Real estate sales volumes up in 2012
Canmore’s real estate market has seen prices steadily decline since 2008 but there is optimism so far in 2012 because the volume of sales is up over the same period last year.
Realtor Bruce Fletcher with Re/Max Alpine Realty said it is noteworthy the number of sales in Canmore for residential property is up 33 per cent so far this year.
The first five months of 2011 saw 152 sales, which could be projected out to an estimated 366 for the whole year if that continues.
“The biggest, most noteworthy change for 2012 is the volume has picked up over 2011,” Fletcher said. “A 33 per cent increase in volume is substantial.”
That puts 2012 in a better position than last year, which saw 283 sales and was the second lowest year in the past decade. Only 2008 saw less real estate transactions with 238 sales, which is the year that prices peaked.
The average sale price for 2012 is down eight per cent over the same time last year but Fletcher said it is better to consider multi-family and condo markets separately.
So far this year the condo market prices are unchanged from 2011 with the average sale price at $453,130 based on 95 units sold.
At its peak in 2008 multi-family homes in Canmore sold at an average price of $552,450. However at the same time a lot of inventory was being added and Fletcher said that inventory is still out there for sale and is dragging down prices, particularly condo hotel units.
“(The condo market) is correcting to find buyers and will continue to until that part of the market gets healthy,” he said. “The rest of the market for condos is not as bad… clearly there are different things going on.”
Single-family homes were never over built, he added, and have been stable in prices since 2010.
So far this year the average sales price is $761,966, which is down from $834,641 in 2010 and $843,339 in 2011.
Fletcher said, however, with only 48 homes sold in the first six months the data set is not as reliable to predict what the entire year will look like.
From a property tax perspective as of July 1, 2011 last year assessments for commercial and residential were down 4.7 per cent from the same day the year before.
That is a $200 million decrease in assessed values for the community with only $60 million in new growth over the previous year.
Assessor Frank Watson said single-family residential properties stayed the same for the most part.
“The condominiums were the ones that saw the biggest decrease and the decreases in the condo sector was anywhere from 10 to 20 per cent,” Watson said. “The trend over the last couple of years has seen those properties decreasing and the reason for that is there are a lot of those properties on the market.”
Residential condos were an average assessment of $401,000, down 7.8 per cent from the year before.
Condo hotels however, were $176,000 down 16.6 per cent from the year before. That includes buildings like Solara and the Lodges.
“In my opinion there are a couple of reasons,” Watson said. “Banks are no longer financing those types of properties and there was also a large number of those units developed.
“A lot of units came on ready for occupancy in the last several years, which has driven values down.”
Hotel properties were also down in assessed value with a 19.7 per cent decrease.
Watson said an over abundance of hotel rooms and a recession that has affected the travel industry contributed to the decrease.
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