The latest numbers from the Realtors Association of Edmonton indicate a slight increase in overall housing prices last month compared with December 2009.

Year-end statistics show residential home prices rose by nearly three per cent over the last 12 months. The increase relates to all residential property, including single-family, condominiums and townhomes.

However, when it comes to the figures for single-family detached homes, prices dropped by about 2.5% in December 2010, compared with December 2009. Overall, prices are also down dramatically from the peak in the spring, dropping about nine per cent from June to December.

Real estate experts attribute the volatility to changes to mortgage rules and rates.

"This did a couple of things. It meant our sales curve was pushed forward into the beginning of the year and that had a negative impact on the rest of the year as far as the number of sales," said Larry Westergard, president of the Realtors Association of Edmonton.

The figures come a day after the city began mailing out property assessments to nearly 300,000 homeowners. The city recorded an average nine per cent increase in property value, using statistics from July 2009 to July 2010.