Edmonton Condos: Your Complete City Guide
Edmonton: an Introduction
Vibrant and lovable Edmonton is the capital city of the province of Alberta. With a population of roughly 930,000, Edmonton is the second biggest city in Alberta after Calgary and the center of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Located on the North Saskatchewan River, this Canadian city anchors the north end of the "Calgary–Edmonton Corridor".
Edmonton's recent growth and prosperity is the result of multiple amalgamations, with the urban municipalities of Strathcona, North Edmonton, West Edmonton, Beverly and Jasper Place joining together to create the modern city of today. Often referred to as the "Gateway to the North", Edmonton is a great starting point for people who want to enjoy the natural wonders of northern Canada.
As North America's northernmost city with a population over one million, Edmonton has become an important economic and commercial hub for the surrounding area and a staging point for multiple large-scale mining projects located to the north. As the center of Canada's sixth largest census metropolitan area, Edmonton is the commercial, educational, and governmental hub for a number of cities, towns, and urban communities. There are 34 other municipalities included in the metropolitan area, including the cities of St. Albert and Leduc, the towns of Stony Plain and Beaumont, and the vast urban service area that is Sherwood Park.
The city itself includes 375 distinct neighborhoods that are broken down into seven geographic sectors. Edmonton's Downtown and surrounding areas contain the commercial core of the city, including the highly populated areas of Oliver and Garneau. The city center is surrounded by six large suburban sectors, which include the neighborhoods of Heritage Valley, Mill Woods, Kaskitayo, Riverbend, The Grange, Casselman-Steele Heights, Ellerslie, and The Meadow. Mill Woods is a particularly large area that has been divided into a town center and eight surrounding neighborhoods. From inner-city condos through to detached character homes in the suburbs, the city of Edmonton has real estate options to suit every lifestyle.
Edmonton is an important cultural center and is widely recognized as Canada's festival city. Churchill Square in Downtown Edmonton is home to multiple festivals each summer, with the University district and Whyte Avenue containing numerous theaters, concert halls, and live music venues. Famous festivals in the city include K-Days, the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, and the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. Along with a healthy cultural scene, Edmonton also features a number of beautiful parks and gardens. Edmonton River Valley is the longest stretch of connected urban parkland in North America, giving the city the highest amount of parkland per capita of any Canadian city.
The real estate sector in Edmonton in stable and affordable compared to other Canadian cities, with residents able to choose between inner-city and suburban living. While growth in the city is a long way from the heated markets of Toronto and Vancouver, steady growth and affordable prices are attractive to many. With large modern homes increasingly available in the suburbs and new condo developments starting to see the light of day, the future looks bright for Edmonton and everyone who is invested in this diverse and contemporary city.
Top 10 Neighborhoods in Edmonton
Glenora is a traditional residential Edmonton neighborhood with large lots and detached character homes. This attractive tree-lined suburb is home to the beautiful Alexander Circle and its iconic fountain, with Glenora being the previous home of the Royal Alberta Museum and its expansive grounds. This neighborhood features several gated estates overlooking the North Saskatchewan River, an active community league, and close proximity to downtown.
Oliver presents the bright young face of modern Edmonton, with this densely populated neighborhood featuring a healthy contingent of 20 and 30-year-olds. Despite the diversity and youthfulness of this community, Oliver is a very old neighborhood that dates back to the 1880s. Edmonton city council recently approved Edmonton’s tallest tower at the corner of Jasper Avenue and 114th Street, with this residential building a great example of how condo living is transforming the city.
This traditional neighborhood features a well-balanced mix of houses, shops, and restaurants, along with its much-loved farmers' markets, and a healthy contingent of entertainment venues. People associate this suburb with both the Edmonton International Fringe Festival and the Alberta New Democrats, with Strathcona often recognized as the spiritual home of this political movement.
Ritchie is a bustling residential neighborhood that somehow manages to feel both mature and modern at the same time. The recent opening of Ritchie Market has brought new life to the area, with the up-and-coming Blind Enthusiasm brewery and Biera restaurant sure to make this neighborhood even more attractive to Edmontonians.
Westmount is another mature part of Edmonton that seems to get better with age. There are numerous refurbished and historic homes in this neighborhood, including the Chandler Residence, built in 1912. The mixture of beautiful old houses and charming modern cafes lend an air of tradition and community values to Westmount, especially as you head down bustling 124th Street.
This lively part of Edmonton is a hit with students and the young at heart, thanks mostly to its close proximity to the University of Alberta. In fact, Garneau is often seen as the residential counterpart to the university and health research centers that lie to the west of the neighborhood. There are lots of high rise condominium buildings located in Garneau to service the students and young families of the area.
Highlands features a number of interesting historic buildings that date back to the time before this area was annexed by the City of Edmonton, including the Gibbard Block from 1913. Residents in this neighborhood are close to a number of amenities and have easy access to Northlands, the Coliseum, Commonwealth Stadium, and Concordia College.
Downtown Edmonton is where the action happens. A wide range of entertainment and shopping opportunities can be found throughout the Downtown area, including the Downtown Arts District, 4th Street Promenade, and the award-winning Canada Place. This thriving arts and retail precinct is also the business and government center of Edmonton, and home to the Alberta Legislature building and grounds. Downtown Edmonton condos are an excellent way to live in the heart of the city!
Bonnie Doon is home to the city’s lovely French quarter, which can now be found on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River. This neighborhood, affectionately called "la Cité francophone", is home to a large percentage of the province's Francophone population. Bonnie Doon features a cultural center, Francophone high school, Campus St-Jean, and a number of condos and student residences.
Alberta Avenue is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in Edmonton, with the redevelopment of this area making it an important residential and arts destination. This neighborhood is home to a number of entertainment venues and festivals, including the Kaleido Family Arts Festival during the Summer and the Deep Freeze Festival in the winter.
Top 10 Condo Builders in Edmonton
Yorkton Group International
Yorkton Group is a diversified real estate company who deals with all aspects of property asset management and development. This company has been building Edmonton homes since 1989, in which time they've helped countless customers fulfill their dreams of home ownership. Along with multiple condo developments, Yorkton Group is also involved in areas such as land development, real estate brokering, hotel operations, and real estate investment.
Prominent condo developments by Yorkton include Yorkton Place, Bentley Condos, Yorkton Twin Towers, and The Garneau. Bentley Condos is a luxury condominium project adjacent to the University of Alberta, with this building featuring contemporary design and quality finishes in the prestigious Windsor Park neighborhood.
BCM Developments is an Edmonton real estate development business specializing in multi-family residential projects. Over the last ten years, this family-run company has focused on revitalizing existing neighborhoods and bringing a sense of community spirit to new residential developments.
Well-known condo developments by BCM include Live Maxx, Fuzion on Whyte, Station Pointe, Zen, and Corners. Live Maxx is a six-storey condo project with 93 units in total. Located in the heart of Oliver Square, The Maxx Urban Condos promises modern features, rooftop terraces, sunrooms, and open-air balconies.
Carrington Communities builds quality modern condo projects across a range of locations in Edmonton and the surrounding Alberta area. Established in 1973, the Carrington Group of Companies has grown to become an award-winning residential builder of quality affordable homes.
Carrington has developed many Edmonton condos for sale, including Valour, Vibe Lofts, Elements by Carrington, and Elan Condominiums. Vibe Lofts is a new project located in downtown Edmonton, with this community designed to appeal to the growing number of Edmontonians who are looking to enhance their lifestyle through condo living. Along with a great location and stylish modern design, and features like floor-to-ceiling windows, contemporary kitchens and bathrooms, secure underground parking, and it’s pet-friendly! Vibe Lofts also features a fitness center and yoga studio.
StreetSide Developments is one of the biggest condo developers in Canada, with ongoing projects in numerous cities and provincial locations. StreetSide Developments is backed by over 65 years of residential construction experience, including townhomes, executive bungalows, and new condo communities.
Prominent condo developments by StreetSide include Triumph, Altius, Crossroads of Rutherford, and Aloft Skyview. Altius Uplands is located in South West Edmonton near the North Saskatchewan River, with this modern community providing fantastic style and access to great amenities in the established community of Edgemont. Altius condos are beautiful and modern, with one or more beds and baths, kitchens with islands, and a lovely den.
The Carlisle Group is one of the biggest and most active real estate development firms in Edmonton. Specializing in low-rise condominiums that cater to the entry level and downsizing market, Carlisle knows how to build affordable homes that meet the demands of community living. Promising crafted architecture and stylish interior design, Carlisle aim to create the best value and lifestyle opportunities for the greatest number of home buyers.
Current condo projects by Carlisle Group in Edmonton include Aurora Greens, Creekwood Landing, Heritage Valley Station, Vista Estates, and The James at Heritage Valley. Heritage Valley Station is close to retail stores and shopping in southwest Edmonton, with this community located on the doorstep of the Heritage Valley Area.
Brookfield Residential is an Edmonton home builder that specializes in building condo communities from the ground up. While this company takes great pride in modern interior design and stylish finishings, they also pay attention to the green spaces and gathering places that define modern condo communities. Brookfield has over 60 years experience building condos in Edmonton, Alberta and beyond. Brookfield has also been involved in a few townhouse projects, and they've also built duplex apartments.
Residential condo communities developed by Brookfield include Solstice, Edgemont, Paisley, The Orchards, Chappelle Gardens, and Lake Summerside. Chappelle Gardens is located just off Ellerslie Road and minutes away from Highway 2, meaning it's just a 20-minute drive to downtown Edmonton or the West Edmonton Mall.
Christenson Group of Companies
The Christenson Group is a multi-award winning condo development firm in Edmonton, with many of their projects dedicated to adult and senior living. From bungalows and estate homes through to luxury condo developments, the Christenson Group of Companies has decades of experience designing and building quality adult communities.
Condo developments by the Christenson Group include Heritage Creek, River's Edge, and Eton Park Estates. Heritage Creek is a new adult development that is dedicated to low maintenance lifestyles and access to beautiful nature trails and forested parkland.
PK Developments began 15 years ago when Dave Taylor started a small landscape and concrete company. It wasn't long until the company expanded into house building and condo developments, with PK Developments founded in 2008 to meet the growing needs of Edmonton residents.
Condominium projects by PK Developments include Centurion Townhouses, The Addison Condos, The Cascade Condos, and Centurion Townhomes. The Cascade Condos is the company’s current development. PK Developments is promising the highest quality contemporary finishes, with gourmet kitchens and luxury spa baths, in the gorgeous Bonnie Doon neighborhood. The condo fees for this development are estimated at $0.35 a square foot.
Regency Developments is a property development company in Edmonton with over 20 years experience designing and building quality homes. With decades of development accomplishments and trusted relationships with suppliers and tradespeople, Regency has built a number of inspiring condo communities in some of the best locations in Edmonton.
Prominent condo developments by Regency include the 36-storey Pearl Tower and Edgewater Village on Jasper. Pearl Tower offers breathtaking views of the Edmonton skyline, a fully featured wellness center, and all the modern amenities you may need. The condos are well equipped, with open floor plans, in-suite laundry facilities, great bedrooms, etc.
Founded in 1977, Landmark Homes has grown to become one of the biggest home builders in Edmonton and across Alberta. Landmark Homes has an enduring commitment to build the best possible homes at the best possible price, including townhouses, duplexes, and condo communities.
Condo communities by Landmark Homes include Stonehaven, Savida, and Aspen Meadows. Savida is a stylish four-storey building located in a prime location beside the brand new Clareview Rec Centre. There are a variety of condo options, with one bedroom, or two, or more, one or multiple baths, walk-in closet, modern kitchen appliances, etc. This project offers quality units at an exciting price point for first-time home buyers, who will be attracted by the modern amenities and lifestyle-enhancing location.
Edmonton Real Estate Market
The Edmonton property market enjoyed steady conditions during 2017, with prices holding and growing slightly in the city and surrounding municipalities. According to new data released by the Realtors Association of Edmonton, the average sale price of single-family homes increased by slightly less than one percent over the year to $437,744. The average sale price for duplex or row homes increased by 0.12 percent over the year to $348,225, with condominium prices falling nearly one percent to $248,130.
Strong monthly results during February 2018 saw property sales increase across all categories, with single-family home sales increasing by 22.97 percent, condo sales increasing by 14.17 percent, and duplex/row house sales increasing by 21.28 percent. These strong results represent a significant pick-up in activity when compared to year-on-year figures. On an annual basis, single-family homes unit sales decreased by 4.21 percent, condo sales decreased by 4.92 percent, and duplex/row houses sales decreased by 7.32 percent.
The significant rise in sales activity was forecast by some people, with high-rise condo developments having increased in the downtown area over the last few years and more new homes also being built in the suburbs. While condo prices fell significantly during November and December last year, condo sales in the downtown core climbed by a massive 62 percent during the third quarter of 2017 according to figures from Urban Analytics. The mixture of low prices and increasing activity could represent a serious opportunity for condo investors who want to get in on the ground floor.
One of the best condo locations in Edmonton is the "Ice District" next to the new arena, with Carlisle and other developers releasing new projects here and across the city. While new condo developments have not expanded much beyond central Edmonton, which accounted for almost 86 percent of all new high-rise condo sales in 2017, there are examples of some low-rise condo developments performing well in the outer suburbs. While the Edmonton property market is being challenged by empty downtown commercial space and boom-bust population changes, relatively low prices, and associated sales activity suggest growth in the condo market sooner rather than later.
Edmonton Condos: A Buying Guide
From high-rise buildings in Downtown Edmonton through to low-rise condos in the outer suburbs, condos are a great option for Edmontonians who want to improve their lifestyle and investors who want to take advantage of current low prices. While buying a condo can provide great opportunities for clever investors, this growing segment of the market also presents its fair share of challenges. Let's take a look at some of the steps you should take before buying a condo in Edmonton.
Managing your finances
Before you start hunting for a condo, it’s important to have your finances in place. Researching banks and other lenders is as important as researching buildings, developers, and various condos for sale, from the interest rates on offer through to ongoing fees. Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage is the first step, with condo hunting made much easier when you have a rough idea of how much money you can access.
During pre-qualification, banks and other lenders will look at your income levels, your debt levels, and your credit history. Once you have pre-qualification in writing, you can start to research individual condos for sale and various mortgage options. During this stage, it's important to set a working budget and pay down as much of your existing debt as possible.
Organizing your team
Buying a condo in Edmonton is very different than purchasing a single-family home or duplex. Not only are there different contingencies in place with condo contracts, it's also important to familiarize yourself with the different types of condos available and the association rules on offer.
New or pre-construction condos include all new developments, re-sale condos include existing apartments sold on the private market, and renovation condos include complete rebuilds. It's important to develop a team that is familiar with the type of condo you are looking for, with some real estate agents specializing in either new or re-sale properties. Along with an experienced real estate agent, you will also need solid legal advice from a lawyer and financial help from a qualified accountant.
Hunting for the perfect condo
What type of condo are you looking for? Which neighborhoods do you want to live in? How much can you afford in maintenance fees? Hunting for Edmonton condominium involves a combination of online research, dedicated groundwork, and good old-fashioned common sense. This is a very individual part of the process, with different people wanting very different things from their future home or investment property.
For example, many people associate condo living with an inner-city lifestyle, which automatically eliminates certain locations. On the other hand, others are more than happy to commute to work in order to enjoy a larger apartment in the peaceful outer suburbs. It's always important to analyze the available options with regard to your budget and individual preferences. It's also important to look at possible future needs such as access to schools and transportation hubs.
Researching developers and maintenance fees
Once you’ve set a budget, organized a team, and reduced your location options, you can focus on specific condo developments. It's important to research the company and building in question and compare projects based on fee structures and available amenities. Ongoing maintenance fees are an unavoidable part of condo living.
A condo is not a particular type of building, it's a legal form of ownership where all residents share the management and maintenance of common assets and services. Fees differ widely based on the amenities available to residents, the inclusion of utilities, staff costs, building age, and building size just to name a few factors. Maintenance fees are likely to be a significant part of your ongoing living costs and need to be analyzed carefully before signing any contracts.
Edmonton Property Taxes
Property taxes are an important revenue source used by the City of Edmonton to pay for various municipal services. Property tax notices are distributed by the City in late May each year, with property owners asked to pay their taxes in full by the due date of June 30 in order to avoid late-payment penalties. Property taxes are based on the value of the property, the type of property, and the current tax rate determined by the City of Edmonton.
Property taxes have increased by more than 70 percent in Edmonton over the last decade, as the city council boosted spending in order to fix crumbling roads and finance large infrastructure projects. While there has been a lot of anger about the rate of this increase, according to city officials, the real rate rise was closer to 55 percent due to changes in property values. Property tax bills are calculated by the tax rate and the assessed value of a property, with average property values actually falling by eight percent between 2008 and 2017.
In order to come to terms with how property taxes function in Edmonton, it's important to understand their retrospective nature. The City Council do not raise property tax rates to get more money, they set their budget first and then set a tax rate that will generate the needed funds. The biggest reason for tax increases over the last decade was the Council's infrastructure and growth agenda, including projects such as recreation centers, roadway interchanges, park upgrades, and fire halls.
Annual property taxes in 2017 for a typical house in Edmonton valued at $397,000 were $3,378, which is $108 more than the year before. The total property tax rate in 2017 was 8.5087 for residential and farmland properties, 9.4097 for other residential properties, and 20.7587 for non-residential properties, all expressed in mills. 2018 tax rates will be known by mid to late April 2018 when the 2018 property tax bylaw is approved, and the provincial education tax amount is known.
Maintenance Fees for Edmonton Condos
Maintenance fees are an important and unavoidable part of condo living in Edmonton. A "condominium" describes a legal form of ownership rather than a type of building, with residents responsible for the general upkeep and maintenance of community assets and services. Maintenance fees are generally paid monthly and designed to cover things like cleaning, staff wages, building maintenance, and insurance. A contingency reserve fund will be included in most fee structures, with water and other amenities also included by some buildings.
When shopping around for a condo, it's important to investigate exactly what's included in your maintenance fees. While fees generally differ based on the size of the unit and the availability of amenities and staff, they can also differ widely when services such as TV and Internet are included.
For example, a building with a gym will typically have higher fees in order to cover the cleaning and maintenance of equipment. Staff wages are also a great contributor to maintenance fees, so if the building you're looking at has a concierge or pool cleaner, fees will be higher. Smaller buildings often have higher fees because costs need to be shared among fewer people. Older buildings may also have higher fees because they require more maintenance.
Maintenance fees are calculated by the individual Condo Corporation when it sets its annual operating and maintenance budget. If you want to stay on top of fee increases and understand exactly where your money is going, you may want to attend the condo board's annual meeting.
Along with fee structures and rate increases, it's important to look at the contingency reserve fund to see if there's enough money to cover any planned or unplanned maintenance expenses on the building. Maintenance fees for condos in Edmonton can be anywhere from $250 a month to $700 a month and beyond.
Living in Edmonton FAQ
Q. How diverse is Edmonton?
A. Edmonton is a diverse city with a mixed racial profile. According to the latest official demographics, the City of Edmonton was 71.8 percent White and 5.3 percent Aboriginal, with visible minorities accounting for 22.9 percent of the overall population. While European ethnicities form the biggest population group, there is also a significant Asian population in some neighborhoods, including South Asians at 7.2 percent and Chinese at 6.2 percent.
Q. What are the most popular festivals in Edmonton?
A. Edmonton is known as Canada's festival city, with a huge number of great events held throughout the year. Churchill Square in Downtown Edmonton hosts numerous festivals, including the Works Art & Design Festival and the Edmonton International Street Performer's Festival. Edmonton's main summer festival is called K-Days, with other popular events including the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, and Edmonton Heritage Festival.
Q. What are the biggest tourist attractions in Edmonton?
A. Edmonton has a number of fantastic natural and cultural attractions. Known as the "Gateway to the North", this beautiful city features the highest amount of parkland per capita of any Canadian city. If you're looking for culture, you can visit the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM), Telus World of Science, Alberta Aviation Museum, and the amazing Art Gallery of Alberta. If you love shopping, the West Edmonton Mall is the largest mall in North America.
Q. What are the most popular sports teams in Edmonton?
A. Edmontonians love their sporting teams, including the Edmonton Oilers who play in the National Hockey League and the Edmonton Eskimos who play in the Canadian Football League. Edmonton's sports teams have a long history of rivalry with Calgary's teams, with games between the two cities often referred to as the "Battle of Alberta".
Carlisle focus is on developing low-rise condominiums that cater to the entry-level market. They offer high quality condos at competitive pricing. They work hard to maintain their position in the marketplace as a cost-efficient multi-family builder, thus enabling them to pass on the savings to customers. With Carlisle, you can count of masterfully finished condos, in desirable locations that meets the criteria for a lifestyle community.
Founded in 2000, Avi's vision is to design and build modern condominiums that blend innovative design with high quality finishes, yet at an affordable price. With decades of experience, the company has a reputation when it comes to providing high quality condos. The team constantly pushes the bar higher in providing innovative, functional and beautiful condos.
The Trico Group was founded in June 1992 by Wayne Chiu, an engineer educated in both Winnipeg and Hong Kong. For over 20 years, Trico Homes has continued to develop award winning condos in Calgary and surrounding communities. With over 8,900+ of finished homes, Trico has established itself as a premier builder of innovative homes with a solid reputation for integrity, quality craftsmanship and customer service.