Edmonton realtors brace for slow year
January 24, 2020
Edmonton housing sales will not be much better in 2020 than a year earlier, even as housing prices decline and housing starts increase, according to the Realtors Association of Edmonton (RAE).
The RAE noted there was little sales movement in the final months of 2019 with year-to-date transactions down modestly. Single-family house and condo sales were both down 1.4 per cent while duplex unit sales went up 5.5 per cent.
The average price of homes stayed consistent throughout 2019 at approximately $425,000. Condo prices dropped 4.6 per cent to about $227,400. Townhouse prices decreased by 2.7 per cent to $333,400.
Jennifer Lucas, chair of RAE, said the forecast is looking like 2020 will be very similar to 2019 with only modest growth expected. She said the biggest issue facing the area’s market is the rules around mortgage stress tests.
“That was a federal policy to put downward pressure on Vancouver and Toronto and it has absolutely killed and stolen the equity from homeowners and it has killed the market here. We don’t have a need to have a stress test here in Alberta, so we’re asking for some regionalization,” she said.
A bright spot is that Edmonton housing starts in 2019 were up from a year earlier—rising 7.5 per cent to 8,605 total units. The boost in construction was seen in the last three months of 2019, as fourth-quarter starts were up 13 per cent from the same period a year earlier, according to City of Edmonton senior economist Felicia Mutheardy.