2022 Edmonton Real Estate Outlook
As we navigate now through our second year – coming up on third year of the global pandemic, Edmonton real estate prices have followed their counterparts throughout the rest of Canada and many parts of the world with increased prices and decreased inventory. While the increases in 2020 caught us a little off guard we anticipated more of the same through 2021. Let’s review the Edmonton market in 2021 in detail and then proceed to our 2022 outlook.
To start, we reflect back on 2021 to establish trends. It is apparent that fall 2020 was the bottom of the market for this current real estate cycle in Edmonton. Since 2015 we experienced year over year declines in price and this trend continued through to the summer/fall of 2020. In the fall of 2020 prices started to show slight increases in year over year pricing and then towards the end of 2020 prices started increasing along with a strong increase in sales volumes year over year. The market sustained this momentum throughout 2021 with declining inventories and increasing sales volumes. We have to remember that 2020 started off very slowly with the onset of the pandemic and the first round of lockdowns. That slow start created uncertainty and pent-up demand. The end of 2020 finished strongly in a quarter that typically sees a cooling off period over the holidays – thus year over year gains and comparisons will not show the same levels of increase towards the end of 2021 as they would at the beginning of the year.
Every month of 2021 experienced a price increase over 2020. The amount varied by neighbourhood and product type. Single family homes continued to see the largest increase in sales as consumers vied for extra space with continued lockdowns and work from home orders – but it was actually duplex row/house that finished December with the strongest year-over-year gains. Homes became daycares, schools, offices and entertainment areas. Condos lagged in price gains and although there were a few months where there was a year over year increase, they finished the year about par with 2020 while seeing increased sales volumes for 2021. Overall, across the three product types, home prices averaged 5.3% higher in 2021 over 2020. Residential inventory levels finished 14.1% lower than the same time in 2020 whereas sales in December were 19.5% higher. There were a total of 24,075 residential properties that traded hands in 2021 – this was a 44.5% increase in sales volume year over year.
Below we will break down in more detail how 2021 played out for each product type:
Single-family homes averaged $462,000, a 7.7% year-over-year increase from December 2020. This combined with some gains in 2020 and we are finally seeing prices rise above 2017 levels.
Duplex/Row House prices increased to an average price in December of $363,000 which is a 9.6% increase year-over-year. Sales volumes increased in 2021 over 2020 by 959 units, which is a 43% increase and well above long-term averages. This is likely partially due to the increase in availability of duplex/row house offerings both with inner/city infill type properties and suburban product rowhomes.
Condos saw an increase in sales volume over 2020 and over the 5 year average but this didn’t translate into price gains. There was still enough inventory on the market to meet demand, and then some with the average condo prices finishing the year off 0.1% below 2020 pricing at the end of December. Sales were 25% higher than 2020 and higher than longer-term averages.
New projects, completed over previous years, still had remaining inventory that needed to be absorbed and sellers, who had been unsuccessful in the past, were now finally able to successfully sell their properties. Very little new build inventory came to market in 2021 and many of the projects in the planning process or slated for completion were converted to rental inventory.
Where do we go from here?
2022 Edmonton Real Estate Outlook
Canada wide estimates from CREA are for the nation to see an average annualized increase of 7.6% across all product types. This will vary and be higher in the single-family detached sector and likely lower in the condo sector. This increase will likely also be significantly higher in Ontario, Quebec and B.C and some Maritime provinces, notably PEI and Nova Scotia. In Edmonton for 2022 we anticipate inventory to remain below historical averages. This metric itself typically equates to incremental price gains as buyers are competing for fewer listings. We believe COVID measures and restrictions will become less of a factor in inventories and pricing as economies and consumers learn to live with the virus and it becomes closer to endemic in our society. COVID is definitely a wildcard and unpredictable but as history tells us, an increase in lockdown measures and escalating severity only suppresses supply and further exacerbates the supply/demand imbalance.
What we do believe will be three of the other biggest factors in inventory and pricing, is inflation coupled with rising mortgage rates. Let’s start with inflation:
Pandemic related supply chain issues are still an ongoing concern. Paired with the floods in BC, lockdowns in other countries, polar vortex events and whatever 2022 throws at us, we are likely in store for more supply chain crunches. This drives up the cost of raw materials for new builds and renovations and will contribute to gradual increases in price. Inflation in 2021 peaked at 4.6% in Canada – meaning our average increase in home values barely surpassed inflation.
Mortgage Rate Increases
Predicted mortgage rate increases – estimated to be at least a few over the course of 2022 - could eventually lead to lower demand but we don’t anticipate this to be the case – rather rising mortgage rates will in the short-term drive prices up and decrease inventory. With months-long rate holds possible, attractive (near all time low) variable rates and floating rate options that give the ability to lock in, and a move in interest rates not likely until later in 2022 than originally estimated, we anticipate increased demand before these changes are enacted which will likely carry through to the end of 2022.
Q3 of 2021 just release by the Government of Canada indicates that Alberta for the first time saw net interprovincial migration of 4,489 people, combined with international migration to the province of 12,201 we saw net migration reach 16,690. This is a 172% increase from year over year numbers and more net migration than we have seen since Q3 of 2014 when we welcomed a net total of 23,001 to the province. Q3 2014 was the peak of $100 oil and both the real estate market and economy were firing on all cylinders for the first time since the global financial crisis - brought on by the aftermath of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown. Net migration peaked in the third quarter again in 2021 exactly 7 years later. There are many green shoots now in Alberta’s diversifying economy that could sustain further net migration. Paired with improving oil and gas sector profitability and the announcement of numerous new industry related projects, Alberta is projected to mount the strongest post-pandemic growth out of any province. Include our relative affordability to other major metro markets in Canada and Alberta may be in for a renaissance of sorts. If the net migration trends continue – this will put upward momentum on demand and in turn drive prices higher than anticipated.
While we do anticipate price growth in Edmonton it will likely be closer to the lower end of the Canadian average and maybe slightly above inflation levels for 2022. Supply will continue to impact the single- family and semi-detached markets in 2022, keeping those product segments in seller’s market territory. It is yet to be seen if condo prices can make any meaningful price gains in 2022 and will still likely lag increases found in the aforementioned sectors. Overall – positive signs remain for sellers in 2022, and depending on what product type and neighbourhood – opportunities definitely still remain for purchasers.
As always, these predictions will vary by neighbourhood and product type. For specific information based on your personal circumstances, we would be please to connect you with one of our top agents in Edmonton or Calgary.
The Team at Rimrock Real Estate