Sellers Market Grabs Hold in Edmonton

MarketOmeter
Market-o-meter

I was looking at the market stats today, and I noticed things seem to have slowed down a bit. We're almost half way through the month and sales of single family homes and condos are both less than half of the totals we reached for last month; we typically see increasing sales month over month until May or June each year.

So what's going on? It could be that I'm just looking at the stats too early, and can't make an accurate judgement on the month as a whole yet. The weekly sales are certainly ahead of last year, but as we saw on Friday the average price of single family homes declined. 

Absorption Rate

I thought I'd take a look at absorption rates, and see how things are going in different price ranges. Overall, the absorption rate sites at 2.71, meaning there is less than three month's supply of listings in Edmonton (a.k.a. a seller's market). I did find some interesting nuggets, especially when I compared the numbers to what I found last time I checked absorption rates, in January. 

Screenshot 2014 04 14 11 16 01
Edmonton Real Estate Absorption Rates April 2014

Single Family Homes

First off, we are definitely in a seller's market for single family homes under $500,000, especially homes under $450,000 where we have less than 2 months supply of inventory. When we compare the current market with the snapshot I took in January (at the end of this post) there are some interesting differences. The biggest increases in active listings were under $300k and between $500k-$600k, while the biggest increase in sales was in the $350k-$400k range.

The biggest change in absorption rates were at the ends of the price ranges - both the high and low ends of the market saw large increases in the absorption rates, especially in the $600k-$750k range. We've noticed an increase in "move up" buyers at our brokerage and these stats support the theory that more people are selling homes in the starter price ranges and buying in the higher price ranges.

Condos

It looks like there could be a few too many mid-range condos out there, we've had a big jump in listings of condos between $200k-$250k since January. While sales are fairly strong in this price range, the absorption rate is higher than less expensive and more expensive condos. We saw large increases in the absorption rates of condos over $300k, with 3 months supply of condos between $300-$350k (a price range that has been a tougher sell in recent years). These stats support the theory that buyers priced out of the single family home market are looking to condos.

Even in the time I took to write this article, 27 single family home sales were reported in the MLS® database, making the sales projection for the month that much rosier. As always, we'll stay on top of it and let you know about anything that looks out of the ordinary. 

AbsorptionJan2014
Absorption Rates January 2014

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About 

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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24 Responses to “Sellers Market Grabs Hold in Edmonton”

  1. bubuNo Gravatar 14. Apr, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    so only 20% buy houses over $500k but the listing over $500k are over 42%… then expectations should be lowered or CMHC should give 20% free to the buyers to meet the sellers expectations :)

    Considering you can get a mortgage up to 5 times the income it looks like not too many families are making $100k and buy real estate in Edmonton these days….And I was just thinking to get a license for a taxi driver to buy $0.5M house … my bad… I think I need class 3 now, because class 4 doesn’t cut it anymore :)

  2. GMNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Why do I get the feeling certain people commenting on this blog are logging in with different names in order to make it look like it isn’t the same person posting over and over again their negative crap?

  3. GMNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    I don’t get it… if this is a seller’s market shouldn’t average prices be going up?

  4. DougNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    GM,

    Prices are up from last year. Check out the updates on the blog versus at the same time last year. Prices are higher.

    • GMNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 11:20 am #

      I am well aware that prices are up from last year.

      But here’s the thing…
      It is spring, the time when prices rise.
      We have been told that we are now in a “seller’s market”. A seller’s market to me means that prices rise, not fall.
      Those two factors should lead to higher prices, not falling prices, as can be clearly seen on the latest chart of average house prices in Edmonton over the last couple of weeks.

      Something isn’t right.

      • wsnNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

        GM, know the difference between “price going up/down” vs. “average price going up/down”.

        You could have every house going up by 5% and the average price going down 5% at the same time.

        • GMNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

          “You could have every house going up by 5% and the average price going down 5% at the same time.”

          Ummm… did you really just say that?

          I don’t think you meant EVERY house going up. It is mathematically impossible if every property went up 5% and the average goes down.

          • wsnNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

            Then you don’t know what is “average price” as reported. It’s not the average price of the quarter million properties in the city. It’s the average of those just transacted.

            Some grade two Math:

            Families A, B, C each bought a house at 100k, 200k, and 300k last year. The average price as reported is 200k, obviously.

            This year, every house went up 10%. As a result, their houses are worth 110k, 220k, 330k respectively.

            A and B chose to sell their house but C chose to stay put. The new average price becomes (110k+220k)/2 = 165k. The average price has dropped 8.75%.

          • wsnNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

            Just to correct my calculation above, the last statement should say:

            The average price has dropped 17.5%.

          • GMNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

            Then that’s not EVERY house going up, is it.

            You better check your grade 2 math textbook.

          • GMNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

            By EVERY house I assumed you meant EVERY house in the calculation.

            You can twist your calculation any way you want if you want to look like you are smarter than everyone else. Unfortunately the way you speak to others on this board doesn’t help your case.

          • wsnNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

            “By EVERY house I assumed you meant EVERY house in the calculation.”

            Try to learn some grade 2 English.

            When every house in the city goes up (as assumed), every house in calculation goes up too.

            As in my calculation, every house in calculation did go up 10%. A went from 100k to 110k; B went from 200k to 220k.

  5. DougNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    GM,

    Relax, looking at one or two weeks is just a blip, you can’t read any long term trend into it.

  6. DougNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    GM, it’s probably that the top end is weakening. A 12 month supply indicates a big buyer’s market. There are SO few people looking to buy a house over $750K (19 sales last month), but with hundreds of listings, buyer’s can be VERY aggressive is getting a lower price. Falling prices in this area is likely putting pressure on the average house. That makes sense, as the people looking to buy now are thousands of young people who moved here for work who don’t have much money but are sick of renting, hence why under $450K is the sweet spot. The people looking to move up are probably only in the dozens, which explains why there are so many sellers above $750k, and next to no buyer’s.

  7. Karl hungusNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    I can’t believe people still try to extrapolate explanations from one weeks worth of data…

    • gregNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

      totally agree

    • wsnNo Gravatar 16. Apr, 2014 at 8:21 am #

      They have a very short attention span. Blame the TV commercial frequency.

  8. RippedNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    Everybody wants a bungalow and there’s two stories everywhere

    • wsnNo Gravatar 15. Apr, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

      There are two stories everywhere because almost everybody wants a two story.

      • RippedNo Gravatar 16. Apr, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

        LOL… No they don’t.

        • JoJoNo Gravatar 17. Apr, 2014 at 8:32 am #

          2 stories is the best way to maximize the use of a small lot. With price of lots going up so much a lot of people is going with 2 stories to get their lots worth. You can easily get a 2k sqft house on a 26 pocket lot.

  9. AmcNo Gravatar 16. Apr, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    Year over year is the only way to determine a rise or fall of pricing. Interesting how the Edmonton market is getting supercharged with the average price around $420 to $430k. I just picked up a nice vacation home on an island off the west coast and a bargain is $400k for an average home. I find the Edmonton market is loaded with people expecting to buy a house put lipstick on it give it a new hair cut and make 20% in a few months. Most people I talk to are looking to make a few bucks so they can get out. It’s the I don’t want to wait for equity to build concept. My parents waited 10 years or more to have a good equity in their house aside from what they paid down in their mortgage. Realistically theres a ton of work in Alberta for a long time. Most people have a mortgage rate of around 3% but are looking for high returns on something they don’t even own. My estimation is a 5% growth for Edmonton and surrounding area on average year over year for the next 5 years.

    • RippedNo Gravatar 16. Apr, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

      Everybody knows somebody trying to flip a house. Another friend of the family just bought a pile of dung in Sherwood Park for $305K.

      It’s a 50+ year old bungalow with no garage and been a rental for the last 30 years.

      All he plans to do is slap a coat of paint on it and flip it to make a dime.