Situated in Alberta, Edmonton sits on the North Saskatchewan River and is the capital city of the province. With a population of just over 930,000, Edmonton is the second-largest city in Alberta and is commonly referred to as the “Gateway to the North”, due to its position close to the oil sands and mining operations in the Northwest Territories and Northern Alberta. Edmonton spans an area of 685,000 sq. km, and was first inhabited by Europeans in the mid-1700s. Edmonton enjoys a humid continental climate, which brings milder temperatures than cities such as Winnipeg, but still fairly cold winters. Summertime generally sees peaks of mid-to-high 20s with little to no humidity. In contrast, the cold and snowy winters generally last from November to March.
Edmonton is a major transportation hub to destinations around the world, as well as operations north of the city. Similar to Calgary, Edmonton is a centre for the oil and gas industries, and it was known as the Oil Capital of Canada in the 1940s. The city has seen huge growth in the technology sector as well as research and education, and it’s also popular among distribution and logistics companies due to its positioning. Edmonton has experienced a downturn as a result of the declining oil prices, however recovery is on the horizon, especially with the city’s development project.
As the province’s capital city, Edmonton has a budding arts and culture, food, and shopping scene, with many museums and historic sites. The Canadian Rockies are located around 220km southwest of Edmonton, which brings tourists to the city, and the area has a variety of recreational activities including cross-country skiing, golfing, and hiking. The city is home to a number of culture and arts facilities, including the TELUS World of Science and Alberta Aviation Museum. It also has a number of professional sports teams which often rival with their neighbouring city, Calgary.
Popular areas in Edmonton include: Haddow, Hillview, Allendale, Kildare, Miller, Montrose and Killarney.
Edmonton’s weak labour market and reduced confidence has definitely impacted demand for housing, especially newer homes. The market is still fairly saturated with inventory, which is leading to a slow-down of new developments and construction due to a fairly well-supplied resale market. The resale market is elevated, and prices are fairly low, however growth is expected when Edmonton’s economic conditions become more stable. The market is currently in favour of buyers due to an imbalance of supply and demand. Sellers are also currently experiencing longer selling times due to a large number of buyers stalling activity. However, it’s thought that as we begin to see a continued improvement in Edmonton’s economic conditions and more stability, the real estate market will follow. These conditions could also be advantageous for price-conscious developers, investors, and first-time buyers, as the market is expected to shift, recover and grow within the next couple of years.
For rental properties, the apartment vacancy rate is set to continue to rise due to a constant supply of new rental properties. The weak labour market and a huge slowdown in the number of immigrants and incoming workers has contributed to this.
Edmonton has seen huge development especially in the downtown area, which has helped to stimulate the local economy and create more jobs. This is expected to continue, increasing employment opportunities and strengthening the housing market.
Mirroring Edmonton’s weaker economy, the luxury real estate market has seen a slight decline, however there is still a high inventory of luxury properties creating a great selection for buyers. Generally, high-end luxury real estate is classified as over $750,000, and the market remains incredibly affordable compared to cities like Toronto and Vancouver.
Edmonton is experiencing a buyer’s market, due to the availability and wide choice of properties. Buyers are generally being quite cautious, however Edmonton’s development is expected to contribute to a stronger economy and more opportunities for tourism and investments. Developers are already beginning to identify the potential in Edmonton, and luxury buildings are currently being planned for the downtown area.