Edmonton's housing market booming through first two months of the year

The housing market in Edmonton exploded last month. Houses are spending less time on the market, multiple offers are not unusual, and the average sale price for single-family homes is over $490,000.

Home sales jumped by 70 per cent between January and February

An open house sign outside of a home for sale. Edmonton real estate is in high demand according to the Realtors Association of Edmonton. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

The Edmonton housing market is booming with sales through the early part of the year.

Data from the Realtors Association of Edmonton shows sales of single-family homes were up more than 70 per cent from January to February this year. A total of 1,394 homes sold compared to 811 the month before.

The upward trend was also clear through year-over-year data, which shows home sales were up more than 35 per cent when compared to February 2021.

Condos and townhouses are also seeing a rise — both were up about 55 per cent compared to the same period last year. 

That rise in sales is also driving up the average cost of a single-family home, which is now sitting at just over $490,000. Canadian Real Estate Association data shows the national average was a record $748,450 in January.

Joseph Guziak, an associate broker and co-owner at The E Group in Edmonton, described the current conditions as chaotic. 

"People who are viewing are wanting to buy," he said. 

Real estate broker and co-owner of The E Group Joseph Guziak says people have less time to browse properties now and have to make an offer almost immediately if they are interested. (The E Group)

"There's a lot less [thinking it over]. It's more like, 'Perfect, this is it.'"

Those quick offers are sometimes coming in droves, Guziak said. He also said it's becoming more common for listings to post with offers already pending.

Tom Shearer, past president of the Realtors Association of Edmonton, says the market has been hot for almost two years. 

Past president of the Realtors Association of Edmonton, Tom Shearer, said the market has not been this active since 2006/2007. (CBC/Google)

"We've been on a run of seller's markets since June of 2020," Shearer said. "I haven't seen that long and that solid of a run since 2006, 2007."

Typically, winter brings about a balanced market, but this winter has defied the trend, he said. 

Spring is traditionally a time when the number of listings would rise, but Shearer said he isn't sure it will be enough to meet the demand.

"The word has been out that the market is strong right now … we just haven't had enough new listings come to the marketplace."

Shearer also said a shortage of inventory has made multiple offers commonplace. 

"We're not seeing the same kind of crazy outbidding process that people are experiencing in eastern Canada or in Vancouver where everything is unconditional and five or 20 per cent [above list]."

Both Shearer and Guziak said they've seen an increase in buyers from outside the province. 

"These buyers who are coming to our region have experienced going into multiple offers, they've been seeing really hot marketplaces," Shearer said.