A new report released Thursday by real estate firm RE/MAX indicates Calgary and Edmonton rank high as desirable, livable cities for homeowners.
“Despite reports of slowing economic conditions and a relatively flat real estate market in Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton shine as beacons of livability,” said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president of RE/MAX of Western Canada.
“This is a promising sign for any buyers considering a purchase in either city as they continue to develop as liveable cities in their own right.”
A survey of RE/MAX brokers based in major Canadian city centres revealed that all cities ranked high in at least one of the following livability factors:
- availability of work/access to employment opportunities
- availability of public transit
- access to green spaces and parks
- availability of big and small retail stores
- economic development
- population growth
- number of top rated/preferred schools
- housing supply
- housing affordability
- access to health-care facilities
- easy access to bike lanes and/or walking paths
RE/MAX brokers were asked to tap into their neighbourhood expertise and rate their city on each livability factor. Brokers in 10 out of 15 markets ranked access to green space as high: Ottawa, London, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria and Nanaimo.
While housing affordability ranked low in Toronto and Vancouver, it is either medium or high in every other market, with Ottawa, Hamilton, London, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary offering high levels of affordability.
“In the west, Calgary ranked high in seven out of 11 categories, including offering good access to employment opportunities, population growth, housing supply, housing affordability and easy access to bike lanes and/or walking paths. Confederation and Nose Hill Park are two of the most popular parks in the city and the Rotary Mattamy Greenway is the cycling equivalent to the ring road. Inglewood, Hillhurst and Charleswood rank as the top three all-around livable neighbourhoods.
“Edmonton also ranked high in access to employment opportunities, number of top rated/preferred schools and easy access to bike lanes and/or walking paths,” said RE/MAX.
Here’s what the report had to say about Edmonton and Calgary:
Old Strathcona, Oliver and Westmount rank as the top three neighbourhoods in Edmonton for access to green spaces and parks, walkability, retail and restaurants and the ease of getting around/public transit. Summerside ranks as the top hidden gem neighbourhood, while Oliver, Clareview and Hudson rank as the top three neighbourhoods for affordability and good supply of housing inventory.
Calgary’s Inglewood, Hillhurst and Charleswood areas rank as the top three all-around livable neighbourhoods for access to green spaces and parks, walkability, access to retail stores and restaurants and ease of getting around/public transit. North Haven Upper, Renfrew, Chinook and Meadowgate Park rank as the top hidden gem neighbourhoods to housing supply, affordability and livability factors.
Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter.