We saw an impressive surge in sales in the Greater Edmonton Area in December compared to a year previous, with a staggering 23.5% increase. New listings also experienced a remarkable 24% increase, giving buyers a wider range of choices to explore. Even with the jump in new listings, end-of-month inventory dropped 8% year-over-year, which remained well below the historical norm.
With 3.76 months of inventory, we find ourselves just under the 4-month threshold for a balanced market. In other words, it's still a seller's market, providing those looking to sell their homes with an advantageous position.
Across the board, benchmark prices have seen a positive upward trend. Single-family homes experienced a steady 3.5% increase in benchmark prices, while townhouses showcased an impressive 6.5% climb. After years of declines, Apartment-style condo prices seem to be turning around with a 5.2% increase in benchmark prices from last December. While apartment condo prices have generally been on an upward trend in 2023, it should be noted that they are still well below the most recent peak price in 2015.
Now, let's analyze the factors that could potentially impact the market. The Bank of Canada has held rates steady for the last three rounds of decisions, and many economists expect rates will start to decline as early as this spring. When rates go up, we often see a sudden, small surge in sales, and buyers try to take advantage of "rate holds" (when you get pre-qualified for a mortgage, lenders will often guarantee or hold a rate for a certain period of time). On the other hand, when rates drop, prospective buyers might hold off, hoping for even lower rates in the future. However, demand has remained high in Alberta due to record-breaking net migration into the province, which has kept prices from dropping even while interest rates have risen quickly. So, the spring market in 2024 in Alberta could be interesting.
On January 17, the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton (RAE) will host its annual housing forecast event. It's going to be a gathering of some of the brightest minds in the industry, including economists from CREA, the Government of Alberta, and the chair of RAE. Be sure to keep an eye on our blog, where I'll provide a comprehensive summary of the event, including my thoughts on the forecasts for 2024.
The Greater Edmonton real estate market in December 2023 showcased an impressive surge in sales, increased listings, and a market that still favours sellers. With benchmark prices on the rise and exciting events on the horizon, there's a sense of opportunity in the air. So, let's embrace the knowledge and insights that guide us, and remember always to Love Where You Liv.