The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton released their monthly report on the housing market in the Greater Edmonton Area today with the headline "Local housing sales and inventory up in stable market."
I very rarely do this, but I have to disagree with our Association's take on the housing market today. In their release (and their headline), they make a lot of comparisons between January and the month previous, which is pretty much irrelevant; seasonal changes basically dictate that sales and inventory are higher in January than in December. What really matters is the year over year changes, so, as always I'll focus on comparing this January, to Januarys past, to gage the real market in Edmonton. As you can see in our market snapshot, sales and inventory are both down compared to last year:
*On a side note, Aspen Gardens and Rutherford made our Top 10 list for the first time for most visited neighbourhoods on EdmontonRealEstate.pro, which is seeing a 30% increase in traffic over last year.
Sales are slightly down from last January, and as you'll see in my analysis below, I believe this is not do to lower demand, but lower inventory. Buyers are generally not willing to settle for less at this time of year, and will wait until a home comes on the market that is right for them. There were 885 sales through the MLS system in the Greater Edmonton area in January, down 3.3% from last year.
The average residential sale price was $347,847 in January, up 5.9% from last year. The median sale price was $329,500, up 4.6% from last year. While 4 homes over $1 million have already sold this year, half the sales of single family homes were under $385,000.
And now we get to the real story... look at the inventory! We are starting the year off with the lowest inventory we've seen in at least 5 years. At the end of January there were 3,537 listings for buyers to choose from, 5.5% less than last year (when we were also commenting on the low inventory). With similar conditions last year we saw the average price rise 8% between January and March. If that happens this year we will hit a new record average price (actually prices would only have to rise 2% to meet the previous peak of approximately $355k).
As promised I took a closer look at what's happening in different price ranges. It is a seller's market if you are selling a single family home for less that $450,000, or a condo under $150,000 with less than 3 months of inventory available. There is a balanced market for houses between $450,000-$500,000 and condos between $150,00-$300,000.
Lastly, there were 1842 new listings in January, which is pretty typical for this time over year.
We know our readers are well educated on the real estate market in Edmonton. I'll let you decide who is right - should we compare month to month, or year to year? Are sales and inventory up or down?