Edmonton Journal

Realtors' report predicts `decent' growth in prices

- ZAC DELANEY zdelaney@postmedia.com

The aggregate price of Edmonton homes is predicted to rise 6.5 per cent in the fourth quarter compared to last year, according to a report from Royal LePage.

The real estate company recently published its national house price composite report for the first quarter, highlighti­ng that after a pessimisti­c prediction in the first quarter, it expects the aggregate home price in Canada to rise nine per cent in the fourth quarter compared to last year.

While Edmonton's growth in aggregate home price might not match the national pace, Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate broker and owner Tom Shearer said the growth marks a change in the wind for Edmonton real estate, which was previously defined by slower growth.

“The pace of price increases is definitely moving along more this year than I've seen in a long time,” Shearer said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, and shortly after, the housing market across the country soared, including in Edmonton. Shearer said 2022 was an odd year as sales came hot and heavy during the first quarter, which is rare in real estate since most activity occurs during spring and summer. Buyers were eager to get into homes before interest rates climbed.

As such, 2023 was perhaps the first year since the pandemic that was more normal, making for an effective comparison for this year.

So far, Shearer has witnessed the market activity holding, rather than dropping off as it did in 2022.

Royal LePage assembles the data for its report with a blend of its own numbers and that of its sister company, Real Property Solutions.

In the first quarter, the aggregate price of a home in Edmonton increased three per cent from the first quarter last year to $442,200. A detached single-family home, by comparison, increased 4.2 per cent to $485,000 compared to the first quarter of last year.

“(Prices) are moving along at a decent clip right now compared to previous years,” Shearer said.

The increase is either good or bad news, depending on your position in the real estate market.

Shearer said the increase is driven by two forces: a flood of entry-level homebuyers and a smaller supply. Referring to a conference he attended this year, Shearer said a speaker from the Canadian Real Estate Associatio­n warned that the housing demand that's plagued large cities across the country was Alberta-bound — specifical­ly, it was coming for Edmonton.

In examining real estate, affordabil­ity and the local economy, Shearer said Edmonton has increasing­ly become a “logical” option, as it combines the perks of a big city with better prospects of home ownership.

The increase represents a departure from initial forecasts in 2024 that were indicating milder growth.

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