Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Price Ranges

We've been hearing from the real estate boards and their minions in the media about how sales in the 300-400K range have been strong for the last couple months... so I figured I'd see what I could gather from the stat packs.

In their quarterly reports they include sales by price range, and that's about all I could really find, but it'll do. Then had to figure out how to present it, that was a bit of a puzzler, but I ended up settling on one that I think works.

So without further ado, here it is.

Edmonton Proportion of Sales by Price Range
These are for the month of March each year going back to 2002. If you take a minute to soak it in there are actually quite a few interesting observations that can be made. I'm sure I haven't found them all either, so feel free to offer up your own in the comment section.

Since I was already keying on the 300-400K range to begin with, the first thing that struck me was that sales in that range are actually contracting significantly as compared to last year, as are the ranges above.

Now, this shouldn't be surprising, because as we've been seeing, prices are down year-over-year... but with all the bravado about sales in the 300-400K range I was expecting that it would at least hold while the ranges above them dropped. Instead we can see it itself dropped from 37% to 31%.

It's actually been the sub-300K ranges that make up the majority of sales, and are gaining steam as increasing numbers of listings are falling into their ranks. 200-300K now being the most prominent price range.

Looking at it over the long term, it's interesting to see how the 300K+ ranges made up all of 2% of sales in 2002, and just six years later it made up 63% of sales... but it's now contracted to 48% in the last year.

It's kind of also interesting to see the somewhat natural growth of prices progress through 2005, when suddenly the larger ranges start to explode.

Some may be wondering how if prices had been dropping since 2007, like we've been talking about, how is it that prices apparently kept growing through 2008 when they should have been dropping?

There is a couple reasons for this, the major one being that as of March 2007 the prices were still yet to peak, and as the month-over-month gains were quite substantial at the time, there was still a ways to go. So, while prices had been dropping from the peak, their year-over-year comparison come March 2008 was still largely up year-over-year (interestingly SFH's were down slightly, but condos and the residential average were up a fair bit.

I'll try to remember to do this again when the next quarterly report comes out (they include YTD and that months stats, but not the months in between or the actual quarters for whatever reason), and compare the June's, as June 07 was right around the peak.

It'll be interesting to track this over time. I should do one comparing the progression from quarter to quarter, unfortunately I don't have enough complete data to do that just yet. In any case, there is lots of observations that can be made from that graph, so when you find one I missed, please, add your two cents.