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Edmonton-area housing market still strong

EDMONTONEdmonton-region home prices showed a moderate upswing in August compared to a year ago, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Realtors Association of Edmonton.

“Our market continues to exhibit strong fundamentals,” said association president Darrell Cook. “Rental vacancy rates are low at about 1.2 per cent, new home starts are up and weekly take-home pay rates are the highest in Canada.”

The average single-family dwelling sold for $416,494 in August, up 1.5 per cent from July and up 5.4 per cent from August 2012. The median selling price for a single-family dwelling was $380,100, down 1.3 per cent from July but up 2.7 per cent year-over-year.

The condominium average selling price was $244,675, down 0.9 per cent from July and up 3.8 per cent from August 2012. The August median condo selling price was $230,000, up 2.2 per cent from July and up 3.8 per cent from a year earlier.

Residential sales dropped 14.2 per cent from July to 1,490, but compared to August 2012, sales were up 9.9 per cent.

Recent mortgage rate increases would not have a major impact on the market, Cook said.

“Buyers applying for a mortgage now may have to buy a slightly less expensive property than before because their qualification amount may be lower. In the short term, any reduction in the number of buyers will be made up by the potential buyers becoming more motivated to buy before their pre-approval period ends.”

Cook said price escalation also wasn’t a concern for him.

“The upward pressure on housing prices will be moderated by the seasonal decreases as we approach winter,” he said.

The inventory of homes fell to 5,557 in August from 5,834 in July. It took an average of 53 days to sell a home.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/Edmonton+area+housing+market+still+strong/8869442/story.html

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