For the first time in a long time, I'm seeing a lot of positive headlines related to Edmonton, and Alberta as a whole, the economy and the real estate market. I don't know about you, but I kind of forgot what that's like! Here's what people are saying... A report released Monday by the Real Estate Investment Network named Edmonton the top spot to invest in Alberta, and one of the top 10 in Canada, saying Edmonton is poised to outperform the rest of the province for the next 5  years or so. Our stable economy, affordable housing, falling rent and rising vacancies indicate that Edmonton is in the middle of a slump, making it a good time to buy.
“The fix-and-flippers, the HGTV-watching guys, it’s not the greatest market for them, because it’s a slower market and there’s lots of new products coming on line,” Campbell said in an interview. “Edmonton is buy and hold. There’s opportunities for cash flow, there’s low mortgage rates … If you look at it from an investment market perspective, Edmonton will do very well.”
Calgary was ranked second in Alberta, and Leduc third. The report suggests investors should focus on newer structures (since they're not priced much higher than older buildings at the moment) with at least 2 bedrooms, near the LRT, where the rent will carry your costs. In other words, this is not the time to speculate. I would add a caveat, that when they say "newer" they do not mean brand new. Putting renters in a brand new property is a recipe for failure - you're paying a premium to pick colours and have new everything, and even the best renters don't treat homes like they own them and that "premium" will disappear quickly. We've seen it happen a lot. Anyway.... Another report this week showed the inventory of unsold new homes is starting to drop, after reaching extremely high levels last spring. The authors of the report called the inventory levels balanced with just under 2 years supply of inventory. I do question their idea of "balanced" since we would consider 4-6 months of inventory balanced in the resale market. They added that the south side of the city is more constrained with 1.28 years of supply. The authors went so far as to predict a 5% year over year increase in prices next year. In the last weekly report, I shared some recent articles as well, including the Conference Board of Canada's forecast that Calgary and Edmonton would lead the country GDP growth. Now we all know that is at least in part because things have sucked around here for the past few years, and not all the signs are good, but it is refreshing to hear some good news for once.   Posted by Liv Real Estate on
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Ummm, did you read the article? Fundamentals are the best in Canada!

I was actually just reading that a new condo in Toronto is starting construction that is 25% taller than the Stantec Tower! Hopefully the next tower on the site of the old casino will be taller than that (as it's supposedly the trophy tower of the Ice District).

Posted by Tom on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 at 10:59pm

hahaha... a lot of optimism... 2 rate increases this plus B20 starting January...... People will qualify for 25% less than in June 2017 when they will apply for a mortgage in January.. maybe even earlier....

On top of these, we start to see bankruptcies around?

Posted by bubu on Thursday, October 26th, 2017 at 2:17am

Death, taxes and falling Edmonton real estate prices.

Posted by Tony on Thursday, October 26th, 2017 at 4:49am


Duly noted. I wonder are you are not a real estate marketer?
What story are you really telling?

Posted by GPC on Thursday, October 26th, 2017 at 8:09pm

I guess I got caught up in the whole Overbuilding is Threatening the Edmonton Real Estate Market thing, sorry Mak!

Posted by GPC on Thursday, October 26th, 2017 at 8:37pm

This post is an attempt to create optimism...

The numbers say otherwise.

And I will stick to reports like this CMHC reports as opposed to real estate industry generated reports, which is the very definition of conflict of interest, vested interest, take your pick.

Posted by GPC on Friday, October 27th, 2017 at 6:30am

You probably didn't read the article to the end.
"We've seen a pretty steady market through the year, prices remaining pretty stable, he said. "So, all in all, that is a relatively healthy perspective."
The CMHC report also found that prices in Edmonton are stable.
The good news is, with the job market getting stronger, the housing market is also recovering.

Posted by Mak on Friday, October 27th, 2017 at 7:30am

No, the point was not to try and create optimism, I was simply pointing out that for the first time in a long time there were some positive media pieces about the real estate market in Edmonton and Alberta. I certainly don't think that my little blog is going to influence what happens to the real estate market.

With that said, I do find it interesting that the company that wrote one of the reports, "Intelligence House," is also in the construction industry. Perhaps they are trying to spin the numbers a bit. As you can see in this week's monthly update, CMHC is quite concerned about the level of overbuilding in our marketplace:

"Evidence of overbuilding in the Edmonton housing market increased from moderate to high as imbalances in both the ownership and rental markets were detected. The total inventory of completed and unsold new homes has now moved above the level indicating overbuilding in the ownership market. This is primarily due to unsold row and apartment units where inventories moved higher to 1,180 units at the end of the second quarter. In the rental market, the October 2016 apartment vacancy rate of 7.1% was above its threshold level as the supply of rental apartments expanded by four per cent compared to October 2015. "

Posted by Sara MacLennan on Friday, October 27th, 2017 at 7:36am

GPC, Sara is not like that; she forecasted a moderate drop in prices this year at the beginning of the year, for example.

Aside from the irrationally exuberant like Tom, this place is pretty reasonable all in all.

Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 28th, 2017 at 3:15am


Posted by GPC on Monday, October 30th, 2017 at 2:13am

Thanks, anonymous. @GPC - I am in marketing. But we don't actually sell homes, we sell our services. A certain number of homes are going to sell each year, and we can't change that. All we're trying to do is connect with buyers and sellers that may be interested in our services. This blog will not affect the number of homes sold, but it may resonate with some people looking for honest advice, and great marketing, who are already looking to buy or sell a home.

Posted by Sara MacLennan on Monday, October 30th, 2017 at 5:45am


Marketing homes leads to selling homes which is exactly what you guys do.

Sara posts incessantly about the Edmonton real estate market with the expressed intent of influencing how buyers perceive the real estate market in Edmonton.

Sure houses will sell in any market but flat out this market is in dire straits and that fact is bad news for you, your company and your industry.

If you can't handle that then I really think you should shut this blog down.

BTW I think Sara can fight her own battles.

Posted by GPC on Monday, October 30th, 2017 at 8:08pm

Marketing doesn't always lead to a sale. However, people decide to buy homes for their personal reasons which contradict your personal opinion. Of course Sara can handle herself. She's busy dealing with ghouls and goblins and I'm dealing with trolls.

Posted by Sheldon Johnston on Monday, October 30th, 2017 at 8:12pm

Nice Try

Of course marketing doesn't always lead to sale but it is related to the "selling" of a house, and if it doesn't than who would need you?

Troll is such an easy label to use isn't it? But I'm not anonymous you have my e-mail and I would have no trouble saying any of this to you and Sara face to face.

You should also know that I am a long time reader of this blog and when it came time for me to purchase awhile ago. I purposely avoided LIV real estate because of the disingenuousness of this blog.

Posted by GPC on Monday, October 30th, 2017 at 8:26pm

We can't please everybody.

Posted by Sheldon Johnston on Monday, October 30th, 2017 at 9:20pm

Skated around every point, very slick!

Keep it real Sheldon, Keep it real friend!

Posted by GPC on Monday, October 30th, 2017 at 10:32pm

Hi GPC- Lets stop skating aroundo anything. Please describe what portions of this blog you find “disengenuous”. Also, please detail what other sources of information you reading that you believe are more genuine, less biased, and don’t seek to “influence” the market.


Posted by Trev on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 at 2:44am

Sure Trev,

Let's start with this blog's own charts.

Now I'm no statistician, but neither is Sara, who is just a real estate marketer who doesn't sell real estate, anyway, as far as I can tell the charts show sharply declining sales, while inventory is off the charts for like 2 years in a row now or something like that...

This is not good.

There is a 2.5 year supply of single family houses, or something like that, whaaat!?
Duplexes, multi-units are at 1.5 years or something like that, which indicates that buyers are moving down to lower cost housing, also not good.

Developers think it's a great idea to get in on the infill trend, buy one lot and put 2-10 units on it (ok maybe I'm exaggerating a little) and wedge them in between the wartime houses, which is such a great visual!

Now let's just go back a bit. When all of this began, (the real estate bubble that is) everything was great in the oilpatch and everything was booming. We had a huge rainy day fund and everyone loved Ralph Klein and his free money.
Realtors got really excited about this and began to Market (but not sell!) houses like crazy and whether they can admit to themselves or not, greatly contributed to the rise in the prices of real estate.

Today, the conservatives don't even exist anymore, right along with the rainy day fund and we have a great big shiny new multi billion dollar deficit in it's place so we can keep the lights on.

Add all this up and I would say there's cause for serious concern in this market.

I would recommend that everyone read a book called "All Marketers are Liars-ooops Tell Stories" by Seth Godin and you will understand very quickly what Sara and Sheldon are up to here on this blog.

Good luck Trev!

Posted by GPC on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 at 4:17am

Uh, go look at the past 20 weekly updates. You'll note that Sara highlights the high inventory and explicitly points out that this is an unusual situation.

I don't disagree with you about most real estate folks, but this place isn't irrationally exuberant and the forecasts prove it. How many real estate agents do you know that suggested lower prices were coming? And yes, that's a question that I'd like you to answer.

Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 at 5:00am

Really? Oh, so that's your story!

Connecting Sellers with Buyers.

Hmmm, let's see, your "services" usually involves listing the property on, listing it on, putting up a sign in the yard or window, holding open houses, showing the property and facilitating the purchase (if I've left anything out, let me know!).

And of course your company collects a commission when these connections are successful no?

Appears to be a lot of selling go on here if you ask me.

I will give you credit Sara, that's possibly one of the most self delusional things I have ever read anywhere.

Look, the two biggest real estate loudmouths in Calgary, Truman and Fotiu, faded away quietly, but you've hung in there the longest, congratulations!

Posted by GPC on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 at 5:05am

So bitter....

Posted by karl hungus on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 at 6:26am

So let’s talk about those charts- they show decling sales and rising inventory. This is an accurate depiction of the Edmonton RE market, and those two figures don’t exactly paint a rosy picture of the market. There’s been no attempt by Sara to distort those figures- they’re just presented in the context of their historical trend. In fact, she has chosen to add the inventory charts quite recently, even though doing so empowers consumers by showing the supply/demand imbalance we’re currently experiencing. This is hardly a disengenous act- I would call it transparent.

You’re points that the market is “not good” is valid- it’s not right now, but I don’t see how that relates to your claim that the blog is somehow manipulative and using statistics to distort reality. The data speaks for itself, and while it’s very easy to use data to manipulate a message either by using dishonest numbers, by using “adjusted numbers”, or by selectively choosing which data to include/exclude bas d on how favourable it is to the story you are trying to spin, I see no evidence of that here. What figures do you believe that Sara could present that would make the blog more truthful or genuine?

I see no connection between infill development and your attack on the blog. Opinions on infill may vary but it’s hardly pertinent to the argument you’re making. Ditto for the rant about Ralph Klein and the fiscal mess you believe (with good reason) Alberta is in. I don’t see the connection between these comments and the accusations of obfuscation you’re levelling. If you are intending to suggest that the blog should highlight all the economic negatives that are out there, I’d say that any tea-leaf divination, positive or negative, is less useful than cold hard data trends presented in a consistent, truthful, and unmanipulated manner. Besides, there are many other media sources dedicated to Alberta’s macroeconomic picture; what I value in the blog is the numbers. I’ll challenge you again, more specifically this time: What data do you find disengenous, whether due to accuracy or its inclusion/exclusion, and what suggestions would you make for improving this?

As for your statement that realtors “greatly contributed to the rise in real estate” in the past few booms through aggressive marketing tactics, please clarify how this is related to the data this site presents. I’d like to understand the connection. Again, it’s arguable whether realtors contributed much or at at all to the price increases of 2002-2007, and whether this was a good thing or a bad thing. Those are opinions, and opinions can differ. I much prefer facts.

Now, turning to what Sara and Sheldon are “up to”, let’s take a pause and reflect. They are in the business of marketing homes and/or representing buyers, and collecting commission when transactions take place. No one is obligated to use the services of a realtor when buying or selling, and the MLS system was opened several years ago through some anti-trust pressure from federal regulators so that people could put their houses on it for a nominal fee without having to pay the traditional commission. What then do people, both buyers and sellers, continue to use realtors for? Obviously, people are looking for guidance and help throughout the process- whether it’s so they don’t have to show a house or negotiate a deal themselves, or so that they don’t screw up the legal documentation, or for advice on conditions, or just to organize some proffesional quality pictures/videos (side note: one of my major pet peeves is grainy iPhone are getting thousands in commission, but a friggin DSLR and learn to use it if you’re going to take pics yourself. That said, people need to do a better job vetting their realtors during selection, and remember they work for you so call them onbitbif they’re not performing), but in any case, there’s a demand for their service. That demand creates a market, and that market is the space Sara and Sheldon work in. They have to compete, just like in any business, for clients and in their case that’s the right to represent buyers and sellers. In an industry overrun with some very uneducated people of who couldn’t spell statistician or define duty of care, they are staking out a brand for Liv, using this blog, that represents them as the experts on real estate valuations, and as a brokerage that doesn’t try to obscure the facts. By presenting the reader with honest data, hard facts, and historical trends, even when it doesn’t paint a pretty picture for future valuations, they are empowering consumers, which is exactly the opposite of what you’re accusing them of. Do they want to broker more deals? Of course!! This isn’t a public service blog. But they are betting on the fact that people, when choosing who they want to represent them in a deal, will choose a proffessional, competent brokerage who is both an expert in the market and transparent in sharing that expertise. This blog is the best of its kind in Edmonton, and certainly goes a long way towards building the credibility upon which they’ve staked the Liv name. I’ll ask again: please detail for us what other sources you’re reading that you consider more accurate and balanced.

Good luck to you too, sir.

Posted by Trev on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 at 6:53am

GPC if you need to insult people I'd suggest you find a different blog to troll. Our clients pick their homes and or own homes they want to be marketed. A certain number of homes will sell and that's just a fact and yes we try and position our company as an excellent alternative to the traditional companies out there. But you can't tell the difference between us and our competitors because you aren't interested in understanding anything but your own positions. Happy Halloween.

Posted by Sheldon Johnston on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 at 7:25am

Hey Trev..

You're response was super long so I didn't read like 95% off it sorry!

I did get the sense though that somehow you think that Sheldon and Sara are your friend or something but keep in mind this is a marketing blog.

They are using this blog to sell you stuff that's what marketers do that is their only job. This means they have done an excellent marketing job on you, which is what they are up to on this blog.

Now dont get too excited.just take a minute or two to reflect on this.

There, are you awake now?

Posted by GPC on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 at 11:57pm

GPC how do you manage to get through a book when you can't read a 20 line response to your comments? Not saying i disagree or agree with you but your credibility gets lower the more you write.

Posted by Spud on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 at 1:02am

No worries man- wouldn’t dream of expecting you to actually read a response to your posts or address the questions posed to you. And of course this is a marketing blog; nobody has ever claimed differently. It also happens to be a very useful and insightful one amongst all the garbage ones out there, and a spot where honest numbers are presented so that people can decide what is going on for themselves, and if they wish, engage in a sincere discussion about RE. Sincere. Please.

You can now fade back into irrelevance. Anyone wondering who is really doing the dissembling here need look no further than our exchange to find out.


Posted by Trev on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 at 1:43am

Reminder Trev

Book: Serh Godin "All Marketers are Liars/Storytellers

It'll help. And it's short.

BTW Where's WSN?

Posted by GPC on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 at 3:20am

GPC, the market is so close to an all time high. Deep down I know you don't believe anything you're writing. Troll.

Posted by Tom on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 at 5:56am

Thanks Tom

I'm concerned about you.

Posted by GPC on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 at 7:14am

Ok Ill admit I skimmed his response
and when I read this...

"By presenting the reader with honest data, hard facts, and historical trends..."

...I started laughing so hard I couldn't take anymore.

Believing that you're getting honest data and hard facts from a marketer of any kind is just laughable.

Sara is excellent at her job as a marketer after all she's got all of you convinced.

Posted by GPC on Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 at 7:14am

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