Edmonton’s million-dollar homes hold steady in real estate boom

“I know that everybody thinks all these buyers are from Vancouver and Toronto. They’re already here”

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Despite a surge in the housing market in Edmonton, sales have steadied on the upper end of the spectrum.

Edmonton has seen nearly 8,500 total residential sales for the year, according to recent data, but just 125 have topped $1 million, with 95 of those in the $1-1.5 million range, said Sally Munro, who has been in real estate in Edmonton for more than 40 years.

While 95 sales of luxury homes is certainly less than the activity in the lower-priced market, Munro said it’s standard.

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“I would say it’s about the same,” compared to last year, Munro said.

In 2019, 133 luxury homes were sold in that $1-1.5 million price range. There were 178 in 2020, 323 in 2021, 285 in 2022, and 263 luxury home sales in 2023. All of the previous sales were based on year-to-date, tallied in December and include all residential homes, whether it is detached, semi-detached, townhouse, rowhouse, or apartment and condo.

Earlier in June, the Realtors Association of Edmonton (RAE) released its monthly report on the Edmonton market for May, which showed almost every metric moving up.

With 8,486 sales, the market traffic was up 19.6 per cent compared to last year. The average price of a detached home was up to $544,000, which is more than nine per cent higher than last year. Even the days on the market were down to 31 — 10 days less than last year.

For luxury homes, time on the market averaged about 56 days, Munro said.

“We are all encouraged that the activity has increased. But it’s still taking longer to sell,” said Munro.

As has been pointed out by numerous experts, there are several things driving the market activity in Edmonton. A rapidly growing population spurred by affordability has often been cited as a key driver of the market. Housing in Alberta, Munro said, is not out of reach compared to elsewhere.

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“Achievable, that’s the word I like to use. Housing is achievable. It’s the interest rate that keeps a lot of people out,” said Munro.

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Luxury home buyers are ‘already here’

Alberta and Edmonton’s affordability has drawn people to the region but, with higher interest rates, prospective homeowners are leery of large mortgages, which has made the entry-level market more competitive, driving up prices, and diminishing the supply.

“I know that everybody thinks all these buyers are from Vancouver and Toronto,” Munro said, adding “the buyers are here. They’re already here. They’re moving up or moving down. They’re making lifestyle changes.”

The higher up the housing price scale you go, the less dependent the buyers are on mortgage rates and affordability. As such, the high demand doesn’t hit the luxury market quite as hard, keeping the overall luxury market more consistent.

At $2 million and above, Munro said it changes.

“The people of that level are not affected by mortgage rates,” she said.

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As houses fluctuate up and down the market trends beneath $1 million, Munro suggested keeping an eye out for houses that earn their price tags, rather than the ones that are lifted by an inflated market.

[email protected]

Twitter/X: @ZacharyDelaney

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