Astonishing Edmonton prices.

Edmonton’s red-hot real estate market rose to record levels in December with average prices for detached homes hitting $341,933 — up 51.9 per cent in 12 months. “It’s been an astonishing year,” Madeline Sarafinchan, outgoing president of the Edmonton Real Estate Board, said Thursday.

ALL CATEGORIES AFFECTED
“Prices in all categories are a lot higher,” she said. “No one anticipated the dramatic rise
although Edmonton real estate has been undervalued for the last few years.” From December to December, average prices rose 52.4 per cent for condos. “Sellers are happy, of course. Their houses may be worth more than their wildest dreams,” Sarafinchan said.

“For buyers, it’s difficult.”
Total sales through the Multiple Listing Service rose in 2006 to $6.6 billion. That’s an average of more than $2.1 million for each of the board’s 3,104 realtors. While earning healthy commissions, they were stressed by serving clients in a tight market, with many homes attracting multiple offers and selling above list prices, Sarafinchan said.

“There’s only one buyer for every sale” — and often many disappointed would-be buyers,
she explained. Sellers also were challenged to make quick decisions, Sarafinchan said. “Some were snowed under by multiple offers arriving mere minutes after the house was listed.”

SPECULATION A FACTOR
Speculation may have fuelled increases early in the year when prices were lower, Sarafinchan said. “But not so much now because it’s difficult to invest in a property for $340,000.” In one year, the Edmonton region — including Spruce Grove, St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, Sherwood Park and Leduc — surged from the 10th-highest to the fifth highest average price in Canada, trailing only Toronto, Fort McMurray, Calgary and Vancouver.

Within Edmonton, December prices for detached homes ranged from $244,162 in the central zone to $468,706 in the southwest. Outside the city, St. Albert homes were the highest, averaging $425,187.

More than 20 homes sold for more than $1 million in 2006, Sarafinchan said. The highest price — $2.5 million was paid in Brander Gardens. During the year, 21,984 homes were sold through the board’s multiple listing service — up from 18,634 in 2005. Another 4,375 Edmonton-area homes — 17 per cent of the total – were sold privately by clients of ComFree, said ComFree president Erin Holowach.

The Edmonton Journal
Fri 05 Jan 2007
Page: E3
Section: Business
Byline: Ron Chalmers
Dateline: EDMONTON
Source: The Edmonton Journal

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Published in: on February 8, 2007 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment