Edmonton condo sales stagnant in May: report

Realtors agree — the Edmonton condominium market is still flat. However, data show a greater percentage of the available single family homes and duplexes are being bought.

'When there's 50, 60, 70 listings on the market and few buyers, there's a lot to eat up,' says agent

The average Edmonton condo sale price in May 2017 was $250,818, down from $258,494 in April. (Sheryl Nadler/CBC)

Realtors agree — the Edmonton condominium market is still flat.

The Realtors Association of Edmonton released a report Thursday comparing housing sales in May 2017 to sales from the last five years.

The report calculated the average condo sale price at $250,818 in May, down from $258,494 in April.

But the real story, according to the report, is the continuing low volume of condo sales.

The report noted that out of 1,277 condo listings in May 2017, there were 449 sold.

Real estate agent Todd Bradley said these numbers indicate a wealth of options for condo buyers to choose from.

"When there's 50, 60, 70 listings on the market and few buyers, there's a lot of product to eat up," Bradley said in an interview Friday.

"If the condo isn't at the right price, the buyer will say, 'Oh well, there's going to be another one next week.' "

Sometimes Bradley said he will advise his clients to sell their house slightly below market value so the property has a better chance of being bought.

Growth is elsewhere in market

Condos do not reflect the "overall health" of the Edmonton housing market, according to James Mabey, chair of the Realtors Association of Edmonton.

He said the growth of Edmonton's real estate market is elsewhere — in single-family homes and duplexes because of the large number of families moving to the Edmonton area.

The data show a greater percentage of the available single family homes and duplexes are being bought.

Trevor Pawlyk, senior planner at the City of Edmonton, said there is no legislation limiting the number of condo buildings being built in the city's core. The real estate market, he said, will adjust itself toward better housing solutions.

Condos are a hard sell, according to real estate agent Camron Rahmanian, because the public believes they have a bad reputation.  

"Everybody hears condo fees or strata fees are terrible, don't get involved, don't buy a condo, you're just throwing your money away ... But it's not true," he said.

"It's true that some of them have not been well maintained, but that's not the same for the majority."

While condo sales have been flat for three years, Rahmanian and Bradley remain optimistic that the market will bounce back soon.