Edmonton home values see biggest drop in Canada in fourth quarter

The value of an Edmonton home has fallen more than any other Canadian city in the last three months of 2016 — though less dim skies are on the horizon.

Calgary will see a greater rebound than Edmonton in 2017, Royal LePage says

Home values slipped in Edmonton and Calgary in the fourth quarter of 2016 while Canada as a whole saw values shoot up by 13.0 per cent. (Robson Fletcher/CBC)

Home values in Edmonton fell by a wider margin than in any other Canadian city in the final three months of 2016, Royal LePage reported Thursday in its latest house price survey.

Edmonton house prices were down 2.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to the same period of 2015, the survey found. By comparison, Calgary home values fell by 1.0 per cent while nationally, values were up by 13.0 per cent — the highest year-over-year national increase seen in more than a decade.

Royal LePage said the average price of a home in Canada was $558,153 in the final quarter of 2016.

Edmonton aggregate housing prices across all types of homes -- two-storeys, bungalows and condominiums -- slipped from an average $386,202 in the fourth quarter of 2015 to $378,247 in the same period of 2016.

Bungalow-style homes took the biggest hit, falling 2.7 per cent. Two-storey home prices dropped 1.8 per cent, and condominiums fell 1.9 per cent.

Calgary homes slipped from an average $465,577 to $460,837.

Across the country, the highest increases in home values were seen in West Vancouver. B.C., where prices shot up 32.8 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, and Richmond Hill, Ont., where they increased 30.1 per cent.

The average home prices in West Vancouver in the fourth quarter of 2016 was $3,573,148. In Richmond Hill it was $1,138,826.

Economic downturn to blame

Royal LePage blamed the oil and gas downturn for the decline in Alberta home values.

"Construction of major oil and gas facilities has turned off up north and drilling is way down, which impacts our market as we're a major service hub to those industries," Tom Shearer, a Royal LePage broker and owner, said in the release.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project to have a positive effect on housing appreciation.

But Royal LePage is still predicting the Edmonton region will see home prices fall by a further 0.9 per cent in 2017 to an average $375,000.

It predicts Calgary will see home prices increase by 2.5 per cent in 2017 to an average $472,500.

Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper said he predicts the disparity in housing markets across the country will decrease in 2017. (Royal LePage)

Royal LePage president Phil Soper said there have been steps to mitigate what he calls "regional extremes" in housing disparity in Canada. He said, however, the efforts of Ontario and B.C.'s metropolitan areas aren't improving the markets — and they are triggering drops in consumer confidence.

"What our leaders have been slow to address, and what is at the heart of the matter, is the supply side of the equation in the country's hottest markets," Soper said in the release. "Housing shortages have put immense upward pressure on prices."

Soper said he expects the real estate market to move from the large disparity in 2017.