Real-estate market prepares for cooler winter

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Sales of condos and single family dwellings slumped slightly in September, says a third quarter report released by the Realtors Association of Edmonton.

“The market hasn’t picked up quite as we expected it to. We thought by this point that we would be seeing greater consumer confidence, and that we’d be seeing more people jump into the market and that has been sluggish,” said James Mabey, chair of the Realtors Association of Edmonton and a realtor with Century 21 Masters in St. Albert.

The slowing in sales is partially caused by a cooling real-estate market, which isn’t uncommon for this time of year.

Mabey adds that entry-level homes, such as condominiums, row house, townhouse and apartments, have been moving quicker in Edmonton. Since there isn’t a lot of entry-level housing available in the city, that growth hasn’t been felt in St. Albert.

The third quarter is a stark contrast to the first quarter in St. Albert, which saw 131 homes sold, compared to 124 homes sold in the first quarter of 2016.

Mabey says St. Albert saw a hot real estate market in the first quarter due to the amount of people who decided to get off the fence and purchase a home.

“We saw a lot of pent-up demand,” he says. “People who had been waiting around to make a purchase decision at the end of last year, believing that the prices would soften up, I think eventually were just in a position where they said, ‘you know what? I don’t think those prices are going to change so let’s jump into the market.’”

The real-estate market cooled in the second and third quarter with fewer homes being sold year-over-year.

So far this year 610 single family dwellings have sold, compared to 656 single family dwellings sold in the first three quarters of last year and 685 single family dwellings sold in the first three quarters of 2015.

175 condos have sold so far this year, down from 191 condos sold in the first three quarters of 2016 and 186 condos sold in the first three quarters of 2015.

Prices have also dropped slightly for single family dwellings in St. Albert. The average price for single family dwellings was $460,481, down slightly from $462,749 this time last year.

The average price for condos in St. Albert saw a jump in September compared to last September, selling at an average price point of $336,645. The average price for condos this time last year was $266,267.

All residential prices in the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area showed month-over-month consistency comparable to September 2016. The average price across all residential categories in September was $370,252, a decrease of 0.85 per cent from August and a decrease of 1.06 per cent from September 2016.

While there isn’t as much entry-level housing available in St. Albert, Mabey says taking a look at the city’s building permits is a good way to see what will be coming into the market.

In September the city issued a building permit for a second apartment complex in Botanica. The complex will have 176 units available for purchase, adding more to the market.

When it comes to looking into the future, Mabey says he expects a slower fourth quarter that’s common with the winter months.

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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.