Edmonton Real Estate Market Weekly Update – Star Wars Day

Edmonton Real Estate Market Update

May the 4th be with you!!!

Here is our update on the Edmonton real estate market. (Previous week’s numbers are in brackets). For the past 7 days:

New listings: 596 (536, 515, 493)
# Sales: 336 (311, 314, 245)
Ratio: 56% (58%, 61%, 50%)
# Price changes: 262 (285, 260, 267)
# Expired/Off Market Listings: 277 (66, 125, 82)
Net loss/gain in listings this week: -17 (159, 76, 166)
Active single family home listings: 2895 (2924, 2831, 2809)
Active condo listings: 1882 (1887, 1836, 1764)
Homes 4-week running average: $395k ($393k, $394k, $392k)
Condos 4-week running average: $237k ($234k, $232k, $230k)

Luke Leia

When we found out we were expecting twins the spring, we really hoped Luke and Leia would be born today, then Sheldon could proudly proclaim: "Luke, I am your father!" Just kidding... they arrived early and we didn't name them Luke and Leia. 

Anyway, sales continue to increase in Edmonton and this week set another weekly record for sales so far this year. We've talked a lot of stats this week so I'll leave it at that.

Edmonton real estate listings and sales
Edmonton housing prices

Have a great weekend!


Sara MacLennan is the Director of Marketing at Liv Real Estate and a licensed Real Estate Associate. The bulk of Sara’s experience and wealth of expertise lies in on-line technology and marketing both for agents and consumers. Sara is the former National Director for Interactive Marketing for Coldwell Banker Canada where she was responsible for an extensive training program traveling to offices across the country training agents and brokers on marketing and technology. Find Sara on Twitter @edmontonblogger.

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26 Responses to “Edmonton Real Estate Market Weekly Update – Star Wars Day”

  1. RickNo Gravatar 04. May, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    YUMMY!!! Looking good!!!!

  2. ChuckNo Gravatar 04. May, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Congrats to the Mom and Dad, even without the light sabers. Good info as always, market warming up.

  3. Finding my wayNo Gravatar 04. May, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    A busy spring……? I think not. This is a fools rushing in scenario. New mortgage rules to come later this year. Housing prices still relatively flat for the past three years. Many price drops in the Sherwood Park areaand across Edmonton Greater. Hardly a sellers market. As the stranglehold begin to choke off the CMHS and tighter regulations by the OFSI, lending will slow to a crawl as the banks will have to take on the risk. Remember, this spring is the result of the 3 % 5yr closed rate.Otherwise where would sales be .

    • A commong guyNo Gravatar 04. May, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

      Although there was much talk about immediate rate hikes it appears it’s not coming as soon as many thought it would come. In fact in the next week or so you’ll see another rate decrease (for fixed rates) in major banks.
      So if you are hoping for the market (at least in Edmonton) to crash I suspect you might be disappointed.

      • SpudNo Gravatar 06. May, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

        I agree on the rate cut comment. Australia has just cut its official rates by 0.5%. They are very similar economy to Canada – Strong rated banks and a heavy reliance on resources.

        • EdNo Gravatar 07. May, 2012 at 1:23 am #

          The banks passed on 0.35% of that cut, and kept the rest. They are nervous about their profits, with good reason. House prices in Sydney and other cities fell by 5% in the last year…and that is why I am thinking about buying a house in Edmonton.

          • SpudNo Gravatar 08. May, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

            Correct. The banking situation in Australia has become very interesting. They are dictating monetary policy rather than the central bank by choosing to change their own rates out of sync with the central bank or not passing on all of the rate cuts. Best to buy bank shares so atleast you don’t feel so nad when they screw you like that!

    • Karl HungusNo Gravatar 05. May, 2012 at 12:31 am #

      Not a sellers market yet.. but close. It will be a busy spring, it already is. But go ahead and sit on the sidelines. You can come up with all the reasons you want for why real estate will go down in edmonton, but the fact remains. Prices have gone down in 3 of the last 4 years and thats very rare for Edmonton. Compared with the rest of Canada (even Calgary), prices are very affordable. Migration is up, unemployment is down. GDP for Alberta is high.

  4. HalNo Gravatar 05. May, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    I’ve been hearing about how this market is going to “take off!” for the past 3 years now. Not saying it ain’t gonna happen, but I’ll see it when I believe it.

    It’s hard to buy when I’m likely going to move in the next 5 years…And I’m renting a place for a fraction of the cost of owning it.

    • Sheldon JohnstonNo Gravatar 05. May, 2012 at 9:01 am #

      I hear it from every seller I meet with and have met with for the last 3 years. To me it seems like you are making the right decision for yourself.

  5. TarazNo Gravatar 05. May, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    As a general rule, it’s not a good idea to buy unless you’ll be staying somewhere for at least 5 years (preferably 10+). The transaction costs are just too high. Also, you can get trapped in an upside down house that hurts your career because you have to turn away better job opportunities. Also, the stock market generally gives a better return over the long run without the risks of debt (as long as you’re not using leverage). You can easily sell 10k worth of stock in seconds but you can’t sell 10k worth of your house in an emergency. I’ve had relationships not work out because both of us had underwater houses and neither of us was willing to sell at a loss. I definitely wouldn’t buy a house if you’re single (unless you plan to remain that way permanently).

  6. CMDNo Gravatar 05. May, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Making money in real estate requires patience. It increases in value over time with relatively minimal risk exposure. Stocks, while being more liquid, are subject to greater fluctuations in price. IMO, its good to invest in both.

  7. FranzNo Gravatar 05. May, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Well, the Calgary market sure seems to be heating up. Multiple offers are seen very often and many houses are selling for more than list price.

    Days On Market before the property is sold, at least for desireable locations, is very low, in the single digits.

    Not sure what the Edmonton market is like, but Calgary is hot right now.

  8. IntergrityNo Gravatar 06. May, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Folks, Why does everyone assume that economic activity directly corresponds to the housing market? These prices where not built on economy booms or growth…. they have been built upon debt!

    With the increases to interest rates, and the changes to the CMHC just on our horizon how can anyone believe that the CANADIAN housing market has anywhere to go but down ?

    I am not on the other hand trying to predict a crash…. If you need to buy a home to live in, and can afford a good down payment 20% + I am not trying to say this is a stupid move either.

    However if it where me personally I would just rent. Kind of like investing in commodities 1 1/2 years ago….. Why Invest at the top ?

    • rrsNo Gravatar 07. May, 2012 at 7:09 am #

      You are asking too much commons sense.
      Most buyers do not know how much house would cost after paying complete mortgage.

      • GMNo Gravatar 07. May, 2012 at 11:23 am #

        Let’s say I’m one of these “suckers” and buy a $400,000 house in Edmonton.
        Using a 25% down payment I’ll end up paying around $150,000 in interest over 25 years at today’s rate of 3.5%.

        Now let’s assume inflation will average 3% over those 25 years. I have a feeling they’ll be higher than that at some point, but for this discussion we’ll leave it at 3%.

        At the end of 25 years the house will be worth $837,511 if it merely goes up with inflation.
        I will have paid $550,000 for the house including interest payments.

        Thus, I am ahead by $287,000 and I own my house free and clear.

        Compare this with renting, where the rent will also go up with inflation.

        Now before you jump up and down screaming “But the interest rates will not be this low for 25 years!!!” let me tell you a little secret…

        If interest rates go up it also means inflation is up. That is why interest rates increase. So if inflation is up the value of your house is also going to rise more along with inflation.

        So in my opinion, buying a house is a pretty good idea.

        • StevenNo Gravatar 07. May, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

          Rent versus Buy has been beaten to death and I’ll just try to get this in before Sheldon or Sara reprimands us:

          I think that buying a house is generally a good idea if your looking at staying in one place for awhile. I even think the Edmonton market well do well in the mid to long term. Maybe a little flat in the short term.

          But over simplifying the issue misses a lot of points:
          Where would you put the 150k otherwise? How much is your rent? Maintenance? Property taxes? Economy? There countless places where people with your opinion were crushed. Other places people with your opinion are millionaires.

          Best tool I’ve seen: link to nytimes.com

          • GMNo Gravatar 08. May, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

            Thanks for the calculator link.

            Be sure to include utilities in your rent payment, as it is not included on the rent side.

          • GMNo Gravatar 08. May, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

            Also, this calculator is for the US, and thus it takes into account that the owner has to pay capital gains tax when selling the house.

            Profits on the sale of a principal residence in Canada are tax free.

        • HowieNo Gravatar 07. May, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

          CPI has averaged ~2.8% in the last 30 years, i.e. $229 buys you what $100 did in 1982 ($100*(1.028)^30 = $229)
          link to inflationdata.com
          We’re now shifting to a demographically lower growth & inflation period. The challenge over the next 25 years will be to keep average CPI over 1%. Edmonton home prices will continue to track inflation over the long-term, the issue for now is they still have to work off the overshoot from last decade.

        • EdNo Gravatar 08. May, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

          UK house prices have been falling continuously for the last few years, yet they have had significant inflation (around 3.5% at the moment). Similarly for Ireland (2.2% inflation now) and Australia (past year only).

          • GMNo Gravatar 09. May, 2012 at 1:09 am #

            You might want to check how the respective governments calculate inflation. For example, the US excludes many items in its inflation calculations like food and energy. Not sure if housing is excluded but I wouldn’t be surprised.

  9. birdladyNo Gravatar 07. May, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    So one more comment with respect to renting vs. buying. If all I could afford to buy was an apartment condo made out of wood, I would rent. If I could afford to buy a concrete apartment, I would think about it if it fit my llifestyle, but in the end I would prefer to have a house or at the very least a duplex townhouse. In my opinion, apartment condos appreciate so very little and there is such a huge inventory of them, not a good resale investment.

    • wsnNo Gravatar 08. May, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

      “Apartment condos appreciate so very little” … yes in the past 5 years, because it’s a bear-neutral market. But not true for long term.

      Lower end properties tend to do well in a true bull’s market, because the influx of workers have to start from the low end. When there is a cool down, they suffer the most.

    • BOOM MagazineNo Gravatar 08. May, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      Actually, apartment condos may not be as bad of a resale investment as you think.

      Even though there may be a huge inventory of apartment condos, demand for them is rising. As long as the demand is outstripping the supply, prices will increase.

      There are many reasons why apartment condos are increasing in demand right now. One of them is because of baby boomers. As baby boomers are at retirement age now, the latest trend includes baby boomers downsizing from their single-family houses and making the move to apartment condos (which provide convenience and practicality).

  10. tarazNo Gravatar 09. May, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    The Americans have something similar to it capital gains exemption if you buy a larger property within a set period of time. Also, mortgage interest is tax deductible in the states (unlike here) on your principal residence. I doubt the rent vs. buy calculator is that different here. Also, don’t forget to count your condo fees if you’re the owner.