of Realtors includes 53 real estate offices – 25 of them in the city – and 327 licensees at year’s end. About 250 of those agents were working from Lethbridge offices.

All are part of the nation-wide Multiple Listing Service.

Total MLS sales across the region – including commercial, farming and rural properties as well as homes – were recorded at $693.3 million last year, compared with $740.1 million in 2017.

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