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Monday, October 17, 2005

Edmonton area housing prices cool in seasonal fluctuation

Just before you get to the meat of the matter, this press release is put out by the Edmonton Real Estate Board, and I’ve often found that this comes with a slight agenda. There has been nothing but rosy news releases for the past 13 years. So much so that I stopped reading these,consideringg them propaganda and not worthy of serious consideration. It is noteworthy then that there are stats and finally a press release to rebuke that everything is perfect in real estate in this news release. I think it’s important to note as well that there are some very good fundamentals in the market, but there are some major price discrepancies to be aware of.

Edmonton, October 6, 2005: Housing prices cooled slightly in September, reports the Edmonton Real Estate Board, as home buyers and sellers ended their summer vacations and focused on back-to-school activities. Home prices typically slip slightly in the fall after peaking for the year in the first two quarters (see attached chart). The average* price for a single family home in September was $216,490 down 3% from August but up 6.9% from the same time last year. Condo prices dipped to $137,998, down 7.7% from last month and down 3% from last year.
“Decreased market activity makes the fall a good time to buy or sell a home,” said Jim Kulak, EREB President. “Prices are typically slightly lower and REALTORS® are less busy; yet high inventory levels still provide lots of choice.” There were 4,093 homes available for sale on MLS® on September 30, 2005 as compared to 4,693 at the same time last year.

There were 2,243 homes listed for sale in September with 1,547 sales completed during the month. Both sales and listings were up from the same month last year. Duplex and row house sales showed strength in September with sales up from 52 to 72 units with prices up from $150,814 in September 2004 to $193,165 in September this year (a 28.5% increase).
Total MLS® sales (including residential, commercial and rural sales) were 1,773 units in September for a YTD total of 17,041 (up 5% from last year). Total dollar volume in September was $347.7 million with YTD sales of $3.36 billion: both up over 12% from last year.

In the regional markets, average prices for single family homes were up year-over-year in all areas of Edmonton and the surrounding area except for West Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan. In West Edmonton, average prices dropped from $283,653 in September 2004 to $253,295 this year. In Fort Saskatchewan, average prices dropped from $206,212 to $199,812 this year. The lowest priced housing is still in Central Edmonton where average prices were $129,010 in September 2005. At the other end of the scale, an average home in Southwest Edmonton sold for $305,671 last month.

“Like water, real estate prices find their own level,” said Kulak. “When prices fall in a particular area then demand increases and prices begin to rise again. There is certainly enough demand for housing in the overall Edmonton market that timing is always an issue. Home owners should always discuss marketing strategies with a REALTOR®.”

* Average prices indicate market trends only. They do not reflect actual prices, which may vary.


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