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Century 21 Signature Realty
#207, 2920 Calgary Trail NW, Edmonton, Alberta
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - Edmonton sees 26% spike in luxury-home sales


EDMONTON — While homebuying activity is cooling in Edmonton, luxury-home sales are picking up, says a new national report.

“One area of the market that has outperformed all others is the upper end,” said the Market Trends Report Fall 2010 released Tuesday.

Sales of homes priced more than $700,000 are up 26 per cent over 2009, with 240 upscale properties changing hands as of August, compared to 190 units for the same period last year, it said.

Fifty-five homes in the Edmonton area have sold for more than $1 million.

The urgency in Edmonton’s residential housing market — prompted by tighter lending policies and the threat of higher interest rates earlier in the year — has given way to more stable conditions heading into the fourth quarter of 2010, the report said.

“Positive announcements in the oil and gas sector should spur renewed activity in residential real estate — as evidenced in the first few weeks of September.

“Despite recent hikes, interest rates remain attractive with a five-year closed hovering at four per cent. The outlook for the remainder of the year is stable, with no real fluctuations in either sales or price.”

Year-to-date sales have slipped 14 per cent to 11,773 units, compared to 13,694 during the same period a year earlier, the report said.

The sales-to-listing ratio is now 47 per cent, down from 59 per cent in 2009, but up from 42 per cent in 2008.

Average price is holding steady, up about four cent to $332,789 in 2010, about $12,500, or 3.9 per cent, higher than a year ago when the residential average was $320,289, the report said.

Inventory levels are up marginally over last year, but down from peak levels reached in 2007 and 2008.

“As a result, the housing market has been characterized as balanced, slightly favouring the buyer,” the report said.

First-time buyers in Edmonton remain most active, driving sales of single-family homes between $250,000 and $350,000. Condos represent 34 per cent of residential sales.

An influx of new units recently has pushed up supply, putting downward pressure on condo prices, according to the report. Tighter lending rules, requiring a 20-per-cent down payment, “is proving to be detrimental to investment activity.”

The report, which covered trends and developments in 19 major centres from January to August, found year-to-date sales ahead of 2009 levels in 11 markets.

Prices were up year-over-year in all cities, with five experiencing double-digit gains in 2010: Vancouver, St. John’s, Sudbury, Winnipeg and the Greater Toronto Area.

posted in General at Tue, 05 Oct 2010 19:32:54 -0600

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