According to the latest official figures, the end of 2015 saw 5,088 homes up for sale, exhibiting a sharp increase from the previous year’s 3,059 properties.
Industry observers attributed this rise to the currently low mortgage rates driving greater purchase volume. Another possible contributing factor is the proliferation of infill housing in the city.
In turn, the intense competition among buyers is spurring a consistent increase in real estate prices, with the average for single-family properties now sitting at $437,569 and condos at $252,954.
All of these developments amid an economy struggling with global oil price crashes and an ailing petro-currency. Experts said that these factors have significantly affected Edmonton locals’ purchasing power.
Indeed, the total number of residential acquisitions dropped by 9 per cent, from 18,991 transactions in 2014 to 17,298 sales last year.
Organizations like the Realtors Association of Edmonton said that they see no cause for concern, however, maintaining that the housing market in the city remains as strong as ever, if a bit more cautious than usual.
“I think the outcome of the year actually has — in my opinion — been a little bit of a surprise. I think, especially when we compare ourselves to other parts of the province, Edmonton has fared very well,” former association chair Geneva Tetreault told CBC News
On the flip side, a weaker Canadian dollar has made the large-scale seller’s life more difficult, as buyers have become more wary in letting go of their cash when it comes to bigger properties. The trend is currently pointing towards the increased popularity of smaller and more affordable homes.
“We were quite confident this was going to sell, and that hasn't happened. So, of course, it's very frustrating,” renovator Ron Hewitt said of a duplex he has been trying to sell since September 2015.