“Steady as she goes” in 2011 predicts REALTORS® President
Chris Mooney, President of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton predicted that the housing market in 2011 would be “steady as she goes.” He was addressing 800 REALTORS® and their guests at the 23rd Annual REALTORS® Housing Forecast Seminar at the Shaw Conference Centre today.
REALTORS® expect that sales figures will change direction over the next year and to climb from 18,293 (2010 Edmonton MLS® System total) to 19,500 by the end of 2011. “Consumers appeared wary in 2010 and after an initial surge of sales in the first Quarter, stayed home and waited for the market to bottom out,” said Mooney. “We expect the market to return to normal in 2011 and for sales to increase slightly.”
Prices for single family homes will increase about 3% but an oversupply of condos will keep prices stable for that segment. Average prices for all types of property will vary through the year within a small range. “The average price for single family detached homes over the entire year was up 2.5% in 2010 and we expect that the trend will continue,” explained Mooney. “Prices in July were up over 7% year over year but by year end they were down 2.5% comparing December to December. A single family home priced at $377,000 right now will likely sell for $388,000 next year.”
For the second year in a row condo prices are expected to remain flat with no significant increase in the year-long average price. Buyers can expect to pay $240,000 (on average) for a condominium next year – about what they would have paid in 2010.
Mooney suggested that residential inventory would balloon in the second quarter, topping out at 7,000 properties. The inventory level will fall again to more normal levels by the end of the year. He also suggested that sales of rural and recreational properties would be slowed by low-cost real estate opportunities in the sun states, the higher price of gasoline and the Canadian dollar at par with the US.
Other presenters at the forecast seminar suggested that Alberta’s economy would grow by about 3%. There were no predictions of major outside influences that would skew the normal market operations.