GREG STEELE

"Not All REALTORS® Are Alike"©


Is great access to the Edmonton International Airport important to you? Do you want to live near the edge of the city in an attractive, single-family home neighbourhood (about 10 percent is duplexes)?


If so, take a look at Rutherford in south Edmonton. This community, named after Alberta's first premier, Alexander Cameron Rutherford, used to be farmland. It will soon be surrounded on all sides by quality residential development, with easy access to Anthony Henday Drive (Edmonton’s Ring Road) and Highway 2 (Queen Elizabeth II Highway, running south to Calgary).


Rutherford hasn’t lost its connection to the natural habitat, preserving it with a series of tranquil parks -- including the Virginia Park Woodland -- that dot the neighborhood.


Rutherford is bounded on the west by 127 Street, on the east by James Mowatt Trail (111 Street), on the north by Ellerslie Road and on the south by Blackmud Creek Ravine, with a line connecting the ravine to 127 Street near 25 Avenue SW.

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1. A wave of new buyers.

Spring brings an enormous wave of new buyers into the marketplace, looking for homes. These are both first-timers – many of them Millennials – and people re-sizing (either up or down as their families grow or the nest empties). They come out of hibernation on a Spring mission to upgrade their lifestyles, putting in long hours in the sunshine, looking for their next perfect home. If you’ve had your property on the market for a while, this makes it a whole new game and your best chance to close a sale. If you’ve been thinking of listing, price it right and do it now.


2. Homes show better.

With the extended daylight hours and warmer temperatures, snowbanks melt and the landscape gets greener. Because of this, homes simply “show better” in the Spring. To stage for the season, try adding flowerboxes and plants around your front entrance (see our next article for a grower’s head-start). Without question, planters can make your home more appealing to prospects. Give your property a thorough Spring cleaning. Minimize clutter and let some of the outdoors into your home, if possible. Everything should look bright and fresh, including your chances for a sale.


3. Prices spike and often peak.

This could be because people get money back from Revenue Canada in April/May. It might be because they’re more inclined to spend large sums of money during the invigorating Spring season of renewal. Or, most likely, it’s because of the wave. With more people out looking for a home in the Spring, there’s more competition for homes and a much greater sense of urgency. Heightened demand can lead to bidding wars that drive up prices.


4. Days on Market gets shorter.

As days get longer, time to sell gets shorter! Historically, homes sell faster during the Spring months than most other times of year. With more people out looking (and for more hours every day), they’re often seeing each other at showings. To avoid being out-bid on “perfect homes,” buyers tend to make their offers – and close on their purchases – faster in the Spring. Quick sales and higher sale prices tend to happen together at this time of year.


5. Moving is more fun.

If you have children in school, finding a new home in the Spring means you’ll probably be moving into it after the school year ends. A move during the more leisurely days of summer is simply more relaxing. It can even be fun. Fall and winter moves, by contrast, can coincide with horrendous weather, making it a miserable proposition. And even though we have Spring blizzards in Western Canada, the snow usually melts quickly and moves are more manageable.

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Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world's biggest tech show held in Las Vegas last January showcasing the latest and upcoming innovations from artificial intelligence, robotics, gadgets, and much more. We are highlighting a few of the best smart home tech that were featured in the event in our photo gallery. These gadgets are not only cool but are useful and provide benefits for consumers at home.


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Thanks! We’ve been getting good feedback on our new Neighbourhood Profile feature in this monthly newsletter. We didn’t run it this month because we wanted to share 2019 data, look back over the last few years and get you thinking about 2020. The Neighbourhood Profile is back next month, though, so we ask: “Which Edmonton neighbourhood would you like us to profile next?”
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Home Prices


The results are in. The 2019 home price for Edmonton, based on sales, was $360,262. That was down 3.09 percent from $371,748 in 2018. Looking back, the price rose for three straight years from $367,055 in 2014 to $376,771 in 2017 before a weakened economy drove markets down slightly in 2018 and 2019. It’s difficult right now to predict what’s going to happen next. Some experts believe we’re at the bottom of the market (a great time to buy)! What do you think Edmonton’s home price will be in 2020?


Sold vs New Listings


With 16,557 Edmonton homes sold last year, 2019 was the worst-performing year in the last six. When sales volume is low and supply grows due to new listings, we typically call it a buyer’s market. If you’re selling, you might need to wait for a while before you find a buyer and then you might get a lower offer than what you’re hoping to see. Despite fewer sales in 2019, supply was also lower, tempering this dynamic. The sold-to-listings ratio actually rose by several percentage points.


Time to Sell – Average Days on Market


For five years in a row in Edmonton, the Time to Sell has risen. In 2019, it took an average 64 days (more than two months) to sell a property. In 2014, when sales volume was higher and there were fewer listed properties to choose from, that number was 48 days. If you’re buying in Edmonton, the last few years of lower sales and higher supply have meant there’s been plenty to look at. If job growth and other factors improve, we could see that situation change, with lower supply and faster sales. What do you think is going to happen in 2020?


Market Distribution


Look at the infographic and you’ll see that the vast majority of Edmonton’s home sales activity for 2019 occurred at prices below $800,000. The highest volume (3,596 sold) was in the $300,000 to $399,999 price range. Five properties were purchased for $2-$3 Million. Only two sold for more than $3 Million last year.

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Ice Castles (until March 20)

Enjoy this award-winning frozen attraction built using hundreds of thousands of icicles hand-placed by professional ice artists.


Silver Skate Festival (Feb 7 – 17)

Have fun with your entire family in this longest winter festival in Edmonton. Discover breathtaking snow sculpture, winter sports, live music, and much more.


Snowshoe & Stargaze (Feb 15)

Experience the night sky with fellow enthusiasts at Astotin Lake after dark!


Valentine’s Day at Miller Crossing Farmers Market (Feb 14)

Explore the market to find everything you need to make a special dinner or buy special gifts for your special one.


Winefest Edmonton (Feb 14 – 15)

Swirl, sip and savour the all-inclusive sampling of wines from all over the world and an array of delectable hors d'oeuvres!


SkirtsAfire (Feb 27 – Mar 8)

Come visit the only theatre and multidisciplinary arts festival featuring women.

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If you want to live in an Edmonton neighbourhood with the best of all worlds, you should take a look at Strathcona.


Here, it’s an easy drive downtown or to the University of Alberta and a nice walk to the North Saskatchewan River Valley or the Mill Creek Ravine.


The real estate is a mix of older, character homes in great condition (some 100 years old) and modern apartments and condominiums, high- and low-rise.


At the centre of it all is hip, artsy Old Strathcona with its historic town feel and bustling, main artery, Whyte Avenue. Whyte’s famous for its art galleries, pubs and night clubs, trendy boutiques, theatre venues, international restaurants and coffee shops.


It’s a world class festival hub in the summer, with all kinds of live music and entertainment. As of 2019, Strathcona’s roads and sidewalks are getting re-surfaced and decorative, new streetlamps are being installed. The improvements are scheduled for completion in 2021.

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We’ve been hearing a lot about “the next decade of interior design.” That’s too far ahead for us.


Everything changes too fast. Here’s what we expect to see in 2020 that we like:


  1. The home gets back to being a comfortable retreat where you can just chill inside calm, relaxing spaces with less clutter and more ambiance.
  2. Expansive whites and earthy greens and browns re-connect us with a soothing, natural aesthetic. 
  3. Lighting becomes better and brighter, spotlighting and showcasing feature walls with materials like wood, rock and cork. 
  4. Enviro-conscious living takes over with tech-smart, energy-saving abodes where recycling rules. 
  5. Open floorplans are improved with chic, industrial partitions that create functional flow. 
  6. The kitchen remains the hub for both families and entertainers. 
  7. The cactus makes a comeback. 
  8. Velvet is dusted off, too, re-introducing plush, luxurious affordability. 
  9. Ceilings break free, embracing new, integrated design concepts.
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It’s an interesting topic. Everyone has their idea of what “dream home” means. They’re at every price point.

If you’re looking for yours in 2020, read on for tips. If you’re listing, make it someone else’s dream home by staging it that way!


Buying?

Dream homes are not one size or style fits all.

Can you picture your dream home? Try. It’s much easier to find when you know what it looks like!

If you need help getting started, think about the lifestyle you’re after and then imagine your new home at the epicentre of it.


You might want a family home that better suits your active lifestyle, for example. Maybe you’re renting and your dream is to own. Or it could be you’re ready to lock-and-leave as you travel to exotic destinations.


Once you’ve given some thought to your lifestyle and the home that’ll best suit it, think about your budget. The good news is there are dream homes at every price point. It’s all about the fit.


Consider the most appropriate square footage, floorplan and number of rooms. Give some thought to the type of neighbourhood you want to live in.


Selling?

If you’re listing because you want to move – position your property as someone else’s dream home!


Who is the buyer that’ll see it that way? If you understand your home’s key strengths -- based on what people want -- you can enhance them for the sale. This doesn’t mean extensive renovations. You might not get your money back. It means great staging, though.


Stage it yourself or let us help you attract the right buyer. Consider updating colour schemes, furniture and layouts. Give our Interior Design Trends article in this newsletter a quick read.


Whatever you do around presentation, make sure it’s priced right when it hits the market and you’ll have a better chance at selling it quickly.


Make it happen this year!


Talk to me in January about finding your dream home in 2020… or selling your property to fulfill someone else’s dream. I’ll buy the coffee.

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Edmonton is a magical time in the winter, with frosted windows and snow-covered peaks within reach. And December, with all the holiday festivities from Christmas to New Years Eve, is the best month to celebrate.


There’s a lot happening around town, from quaint markets to ballet performances (if you’re in doubt, check out our list of events!) but there’s one place in particular that stands out: New Year’s Eve fireworks.


What is New Year’s Eve without a dash of lights and the bang of firecrackers going off?


And, of course, the best place to see the firework’s display in Edmonton is at the province’s iconic building: the Legislature.


There will be lots of family-friendly activities in the evening, followed by the bright lights starting at 9 PM

Details:


Federal Building
9820 107 St., and Capital Plaza
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Fireworks: 9:00 PM

Don’t forget to bundle up warmly when heading out to watch the lights, there can be lots of waiting around beforehand.

And if the government building isn’t your place to be, try these options instead:


Telus World of Science Edmonton
11211 142 St.
9:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Monday and Tuesday


Haddow Park
2099 Haddow Drive
5:00 PM – 8:30 PM, Monday
Fireworks at 8:00 PM


Some of the surrounding areas are also hosting their own local displays including:


Heritage Park
5100 41 Ave., Stony Plain
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Monday
Fireworks at 8:45 PM


Broadmoor Lake Park
2015 Oak St., Sherwood Park
4:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Monday
Fireworks at 8:00 PM

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Glow Gardens (until Jan. 4)
Glow is the largest indoor Christmas festival in greater Edmonton.


Shumka's Nutcracker (Dec. 15)
The media is calling this the “best” Nutcracker performance for generations.


Christmas Bureau Breakfast (Dec. 17)
Give some holiday cheer at this charitable event.


Edmonton Christmas Market (until Dec. 21)
A first-of-it’s-kind holiday festival in the heart of downtown Edmonton presented by ATB Place. Check out the market at Thursdays and Fridays from 3:00-8:00PM and Saturdays 12:00-6:00PM!


A Christmas Carol (until Dec. 23)
A holiday classic, not to be missed.


Boxing Day (Dec. 26)
Sales events happening around the city, don’t miss out on savings!

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When you think luxury property, what comes to mind?


Are we talking mega mansion with panoramic views and rooftop patio with helicopter pad?


How about a sprawling home gym that more closely resembles a private superspa? What’s that? A superspa usually takes up an entire floor and can come complete with your own team of personal trainers and a movable climbing wall. It features every type of exercise equipment plus wet, dry and infrared saunas, lap pools, massage rooms and meditation gardens. Everything in a superspa is run by smart technology.


Luxury homes with features like this are real. They’re sometimes sold with on-call staff to help run them and these days the list of features is limited only by our imaginations. Luxury homes around the world now run into the hundreds of millions of dollars and often come “fully loaded” with the following:


  • IMAX home theatres
  • Superspa home gyms
  • Fleets of supercars and other premium vehicles 
  • Showroom-style, glass-walled, multi-level, multi-car garages
  • Indoor/outdoor infinity pools with waterfalls and waterslides
  • Boutique-style walk-in closets that double as fashion party venues
  • Every type of specialty bar (from Irish Pub to Health Bar)
  • Park-like landscaping with high-end outdoor sound systems and lighting
  • Outdoor kitchens (with seasonal covers) featuring world class grilling equipment
  • Pool halls with arcades and DJ booths
  • State-of-the-art smart home operating and security systems
  • Top-of-the-line weather-proof doors and windows with adjustable tints
  • Elevators with panoramic views

Luxury real estate is about making – or borrowing -- enough cash to surround yourself in a high style, spare-no-expense new construction (or renovation) that is the absolute expression of what you love most in this world: Architecture, automobiles, sports, fashion, interior design, art, entertainment… you name it!


In Edmonton, luxury real estate often means historical as well as modern mansions on expansive properties with views of the downtown city skyline, the North Saskatchewan River or the river valley’s parkland, which, stretching for 25 km is the longest area of connected parks in North America.


The luxury category here (depending on who you ask, of course) starts at approximately $1 Million. Some of the highest-priced real estate to be found in Edmonton is in the neighbourhoods of Westridge (average active listing price of $3,650,000); Wedgewood Heights ($3,465,580); Brander Gardens ($3,429,333); Richford ($3,250,000) and Windsor Park ($2,301,273).


One of the properties in the luxury price range that’s currently on the market is an $8.5 Million property described in its listing as a “classic English brick Manor” on a .79 acre ravine lot in Westbrook Estates. It’s 19,500 square feet (14,025 above grade; 5,478 walk-out basement), custom-designed and surrounded by nature. It features an indoor pool and hot tub, chef-inspired kitchen, formal living, dining and family room, butler's pantry, crown mouldings, imported tiles, an exceptional upper floor master retreat, large additional “luxury suite” bedrooms, an elevator, media room, fully equipped bar, rec room, wine room, upgraded mechanical and security systems.


Also popular in Edmonton at the moment, as far as luxury features go:


  • Soaring ceilings and state-of-the-art skylights
  • Beautiful, open (and sometimes flexible) floorplans
  • Massive, high-end windows with stunning views and smart tint control
  • All architectural styles
  • The finest materials, such as (Italian) Carrara marble
  • Environmentally-conscious monitoring systems

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Every year on November 11, Canadians pause in a silent moment of remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace.
Veterans Affairs Canada (veterans.gc.ca)


More than 2.3 million Canadians have served our country in World War I (1914 to 1918), World War II (1939 to 1845), the Korean War (1950 to 1953) and other wars and conflicts.


More than 118,000 Canadians have died serving Canada and helping to protect the values of our country and the free world.


Please visit the Veterans Affairs Canada website at veterans.gc.ca for an educational backgrounder on Remembrance Day. It includes the following statement:


“The Canadians who went off to war in distant lands went in the belief that the values and beliefs enjoyed by Canadians were being threatened. They truly believed that "without freedom there can be no ensuring peace and without peace no enduring freedom."


Beverly Memorial Cenotaph in Edmonton invites you to join them for a Remembrance Day service Monday, November 11 from 10:30 to 11:30 am. 4001 118 Ave NW, Edmonton. For more Remembrance Day events in Edmonton this year, please visit edmonton.ca where you’ll find a Calendar of Events.
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Check out our photo gallery of beautiful garden planters you can place by your front door or even inside your home. Be inspired by colorful foliage to further enhance your curb appeal. 


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Copyright 2020 by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. All Rights Reserved.
Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.