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If you’re looking to stay close to downtown, consider Canora, Westmount and Pleasantview — this year’s top three Edmonton core and inner neighbourhoods. While the average home price of Edmonton’s core hovers just above $408,600, buyers will be pleasantly surprised to learn that only Westmount’s average house price exceeds this average. In fact, buyers can expect to find homes around $390,000 to $400,000 in Pleasantview and below $300,000 in Canora.
“Land here is cheap and, as a result, we’ve suffered from urban sprawl,” explains Christian Gannon, a veteran Re/Max Realtor. “But in recent years, there’s been a push to revitalize the urban core and it’s really paid off. Now people are willing to pay top dollar to be closer to the city’s urban core, closer to the action.”
No wonder 64% of the top 25 neighbourhoods to buy now are located in Edmonton’s urban core. The city’s decision to revitalize the arena area a few years ago — an area now known as the Ice District — really helped to rebuild the city’s core. “Now couples, families and professionals are moving into condos, townhomes and houses that are walking distance to everything,” says Gannon. Some residents are even giving up on car ownership, says Gannon. “It’s a first for us.”
The three best neighbourhoods to buy right now in Edmonton’s inner core are Canora, Westmount and Pleasantview.
Surprised by the No. 1 neighbourhood for Edmonton’s inner core? Don’t be. It was sitting well back on our rankings last year, at No.23, but had already been on our value radar. In fact, we gave it No. 4 spot in back-to-back years in 2015 and 2016.
There are good reason for these repeated strong showings, led by value. Homes in the Canora neighbourhood are very competitively priced — about 15% less than the average cost of homes in this broader area and almost 25% cheaper than the average price of home for the whole city of Edmonton.
One reason for these affordable prices is that the homes in this neighbourhood are mostly brick bungalows and raised bungalows built post-World War II on larger lots. Over the years, many of the basements were converted into apartments. According to data from Statistics Canada, almost 75% of the homes in Canora are tenant occupied, rather than owner occupied. But the neighbourhood is changing, explains Sarah Leib, a realtor with Re/Max River City. “The large lots have given builders an opportunity to develop infill homes. Due to this redevelopment, the area is attractive to buyers who want a new home with good access to downtown, Whitemud Drive and all the amenities.”
What’s really driving momentum right now, explains Lieb, is that a new light rail transit stop on the Valley Line West will run along the southern border of this neighbourhood. “The communities around Canora offer more affluent housing and higher-end infills, so Canora will only become more and more attractive in the near future,” says Leib.
For the second year in a row, Westmount ranked in Edmonton’s top 25 neighbourhoods for both value and momentum, but this year it claimed the top spot on our list of urban-centric neighbourhoods.
“This continues to be a really desirable area,” says Gannon — and how could it not be. Located very close to downtown it offers a great mix of housing options, from lofts and condos in repurposed commercial space to older 1950s and 1960s ranchers, to modern, newly-built skinny homes that take up half the original 50×150 lot.
The neighbourhood is ideal for families who went to stay at the centre of the action but still enjoy a backyard soccer game and BBQ or for professionals who want to invest in a newly built detached home without straying too far from the city centre.
So popular that adjacent neighbourhoods are starting to heat up. “Inglewood is not known as posh but according to city statistics it had the greatest number of infill starts in 2017,” explains Gannon. “These developers realize that families are now struggling to afford the Westmount neighbourhood and are looking for the $100k price drop that Inglewood can offer. At an average house price that’s $35,000 to $40,000 cheaper than the city’s average, it’s no wonder Inglewood ranked No. 19 on this year’s list.
This neighbourhood is not as close to downtown but it’s proximity to the university and to Whyte Ave — the heart of Edmonton’s art scene — makes it a very popular choice for home buyers.
“Part of the draw is the community buzz,” explains Gannon and this can be attributed to a very proactive Community League. Akin to a Business Improvement Association, the Pleasantview community league continues to find ways to attract more events and more festivals to the area — including a large and very popular Farmer’s market — and that action and energy creates significant buzz.
Another reason for its popularity is how easy it is for commuters to live in Pleasantview and commute downtown. “All major roads that surround the neighbourhood provide easy access to main arteries, such as Whitemud Drive, Fox Drive and Calgary Trail,” explains Sarah Leib, Re/Max realtor with River City. “Yet, the neighbourhood is quiet and very child-friendly. Mount Pleasant school is consistently rated as one of the best in Alberta.”
The other reason for the neighbourhood’s popularity is that city planners relaxed the zoning in these areas — allowing the large lots to be split and the building of two skinny detached homes or a duplex (known as a semi-detached homes in central Canada).
“The city wanted to keep urban housing affordable and they hoped that by reducing lot size and opening up the type of home that could be built on the lot, this would happen,” says Gannon.
Pretty soon speculators, flippers and builders realized demand and started building luxury homes in the ‘hood. “It’s not uncommon for a new build to sell for more than $1 million,” says Gannon. “That price point is not common in Edmonton.”
Top 25 neighbourhoodsSearch by neighbourhood or area to filter results.
|Rank||Neighbourhood||Area||Average home price (2017)||Value||Momentum||Realtor Grade||Average price vs. area||Avg. price vs. metro district||Avg. price vs. outer region||1-year price change||3-year price change||5-year price change|
|6||Queen Mary Park||Central Edmonton||$234,584||83.29||56.73||★★★★||93.11%||80.89%||57.41%||-2.72%||-6.76%||32.86%|
|7||West Meadowlark Park||West||$275,644||88.67||62.18||★★★||70.04%||65.22%||67.46%||7.02%||18.68%||12.73%|
|12||Central Mcdougall||Central Edmonton||$204,723||93.25||51.60||★★★||81.25%||70.59%||50.10%||-1.44%||8.59%||15.89%|
|17||King Edward Park||Southeast||$392,382||48.38||54.49||★★★★||96.28%||107.69%||96.03%||3.46%||1.85%||19.43%|
These are our picks for the best neighbourhoods to buy real estate in Edmonton’s core and inner suburbs, but if you’d rather live farther from the hustle and bustle of downtown, we have more suggestions. We ranked the best neighbourhoods in two regions — core/inner suburbs and outer. The core is the city’s urban centre, with accessible transit and easy access to amenities. And the outer region is for buyers who either don’t need to commute downtown at all, or are willing to log some serious travel time in exchange for affordable prices and wide open spaces. Check out the map below to see how the regions break down.