The Edmonton housing market experienced a drop in sales activity at the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns in April and May, but June saw activity 14% above the levels experienced in 2019. Transactions are also back to pre-COVID-19 levels and the region continues to see multiple offer situations, with sellers’ market-like activity in various neighbourhoods and property types. Edmonton’s housing market is expected to have a strong fall, with September and October anticipated to have higher than historical sales levels.
Acreage living is seeing an uptick in buyer interest as more Edmonton residents are now looking for more space in their properties. In fact, the age demographic for acreage living is getting younger. A 1% increase in average residential sales price is expected in Edmonton, Alberta for the remainder of the year.
While COVID-19 lockdowns in March and April slowed down the housing market in Western Canada, transactions in Kelowna, Saskatoon and Vancouver resumed by May, with sales in both May and June surpassing year-over-year levels. Many buyers put their plans on hold at the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns, but they returned to the market quickly to make up for lost time. Edmonton’s housing market quickly bounced back to pre-COVID levels in June, while Saskatoon experienced its busiest June in years; this momentum is anticipated to continue into the fall market, with RE/MAX brokers and agents estimating a three-per-cent increase in average residential sale prices for the remainder of the year. Overall, brokers and agents in Western Canada say the potential buyers they are talking to are not too concerned with a potential second wave of COVID-19 impacting their real estate journey, and RE/MAX brokers are estimating steady activity to round out 2020.
Leading indicators from RE/MAX brokers and agents across Canada’s housing market point to a strong market for the remainder of 2020. According to the RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report, RE/MAX brokers suggest that the average residential sale price in Canada could increase by 4.6% during the remainder of the year. This is compared to the 3.7% increase that was predicted in late 2019.
The pandemic has prompted many Canadians to reassess their living situations. According to a survey conducted by Leger on behalf of RE/MAX Canada, 32% of Canadians no longer want to live in large urban centres, and instead would opt for rural or suburban communities. This trend is stronger among Canadians under the age of 55 than those in the 55+ age group.
Not only are Canadians more motivated to leave cities, but changes in work and life dynamics have also shifted their needs and wants for their homes. According to the survey, 44% of Canadians would like a home with more space for personal amenities, such as a pool, balcony or a large yard.
Canadians equally split on their confidence in the housing market
Canadians are almost equally split in their confidence in Canada’s real estate market, with 39% as confident as they were prior to the pandemic, and 37% slightly less confident. When it comes to the prospect of a second wave of COVID-19, 56% of Canadians who are feeling confident in Canada’s real estate market are still likely to buy or sell.
“While COVID-19 lockdowns slowed Canada’s housing market at the start of a typically busy spring market, activity bounced back by early summer in many regions, including Vancouver and Toronto,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “Despite the tragic impacts of the pandemic, our optimism in the strength of Canada’s housing market has always remained, and current market activity further exemplifies this. Many homebuyers are now exploring different neighbourhoods that better suit their new lifestyles, and real estate agents are getting busier and working more with buyers from different major cities. According to our brokers and agents across the RE/MAX network, Canada’s fall market is expected to see spring market-like activity.”
Additional highlights from the 2020 RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report Survey:
48% of Canadians would like to live closer to green spaces
48% of Canadians say it’s more important than ever to live in a community close to hospitals and clinics
33% of Canadians would like more square footage in their home and have realized they need more space
44% of Canadians want a home with more outdoor space and personal amenities (i.e. balcony, pool etc.)
About the 2020 RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report
The 2020 RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report includes data and insights supplied by RE/MAX brokerages. RE/MAX brokers and agents are surveyed on market activity and local developments.
The Edmonton housing market will lean toward buyers in 2020 with the average residential sale price expected to drop by one per cent. This is due to average values declining, at least until the oversupply of inventory is absorbed. However, some areas and product types are seeing a five percent increase.
Some of the most popular property types in Edmonton include two-story detached homes, luxury properties, infill and “skinny homes”. It is expected that the city’s economy will improve when the government stimulates job creation and when a federal housing policy is implemented that will benefit all Canadian home buyers.
Many new and larger developments in the downtown, Oliver and Strathcona neighborhoods, many of which are integrated with expanding the LRT network, are expected to impact the market in 2020.
Strathcona and Glenora will continue to be very popular neighborhoods based on the amount of infill and new construction projects that are bringing a variety of pricing and housing options to buyers. Ritchie and Bonnie Doon will also continue to see high demand as the LRT network opens, giving more transit and lifestyle options to those in Bonnie Doon.
First-time and foreign buyers are expected to drive demand in 2020. Foreign buyers who previously flocked to Vancouver are now looking at Edmonton for growth in the coming years.
From a national perspective, RE/MAX anticipates a leveling out of the highs and lows that characterized the Canadian housing market in 2019, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto, as we move into 2020. Healthy price increases are expected, with an estimated 3.7-per-cent increase in the average national residential sales price.
As more Canadians have adjusted to the mortgage stress test and older Millennials move into their peak earning years, it is anticipated that they will drive the market in 2020, particularly single Millennials and young couples. A recent Leger survey conducted by RE/MAX found that more than half (51 per cent) of Canadians are considering buying a property in the next five years, especially those under the age of 45.
RE/MAX of Western Canada
Kayley Jackson is an English & Creative Writing graduate, as well as writer and photographer whose love for words and creativity brought her to RE/MAX. As Communications Coordinator at RE/MAX of Western Canada, Kayley creates and oversees content that appeals to buyers and sellers alike, aiming to assist them on their homebuying or selling journey. Kayley carries out public relations, communications and social media content for RE/MAX, which includes creating content and writing for the consumer-facing blog at remax.ca. When she’s not behind the lens of her camera or writing away at her desk, Kayley can be found enjoying the Okanagan lifestyle in Kelowna, BC, where she lives with her fiancé, or daydreaming about where her next travel adventure will take her. Email Kayley at firstname.lastname@example.org.