Riding the wave of a wild 2021 in residential real estate in Edmonton, 2022 isn’t slowing down.
“Last year we saw one of the busiest years we’ve ever experienced — close to 25,000 real estate transactions. After every really busy year, usually we see a hang-up year, but we’re not seeing that yet,” explained Tom Shearer, the past chair of the Realtor’s Association of Edmonton.
As it stands, demand is through the roof.
“We have an inventory problem right now.
There’s just not enough houses on the market to satisfy all the buyers that want to buy a home,” realtor Morgan Taylor explained.
She said many buyers are trying to take advantage of the low interest rates, before a projected increase in March.
“We’re seeing a lot of homes get sold in the first weekend, in multiple offers, often above asking.”
Her client, Travis Kittlitz, certainly experienced that.
“We listed on a Friday. We had significant viewings over the weekend, between six and 10 over the weekend. By Sunday we had multiple offers.”
The deal eventually fell through on the buyer’s end, so the home was re-listed.
“It went back on the market. We had multiple offers again and it sold within three days after that. It went very quickly.”
His family was thrilled to see so many offers come in, all above list price — but then again, they still have to buy a home.
That was a more daunting task.
“If the property was in good shape, we felt either we had to make an offer that day or we probably weren’t going to get it, and the offer probably would’ve had to be above asking,” Kittlitz explained.
Eventually, his family opted to purchase a home in Leduc, feeling they could get more for their money outside city limits.
The Realtors Association of Edmonton says Alberta’s capital still has relatively low housing costs, especially compared to Toronto and Vancouver. Now, outside investors are taking interest in local home sales.
“They have experience in really hot markets. They’re used to outbidding each other by hundreds of thousands of dollars, no financing, no home inspection conditions,” Shearer said.
“Most out of town investors are looking to buy and hold. They want to have a property that is in good shape, a property that will rent for a suitable amount.”
He noted that puts additional pressure on local buyers. His advice is to be prepared.
“Know the house you want to buy, make sure you’re aware of what’s going on, make sure your finances are in order and don’t dither,” Shearer said.
And if you’re a seller?
“If you have a house, put it on the market.”
As for what the future might hold? Shearer said they’re projecting a three to five per cent increase in terms of average sale price by the end of 2022.