The Edmonton housing market saw a big jump in sales this summer compared to 2019 despite the coronavirus pandemic. Historic low mortgage rates and reduced inventory levels resulted in increased unit sales, stable prices, and fewer days on market across sales of all home types.
But as we head into the final few months of 2020, with COVID-19 still looming large, buyers and sellers are wondering if this surprising rebound will continue? As the temperatures outside start to dip, home sellers are asking: should I sell my home today? And likewise, home buyers, particularly first-time homebuyers, are wondering: is it a good time to buy a house in Edmonton?
Looking back at Edmonton real estate predictions from earlier this year, while we were cautiously optimistic, most agents would not have predicted how busy July and August would be. You could say that the Edmonton housing market was a surprisingly positive note in otherwise incredibly difficult times!
Let’s take a closer look at some of the Edmonton housing market stats for August 2020.
Edmonton area house sales 2020: August snapshot
- Single-family home sales jumped 22.98% compared to August 2019
- All residential home sales increased 20.11% YoY
- Average price of a single-family home increased 1.04% compared to August 2019
- Overall inventory decreased 14.6% from August 2019
- Average days on market for single family homes decreased by 11 days YoY
As we close out real estate’s busy summer months, home sellers will continue to benefit from reduced inventory and relatively stable home prices in Edmonton. July and August saw quite a few multiple offer situations and all indications point to a strong September and October for home sales. Sellers will continue to see interest from homebuyers who perceive an opportunity to get a good deal on a home and want to take advantage of low rates.
Market confidence and ultra-competitive mortgage rates will continue to incentivize homebuyers looking to enter the housing market for the first time or those buyers looking to take advantage of low rates to move up to a bigger home. This also marks the first year of the federal government’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program, which some eligible buyers may be using to further reduce their mortgage costs.
Pandemic real estate trends: More space, proximity to health care
In the months since the pandemic began, survey results point to a shift in buyer sentiment as people reassess their priorities and living situation. A recent survey by Leger found that 32% of Canadians would prefer to live in rural or suburban communities, particularly among respondents under the age of 55. In fact, home sales in the neighbouring communities of Sherwood Park, Beaumont, Spruce Grove, and St. Albert increased 66% compared to this time last year.
Likely the result of abruptly moving into a work-from-home scenario, it isn’t surprising that 33% of survey respondents said they’d like more square footage in their home and 44% said they’d like more outdoor space with personal amenities like a pool or large yard.
Lastly, 48% of Canadians felt it was increasingly important to live in communities closer to hospitals and medical clinics.
Edmonton housing market forecast 2021: A longer turnaround time predicted
Not surprisingly, continued uncertainty makes it exceptionally challenging to predict what the next three months have in store, let alone the next 12 months!
Edmonton’s unemployment rate was 15% in July and some experts including the CMHC Housing Market Outlook have singled out Edmonton and Calgary as having higher risks of longer housing market turnarounds compared to other Canadian cities.
“As restrictions are eased, paving the way for population growth and labour market improvements, home prices are projected to begin gradually picking up in 2022; however, prices are not expected to be back to pre-COVID-19 levels within the forecast period,”says Christian Arkilley, senior analyst, CMHC Economics.
The thing about predictions is that they’re anyone’s best guess
While uncertainty continues to cast a long shadow, let this summer’s relatively strong real estate market offer a glimmer of hope! Albertans continue to demonstrate resilience and fortitude as we continue to navigate these challenging times together. If there’s anything that the past few years have taught us, it’s that you can’t always predict what’s going to happen!
As always, if you have questions about buying or selling a home, we’re here to help you make an informed decision that will take into account your unique circumstances and needs.
As an experienced Realtor® with over 15 years in the industry, Wally has weathered a few ups and downs in the Edmonton housing market. Phone/text your questions to 780-238-7384 or send him a message.