The Edmonton real estate market is coming off an interesting year, one that has been filled with highs and lows.

In the aftermath of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Canadian real estate sector enjoyed an incredible run. Many major urban centres, small towns, and rural communities recorded impressive growth in sales activity and prices across the country. Many of these destinations reported record-breaking figures, transforming their municipalities into red-hot housing markets.

Edmonton has been a mixed story. Due to a crash in crude oil prices, a deep recession, and the COVID-19 public health crisis, Alberta’s capital city suffered a steep downturn. Despite this slump, by the end of 2020, the Greater Edmonton Area (GEA) saw its average prices tick up about one per cent, with sales activity remaining quite strong.

“The Edmonton market in December saw an increase in year-over-year unit sales, compared to a decrease in month-to-month sales,” said REALTORS® Association of Edmonton Chair Tom Shearer in a news release. “There have also been more sales of single-family homes, condos and duplexes compared to December of last year, while we’ve seen decreasing month over month sales in all markets, which is typical for this time of year. Total year-to-date residential sales for 2020 came in at 17,036 – a 2.94% increase compared to 2019.”

But as first-time homebuyers, move-up buyers, and out-of-province consider purchasing property in one of Canada’s most affordable markets, what are some of the top Edmonton neighbourhoods?

2021 Top Trending Edmonton Neighbourhoods for Homebuyers

Here are five trending Edmonton neighbourhoods catching the interest of hopeful homebuyers in the Edmonton real estate market:

#1 Downtown Edmonton

  • Average Price: $358,236
  • Five-Year Price Change: -0.16 per cent

#2 Anthony Henday Zone

  • Average Price: $427,288
  • Five-Year Price Change: -1 per cent

#3 Rural North East South Sturgeon

  • Average Price: $725,500
  • Five-Year Price Change: 0 per cent

#4 Heritage Hills

  • Average Price: $444,645
  • Five-Year Price Change: -0.09 per cent

#5 Cromdale

  • Average Price: $368,725
  • Five-Year Price Change: +0.07 per cent

What Edmonton Homebuyers Want

Canadian homebuyers’ buying patterns have greatly changed over the last year. While many may have been content with living in a smaller space in a high-density area if it meant being close to their jobs or amenities, these same homeowners are now hungry for more space (and perhaps more square footage) for the amount of money they are spending on a property. Amid pandemic related lockdowns, our homes transformed into multi-purpose spaces, becoming offices, movie theatres, gyms, classrooms, and entertainment venues; its not surprising that homebuyers’ needs have drastically evolved as a response to this lifestyle shift.

Although consumers are still interested in living in Edmonton’s downtown core, many are broadening their horizons and looking at neighbourhoods outside the city, or within the Greater Edmonton Area.

Despite the oversupply of apartment-style condos, and the inevitable price decline of these units, there will continue to be high demand for single-family homes. In addition to changing consumer preferences, homebuyers are taking advantage of the historically low interest rates that are likely to remain this low for the next couple of years.

At the same time, Moody’s Analytics, a financial intelligence and analytical firm, is forecasting a “dangerous” oversupply of new, single-family homes in Edmonton, as well as Calgary. It also warned that the national real estate market could come crashing down this year, adding to “further widening in economic inequality, including housing.”

“The housing market will no longer be able to escape the poor condition of the labor market. Not even lower interest rates will be enough to save the housing market,” Moody’s said in its report.

“While demand for single-family homes with ample space and large pantries may rise, so too might demand for smaller apartments and condos given the struggle many families will face in saving for a down payment.”

In the end, it anticipates a bounce back in 2022 as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout triggers a return to normalcy, and perhaps renewed interest in urban living.

Can Edmonton Return to Its Pre-Pandemic Days?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic effectively brought the nation and the economy to an abrupt pause, the Edmonton real estate market had been performing quite well. The city was booming, the oil and gas sector was strong, and the environment facilitated a boost in sales activity and prices. Can the Edmonton real estate market experience this pre-pandemic stability and growth once again?

Interest rates have been lowered to historical lows, crude oil prices have stabilised, and demand among first-time homebuyers, move-up buyers, and out-of-town buyers is still strong. The economy is, slowly but surely, on the path to recovery, so it is only a matter of time before Edmonton’s housing sector recovers, too. And these Edmonton neighbourhoods might lead the way, at least in 2021.