EDMONTON – The Realtors Association of Edmonton says the average cost of a single family detached home in the city has reached a new high.
The average price for a single family home in Edmonton in the first quarter of 2014 was $432,000.
That price topped the previous record – set in May 2007 – by about $6,000.
“We’re just slightly beyond that record level,” said Realtors Association of Edmonton President Greg Steele.
“For the single family, in May of 2007, we were about $425,000 so about $6,000 higher,” he explained.
Steele said the situation now compared to 2007 is very different.
“The lending laws were totally different,” he said.
“All the stimulus that the government of the time inserted into the market have been removed.”
There have also been a series of higher-end (multi-million) sales contributing to the increase. For instance, one home in Windermere recently sold for $5.7 million in just 23 days.
He expects to see even more growth in Edmonton’s real estate market going forward, especially considering April is typically the busiest month for the industry.
“We are going at a very high capacity and we don’t see it slowing down any time soon.”
Sales of all types of residential properties in Edmonton were up 5.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 as compared to the same period last year.
Single family detached (SFD) sales were up 5.1 per cent while condo sales soared 11 per cent.
“We expect that sales will increase from month-to-month as we approach the second quarter,” said Steele.
“But this year-over-year increase is an indicator of the high demand for housing in this market.”
“Price rises will follow the demand and we can expect active competition for desirable properties,” he added.
So, with the market so hot, is the Realtors Association worried about a bubble?
“No scare of a bubble at all,” said Steele. “Our lending requirements are probably the most secure in the organized world.”
“In Alberta, we have an incredible economy, we have very low unemployment, great job prospects, the economy is running very well on full cylinders.”
“We have been, I guess, ‘booming’ for the last five or six years.”
“What you saw last year and the year before is going to be a mirror reflection of what we see going forward,” Steele added.
All residential sales from January to March 2014 rose from 3,478 in 2013 to 3,679.
In that same time period, the number of listings also rose to fill demand.
The average amount of time properties were on the market in March was 44 days, as compared to 51 in March 2013.
“Strong sales indicate consumer confidence in the Edmonton marketplace,” said Steele.
“The high condo sales and low condo listings indicate the demand for lower priced properties and first time buyers are choosing condos as an option to lower-priced SFDs which are in high demand and short supply.”
The Realtor Association’s numbers do not include the sale of many new homes and condos that are sold directly by builders and don’t go through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).