Single family housing sales start year strong

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January’s housing market kicked the year off strong in terms of single family housing sales, according to the latest report released by the Realtors Association of Edmonton.

The month had 45 single family sales, almost double the the 24 housing sales in January 2017. Sales were on par with end-of-year 2017, however, with 45 single family homes selling in December.

Single family housing prices inched upwards to $495,637, an increase of 5.62 per cent compared to December 2017 and an increase of 6.86 per cent compared to last January.

Darcy Torhjelm, chair of the Realtors Association of Edmonton, said the housing market has remained relatively stable in spite of recent mortgage changes.

“There has been activity in January, it’s maybe not as slow as some people thought it might be because of the mortgage rules … there was still some more optimism with buyers,” he said.

Torhjelm added that he would like to see fewer listings on the market.

The new mortgage rules have people who can afford a 20 per cent down payment go through a ‘stress test’. The test will determine whether buyers can afford potential interest rate increases.

Due to the changes, December was a strong month for sales as people tried to buy a new home before the rules came into effect in January.

While single family sales in the new year were surprisingly strong, condominium sales in St. Albert dropped slightly. Only 13 condos sold in January 2018, down from 15 condo sales in December 2017 and 18 condo sales in January last year.

The average price of condos in St. Albert, on the other hand, has been on the rise. In January the average price increased to $307,547, up by 12.33 per cent from January 2017.

Edmonton, in comparison, had an increase in all residential housing types for January 2018. Edmonton had 673 sales, which includes single family and multi-family homes, for a year-over-year increase of 12.17 per cent.

Month over month tells a slightly different story. According to the latest report, sales in Edmonton dropped by 3.99 per cent from December 2017.

The average amount of days single family homes stay on the market in St. Albert is 67. Condos typically stay on the market for 90 days and duplexes/row house for 72 days.

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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.