The real estate market in the Greater Edmonton Area is heating up, market stats are up across the board compared to last year, except for listings and inventory. Increased demand an lower supply has lead to increasing prices and frustrated buyers.
There were 1189* residential sales in the Greater Edmonton Area in February, up 11.85% from last February. The sales to new listings ratio is about 10% higher than the norm for this time of year, at 61%.
The average price of residential real estate is on the rise in the Edmonton Area. In February, the average residential sale price was $359,973, up 5% from last year, and the highest overall average on record.** The median sale price was $338,250, up 3.5% from last year.
The inventory of homes on the market remains well below recent years and sits at 3,906, down -6.6% from last year. The low inventory is due to both strong sales, and fewer new listings. More on that in a moment.
There were 1955 new listings in February in the Greater Edmonton Area, down 2% from last year. With the sales and prices up significantly from last year, I'm not sure what is holding potential sellers back from listing their properties. Granted, not everyone pays as close attention to the market as the readers of this blog, here is what some Liv Real Estate Associates said to explain low the listing activity:
"I have some clients interested in listing but the waiting for the snow to disappear as they want to show off their backyards. From my own experience, I was planning to sell one of my investment properties, but decided to rent because of tight rental demand. Also, people are keeping close eye on the Calgary real estate market and are hanging on in hopes that we might see similar increase in demand and pricing. This year will definitely be interesting." Bill Bhamra.
"My clients are either renting out or waiting for the market to go up more. They figure even if prices go up and the home they want to buy is more expensive, their own home will go up in value and it will balance out. I also have clients renting out their properties because they have good tenants and income, and are building equity." Cynthia Leal Chiang
"I have a few clients waiting to list. One reason is nerves about being able to find something once they sell but don't want to have to go in with an condition subject to sale as they know it will hurt chances on the purchase. Catch 22. Others know they may face the possibility of a quick possession and don't want to move in the winter. Essentially I think that it hasn't quite hit home owners yet that now IS a good time to sell."Beverley Hasinoff.
So, it would seem there are lots of reasons not to list your home now, even when the market appears to be screaming "now is the time!" Based on previous years, the listing activity should seriously pick up this month, we'll have to wait and see. It appears another external factor has been thrust upon our market with some recent news from CMHC. I'll talk about that in a separate post though as this has gone on way to long.
*We adjust the residential sales total for the current month to account for unreported sales. Every month 6% of sales on average are not reported to the Association in time for the monthly report. The following month the numbers are updated to reflect the total sales during the previous month. That means the current month always looks worse compared to previous months. For example, in January they reported 820 sales when there were actually 902, about 10% off.
**The overall average residential sale price record was set in July, 2007 $354k. However, the boundaries included in the stats in 2007 were different, as they included all listings from the REALTORS Association of Edmonton. As of last year, the boundaries were changed to only include sales in the Edmonton CMA as identified by CMHC which includes the City of Edmonton and the Counties of Leduc, Parkland, Strathcona, and Sturgeon and the municipalities therein. Since the stats were only worked backwards for 5 years under the boundaries, this is not an accurate comparison, but it's interesting none the less.