Lots of people claim that living in western Canada is very expensive, but its all commensurate with earnings. The real challenge is faced by first time home buyers because the average single family homes begin in the $350,000 - $450 000 price range in Edmonton, but housing prices in Calgary are significantly higher. This makes it really tough for first time buyers to get into the market, its borderline unaffordable for anyone.
Edmonton’s housing prices are roughly on par with other major metropolitan areas in Canada, but Edmonton is widely considered to be far more affordable because most people receive a significantly higher wage in Edmonton than they do in other cities, such as Toronto. Edmonton is also in the midst of a housing boom, which means there is more housing available to meet the demand. Edmonton is also benefiting from some recently annexed land, which will allow it to expand more easily, unlike Calgary.
Calgary is facing some interesting housing issues. Since people make more money in Calgary than Edmonton, housing prices reflect this, however, Calgary is also scraping for space to build more houses, raising the cost of land as well. It’s not unusual to pay upwards of $100 000 more for a home in Calgary, compared to Edmonton. Getting into the housing market in Calgary can be near impossible for anyone not making a six figure salary.
When deciding where to live in Alberta, your job location will play the biggest role. If this isn’t necessarily a factor for you, you have to look at job opportunity, stability, your current financial situation and the state of the housing market – if you are looking to buy. Housing prices can have a big impact on where you choose to live, and prices vary by neighbourhood too, not just by city.