The Situation with Affordable housing in Edmonton

Posted by Gurpreet Ghatehora on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 at 9:00am.

One thing the City of Edmonton has repeatedly acknowledged in recent years is its lack of affordable housing. The real estate market in the city is a very competitive and healthy, which can make it difficult for low-income families to find suitable and affordable housing in Edmonton.

Buying versus Renting
Rental rates in Edmonton are sky-high. When you break down the numbers, some areas charge double what the home actually costs by way of a mortgage. An example would be, if a condo or apartment costs a total of $650 per month in a mortgage, it’s likely being renting out for as much as $1100 a month or more (depending on size, location and features). It’s borderline outrageous, but its also what makes the city such a great investment market, and why it seems impossible to find affordable housing in Edmonton.

Income
On average, people in and around Edmonton make good money, which means a higher cost of living. This is what fuels the real estate market and the pricing (generally speaking). For those who aren’t making great money (single-parents, part-time workers, students) it can be very hard to find affordable housing in Edmonton, but there is change coming.
The Blatchford Project (City Centre Airport) is both a sustainable and affordable housing initiative that the city is planning to build where the old City Centre Airport was located. This project is the first step to closing the gap in affordable housing for Edmonton.

Solutions?
Solutions are always easier conceived than achieved but as in most cities (regardless of the cost of living), renting is way less affordable than purchasing. People end up renting because mortgage regulations are making it more difficult to buy – and when you don’t make a ton of money, it’s hard to save for a down payment. So create your own opportunities for affordable housing in Edmonton. If you can save up a small down payment you should make every effort to manage it. Even if you can only afford to purchase a one bedroom condo to start with, in a year or two that investment may allow you to upgrade to a bigger home, and once you secure a mortgage and are paying less than you were for rent, continuing to save will be a breeze!

 

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