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Fort McMurray Real Estate Has Fallen Hard. Just Look At This Graph.

08/06/2015 12:05 EDT | Updated 08/06/2015 12:59 EDT

How much has the price of oil hurt real estate in Fort McMurray?

A new graphic gives us a clue.

The Huffington Post Canada produced this graph using sales figures available on the website of the Fort McMurray Real Estate Board.

They describe home sales in the communities of Fort McMurray, Gregorie Lake, Saprae Creek and Anzac.

The stats don't necessarily indicate a negative trend from month to month — indeed, sales of single-family homes, which make up the bulk of activity in these areas, have gone up over the course of this year.

But they're trending lower than last year, and many more single-family homes would have to be sold in order to reach the level at which they were coming off the market in 2014.

Numbers provided by the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) don't paint much of a prettier picture.

The CMHC's Housing Market Outlook for the second quarter of 2015 forecasts MLS sales in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray, to drop from 1,724 last year to 1,250 this year, a fall of 27.5 per cent.

Housing starts are expected to fall 16.5 per cent in the same time frame.

The trends illustrate just a few ways in which Fort McMurray, the centre of oilsands development, has suffered as crude oil futures have fallen as low as US$45 per barrel, after oil sat at over $75 per barrel for over four years, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Globe and Mail recently visited Fort McMurray and found a region where the jobless rate has climbed to 8.2 per cent — doubling last year's rate, and more than Canada's 6.8 per cent jobless rate.

Writer Brent Jang described a community where renters are looking for deals on their monthly payments, and where a football team is struggling to maintain corporate sponsorships.

People there are collecting bottles and cans they can exchange for cash deposits, and the food bank has seen a massive uptick in the number of people it serves, AAP reported.

Resident Arthur Christensen told the news agency that people who work in resources often don't realize it could "all come to an end."

"They spend every dime on expensive trucks and snowmobiles and quads expecting the riches to flow forever ... until we hit a rough patch," he said.

But there is some optimism in the city.

Mayor Melissa Blake sees the potential to attract tourists and major events to MacDonald Island Park, a recreation facility that has undergone a $127-million expansion to make it one of Canada's biggest, CBC News reported.

Starting Friday it will host the Western Canada Summer Games, which will see over 2,500 athletes compete in sports such as baseball, basketball and volleyball.

"There may be economic realities outside our doors, but this is the place in our community where people come to have fun, to enjoy leisure time," facility spokesperson Theresa Wells told the network.

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