The average price of a home in Edmonton has remained steady, but the sales have dropped six per cent in the face of Alberta's economic downturn.

In its first-quarter market report released Monday, the Realtors Association of Edmonton said there were several significant changes from last year's first quarter.

  • Residential sales down six per cent
  • Condo sales down 12 per cent
  • Eight-day increase in time a residence spends on the market 

The median price of houses has remained virtually the same, while the average price rose a small margin.

Steve Sedgwick, chair of the Realtors Association of Edmonton, noted the numbers were slightly bolstered by the sale of two $3-million homes.

Condos have taken the hardest hit in the housing market with sales dropping 12 per cent despite a 16-per-cent increase of condos on the market. Sales of single-family houses were down five per cent, and duplexes down two per cent. 

Real Estate graphic 2

The residential inventory in Edmonton saw a increase of almost 23 per cent in the last year. (Realtors Association of Edmonto)

Sedgwick said the city is not seeing the bigger drops as other areas in the province.

"While other Alberta housing markets are feeling more pressure from the economic downturn, prices within the Edmonton-metro area haven't realized much of a change," Sedgwick said. ‚Äč

Over 1,300 homes sold in the city in March, nearly 63 per cent more than February. The association said the average days that a home will stay on the market moved from 45 days on the market to 53.

"Every community has a wide selection of properties on the market right now," said Sedgwick. 

"The ones that typically sit on the market a little longer are usually properties that are a little more optimistic or aggressively priced."  

Real Estate Graphic 1

The Realtors Association of Edmonton said that house prices in Edmonton remained virtually unchanged in comparison to this time last year. (Realtors Association of Edmonto)

Sedgwick said that he has spoken to colleagues in other jurisdictions and that the Edmonton housing market is faring better than most in the province.

There was a 23-per-cent increase in residential inventory over March of last year. The last time inventory was at this level was 2009 during the U.S.-subprime mortgage crisis.

Sedgwick said it's difficult to tell how much of an impact the economic slowdown is having on the city. 

"At the end of the day we can't possibly forecast what the different influencing factors for making a decision on a consumer basis to either sell or buy a property," he said.

"[But] it would be naive to say current economic decisions aren't an influencer for everyone making a purchasing decision of any kind."