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Prices Up, Sales Activity Remains Steady in November

Blog by Sara Kalke | December 4th, 2012

Prices Up, Sales Activity Remains Steady in November

Edmonton real estate market statistics are out for November 2012 from the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton (full news release is below).  Here is my interpretation of the data, including a few items that aren't hi-lited in the news release.

  1. Average sales prices are up about $10k from last month. At first glance, it looks like WOW, prices in Edmonton are up $10,000!  I'm rich!   Before you go buy yourself a new boat for Christmas, remember average prices are always just an average.   I like to look at median prices (which the association explains in paragraph 2 of the news release), and those are up to levels not seen since August.  Good news?  Well, probably...
  2. I don't consider average and median sales numbers within one short month's time to be a true indication of where the market is going.  What really matters is the trend over several months, if not a year.  Average and medians of about 1,000 sales per month show the value of the homes being purchased that month, which in my opinion holds a certain degree of randomness - the sales could have been of high-end homes, condos or middle value homes, and even a couple high-end sales can skew the results.  Did you notice that the year-over-year total sales volume (for residential sales) was actually down 3.5%?  To me this says that yes there was a price increase month-over-month in November, but total sales were actually down from last year, which most likely equals a fairly steady market.
  3. Remember new builds?  Those aren't always included in our sales statistics either.  My experience over the last few months dealing with new builders (yes, I do work with new builders too!) has been that most builders are selling homes like hot cakes, especially in the lower price points.  More expensive homes seem to stay on the market longer.  A good sign for a busy spring market ahead in my opinion.
  4. Now a note on what the report doesn't say:  CANADA.  Canadian.  National.  There is so much hype right now about NATIONAL real estate trends, and a national real estate bubble, it makes me a little cranky!  The markets in Canada are so drastically different; you absolutely cannot compare market trends for Toronto with Edmonton or Vancouver with Regina.  It just doesn't make sense to try, as there are totally different market fundamentals at play, unless you consider interest rates and common prime minister as realistic market fundamentals... Do I think there is a real estate bubble in Vancouver and Toronto?  Well, probably.  Do I think there is a real estate bubble in Edmonton?  Not right now!

*As usual, these are just my personal opinions.  I am not a lawyer, accountant, economist or fortune teller.  Just a snapshot into how my brain crunches the news release numbers into the experience I have in the marketplace!

Questions?  Comments?

Reach me at 780-710-7669!



Average Housing Prices make dramatic leap in November

Edmonton, December 4, 2012: A significant lift in single-family detached prices from $372,061 in October to $382,923 in November drove up the all-residential average price from $324,924 to $331,198 (up 3.32% Y/Y). Condominium prices, which surged upwards in October, dropped back to the September level for an average of $230,493. This is about 1% higher than a year ago. Duplex and rowhouse prices were $312,041 on average (up 3.2% y/y).

The median price for single-family detached homes was $363,000 in November, the highest it has been since August. When the median price is lower than the average price, it indicates that there were more lower-priced homes sold. Even a few higher-priced homes drive the average price up. There were 51 sales reported for properties priced over $600,000 in November: the same number as reported in October. A year ago there were just 43 homes sold over $600,000.

REALTORS® listed 1,610 residential properties in November and sold 1,063 properties. This resulted in a sales-to-listing ratio of 66% as compared to 61.7% in October. At month end there were 5,681 residential properties in the inventory, which is down 8% from a year ago. Sales were slower in November with average days-on-market up three to 64 days.

“The slow steady escalation in housing prices reflects the confidence that home buyers have in the local economy,” said Singleton. “People are moving up but also relocating to take advantage of job opportunities. As a result the housing market is stable and balanced.”

On November 1 the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton added real estate sales activity from Northeast Alberta to the local Multiple Listing Service®. However, for comparative reasons the additional property sales in Bonnyville, Elk Point, St. Paul and Cold Lake have not been added to the sales reported by the Association in the Greater Edmonton area. The reporting format for the local housing statistics is being redesigned and sales in NE Alberta will be reported in January.

“We are pleased to welcome the 70 REALTORS® from Northeast Alberta to our membership,” said REALTORS® Association of Edmonton President Doug Singleton. “The members and their clients are now part of a larger association and will benefit from increased services and a wider choice of MLS® listings. Unfortunately the integration of the additional listings and sales has to be delayed for a month while the new reporting format is finalized.”


Activity (for all residential sales on Edmonton MLS® System)

1 The total value of sales in a category divided by the number of properties sold
2 Single Family Dwelling
3 The middle figure in a list of all sales prices
4 Residential includes SFD, condos and duplex/row houses.
5 Includes residential, rural and commercial sales

1 Average prices indicate market trends only. They do not reflect actual changes for a particular property, which may vary from house to house and area to area. Prior period figures have been adjusted to include late reported sales and cancellations and therefore reflect a more accurate view of the period than previously reported at month end. The RAE trading area includes communities beyond the CMA (Census Metropolitan Area) and therefore average and median prices may include sold properties outside the CMA. For information on a specific area, contact your local REALTOR®.