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Calgary and Edmonton house prices continue their hot streak

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 16 May 2024 2 min read

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to think of the Canadian housing market as a single entity. There is just too much variation from place to place.

So if you see a headline based on the recently-released benchmark house price data* for April that says the average price of a home in Canada has fallen, keep in mind the diversity underlying that average.

Case in point: The benchmark price of homes sold in Alberta was almost 10% higher in April than the same month last year versus a national average that was 0.6% lower.

Where you are starting from, of course, matters with the benchmark price in Toronto coming in at over $1 million in April compared to $384,000 in Edmonton and $577,100 in Calgary.

So, even though the benchmark price in Calgary and Edmonton has been on the rise (the price in Calgary was 9.8% higher on a year-over-year basis in April and 5.6% higher in Edmonton), markets like Toronto and Vancouver remain very expensive in general and relative to Alberta.

This is true even if average prices have been edging down (Toronto’s benchmark price was 0.8% lower in April compared to 12 months earlier) or rising more slowly (Vancouver’s benchmark price was up by just 2.8%) than in Calgary and Edmonton.

This housing price gap (which doesn’t mean home prices in Alberta’s big cities are cheap, just that they are relatively less expensive than in many other Canadian markets) is a key reason why Alberta has been gaining residents from higher-priced housing markets.

We explore this topic in detail in a new report entitled Chasing Affordability: The Return of Interprovincial Migration to Alberta that comes out on Tuesday, May 21. (Watch for a summary and link in Tuesday’s Owl.)

As outlined in yesterday’s Owl, Alberta’s homebuilders are outpacing the rest of the country when it comes to new home construction. It doesn’t look to be enough to keep up with demand, but the additional supply will help with the demand generated by Alberta’s fast-growing population.

*The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) model is used by the Canadian Real Estate Association to calculate benchmark prices in key Canadian resale markets. A composite benchmark home is one whose attributes are typical of homes traded in the area where it is located and includes single family homes, townhouse/row units and apartment units.

Answer to the previous trivia question: Calgary’s Lougheed House was built in 1891 and is a National and Provincial Historic Site.

Today’s trivia question: Born on this day in 1903, what shoe-related device did Charles F. Brannock invent?

The seasonally-adjusted resale price of benchmark homes in Calgary and Edmonton have been on the rise over the last year

The seasonally-adjusted resale price of benchmark homes in Calgary and Edmonton have been on the rise over the last year

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