After suffering for many years now, Alberta’s real estate market is forecasted to remain relatively stable throughout 2017. Cities such as Edmonton and Calgary are expected to remain sluggish in terms of activity, and both cities are expected to witness slightly higher prices this year. We cannot really expect to witness too much change in real estate activity in the province this year as sales are unlikely to pick up despite the relatively low prices. The market also does not appear to be friendly to first-time buyers this year and it may be a while before that changes.
What does the CREA say?
According to a quarterly forecast published by the Canadian Real Estate Association in March 2017, Alberta is actually expected to have the largest increase in real estate sales activity this year among all provinces. It is expected to witness a 5% boost in sales, but this is still far below the 10-year average. This is true for all resource intensive provinces such as Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan.
In the months of March and April 2017, Alberta witnessed a high number of housing starts and the March levels were the highest they had seen since November 2016. The figure decreased by 11% in April, and on average, housing starts have increased by 9% this year. Single-family homes witnessed a 35% increase in starts, which seems to bode well for slow, long-term economic recovery. However, we cannot really estimate the impact this will have on sales activity as Alberta did not witness significant wage increases, and inflation rates for food and rent only fell marginally.
Edmonton has witnessed price increases
Edmonton has witnessed a surge in prices in all residential categories this year. The increase was decidedly marginal for single-family homes as prices in April 2017 increased by only 0.07% in comparison to March 2017 and 0.03% in comparison to April 2016. The average price of a condo rose by 6.23% in comparison to the previous month. The prices of duplexes saw the biggest average increase in comparison to April 2016 as prices rose by around 4.97%.