It was only earlier this year that Edmonton made National Geographic’s Top 10 Best Summer Trips list, and not that long ago that it was named one of the best places to live in North America. Now, the praise has continued, with Edmonton being declared the fifth wealthiest city in Canada for 2014. Even though the energy sector has caused some issues for residents starting midway through 2014, Edmonton’s positioning is, according to some, even better than being higher on the list.
In fact, Edmonton’s chief economist, John Rose, told Global News, “The fact we’re coming in at No. 5, I’m perfectly fine with that. Do you really want to be No. 1? Do you want to be Vancouver? I’m not so sure we do.”
It’s a good thing, too. Vancouver was named #1 on a survey driven mainly by housing prices. Vancouver’s notoriously high market was once again confirmed as dangerously high, with the average house price coming in at $835,823. Toronto, another high-priced market, was second with an average price of $826,883. But Edmonton came in substantially lower, with an average housing price of $649,404.
Rose explained that the middle of the road ranking was representative of Edmonton’s relatively stable market, especially when compared to the top two. A stable market, while maybe less exciting and sensational than something more volatile, is good news for buyers and sellers.
In comparing Edmonton with it’s closest rival, Calgary, this stability is even better for first-time and entry-level home owners. Compared to Calgary, where housing price increases have mostly been for top-tier homes, Edmonton’s housing prices have gone up for starter homes. According to Rose, this increase is better for most people. “What we’ve seen in Edmonton is a much more equitable situation,” he said, “Prices for starter homes have gone up and that is what people typically hold.”