Okanagan readers always appreciate an update from Edmonton this time of year:
As we turn the page on 2011 it gives us a great opportunity to review the marketplace over the past year and to take a good look at our business plan and strategy for the New Year and the years ahead.
2011 will be remembered as a year of total stability in the marketplace with the starting prices for the year and the ending prices at virtually the same mark. On Wednesday, Chris Mooney, president of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton reported,” It is a relief to report on the stability and health of the local real estate market. With prices and sales varying within a small range, there is a solid base going forward into the 2012 market.”
Mooney also mentioned the European debt crisis and a depressed housing market in the U.S. as major concerns, but emphasized that the energy based economy of Alberta in general and Edmonton in particular keeps our local housing market buoyant. The average price of residential properties sold through the MLS® shrank slightly year-over-year, from $329,019 in 2010 to $325,457 in 2011. The number of sales however were up by 3.8% to a total of 16,893. In December, 827 properties sold which was almost identical to the 829 sold in December 2010.
The oil and gas business continues to forecast some very positive activity for the year ahead. With the price of oil remaining at or near $100 per barrel and with the increased drilling activity, there is some renewed optimism for the job market especially in this sector of the economy. We have a saying in the market “When Fort McMurray has the sniffles then we in Edmonton catch a cold”. With the planned increases in investment in the Oil Sands together within the number of projects that are forecast to come into being with the next couple of years, it would appear we will see an increased demand for the skilled labor market which will increase the net migration back into the Province and the City and with it increased buyer activity for the housing marketplace, both new and resale.
In conclusion, interest rates continue at a very reasonable level and together with our very stable balanced market; we expect to see a modest increase in prices and activity level as the year progresses.
Thanks again for allowing us to bring this review to your attention and may we again thank all of you who recommended us to your clients.
Gordie Ell Team, Edmonton