May sales were up slightly in some central Alberta markets and off slightly in others. Concern over the Kinder Morgan deadline may have impacted consumer confidence negatively, causing sales to slow slightly compared to last month. We believe it is more likely the pipeline will be completed under federal government ownership and if the general public feels the same way, consumer confidence will rise, and more people will consider buying their first home or moving up.
The statistic that is most affecting our markets now is the number of active listings which continues to rise in almost every market we serve. The increase is most dramatic in Red Deer and Sylvan Lake where the active listing count has reached an all time high. Almost all our central Alberta markets have historically high listing counts.
There are positives and negatives that come with high listing counts. The positive for buyers is ample choice and the negative for sellers is it keeps prices in check. Prices have fallen significantly in the past 3 years and while the market is starting to show signs of improvement, it is likely to take more time before sellers can expect to see prices start to recover. With less than 2 out of every 10 listings selling each month, a price that reflects our current reality is the most important ingredient for a successful sale.