Edmonton poised for rising homes prices amid high demand

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Edmonton capped off a strong year in the real estate resale market and is poised for more price growth ahead, a new report suggests.

Edmonton poised for rising homes prices amid high demand
© Provided by Edmonton Journal A for sale sign is seen in front of a home in the Westmount neighbourhood of Edmonton, on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. The City of Edmonton is mailing out property assessments, the first during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Ian Kucerak

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Realty firm Royal LePage released its fourth quarter price index results this month, showing the average price in Edmonton jumped five per cent, year over year, to $428,400 to end 2021.

“In 2021, we saw a surge where people wanted to improve their living conditions, a real focus on detached homes and finding more space,” says Phil Soper, president and chief executive officer of Royal LePage Canada.

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Edmonton was no exception with the most in-demand housing segment being single-family detached homes that saw the average price rising almost 12 per cent, compared with 2020, to almost $470,000.

Early indications are the market will remain very strong, he adds.

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“It’s been an unusually busy winter that hasn’t dissuaded people from looking at properties,” he says. “So all indications are we’re going to have another gangbuster for the spring market.”

It’s likely prices will see upward pressure even more than last spring due to high demand and low inventory in most parts of the nation, though Edmonton’s market is less tight than most other large metropolitan areas.

“On paper our inventory doesn’t look significantly lower, but if you look more closely, you see it’s significantly lower for single-family homes and pretty much anything that’s not a condo,” says Don McKay, broker/owner of Royal LePage Prestige Realty in Sherwood Park.

One measure of supply is the sales to new listings ratio, which was 93 per cent at the end of last year for all residential, based on recent Realtors Association of Edmonton data. That’s up from 86 per cent in 2020, and 65 per cent in 2019. Typically, a ratio exceeding 60 per cent is considered a market that favours sellers because more buyers are chasing fewer homes for sale.

Yet broken down by segment, a different picture emerges with the condominium market’s sales to new listings ratio at 65 per cent versus 112 per cent for single-family homes.

“There is a distinct lack of options to show people for single-family homes, and new construction is quite tight right now because of supply issues pushing up costs,” McKay says.

The conditions are pushing more price-conscious buyers seeking single-family detached homes into the townhome market, he adds. As of the end of last year, the sales to new listing ratio for townhomes was about 100 per cent.

McKay says buyers seeking the best value for their dollar can still look to the condominium market. He cites a recent sale he closed for a concrete downtown condominium from about $300,000.

“That’s crazy cheap,” he says, given its river valley view and amenities.

The recent Royal LePage report supports this view, showing the average price of a condominium actually fell two per cent at the end of last year, compared with 2020, to $193,600.

McKay notes, however, the low prices are unlikely to last.

“There are some really good deals out,” he adds. “If you’re going to buy, do it soon because prices are going to get more expensive.”

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