Edmonton housing market showing 'strong growth'

The Edmonton housing market continues to show strong growth despite uncertainty in the province’s energy sector.

Bungalows more expensive this year compared to 2014, says Royal LePage

“"Buyers who are capable should be out there and buying,” says realtor Abe Hering. (CBC)

The Edmonton housing market continues to show strong growth despite uncertainty in the province's energy sector.

A survey released Wednesday by Royal LePage showed home prices increased in three categories, with bungalows leading the way with an almost seven per cent gain from last year.

  • Detached bungalows: average price increased 6.8 per cent to $364,906
  • Two-storey homes rose 5.5 per cent to an average price of $391,378
  • Standard condominiums gained 3.1 per cent to $231,093

"We have a lot of momentum in the housing market," said John Rose, chief economist with the City of Edmonton.

Market sustains momentum

"You're going to continue to see particularly at the lower end, condos, town houses, you'll see sustained demand in spite of the fact we might see an uptake in unemployment in the region."

Rose attributed some of the momentum to people who have moved to the city, opting to rent and have now decided to buy a home. 

Despite the strong numbers from the Royal LePage survey realtors who spoke to CBC said they are starting to see a slowdown in the housing market.

"Last year at this time, the buyer was not worried about not having a job tomorrow," said Abe Hering, a 35-year veteran realtor.

Homes slower to sell

"He knew he was going to have a job tomorrow and so he had a lot of confidence."

Hering said a home he's currently trying to sell in the city's west end would normally have sold in four weeks Instead, he said, it's been sitting on the market for two months.

The slowdown that Hering is seeing hasn't yet affected prices, said Rose.

He said prices of homes in Edmonton will remain steady unless oil stays below $60 a barrel to the end of the year.

The housing market in Calgary is a slightly different picture. Numbers released in March showed activity was down by 30 per cent compared to March 2014. There were nearly twice as many homes on the market in Calgary as there were a year ago.

In March, Edmonton realtors credited the city's stable housing market to the fact that Edmonton's market didn`t overheat in the past few years.

Nationally, the average price of a home in Canada rose between 3.8 per cent and 6.6 per cent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2015.


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