Edmonton lands in fifth on national affordable cities report

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Edmonton snagged the fifth spot in Canada on Royal LePage’s inaugural affordable cities report.

The real estate group listed the most affordable Canadian cities in its recent report after asking respondents which cities they would be inclined to move to. Royal LePage calculated the affordable cities in real estate terms based on the percentage of income it would take for monthly mortgage payments. Edmonton and Red Deer were the two Alberta city representatives with both in the top five affordable cities across the country.

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Coming in at third and fifth respectively, Red Deer and Edmonton were the only two Alberta cities to crack Royal Lepage’s list of 15 affordable Canadian cities.

Ed Lastiwka, associate broker with Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate, said in a news release why Edmonton landed on the list.

“When shopping for a home, your dollars are bound to stretch farther in Edmonton than they would in most large urban centres in Canada,” said Lastiwka.

To quantify the affordability of a city, Royal LePage used median income data from Statistics Canada and city-level aggregate home prices. Edmonton’s aggregate home price used for the report was $442,200, which was pulled from a 2024 housing survey. The median total household income for Edmonton was pulled from a 2022 report and listed at $95,900.

Thunder Bay, Ont., Saint John, N.B., Red Deer and Trois-Rivieres, Que., all landed above Edmonton on the affordability list but Edmonton was the largest city by several hundred thousand people. It was the only city on the list with more than one million people.

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The size of a city, specifically the city’s population, can often drive up the cost of living. Canada’s largest cities, including Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal have significantly more expensive cost of housing, either rent or homeownership, than other smaller cities, which makes Edmonton’s affordability as a relatively large city an anomaly on the list.

Royal LePage’s affordability list was coupled with a Hill and Knowlton poll, which used Leger’s online opinion poll to survey more than 900 respondents from the Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal areas.

According to the report, half of the survey’s respondents would consider purchasing a home in one of Canada’s most affordable cities if they found a job or could work remotely. Renting respondents were more likely to relocate than homeowners, with 60 per cent saying they’d move compared to 45 per cent of homeowners.

royal lepage affordable cities
Red Deer and Edmonton crack Royal LePage’s list of most affordable cities in Canada. Photo by Screenshot /Royal LePage

Edmonton swept the greater Toronto and Vancouver areas while Quebec City was cited by greater Montreal area residents as a popular relocation place.

In greater Toronto and greater Vancouver area, 19 per cent of residents said that Edmonton would be their choice of an affordable city.

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But Edmonton’s affordability isn’t news to the thousands that have already made the move from elsewhere in Canada or around the world. The influx of people has already had an effect on housing and will continue to do so.

An Alberta Real Estate Association report for Edmonton’s real estate released in April shows home sales up more than 50 per cent compared to last year, and the average price of homes is up six per cent.

“Though our supply of homes has historically been plentiful, which has helped property prices remain stable, that has changed since the onset of the pandemic. Edmonton’s affordability has drawn many to the city in recent years, prompting more intense upward priced pressure as demand outstrips supply,” said Lastiwka.

The squeeze on housing will drive prices up, but Lastiwka said it should remain relatively affordable.

“With approximately 100,000 people projected to move to the city within the next few years, home prices are expected to increase, yet remain relatively affordable.”

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Twitter/X: @ZacharyDelaney

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