The cost to buy a new home in Edmonton is higher than ever, say industry officials.

The Realtors Association of Edmonton is reporting the average sales price for a home in Edmonton has risen to $432,000 – $6,000 more than the previous high set in May 2007.

To compare, the average family home was selling for $386,000 in 2011.

Association president Greg Steele says the inflated price tags aren’t slowing the city’s intense real estate market, however. House sales are up nearly six per cent this year already.

“April is the beginning of a busy time in the real estate market when those wanting to buy and those wishing to sell real estate are most active throughout the year,” he said. “We expect those sales to increase month to month as we approach the second quarter.”

Competitive market

Steele said first time home buyers are dealing with a highly competitive market with low availability.

“First time buyers are finding their options for lower-priced, single-family property are pretty limited and we are seeing increased competition when those homes come on the market.”

Bidding wars – particularly over “lower-price homes” and those in desirable neighbourhoods in Edmonton’s southwest and west – are becoming an increasingly common occurrence.

According to the Realtors Association of Edmonton, the average family home is remaining on the market for 44 days, down from 51 in March of last year.

Condo sales are also on rise, increasing by 11 per cent in the first three months of 2014 a number which Steele calls “staggering” especially since the overall number of available condominiums has actually gone down.

“This year over year increase is an indicator of the high demand for housing in this market … prices will follow the demand,” said Steele.

Ike Glick

Ike Glick's home sold within one week of going on the market. He and his wife will be downsizing to a condo. (CBC)

The rapidly-moving market does have some perks if you are hoping to sell in a hurry, however.

Ike Glick recently put his home on the market and was pleasantly surprised to find a buyer within a week.

“We were pleased to sell it but … [given the current market] we figure probably sold it sooner than we should have.”

Despite the rising costs and competition, realtors say this is not merely a bubble market – but is instead indicate of a genuine real estate boom.

The inventory of available homes in Edmonton is currently sitting at 6.9 per cent.