Resale housing market maintains stability - October 2007

Edmonton, November 5, 2007: Edmonton's housing market maintained stable through October with small changes in average prices for most types of residential property. Multiple Listing Service® inventory dropped slightly to 9,577 residential properties available on October 31.

"REALTORS® report that sales activity was very slow at the beginning of October," said Carolyn Pratt, President of the REALTORS® Association. "But activity picked up as the month progressed and the current market reality came clear to both buyers and sellers." After single family dwelling prices peaked in May, many consumers waited for the direction of the market to become clear before committing to a home purchase. "Sellers, eager to market their house before prices dropped too far, listed their homes with high expectation," said Pratt. "Buyers, on the other hand, took their time selecting a property to purchase in the hopes that prices would drop further."

Single family dwellings listed on the Multiple Listing Service® sold on average* for $397,198 in the Edmonton area in October. This is down just 0.6% from last month. Condominiums on MLS® sold on average for $262,875 (down 2.9%) and duplex/rowhouses were up 18.7% and sold for $367,964 on average (just 55 units sold). Increased duplex/rowhouse sales drove the average residential sales price (which includes all types of residential property) up 1% from last month at $347,668.

Buyers had plenty of choice in October. New listings were down 5.25% from last month with 3,745 residential properties, and higher residential sales of 1,276 (up 22.5% from September), lowered the MLS® inventory slightly to 9,577 in the Edmonton area. Twenty-six (26) percent of the available single family homes were vacant and an additional 9.3 percent were new homes which have never been occupied. There were 970 vacant condominiums (30% of total condos available) plus 185 (5.7%) new condos being offered by REALTOR® clients.

"An empty property often indicates that the seller is motivated to sell," said Pratt. "The owner may have moved into a newer home and is carrying two mortgages or may not be able to find a tenant at rental rates required to cover the higher purchase price." She also advised that an owner may not be in a rush to sell a second, vacant home if it was mortgage free.

The average days on market was up one to 44 days. Sales-to-listing ratio was higher than September at 34% and total residential volume for October was $443 million; down 15.2% from the same month last year. Total MLS® sales for the year to date was still at a record level of $7.4 billion because of strong sales in the first half of the year.

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