Condo sales slump while single family sales go up

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Condo sales are slowing down according to the latest report released by the Realtors Association of Edmonton.

The sales have slumped by 10 per cent year over year since 2015 in terms of sales volume.

James Mabey, chairman of the Realtors Association of Edmonton and realtor with Realty Executives Masters, says increasing interest rates and stiffening mortgage regulations could be to blame.

“What we have seen is some difficultly qualifying for first time buyers, and in particular for singles, who don’t have a double-income household to qualify,” he says.

Mabey adds that the decline in condo sales isn’t solely faced by St. Albert, but is being felt across Edmonton and the greater Edmonton area.

Across the central metropolitan area, however, there was an increase in semi-attached housing sales by almost 20 per cent year over year.

Since St. Albert doesn’t have a lot of semi-detached dwellings, such as duplexes and rowhouses, the growth wasn’t felt in the city.

“We see some of it that has been built over the last couple of years in Riverside, some of it in North Ridge, but we don’t have a lot of it. We historically never had a huge amount of that product, and affordability is always something that St. Albert I think has struggled with.”

He says buyers who would normally put their sights on condominiums have instead been looking at semi-detached dwellings as an option.

“We do have a higher than average amount of listings in the market at the moment,” he says.

However, there was an increase in single family dwelling sales. In August there were 75 sales, up from 71 sales this time last year.

Prices dropped slightly, with the average home selling for $459,875 compared to $478,792 this time last year.

Both this August and last August are lower than the 2015 average sale price, when single family dwellings sold for an average of $500,242.

So far this year 546 single family dwellings have been sold, down from 585 sold last year from January to August.

While there are no numbers specific to St. Albert in the report, Mabey says St. Albert is fairly similar to Edmonton in how long homes generally stay on the market.

So far in 2017, single family dwellings typically stay on the market for 46 days, condos typically stay on the market for 67 days and duplexes/rowhouses typically stay on the market for 62 days.

There are currently 11 semi-detached homes, such as single family half-duplexes, attached single family, three-plexes or four-plexes, on the market. In comparison there are 294 single family dwellings and 131 condominiums on the market in St. Albert.

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Dayla Lahring

Dayla Lahring joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2017. She writes about business, health, general news and features. She also contributes photographs.