Edmonton real estate sales slump, listings rise
WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton’s housing market is starting to feel the impact from Alberta’s slowing economy. As Tom Vernon reports, more homes are available and they’re taking longer to sell.
EDMONTON – The Real Estate Board says oil prices and overall cautiousness have likely led to more listings and fewer sales in Edmonton in January.
Local sales for the first month of 2015 were down 13.5 per cent month over month. They are down 25.9 per cent from last year.
Meanwhile, there are more homes staying on the market. Residential listings are up almost 30 per cent compared to January of 2014.
“We are likely seeing the effects of oil prices and a feeling of economic cautiousness amongst some buyers,” said Geneva Tetreault, president of the Realtors Association of Edmonton.
“We expect more of an uptake in the market as spring approaches and more people start to look for homes.”
There were 4,132 residential properties listed at the end of January 2015, which is an increase of 35 per cent over the month before and a 16.8 per cent increase from the year before.
A whopping 2,316 new listings were added to MLS for the Edmonton area in January, compared to 932 new listings added in December.
“We ended 2014 with low inventory,” explained Tetreault. “While this is not unusual for the winter, it can make it difficult for buyers to find the right home.
“The influx of properties we have seen on the market in January will be a relief for buyers.”
The numbers don’t surprise Edmonton’s chief economist John Rose.
“One month’s numbers don’t make a trend,” he said.
“There’s a lot of pent up demand and so, while we see some very weak numbers in January, there’s a lot of momentum in the Edmonton economy and I think that’s going to carry us through the next 12 months,” Rose added.
On average, properties were on the market for 58 days in January 2015, up from 55 days in December 2014 and down from 60 days in January 2014.
“What we’re finding is people are waiting to see what’s going to happen with inventory levels, with pricing,” said real estate agent Jay Herrick. “I would suggest that the inventory isn’t any higher than it’s been in the last three or four years, however the sales have declined a little bit.”
“My sellers are trying to beat the market,” he added. “They’re trying to get on before the uncertainty really unfolds… Nobody’s panicking yet.”
The board said housing prices still remained strong in the Edmonton market. The overall residential price went up almost one percent from December 2014.
(Read the five-year residential sales activity document below).
In January 2015, nine of the 666 properties sold in Edmonton cost more than $900,000.
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