Larry Westergard, President of REALTORS Association of Edmonton, spoke at the 2010 Housing Forecast Seminar. I've concluded some of his topics / stats / thoughts below.
MLS System Market Forecast
Larry Westergard, President (2010)
REALTORS Association of Edmonton
2009 was a recovery year. Prices and sales peaked in May 2007 and slipped back slightly in 2008. We are starting to rebalance. The global recession was upon us, but we are better off in Alberta than in other parts of Canada and the US.
2009’s single family and condo sales were slightly below 2007
As of November 2009 OTHER CITY COMPARISONS (Residential Avg.):
o Greater Vancouver: $600,884
o Victoria: $490,146
o Calgary: $409,388
o Toronto: $383,450
o Edmonton: $335,921
o Ottawa: $291,924
o Saskatoon: $289,710
o Hamilton-Burlington: $284,735
o Durham Region: $273,788
o Kitchener-Waterloo: $271,943
As of December 2009, homes in Edmonton are selling 15 days faster than in 2008.
As of December 2009, inventory is quite low with only 4000 homes listed FOR SALE, as opposed to a 7500 inventory high in April 2009.
As of December 2009, the sales-to-listing ratio is at a 2009 high of 85%.
METRO Edmonton Submarkets 2009 price % change overall
o North West: -4.91%
o North Central: -3.96%
o North East: -6.57%
o Central: -9.43%
o West: -0.40%
o South West: -1.45%
o South East: -4.52%
o St. Albert: -6.05%
o Sherwood Park: -4.15%
o Leduc: -3.39%
o Spruce Grove: -5.29%
o Stony Plain: -9.46%
o Morinville: -7.84%
o Fort Saskatchewan: -4.68%
- Rental vacancies remain high
- Residential rental property vacancy will be higher
- Incentives will be offered for new leases to spur demand
Rural and Recreational Market
- Slow activity expected in rural commercial and farm
- Recreational property and second home sales will be steady
- Acreages with homes will remain strong within the category
Residential Sales Forecast (SFD)
- Balanced and active market for single family homes.
- Market for high-end houses ($400,000 to $600,000) will be soft.
- Resale will have an advantage over new construction as new home sizes and amentities shrink to improve affordability.
Residential Sales Forecast (condos)
- As a percentage of total residential sales, the condo market is not expected to increase
- Condo sales between 400-700 units per month – highest in the summer
- Be wary of comparing inventory to sales figures when it comes to condos
- Buyers will have choice – sales steady
- Prices will vary seasonally – trend up
- Interest rates will remain low in the first half of the year – increases to be 1 to 2%
- Buy property as a HOME, not as an investment