The benchmark price for a three-bedroom home in Edmonton has declined in April (down to $334,440) compared to last year, according to the latest numbers from the Canadian Real Estate Association.
This continued the market’s streak of going against the national trend of rising home prices: Over the last five years, Edmonton prices went up by just 4.2%, versus the nationwide figure of 46.7%.
“It’s a double-edged sword. Higher house prices typically represent a stronger economy,” according to David Dale-Johnson, executive professor in real estate at the University of Alberta School of Business.
“[But] you can be a university graduate here in Edmonton, get your first job and … it’s not inconceivable you can buy your own home fairly soon. Fundamentally, it’s a much healthier economy than you have in Vancouver,” Dale-Johnson told the Edmonton Journal.
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The flip side of a housing boom is that decreasing affordability can drive away potential home owners, and in turn negatively affecting the market’s workforce. However, whether buying or renting makes more sense in the relatively sedate Edmonton market remains an open question, Dale-Johnson said.
“The two big factors are, on the financial side, how much is it going to appreciate compared to other investments,” he explained. “On the non-financial side, what’s my living situation — do I want to find a place I want to be for 10 or 15 years or the rest of my life?”
CREA stated that Regina and Saskatoon were the only Canadian cities that showed slower price growth rates compared to Edmonton. In contrast, Calgary residential real estate prices went up by 8.3%, and the Greater Vancouver market posted an 81% increase (up to $1.1 million).
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