It's no secret that more and more millennials—people born in the '80s and '90s—are choosing to live in Edmonton. In fact, Edmonton has one of the highest millennial populations in Canada, thanks to lower real estate prices and higher incomes for young professionals than cities like Vancouver and Toronto. But this up-and-coming generation is proving to have different needs than previous ones when it comes to lifestyle. So where should recent graduates and young professionals be looking when they move to Edmonton?
People in their 20s and early 30s are less interested than their parents when it comes to the suburban dream—owning a detached single family home and having to drive to and from work for an hour every day just doesn't resonate with millennials' focus on an eco-friendly lifestyle, where they can walk to the store and take the bus into work. Plus, with all the disposable income that they get from Edmonton's healthy job market, they're looking to enjoy an exciting nightlife, with fine dining and unique attractions. All of these factors point to living in a denser neighbourhood near the city centre.
Oliver, one of Edmonton's oldest neighbourhoods, has everything a millennial could want. Located just west of the downtown core and north of the river, Oliver is a densely packed, eclectic part of town surrounded by cool places to go. Just to the east, you have a downtown that's increasingly targeting millennials with exciting developments like the Crash Hotel. To the south, you have the beautiful North Saskatchewan River Valley, with plenty of parks and golf clubs, as well as the University of Alberta on the other side of the river.
Oliver is also within walking distance of other hip neighbourhoods like Glenora and Westmount, where environmentally conscious eaters (and gourmets in general) will find Rge Rd (pronounced "Range Road"), a small-scale, farm-sourced restaurant that's been making waves as one of Canada's best places to eat. Of course, Oliver itself has no shortage of businesses, as the shop-laden Jasper Avenue passes through it. There's also 124 Street and the Oliver Square mall to satisfy all shopping needs.
To Rent or To Buy?
The big question for young people looking to move to a neighbourhood like Oliver is whether they should rent an apartment or buy a condo. Both options are a good fit for the typical millennial lifestyle, since renting gives you the flexibility to move when you need to and condos can often be sold or rented out for a profit down the line.
For those looking to buy, there might be some anxiety about the real estate market as prices have begun to fall throughout Alberta. There are two points that might help alleviate that anxiety. First, Edmonton real estate has stayed stable, in contrast to the rest of the province, which is a good sign that we're less dependent on Alberta's up-and-down resource economy. Second, you should only buy as a long-term investment—it's hard to predict what the market will look like in five to ten years, and in the meantime, you will have a place to live.
If you're a millennial looking into Oliver condo prices, make sure to familiarize yourself with our tips for first-time buyers before you rush into anything. And remember, buying real estate in Edmonton can be a complicated process, so don't hesitate to seek advice from an experienced local REALTOR®.