Barry Klatt

Barry Klatt

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Neighbourhoods in Calgary, Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge Rank Among Canada's Top 100 List

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 19, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A special report by Canada Real Estate Wealth Magazine has uncovered the top 100 investment neighbourhoods in this country -- communities most likely to swerve a coming correction.


Ten neighbourhoods in Alberta have outshone recent housing trend predications and ranked in the Top 100 list including Bowness in Calgary, Ambleside in Edmonton, Desert Blume Estates in Medicine Hat and West Lethbridge in Lethbridge.


"Calgary's positive consumer confidence makes the city an excellent market for real estate investors," says Wayne Kainu, Vice President of VERICO Boomerang Financial Inc.


"The city has been focused on increasing its inner city density, attempting to reduce Calgary's urban sprawl. Neighborhoods like Bowness, is considered a hot inner city neighborhood and 'in transition', meaning that many investors are buying older single family bungalows, then tearing them down, and replacing them with a modern duplex, also referred to as an 'Infill'," Kainu adds.


Cory McLean, Broker/ Owner of VERICO Axis Mortgages based in Lethbridge, says that he does not believe that the Bank of Canada will announce changes to the overnight rate and corresponding prime rate on Tuesday.


However, McLean says that true investors, those who are educated and understand the patterns of investing in real estate will always invest, regardless of interest rate.


"Any announcement that confirms rates will either remain at historical lows or drop further will only help to entrench future stability via lower cost of borrowing and that can only contribute to positive thoughts by investors. It could mean those on the fence ultimately decide that now is the right time to invest," says McLean.


McLean also says that although the rule changes in July made it harder to qualify for financing, the tightening affect actually created more opportunities for investors.


"Tougher qualifications, primarily due to the shorter amortizations and bench mark qualification rate, mean fewer home purchasers who end up staying in the rental pool. A larger rental pool, with better quality renters can only mean good things for those investing in real estate for the purposes of landlording."


VERICO iMortgage Solution Owner, Sandra Fisher, says that Edmonton remains a city of opportunity.

"Affordable, low unemployment, and globally recognized as the gateway to the north, Edmonton is definitely deserving of its place on the Top 100 list. The beauty of the river valley is second to none and has over 160km of biking and walking trails to enjoy along with world class facilities in education and research," says Fisher.


Medicine Hat was also recognized as a great community for real estate investors.


"Vacancy rates in Medicine Hat are traditionally low and rents provide a good return on investment," says Cathy Sehn, mortgage broker with VERICO Brokers For Life. "Our overall real estate market has also been stable, making investment in this city a safe bet."


To navigate the new mortgage rules, Fisher adds that investors should seek the advice of mortgage professionals. "The rule changes in July have definitely affected the availability of financing, but opportunities are out there with the right mortgage product."


Other AB neighbourhoods that ranked in the Top 100 list include:

          ----------------  ------------------  --------  -------  -------  -------
                                                  home    Capital  Average  Vacancy
             City/Town         Neighbourhood     price*   Growth*   Rent*    Rate*
          ----------------  ------------------  --------  -------  -------  -------
          Calgary           Bowness             $449,260    9.00%      n/a    1.90%
          ----------------  ------------------  --------  -------  -------  -------
          Chestermere       Downtown area       $435,000    3.57%   $1,200      n/a
          ----------------  ------------------  --------  -------  -------  -------
          Edmonton          Ambleside           $528,152   -4.70%   $1,036    2.70%
          ----------------  ------------------  --------  -------  -------  -------
          Grand Prairie     Royal Oaks          $330,705   -2.70%     $894    1.10%
          ----------------  ------------------  --------  -------  -------  -------
          Lethbridge        West Lethbridge     $250,123   -0.60%      n/a    0.30%
          ----------------  ------------------  --------  -------  -------  -------
                            Desert Blume
          Medicine Hat       Estates            $350,000    9.90%     $661    7.00%
          ----------------  ------------------  --------  -------  -------  -------
          Red Deer          Sunnybrook          $332,000    6.30%     $843    2.50%
          ----------------  ------------------  --------  -------  -------  -------
          St. Albert        North Ridge         $525,800   10.00%   $1,035    0.50%
          ----------------  ------------------  --------  -------  -------  -------
           County           Ardrossan           $399,472    3.00%   $1,067    4.70%
          ----------------  ------------------  --------  -------  -------  -------
          Wood Buffalo      Fort McMurray       $484,850   16.30%   $2,049   10.80%
          ----------------  ------------------  --------  -------  -------  -------
*source: Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine Top 100 Report

Extensive industry analysis and statistics were used in this report including population, average home price, capital growth and vacancy rate.


The most comprehensive list of its kind, the Top 100 Neighbourhoods to Invest report was compiled by Canada's leading real estate magazine, Canadian Real Estate Wealth with the support of Verico Financial Group, Canada's #1 Mortgage Broker Network and Re/Max Real Estate.


The results -- set to hit newsstands on Oct. 22 -- identify the exact locations investors should focus on as a hedge against short- or long-term corrections.


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