EDMONTON – The Realtors Association of Edmonton is predicting a slight decline in home sales this year, but the city is faring much better than other areas in Alberta.
The forecast shows sales of residential homes in the Edmonton area will decrease about 2.3 per cent from the 2015 levels. The association predicts fewer than 17,000 homes will be sold in 2016.
In 2015, there were 17,298 residential sales in Edmonton, a decrease of nine per cent from 2014, but up one per cent from 2013.
“The continuation of low oil prices and economic decline have made buyers cautious,” Association chair Steve Sedgwick said. “While much of the decline is offset by record low lending rates, we don’t expect sales to pick up without a boost in our overall economy.
“That said, Edmonton has fared much better than many other places in Alberta,” Sedgwick said.
In Calgary, residential sales plunged 26.3 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014.
In Edmonton, condo sales are expected to decline by 2.7 per cent but duplex and row house sales are expected to remain strong.
The 12-month average price for a single-family detached property is forecast to go down by about 2.7 per cent as inventory grows.
“It was a record inventory as far as year-end,” Sedgwick said. “We haven’t seen these kind of numbers since the end of 2008 for a year-end amount of units on our MLS database.”
The average price of a condo is also expected to decrease slightly, but many higher-priced options keep the average price inflated.
“We saw condominium sales drop dramatically,” Sedgwick said. “We still have a large quantity inventory out there. Condominiums are typically moving a little bit slower now. Everything’s moving a little bit slower now.”
Sedgwick said the segment of the housing market that’s most impacted by the downturn is the higher price point, traditionally those listed above $1 million.
“There are a lot of options available for home buyers, and that, with the low interest rates we have… If there’s buyers sitting on the fence I think this might encourage them to get out a take a look.”
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