2016 ends with housing on an even keel; continued stability for 2017

Posted by on Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 at 1:35pm.

  

Despite the economic instability swirling around Alberta, real estate in Edmonton throughout 2016 was steady according to the REALTORS Association of Edmonton. 

Sales volume and listings/inventory were affected the most by job losses and the price of oil, but association spokesperson James Mabey, the new chair of the association, claims prices held and the year ended with what he describes as a somewhat balanced housing market.

Total sales for the year came in at 16,170, down from 17,325 transactions in Edmonton and surrounding communities in 2015.   The average number of days properties sat on the market with afor sale sign swinging out from in 2016 was 57, an increase of 5 days from the 2015 average. 

In December, MLS Sales were up by .42% over December 2015 with consistent movement in all property types.  Compared to 2015, detached home sales fell by 2.53%, apartment condos stayed the same and sales of attached units actually rose significantly by 19.44% over last year.

The average number of days on the market in jumped from the November average which is typical for the last month of the year.  

  • Detached homes - from 52 to 62
  • Attached homes:  74 to 78
  • Condos:  79 to 80 

Housing inventory in December 2016 was down by 19.8% from the previous month but up 2.4% over December 2015 with 5,208 properties on the market as of the end of the month.

Mabey said in the association’s December report that normal activity should resume in January with an increase in listings and sales as Edmontonians start formulating plans for this year.

What to Expect in 2017

In a later interview with Edmonton media, Mabey was asked to offer predictions for the coming year in Edmonton.

He noted that the real estate market in Edmonton should be pretty much the same as 2016.  Slow sales with a modest drop in housing prices.

Edmonton economists believe that the economy as a whole should pick up a bit in the summer but that activity might not translate into a booming real estate market.   Real estate professionals should batten down the hatches for another ho hum year with anxious sellers and cautious buyers.

Mabey said buyers last year had great selection and could take their time before making an offer while property sellers had to jump through hoops to get top dollar.  He said 2017 will be very much the same.

The REALTORS Association of Edmonton predicts that detached home sales will drop in the middle of the year and by December, sales should be 1.7% lower than 2016 sales volumes.  Prices may drop overall by 2.2% and the number of properties on the market in Edmonton at any given time should stay as high as it is now.

The association notes that condos did not fare well in 2016 and it believes prices will continue to fall, possibly by 3.8% however the number of transactions should stability in 2017.

Attached home sales should rise in 2017, most notably due to the new mortgage guidelines which will force first time buyers with a down payment of less than 20% into lower price brackets.  This prediction comes on the heels of December sales in the attached segment which skyrocketed to 20% over December 2015.   Sales of duplexes have actually doubled since 2012.

December 2016 Snapshot

  • Average selling price for detached homes:  $420,962
  • Average selling price for condos: $247,647 
  • Average selling price all homes:  $357,916
  • Change in residential prices compared to Dec 2015:  -2.27%
  • Total sales: 716 units
  • Inventory in Edmonton Dec 2016:  5,208 homes

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