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

  • VERICO mortgage experts say Bank of Canada unlikely to announce change to overnight rate; attractive mortgage rates will remain for time being
  • Tougher mortgage rules means more opportunities for returns for investors

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:

City/Town Neighbourhood Average home price* Capital Growth* Average Rent* Vacancy 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%
Medicine Hat Desert Blume 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%
Strathcona 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.

Media Contacts:

For a list of media contacts for each city and neighbourhood, please visit


Pin Luk
Communications Manager
p: 604.681.6155 ext 230

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Verico Financial Group is Canada's largest network of independent mortgage brokers comprising of over 190 offices with over 2300 brokers who originate over 12 billion dollars in annual loan volume. Our brokers collectively originate approximately over 45,000+ mortgage transactions per year.

VERICO is comprised of the top professional and influential mortgage companies and originators in the country.

The VERICO Mortgage Broker Network prides itself on our core pillars of excellence, professionalism and ethical standards; as a result, we have earned a reputation that is coveted in the industry.

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About Canadian Real Estate Wealth

Canadian Real Estate Wealth magazine is Canada's only monthly publication dedicated to Canadian real estate investors.

Source: Verico Mortgage