Million-plus home sales in March give reason for optimism in Edmonton

Posted by on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 at 10:11am.


We might be shaking off some of the doldrums in Edmonton.  The REALTORS Association of Edmonton released figures for the first quarter of 2017 and more homes valued at $1 million and over were purchased that in the same three-month period of every year since 2013. A glimmer of hope as Edmonton heads into the spring buying season.

In January, February and March, there were 33 residential properties listed and sold at more than a million dollars, topping 2016 sales of 20 units in the first quarter, 2015 sales of 19 homes, 2014 sales of 28 homes in what was a spectacular year, and 2013 figures of 23 luxury homes sold in Edmonton.

Of the sales in the first quarter of 2017, the highest priced single-family home was in excess of $3 million.  The highest priced condo to get snapped up went for $1.15 million and in the attached segment, the most expensive residential property went for $975,000.

James Mabey, chairman of the Realtors Association, kept his remarks on the conservative side when reporting on Edmonton’s real estate activity in this first quarter but did admit that these sales were certainly a healthy indicator of Edmonton’s marketplace.

With spring historically very busy, Mabey projected weekly sales of at least 500 residential units every week this month and in May.

He observed that if buyers are willing to purchase properties in that premium price range, it’s a strong indicator that buyers in all price points will have similar confidence.

Last month, 1,474 properties were sold in Edmonton, an increase of 31.8 % over February 2017 and a rise of nearly 2% over March of 2016.

The number of sellers increased dramatically with 3,080 new listings entering the Edmonton MLS stream, a jump of 26.7% from February.  It is, however, typical going into spring as this figure is just 1.4% higher than the new listings that came online in March 2016.

In terms of prices, the average rose by 3.13% from February to $371,680.  In the detached sector, the average price was $439,139 which was 3.04% higher than the single-family home average the previous month.

Condo prices were up in March as well, up 3.86% from February to $242,632.

The REALTORS Association constantly monitors other economic data in Edmonton, including the employment rate.  The jobless rate is still high at 8.3% but the net job creation figures from February rose very slightly which bodes well for the real estate for the second half of 2017 Mabey explained.

Another barometer for the market is the stats on entry-level home purchases.  This first quarter, properties in the $250,000 to $299,999 rice bracket sold the most, followed by properties priced under $249,999.  Mabey said that the purchase of affordable homes is the primary driver in the Edmonton market and helps move properties in brackets above this as buyers shift into move-up properties.  He also commented that the Association is encouraged to see some positive movement in Edmonton’s condo market.  There has been substantial uptick in inventory both the resale and new construction sector and with increased selection Mabey says spring sales should follow.

The average number of days that properties are sitting on the market is down from 65 days recorded in February to 57 days in March 2017, although it has increased by 12 days of March of last year where the average was just 53.  Condos sold quicker in March, going from 74 days in February to 67 days on average in March 2017. Same for attached units, falling from 80 average days in February to 62 days in March.  Detached properties took an average of 50 days to sell in March. 

March 2017         Change from Feb '17         Change from March '16 

Average Price:   $371,680                          +3.13%                                                              -2.05%

Condo Average Price:  $242,632               +3.86%                                                               -3.11%

Condo Median Price:   $218,000                -2.82%                                                               -6.64%                       

Residential Listings:      3,080                 +26.70%                                                              +1.42%

Residential Sales:           1,474                +31.84%                                                               +1.8%

Residential Inventory:   6,806                 +11.43%                                                              -8.01%

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