To the list of things you might have heard about Edmonton—Gretzky played there back then, McDavid does now, it’s got a big mall, it’s cold in the winter, it’s got a lot of festivals, it gets a lot of sunlight, like, a lot—Rob Vanovermeire adds one more thing: real estate.
“People are recognizing that out of all the major cities in Canada, Edmonton is the best deal, it’s the best value,” says Vanovermeire, Broker-Owner of Coldwell Banker Mountain Central Realty.
“There’s no city in Canada better for value in real estate than Edmonton right now,” he says. “That will become increasingly apparent this year. I think we’re going to see more and more people looking to Edmonton to invest.”
The Edmonton-born, -raised, -schooled (and now Calgary-based) Vanovermeire walks the walk. He has just completed a successful merger with Coldwell Banker Venture Realty in Edmonton.
“We are growing,” says Vanovermeire. “As we grow, we get more resources to do bigger and better things with technology and marketing, which will give the agents the support, the training and the systems they need for their businesses to grow in this growing market.”
The merger more than doubles the size Coldwell Banker Mountain Central agents in the Alberta capital. The bricks-and-mortar site for the combined operation will be its Edmonton headquarters on 156 St. near Stony Plain Rd.
Edmonton by the numbers
Vanovermeire’s bullish take on Edmonton has some statistical backing.
According to a recent forecast from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), Alberta is the only province in Western Canada where expected gains in the average home price (6.3%) will exceed the national rate of 2.3%. Alberta (11%), Ontario (13.9%) and Nova Scotia (13.2%) are the only provinces where the forecast change in residential sales in 2024 will top the national average (10.4%).
According to CREA’s updated 2024 forecast, “the bigger sales gains in 2024 are expected to come from provinces where housing demand is strong, Alberta in particular, along with provinces that are expected to see a rebound from historically low sales volumes—British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia.”
Here are some Edmonton-specific statistics from CREA:
$380,400 – Edmonton’s MLS® Home Price Index Benchmark Price, seasonally adjusted, December 2023
$568,000 – Calgary’s
$1,094,000 – Greater Toronto’s
$528,700 – Halifax-Dartmouth’s
6.2% – month-over-month rise in home sales activity in Edmonton between November and December 2023
3.7% – month-over-month increase in new residential listings in Edmonton between November and December 2023
5 – number out of 26 primary MLS® zones with a positive monthly change in number of new listings between November and December 2023
The lead, the realtor
Vanovermeire is clear when it comes to what he’s looking for in an agent to work in the Edmonton market.
“I am looking for agents either experienced or new to the industry who are committed to representing clients and our company the right way,” he says. “We especially look for people who have the desire to learn and embrace the technology that we have available to us.”
Vanovermeire views himself as a link in a tradition of realtors who have built successful careers and who share their learnings.
“I had a few fantastic mentors and coaches and one of the most powerful things I learned was how to convert real estate inquiries into an actual client,” he says.
“A lot of realtors generate leads but struggle with converting them to clients. We live in the information age. People want information before moving forward, but, at some point, they need our expertise, which requires meeting in person. Many agents have challenges moving from offering information to getting hired with a signed contract. We teach realtors how to turn inquiries into signed agreements with clients.”
Vanovermeire adds one more item to his list of the good things about Coldwell Banker Mountain Central’s growing presence in Edmonton: the hometown advantage.
“In addition to the systems and the training that Edmonton agents benefit from, there’s the fact that I’m from Edmonton. It’s my hometown. It’s near and dear to me. I’m from here. I can relate.”
Editor’s note: the photo at the top of the post shows Rob Vanovermeire (back row, third from left) next to Karim Kennedy, CEO, Coldwell Banker Canada, at the former Coldwell Banker Venture Realty, now Coldwell Banker Mountain Central, office in Edmonton. Reach out here. BTW, Edmonton gets up to 17 hours of sunlight a day in summer!