November 22, 2011: In October the streets are overrun with ghoulish figures and scary characters but homeowners had no reason to fear the local housing market. Average prices for all types of residential property softened in October as part of the seasonal trend. In October the average* price of a single family detached home dipped lower than the two previous years and the previous month. The average price of a condo also dropped below the two previous same-month levels and was $15,500 below the price at the start of 2011. Over-all, the average residential price dropped to the lowest point since March but was $2,500 above the same figure in 2010.
◦SFD average price $362,897 (down 3.4% m/m), median price $346,500
◦Condo average price $223,892 (down 4.4% m/m), median price $210,500
◦Duplex/row house average price $309,474 (up 4.7% m/m) , median price $308,000
◦All-residential average price $319,985 (down 3.9% m/m), median price $312,500
The balanced market continues as evidenced by the same number of residential sales in October 2011 and October 2010. Although there are initial signs of labour shortages in the service sector, we are optimistic about real estate performance. As job openings increase in Alberta, people will again start to move here and drive real estate sales up.
The sales-to-listing ratio was up 2% to 54% in October and the days-on-market figure rose from 56 in September to 59 in October. Residential listings were down in October compared to last year and as a result the available inventory dropped from 8,062 in September to 7,296 at the end of October. There were 1,170 residential sales in October compared to 1,169 in October 2010. Listings dropped from 2,218 in October 2010 to 2,166 this year.
My colleagues and I are out in the marketplace every day, talking to buyers and sellers. We see some reluctance from clients who have their eye on other markets but those who focus on the local figures see the strength, stability and opportunity that support a decision to invest in real estate.