“There are a number of factors that are making housing more expensive, but the biggest issue is supply. Put simply, Canada is facing a housing shortage—we have a lower number of homes per person than many OECD countries. Increasing our housing supply will be key to making housing more affordable for everyone.” — From the 2022 Federal Budget
House prices in Edmonton are up. It’s not uncommon to see bidding wars, and the rise in interest rates haven’t cooled things down, yet.
According to stats from the Realtors Association of Edmonton, the average price for a single family home in April of 2022 was $510,988, up more than 11 per cent from the same time last year. But the number of homes sold was down 6.3 per cent over April, 2021.
At end of 2021, the average Edmonton home-sale price was just $472,000.
Simply put, house prices are going up, and there are fewer of them on the market. For those of us who have ever taken an economics class, or watched BNN for even a half-hour, it’s about the basics of the supply-demand curve. Strained supply and higher demand will lead to upward pressure on prices, no matter the other market factors.
“[Supply] is lower than it has ever been in the last six years. It is considered a seller’s market,” Bruno Schiavon, co-founder of The Foundry Real Estate co, warned earlier this year.
And it’s a national issue. As the federal government states in its 2022 budget, Canada is lagging behind other developed nations when it comes to building new housing supply. So, no matter how many infill projects we champion in our Canadian cities, no matter the affordable housing projects we support, we also need new communities, places where couples can buy their first homes (which, more and more, are becoming their forever homes). We need new, dense neighbourhoods. To cool housing prices, we need the most tried-and-true solution of all — increased supply.