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Edmonton Housing and Rental Market

In recent months, Alberta has experienced a dramatic decline in oil prices, raising concerns for housing and employment in Alberta as 2014
is written into the history books. Calgary, in specific, is expecting to have a fairly neutral year in terms of housing increases, and property investment is expected to slow slightly. However, for the City of Edmonton, housing and rental investment and initiatives are as strong as ever, and can be tied to three specific items in the city’s overview.

Low unemployment

Edmonton saw at least 20,000 jobs generated within the City and the surrounding municipal region in 2014, many outside of oil and gas dependant sectors. Tied together with a November 2014 unemployment rate of under 5%, and the result is an affluent workforce not bogged down by the current oil slump.

Of course, this means that there are single, double, and family rental opportunities across the market. Professional property management companies are seeing increased interest in long term leases, and first time home buyership is up nearly 3% compared to 2012. Even more, Edmonton is not experiencing the explosive growth that Calgary is to the South, giving prospective tenants and buyers more time to find the perfect solution instead of being forced into a purchase.

Steady home values

Year to year mean home and condo values rose only 3.9% from 2013 to 2014 in Edmonton, from $374,000 to $389,000. Rental values also stayed mostly the same, with the average 1 bedroom apartment or condo rental rates hovering between $900 and $1,300. This stability in values means that for property management and investment, there have been no shocks or volatile trends in the market.

In fact, in terms of property management, this stability has seen a greater return on investment for properties, as professionally managed rentals have had no issues being filled with tenants. Even luxury properties are seeing less vacancies and more long term leases being signed as Edmonton continues to grow.

Steady immigration

2014 was a benchmark year for Edmonton, seeing nearly 30,000 people settling in Edmonton or the Greater Edmonton Area, many drawn by the nearly $5 billion investment by Edmonton City Council in infrastructure projects, such as the new Light Rail Transit tracks, Rogers Place Arena, and the Royal Alberta Museum. In fact, Edmonton outpaced Calgary for net immigration in 2014, and is expected to continue to see strong immigration as 2015 develops.

In terms of property management, this is quite literally a seller’s market. With house prices below $400,000, and with condominiums being built at record pace with the removal of maximum building height restrictions due to the closure of the City Center Airport, 2015 is promising to be a year of exponential growth in the Edmonton region. As more and more skilled workers head west from the Maritime Provinces and elsewhere in Central Canada, Edmonton is expected to be one of their top three destinations.