Local housing prices continue to slide while sales rise

Edmonton, March 3, 2009: The average price of most types of residential property slipped down a notch in February after a short rally in January. Sales numbers climbed across the 1,000-unit threshold for the first time since October but are still below the same month sales for last year.  

"It is a typical pattern that sales activity picks up as we move into spring," said Charlie Ponde, president of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. "Listing activity also rises as homeowners enter the market in anticipation of spring activity." There were 1,075 residential sales in February with 2,667 listings added to the MLS®. The sales-to-listing ratio was 40% and there were 7,097 homes in the inventory on February 28.

The average* price of a single family home in February was $347,309 - down 1.5 percent (-$5,380) as compared to January. Condo prices were down 4.9% (-$11,678) to $226,857 and duplex/rowhouses sold on average for $309,180 (a 3.3% price increase). Total residential sales through the MLS® for the month were $332 million - down 24% from the previous February. When all residential property sales are averaged the average all-residential price dropped 2.55% from January and 8.7% from a year ago. It is now $308,970 as compared to $338,347 in February 2008.

Consumers continue to be confused by housing figures originating from American or Canadian sources that do not reflect the condition in local markets. "I urge people to consider national trend figures carefully" said Ponde. "Sales and listing figures produced by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton track local sales that may not be included in so-called national housing indexes such as the National Bank/Teranet House Price Index." Teranet only includes figures from six Canadian cities (not including Edmonton) and Toronto figures carry a weight of 42% according to their web site.  

Ponde explained that REALTOR® Association numbers are calculated by summing all residential sales in the greater Edmonton area that were made through the Multiple Listing Service®. The total value of all sales is divided by the number of transactions to determine the average residential price. Other averages are calculated by housing type or by geographical criteria to provide more refined analysis of the local market. REALTOR® figures do not include new home or private sales. Sales figures are double checked by brokers and cooperating REALTORS® and are also subject to review by the REALTORS® Association.

Magdalena Luczak

Magdalena Luczak

CENTURY 21 Vantage Realty Ltd.
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