Friday, January 18, 2013
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The local housing market in 2012 ended as it began, with robust sales, slowly increasing prices,
stability and an optimistic swagger. The average all-residential price in December was $333,140, up 1.5% from the previous month. The price in December 2011 was $316,020. Sales during December were 31.0% down from November and 16.8% down from last December. Note: for comparison purposes current month sales figures have been adjusted to account for late reported sales and terminations; actual reported numbers as of month end are in square brackets.
The average price for a single family detached property on the Edmonton Multiple Listing Service® in December was $391,427, up 2.5% month/month and 6.8% year/year. Condominium prices were up marginally (0.02%) from last month and sold on average for $225,143 in December. Duplex/row houses were priced at $297,753 on average (down 4.3% m/m). REALTORS® listed 1,026  residential properties in December and sold 789  properties. This resulted in a sales-to-listing ratio of 77% as compared to 73% in November. At month-end there were 4,354 residential properties in the inventory which is down 18.6% from a year ago. Sales were slower in December with average days-on-market up two to 66 days.
“Although sales and listing activity were slower this December than in previous years, prices continued their slow steady rise,” said President Doug Singleton. “Total sales for the year were up. The Finance Minister toyed with the mortgage qualification rules at the beginning of the year but otherwise this market operated in a smooth and stable manner. REALTORS® and their clients could trade in real estate with confidence and certainty.”
The price of an average single family detached home rose 6.8% during 2012 and the all-residential average price rose 5.4%. Sales were also higher in 2012 than the year previous with 18,020 residential sales and 20,393 total MLS® sales. Except for 2009 these were the highest sales numbers in five years. Listing activity, however, was lower than the previous three years. This dropped the available inventory of homes available on the local MLS® System to just 4,354 properties on December 31; the lowest level the inventory has been at since December 2009.
The highest average price for a single family detached home in the Edmonton area in 2012 was in June at $393,471 with the lowest price point being January at $364,106. The all-residential average price followed a similar pattern with the highest average price in May at $348,196 and the lowest point in January at $318,906. Condo prices peaked in May at $248,846 after rising from the January low point at $216,622.
The growth of the Edmonton market is also reflected in the increased number of higher priced properties sold. There were 403 residential properties sold for over $700,000 in 2012, including 89 priced at one million or more. In 2008, just 1.63% of homes were in the $700,000 or above category. Last year 2.23% of the sold properties were at that level. The most expensive property sold in 2012 was valued at $2.72 million. Six owners in total picked up properties located in Crestwood, Magrath Heights, Windsor Park, Hodgson, Twin Brooks and Westridge each valued at $2 million or more.
The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton released their annual housing forecast today at a seminar at the Northlands Expo Centre attended by 700 REALTORS® and business people. President Darrell Cook forecast that the value of MLS® sales in 2013 will increase by about 3% for the year after sales of $7 billion in 2012. This is based on a three percent increase in the number of homes sold and increased prices. Cook expects that single family homes, duplexes and rowhouses will increase on average by 2% while the average price for condos will increase by one percent next year.
“We are positioned in the best economy in Canada and perhaps the world,” said Cook. “It is hard to make a restrained forecast when we have job growth, in-migration, low vacancy rates and continuing low interest rates.”
His remarks echoed the predictions of five other speakers at the seminar including Premier Alison Redford who highlighted the value of the housing industry to the Alberta economy. Also presenting at the event were John Rose, Chief Economist for the City of Edmonton; Angus Watt from National Bank of Canada; Brad Ferguson, the President and CEO of Edmonton Economic Development Corporation; and David Lan, Senior Market Analyst from CMHC.
Cook forecast that the year-long average selling price for a single family home, sold through the Multiple Listing Service® in 2013 will increase from $382 thousand to $390 thousand. The average price for a condominium property will increase from $235,500 to $237,800. Although the inventory of available housing is low at this time of year, Cook suggested that increasing prices in the first six months will convince owners to begin listing their property and increased choice for buyers will result.
Cook suggested that, because of our solid economy, the strong interest in acreage properties will continue in 2013 and sales of recreational and vacant properties will also increase as the prices of properties in sun-belt destinations recover and local recreational properties become more comparable in price.
Commercial and industrial sales through the MLS® were up 25% in 2012 and REALTORS® expect the trend to continue next year with an increase in total value from $310 million to $320 million. There will be demand for small office/warehouse lease properties as our strong economy spawns new and expanding businesses.
The role of the REALTOR® has been much discussed in the past two years. Cook urged the members of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton to focus on client service, education and satisfaction and to continue to demonstrate the value that the REALTOR® has brought to the community and the real estate transaction for the past 85 years.