FIVE WAYS YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL IN EDMONTON
It feels like we’ve been hearing it for years… the housing markets in many of Canada’s major cities (looking at you, Vancouver and Toronto) have been overheated and are seeing a major correction. And yet, as the seasons change and years roll by, the prices have seemed to go in only one overall direction- up.
one can predict the future, but waiting forever is not a good strategy. The good news is that for those willing to expand their horizons and broaden the search, there are cities in Canada that are deeply undervalued relative to overheated markets like Toronto.
One of the best markets in Canada is Edmonton. Not only is it a fantastic place to live, but it comes with a rare advantage in Canada- affordable housing coupled with a wealth of high-income jobs and rich local amenities. This blog will detail five ways Edmonton presents one of the most attractive real estate opportunities in Canada. So frustrated first-time buyers and upsizers from Vancouver to Toronto don’t despair! You can have it all.
1 – Low Prices
Before detailing the many benefits that make Edmonton such a great city to live in, let’s discuss one of the biggest draws of the real estate market here – price. The average home here costs around $417,000- compare that to $1.2 million in Toronto or Vancouver!
The market is also more stable- an increase in home prices of 2-3% year over year is normal, compared to 10-20% increases in Montreal over the last two years and 40% in Toronto or Vancouver followed by big drops! As a comparison, we can look at the 2007 markets of Edmonton and Toronto side-by-side. An average house in 2007 in Edmonton would have cost $350,000- around 20% more than it would cost in 2022. The market in Toronto in 2007 was similar, with the average home selling for around $375,000- but given that it has jumped to $1,200,000, prices have increased more than 300%!
There are a couple takeaways from this price discussion. The first is that your money will go further in Edmonton. A couple contemplating buying a condo in Vancouver or Toronto will be able to easily afford a detached single family home! Those with budgets able to accommodate the higher prices for large properties in those cities will be able to save hundreds of thousands of dollars if they purchase a comparable home in Edmonton- money that can be put towards a second home, vacation property, or savings. You may also be able to pay cash for your property and avoid a mortgage.
Lastly, if you’re looking to get a foothold in the real estate market now, with a plan to upsize later on as your needs change- Edmonton is the perfect market, as housing prices have been growing much more slowly and predictably.
Of course, if you’re looking to upgrade your home it’s a good idea to plan for career growth and development to help you afford your next property. That’s another reason why Edmonton is a great choice!
2 – Jobs Jobs Jobs
Alberta’s economy is back on top, projected to lead Canada in GDP growth in 2022 and 2023. This translates into a wealth of benefits for those who relocate to the province.
To start off, the average salary in Edmonton is around 20% higher than the rest of Canada, sitting at just under $60K versus Canada’s average of just under $50K. Not only are the salaries attractive, but the city also has a booming job market, with over 90,000 vacant positions, many of them high-income. The province has recently passed the Labour Mobility Act, which will facilitate your move from another province if you have professional or technical designations. Labour participation within the city is the highest in Canada.
Among the high-growth hubs attracting skilled workers from around the globe, you’ll find a thriving film and television industry, with over $1 billion of provincial investment and extensive tax credits, the logistics, manufacturing, and shipping hub of Port Alberta, and of course the city’s extensive connections to the energy sector, including renewable technologies such as hydrogen. The city’s tech sector is also booming, with the University of Alberta enjoying a #3 ranking worldwide in AI research, drawing in investment and jobs from tech giants such as Google, IBM, Amazon, Microsoft and Rogers. Edmonton is also a hub for video game development, with heavy hitters like Bioware active in the space.
These economic advantages also make the city a very lively place, with many young workers and families from across the country and the world making Edmonton their new home, bringing with them their cuisines and local cultures. The age of the average worker is only 36, one of the youngest in Canada. The city has excellent investment in infrastructure and commutes are short- what more could you ask for?
3 – Boomtown
Your money also goes further in Alberta, with no sales tax, land transfer tax, or fuel tax. Even better, Alberta has the highest personal and spousal allowances in Canada, meaning you’ll pay some of the lowest personal income taxes in the country! To complete a very attractive picture, you’ll also enjoy a cost of living 25% lower than Toronto. When coupled with the lower housing prices, Edmonton can offer you newfound financial freedom in the next chapter of your life.
Investment in Alberta is booming, which is helped by the province’s very low corporate tax rate and extensive business incentives. Besides the Port of Alberta area mentioned above, the province has deeply invested in hubs providing logistic and distribution support to the two busiest ports in Canada, Vancouver and Prince Rupert . Edmonton is also positioned for continued success in many areas of the energy and chemical sectors, with projects from a $10 billion net-zero ethylene plant to Canada’s first and largest hydrogen hub, which will secure the city’s place in an industry expected to surpass the $100 billion mark. Alberta’s agricultural products are in high-demand, and high oil prices continue to support the government’s investment in health, infrastructure, and environmental projects while maintaining low provincial debt.
4 – Living in Edmonton
Besides the economic advantages, Edmonton is a great city to live in. It’s known as “Canada’s Festival City” for the more than 50 festivals it stages annually, and regularly places highly on international rankings of the best and most livable cities.
The city is also a home to the arts. The Francis Winspear Home for Music has been described as the most acoustically perfect concert halls in the country, and hosts the local Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. It also boasts the $3-millions Davis Concert Organ- the largest in the country!
The Citadel and Catalyst Theaters form a complex with five halls between them, staging a variety of different productions. The city’s Fringe festival, Edmonton International Fringe, is North America’s largest. Other major festivals include Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Edmonton Heritage Festival, Taste of Edmonton, Chaos Alberta Festival, Interstellar Rodeo, Big Valley Jamboree, Pigeon Lake Music Festival, Edmonton Rockfest, Edmonton International Reggae Jamboree Festival, Edmonton Blues Festival and Cariwest. The city also offers many galleries, including the Royal Alberta Museum, and Art Gallery of Alberta.
Sports fans are also spoiled for choice, with the Edmonton Elks of the CFL, Edmonton Oilers of the NHL, and Edmonton FC all calling the city home. Lastly, the city’s food and nightlife scene is booming with the job market and economy, with many innovative new restaurants and bars opening all the time.
5 – The Great Outdoors
Lastly, no list of advantages would be complete without discussing the immense wealth of natural beauty in the Edmonton area. River Valley Park is the largest urban park in North America, with over 160km of trails connecting over 20 separate parks with a combined area exceeding 110 square kilometers. Described as a natural wonder, it is currently under evaluation for designation as one of Canada’s National Parks. Within the park, you’ll find ample opportunities for boating, canoeing, hiking, jogging, mountain biking, fishing, camping and more. Also in the area is the Edmonton Zoo and several golf courses and ski hills.
Of course, as an Edmonton resident, you would also have easy access to the many fantastic National Parks of Alberta, like Banff and Jasper, any of which can offer an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Edmonton is a great place to live, and the City is proud! The city currently offers many unique advantages for new residents and those seeking relief from the relentlessly high prices of many of Canada’s other urban hubs. A home in Edmonton can be the first step to building a great new life here.
Interested in taking your first steps into the market? Reach out today here for your free consultation!