An emerging hotspot, the Edmonton region is the most attractive place to buy a home in Canada. Search results for the city of Edmonton as a place to live have skyrocketed — quadrupling pre-pandemic numbers — according to new data from Royal Lepage. Between January and June of 2023, Edmonton accounted for 2.0% of total site searches, followed by Calgary with 1.9% of total site searches.
Rising home prices and peaking interest rates throughout the rest of Canada are motivating individuals to look at Alberta for more affordable housing options, according to Royal LePage –and the data remains consistent among several sources. When we look at house prices across the province of Alberta, the Edmonton region leads Calgary in affordability by a healthy margin. The average house price is one and a half times higher in Calgary and looking across Western Canada to the coast, house prices in Vancouver are three times higher than in the Edmonton region.
According to Royal LePage, the average home price in Edmonton is $434,400 CAD in quarter two of 2023, and the national average was $809,200 CAD in quarter two of this year. This is in line with other estimates such as the CREA estimate of $372,100 CAD and $709,218 CAD as of May 2023, respectively.
Figure 1. CREA data for benchmark housing prices, May 2023
The Alberta government’s recent campaign, “Alberta is Calling,”, launched in 2022, has played a pivotal role in growing the awareness of the opportunities that exist in Alberta. One indication the campaign might be working is net interprovincial migration numbers. In the fourth quarter of 2022, Alberta saw a net growth of more than 11,000 interprovincial migrants — with 20,514 people moving to Alberta and 8,980 leaving. With a population of over 1.5 million, the fifth-largest economy in Canada, and a GDP of $107 billion, the region maintains a competitive edge in terms of growth.
Since innovation continues to grow in the region, the concept of livability stretches beyond affordability. In the Edmonton region, entrepreneurs and business owners thrive, due in large part to the strong support of investors, an extensive startup support system, and established and prominent research hubs. Edmonton Global is tracking over 2.37 billion dollars worth of foreign direct investment and created 3,500 jobs since 2019. The recent ‘State of Growth‘ report by UDI also highlights sustained and significant economic growth in our region – now is the time to catch the Edmonton region wave.
For newcomers to Canada, Edmonton ranks among the most attractive jurisdictions in Canada and has impressive retention rates; After one year after immigrating, approximately 85% of new immigrants had stayed in Edmonton; and, after ten years approximately 82% are still in Edmonton — this is the highest rate among major Canadian cities. Over the period between 2016 and 2021, the Edmonton region experienced the fastest-growing immigrant population, surpassed only by Winnipeg. The region’s affordable cost of living undoubtedly plays a significant role in attracting and retaining new immigrants, proven by almost three years of more people migrating in than out.
Figure 5: Retention rates of immigrants by city (Statistics Canada)
A picnic in Queen Elizabeth Park
The Edmonton region’s population is diverse, creating a rich and vibrant culture. According to the 2021 population census, the Edmonton region also has the second-largest urban Indigenous population in Canada, which includes many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.
The region is also home to a young and talented workforce – with an annual labour force of over 837,000 people. The region is home to eight post-secondary institutions with a combined enrollment of 130,000 students. This wealth of educational institutions ensures that businesses have easy access to the talent they need when they need it.
The growing appeal of the Edmonton region has caught the attention of other Canadians as well as individuals from across the globe. There is a growing recognition of the immense potential and opportunities within the Edmonton region. With more and more people becoming aware of what the Edmonton region has to offer, the Edmonton region has truly emerged as Canada’s premier real estate hotspot.