Last week, RE/MAX released a report on the current state of the Canadian Housing Market and the major changes it has undergone in the last 20 years, which was featured in an Edmonton Journal news article. The report contained information on several major Canadian real estate markets, including Edmonton.
A red-hot economy fuelled unprecedented price appreciation in Edmonton over the past decade, but rising values have had as much to do with new home construction as they have supply and demand. Canada’s second strongest performing market – up 165% since 2000 – has seen close to $19 billion in residential building permits issued during the same period, virtually tripling values reported in the previous decade.
Average price has climbed from $124,203 in 2000 to $328,803 in 2010, peaking in 2007 at $338,636. Prices have since stabilized and regained some of the ground lost during the recession and subsequent fall out. More balanced market conditions have emerged, with buyers gaining a slight advantage.
New condominium construction has led the way in recent years, with an abundance of newer units coming on stream. Condominium now represent close to 28% of total residential housing sales in Edmonton, with an entry-level price point of $234,982 (YTD September 2011). Rental conversions have also occurred at a steady pace, given that affordability is top of mind with many purchasers. Yet, single-family dwellings remain most popular, with year-to-date (January to September) average price hovering at $325,252.
The city’s newer housing stock tends to be found in the peripheral areas, surrounding Edmonton proper. With more than 8,000 properties currently listed for sale, little movement is expected in average price in the months ahead. Although inventory levels are down somewhat from one year ago, supply remains considerably higher than the 5,500 to 6,000 units traditionally on the market at this time of year.
Renovation is on-going in the city, representing approximately just over 5% of building permits issued so far this year. Infill is a relatively uncommon phenomenon. Upscale communities such as Glenora have seen some properties priced at $400,000 to $500,000 torn down to make way for larger, custom-built homes, but, to date, the trend has yet to gain traction.
Edmonton remains one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country, with a 10% increase in population in the last census, bringing the number of residents to 1,034,945 in 2006. Job opportunities remain plentiful in the area, thanks to an unemployment rate that is well under the national average. As economic performances improves, so too will the residential housing outlook.