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Friday, July 16, 2010 - Edmonton Home Sales Repeat 'Strong' Month

May 5, 2010 Bill Mah, edmontonjournal.com

Home sales in April – first month in what is traditionally the busiest quarter in the resale housing market – fell 5.9 per cent from the same month last year.

But then again, in April 2009 mortgage rates were falling, federal renovation incentives beckoned and prices had dropped from boom levels.

Fast forward a year and last month saw three mortgage-rate hikes and the start of stricter lending rules.

There were 1,740 residential sales reported for April, up from 1,571 in March, according to Edmonton Region Multiple Listing Service figures released Tuesday by the Realtors Association of Edmonton (RAE).

That’s down from 1,849 a year earlier.

“The same things the buoyed Alberta housing markets in 2009 are now weighing on demand a bit,” ATB financial economist Dan Sumner said.

“March saw pretty strong activity in Edmonton and a huge jump in prices as people clamoured to get in before rates went up and CMHC changes take effect. But now, longer-term fixed rates have already gone up and it’s looking like variable rates could be headed upwards sooner than previously thought.”

“Buyers who otherwise might have waited until late this year or 2011 to buyer a home may have moved in 2009 to take advantage of low rates, implying lower sales this year,” Sumner said.

But he said Edmonton’s housing market is probably still on solid footing.

“The economy is recovering, employment will likely improve as the year progresses, and let’s keep in mind rates are rising from a really low level.”

RAE president Larry Westergard said he thinks homebuying activity started earlier this year than last year, when it surged in April after a slow start.

“Probably people got started a little bit quicker this year,” Westergard said.

“It could be due to a couple of things like more consumer confidence, or it could have been a little push from the fear of the rising interest rates.”

He said mortgage rates, although recently boosted, are still close to the 10-year average. “I think we will continue to be busy into May because people have increased confidence in the market even though interest rates are a little bit higher than they were last year.”

Meanwhile, resale home prices have recovered from last year’s decreases, but aren’t escalating like they did before the economic downturn, he said.

The average (mean) price of a single-family dwelling was $385,359 in April, down 0.8% from March.

On a yearly basis, it’s up 8.2 per cent from $356,143 in April 2009.

The median, or middle, figure of all single-family sales prices was $370,000 in April, up 9.1 per cent over last year.

For condominiums, the median for April was $253,788, up $1,370 from March. On a yearly basis, the average condo price is up seven per cent year-over-year from $237,141.

The ratio of sales to listings was 44 per cent in April, down from 61 per cent in 2009.

There were3,884 residential listings, up from 3,016 in April 2009.

Average days on market was 40 last month, down from 55 a year earlier.
 

posted in News at Fri, 16 Jul 2010 23:08:53 +0000



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Parkview
Parkview is a residential neighbourhood in west Edmonton, Alberta, Canada overlooking the North Saskatchewan River valley. The neighbourhood is informally split into two smaller neighbourhoods, with the portion east of 142 Street called Valleyview and the portion west of 142 Street called Parkview. There is a small strip shopping centre, Valleyview Shopping Centre, located near the centre of the neighbourhood on the Parkview side of 142 Street.
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