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Rising Mortgage Rates Spur Market Activity

Blog by Sara Kalke | April 7th, 2010

Rising Mortgage Rates Spur Market Activity 

The latest news release from the REALTORS Association of Edmonton just came out (see below).  The most significant figures are that average selling prices are up from last year by 10%!  Rising interest rates and the CMHC rule changes are spurring many buyers and sellers to make their move now, and the market IS moving!  Once interest rates rise, it will both cost more to buy a home, and it could be harder to sell a home - so there's a reason for the jump in activity. 

And for those of you who are following: today's inventory count: 6,655, up 301 from last week's update. My previous concern that a rise in inventory could mean price drops in the future, seems to be overshadowed for now by interest rates. My thoughts for the present are that pricing your home right and selling sooner than later, and buying before interest rates go up might just be a wise decision. But then again, who knows what the future holds!

REALTORS Association News Release:

Edmonton buyers and sellers remain optimistic

Edmonton, April 6, 2010: Housing figures released by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton for March and the first quarter of 2010 show that resale housing prices are up; listings and sales are up.

“There is consumer confidence in this market and both buyers and sellers appear eager to enter the housing market,” said Larry Westergard, president of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. “Prices are up about 10% from a year ago and sellers are eager to take advantage. Buyers are aware of higher mortgage rates ahead and are getting into the market before the rates rise.”

Single family residences in the Edmonton area sold on average* for $388,473 in March which is up 4.7% from February and 11% from a year ago. Condominium prices rose by 8.4% month-over-month and 10.5% year-over-year. The average condominium sold for $252,416 in March. Duplex and rowhouse prices (at $313,836) dropped a third of a percent in March but were up 10.4% from a year ago. The average residential price was $343,607 (up month-over-month by 8.5%).

Sales also demonstrated the optimism of the marketplace. 3,728 residential listings in March were up over 30% from a year ago and up 246% in the first quarter. Residential sales of 1,571 properties in March were up 15.1% from a year ago and 77.3% in the first quarter. Sales were up from 1,307 in February: a 20.2% increase. The March sales-to-listing ratio was 42%; down from 52% in February.

“Seller activity has boosted the inventory to 6,770 residential properties,” said Westergard. “I am less concerned about available inventory now than I was at the beginning of the year. I think the market has reached a balance between buyers and sellers.”

All major banks raised their fixed mortgage rates in late March and the Bank of Canada has warned that interest rates will rise again after the second quarter. Many buyers are hurrying to lock in rates and find a home before the more stringent qualification requirements for mortgages come into effect on April 19. Alberta will not be influenced by the GST harmonization taking place in Ontario and BC so we may not see the sales slump in the second quarter that is expected in those two provinces.

The average days-on-market in March was 41 as compared to 47 in February.


Highlights of MLS® activity

¹. Residential includes SFD, condos and duplex/row houses.
². Single Family Dwelling
³. The middle figure in a list of all sales prices

* Average prices indicate market trends only. They do not reflect actual prices, which may vary.