The Edmonton real estate figures are in and, as we have seen in many months already this year, the news is unexpectedly positive. In fact, the doom and gloom stigma that has been attached to Alberta’s housing markets, especially Edmonton’s own real estate market, is almost a falsehood at this point. It may not be as strong or out of control as the markets in Vancouver or Toronto, but perhaps these comparisons are where the problem lies: comparing a relatively slow market to a bloated one is actually a misnomer. Standing on its own, Edmonton is doing much, much better than anyone could have expected.
As the province still faces economic issues heading into the summer, housing prices have managed to remain almost entirely stable during most of 2016. In fact, April’s year-to-year analysis saw a relatively small increase in housing prices: from $438,641 last April to $439,982 this past month. The increase is essentially a flat growth, but one that’s welcome considering the many factors that should point to Edmonton’s housing prices dropping quite steadily.
The stable pricing for April shows another instance for optimism as we head into the busy season of house buying, selling, and hunting. With more homes expected to land on the market in May and June, the increased inventory is yet another reason why housing prices should drop, yet they may remain stable or even increase as we move forward. Despite the projected 18% increase in inventory from last year, there can be room for positivity.
But too much may be a bad thing as well, at least according to Realtors Association of Edmonton chair Steve Sedgwick. “We always have a seasonal uptick,” he told The Edmonton Journal, “We’re seeing an increase in total inventory that’s in excess of what we typically see. It could be the economy. It could be lifestyle. It could be family needs. It’s impossible to pinpoint (why).”
Sedgwick continued: “All it means for buyers is you have more options, and all it means for sellers is you have more competition. Pricing it right, out of the gate, is critical, unless you plan on spending more time on the market.”
Whatever the future holds for Edmonton, the market has outperformed what many people expected, and there’s plenty of reasons to hold out hope that this will continue as we head into the busy season.