The Edmonton real estate market seems to be doing pretty well considering all of the negative news that seems to come out pretty much on a daily basis. You have to remember that the media loves negativity and those shocking headlines that get people’s attention.
You see it on TV, radio and on the internet. Just check out the newspaper websites like the Globe and Mail and the Edmonton Journal. These websites love to use what we call “clickbait” to get people to click on an article. Clickbait means that they use a sensational headline that makes you want to click on the article. I have seen many of these headlines for stories about Alberta real estate such as “Alberta real estate set to crash” or “Don’t buy Edmonton real estate”. Usually the actual articles are not as negative as the headline, but the problem is that some people only scan the headlines and may get a more negative impression of our real estate market than they would have if they had read the article.
Having said all that, Edmonton is doing quite a bit better than Calgary mostly because of the fact that they have all those government workers that have very nice salaries. Despite the enormous deficit that will be over 10 Billion dollars this year, there have been no layoffs and no pay cuts in the public sector. In contrast, Calgary has experienced thousands of layoffs from high paying energy jobs and also from collateral damage in unrelated industries.
A very important thing to remember is that real estate is local. A great example of that is Vancouver. If you compare Edmonton to Vancouver, you are comparing apples to oranges. They are totally different markets with very different influences. Vancouver prices are still skyrocketing because of wealthy foreign investors that are buying expensive properties without even seeing them. So, when you see a general headline that says real estate in Canada is still going up, ignore it, because it has nothing to do with Edmonton.
Even within Edmonton, there are hot neighbourhoods that may be increasing in price because of being close to transit, schools, and shopping. However most neighbourhoods have decreased in price when compared to this time last year. You have to compare sale prices of homes in the same neighbourhood or similar neibhbourhoods. You also have to compare similar sized homes with similar features.
Here is an infographic that shows the statistics for Edmonton in the month of March