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PRIYA SHARMA
Century 21 Signature Realty
#207, 2920 Calgary Trail NW, Edmonton, Alberta
P: 780-485-2100
F: 780-485-2180
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Thursday, November 4, 2010 - Edmonton-area home sales dip, prices stay stable

 

EDMONTON — Edmonton-area MLS home sales plunged by nearly a third in October compared with a year earlier, but prices are holding steady.

There were 1,077 residential Multiple Listing Service sales for the month, down 29.6 per cent year-over-year, according to figures released Tuesday by the Realtors Association of Edmonton.

Transactions also dropped more than nine per cent from September, when 1,187 homes sold.

It's the fifth consecutive monthly drop in sales from a peak in April of 1,740 transactions.

Despite falling activity, average prices are almost exactly what they were a year ago, said association president Larry Westergard.

"We're back down to where we were last year, which is a little bit unforeseen," Westergard said.

"We thought we'd see a little bit of an increase in price, but it's reflective of the fact that we still have a higher inventory and that's not allowing prices to really climb anywhere because of the higher supply of properties."

The association is revising its yearend price forecast. It had originally predicted home prices would end 2010 up 4.5 to five per cent year-over-year.

"Seeing that we have two months left, we're going to be where we sit now. November and December are traditionally slower real estate months, so we're not going to see any type of tremendous bump in the market."

Westergard doesn't think prices will fall significantly either.

"We're going to see steady as she goes."

The residential average price in October was $317,422, down about three per cent from the same month in 2009.

Single-family dwellings sold on average for $365,691, down only 0.39 per cent year-over-year. On a median basis, the single-home price for October fell by 1.43 per cent year-over-year to $345,000.

Condo average prices are also on par from a year ago dropping 0.91 per cent to $235,893 in October.

Total residential inventory was 7,689 properties at the end of October, compared with 8,602 in September as listings slowed.

"We've seen a trend of cooling activity -- year-over-year declines in sales that really got underway in the second quarter and have continued through the third quarter and now into the fourth quarter," said Richard Goatcher, senior Edmonton market analyst for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

A turnaround in buying activity isn't expected until spring, when pent-up demand re-emerges and the job market and other economic indicators strengthen, he said.

Home prices may not be dropping as much as could be expected because of the type of buyers now in the market, Goatcher said.

"The sale price in some respects is indicative of the reduced activity by entry-level buyers. The sales mix has shifted, where compared to this time last year, there's more sales in the higher-price ranges, which is helping to hold that average price steady."

Tighter mortgage-qualification rules are deterring some entry-level buyers who now need to save more for a down payment, he said.

posted in General at Thu, 04 Nov 2010 13:59:04 -0600



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