The Edmonton Real Estate Blog

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Edmonton Real Estate Market Still Hot

Here is the latest from the Edmonton Real Estate board. Inventory is still very low, demand and number of sales are still very high which leads to increasing prices. When you compare July to June, the rate at which prices are increasing is slightly down, but compared to July of '05 everything is through the roof.

Housing shortage causing business challenges

Edmonton, August 2, 2006: Everyone in the housing market this year is aware of the shortages being experienced in Alberta. The prices of new and resale homes have increased dramatically and availability dropped. The current inventory of available residences on the Edmonton MLS® is just 1,856; down from over 4,400 homes available on July 31, 2005.

Strong economic performance of Alberta business is creating new jobs and opportunities. Workers want to move to Alberta but are facing difficulties finding housing when they get here. REALTORS® are working harder than ever to find suitable homes for their clients. Multiple offers and sales over the list price are now common. However, employers who manage to attract workers from out-of-province are hard pressed to find places for them to live once they get here. Some business owners report that new employees are returning home because they cannot find a place to live even though they have a good job.

“Everyone with patience and money will find a home, but REALTORS® are concerned that the housing pressures are severe at the bottom end of the market,” said Madeline Sarafinchan, EREB President. “Thousands of workers coming here to take the $10 or $15/per hour jobs are not able to find accommodation in their price range. Rental vacancy rates are low and rental rates are rising. We need the workers but our community also needs to meet their housing needs. What are the provincial and federal governments doing to provide affordable housing?”

Even a person working for $20/hour will not qualify for a mortgage on an average priced home or condominium in Edmonton.

The average* price for single family dwellings in July was $303,304; up 1.6% from June. Average condominium prices went up 1.1% in a month to $188,831 in July. Duplexes and townhouses sold for $228,691 average – an increase of just 0.4% from last month.

The average residential price (includes all resale housing types) has increased from $254,240 in June to $256,489 in July.

“REALTORS® are frustrated when they cannot find a home for their client,” says Sarafinchan. “We want to help everyone but if the homes aren’t there we cannot sell them. If business owners cannot find homes for their workers then labour shortages will begin to stall the economic boom that is driving Alberta today.” She called on government to consider social policy that will make housing available for workers at all income levels.

July 2006 activityRecord *% change from 2005
Total MLS®® sales this month2,268*21.70%
Value of total MLS® sales - month$601 million*61.80%
Value of total MLS® sales - year$3.76 billion*45.80%
Residential¹ sales this month1,953*21.30%
Residential average price$256,489*31.00%
SFD² average selling price - month$303,304*35.40%
SFD² median³ selling price$293,450*40.40%
Condo average selling price$188,831*33.70%

¹. Residential includes SFD, condos and duplex/row houses.
². Single Family Dwelling
³. The middle figure in a list of all sales prices

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


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