Condo prices in Edmonton dropped the most, says a CENTURY 21 report

Mario ToneguzziAlberta real estate prices have been soft over the last year, falling in most communities while rising in very few, says a new report released on Wednesday by CENTURY 21 Canada.

The report said condo prices in Edmonton dropped the most, to $231 per square foot, more than 11 per cent below last year. Detached homes remained flat with less than a one per cent drop.

“Prices fell by widely varying amounts across Calgary neighbourhoods. A detached house in southwest Calgary, which had the highest prices in that city, dropped to $355 from $398 per square foot.

“Prices in Lethbridge actually rose nearly four per cent, while prices in Red Deer and St. Albert declined slightly.

“However, looking back historically prices have risen considerably across all communities in the last 20 years – almost quadrupling in Edmonton and doubling in Calgary,” said the report.

The real estate company’s annual survey of the price per square foot of properties gathers and compares sales data from its franchises across Canada from Jan. 1 to June 30 of each year. By looking at the price per square foot at the same time each year, the firm is able to get a good idea of how prices have changed over time for similar properties, it said.

“Clearly, the softness of the Alberta market is due to a slower oil and gas industry. While Edmonton and Calgary house prices aren’t as high as those in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, they are about the same or even higher than prices in those cities’ suburbs and have risen considerably in the last 20 years even with the softness seen over the last 12 months,” said Brian Rushton, executive vice-president of CENTURY 21 Canada.

“Relative to other major markets, both Calgary and Edmonton remain a bargain. It will be interesting to see what the next few years hold.”

CENTURY 21 Canada said that it had commissioned a survey of 1,000 Canadians in several larger cities earlier this year about how close their current living situation is to their ideal.

“The survey found that while 21 per cent of Calgary residents reported their living situation is far from their ideal (one to four on a 10-point scale), only eight per cent of Edmonton residents reported the same.”

Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

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