How to: Summertime in Edmonton

With summer break rapdily approaching as Alberta enters Phase 2 of the "Open for Summer" Plan, it's beginning to look as if all restrictions could be lifted right in time for warm weather and cool drinks in the company of friends! So, what better time than now to start looking ahead to the reopening of the attractions and events that we Edmontonians have been waiting for. Fortunately, you won't have to look very far, just scroll down to get a few ideas!

Fort Edmonton Park - Back in Business!
The re-opening of Fort Edmonton Park, which has been closed for over a year for a long-planned enhancement project, is nearly here! Fort Edmonton Management Company has now set its sights on opening the doors on July 1 Canada Day, subject to AHS restrictions and guidelines. The $165 million enhancement, funded by all three levels of government, includes new features and exhibits like the Indigenous Peoples Experience, new attractions added to the Johnny J. Jones Exposition, and a new front entry plaza and admissions area. Tickets to the park can be purchased online at fortedmontonpark.ca in the coming weeks. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the public will be required to pre-book their tickets.

Enjoy the River Valley Trails!

There’s green space, and then there’s the North Saskatchewan River Valley. This vast collection of scenic parks is 22 times bigger than New York City’s Central Park. Over 150 kilometres of trails, pathways, and golf courses connect 20 parks, where locals and visitors picnic, bike, run, kayak, canoe, stand-up paddleboard, take a paddleboat or Segway. Bring the whole family and make a day of it!

University of Alberta Botanic Garden

Be amazed by the wealth and diversity of nature at the stunning University of Alberta Botanic Gardens – a must-visit for lovers of flora, fauna and beautiful things. With 80 acres of display gardens (and 110 additional acres of natural areas and ecological preserves), there’s tons to explore. Don’t miss the new Aga Khan Garden—4.8 hectares of modern architectural beauty inspired by Moghul traditions, and designed for the Edmonton region’s climate and topography.
 

Alberta Legislature

Set atop the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, the Alberta Legislature is a marvel of marble pillars and carved oak. Discover the Alberta Legislature on a free guided tour, offered hourly. Ask about the Famous Five who fought for women’s right to vote. Learn about the fascinating stories behind the portraits and magnificent art. Glance at the bejeweled gold and silver ceremonial mace. And don’t forget to listen for the phenomenon known as the “magic spot”.
 

Information Courtesy of RoadTripAlberta.com & KeepExploring.canada
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Spring Has Sprung! 

As we sit in view of the much-anticipated May Long Weekend, I'm sure we're all thinking the same thing; "How will I spend all that time...?". While Netflix certainly has enough movies and shows to last you the weekend-and then some, many of our properties are in need of some TLC, particularly freshening up our yard or pulling all that patio furniture out of storage! 

If that sentence hit too close to home, don't fret, we've included some easy-to-follow steps to get that Spring Cleanup project started and out of the way! 
1.   Lawn
Your Lawn is the first place you should start. Survey your yard for any for any trouble spots and then tackle problems head-on with these tips and tricks:
  • Heavy traffic and pet messes ruining your grass? Sprinkle soil over the area with a combination of grass seed and fertilizer. Keep dirt moist until the seeds sprout into grass.
  • Remove any debris cluttering your lawn: Pick up any fallen branches or twigs, clean leftover pet messes, and rake leaves when the ground is completely dry.
2.   Trees, Shrubs, Perennials
Give your plants a solid foundation to build upon by clipping away any dead, dying, or diseased branches. While you're at it, cut back any branches that are encroaching on walkways or high-traffic areas, so they don't get accidentally broken off during the spring and summer months.

3.   Garden Beds
Flowers need room to grow, so it's important that you clear garden beds of fallen leaves, dead foliage, and unruly weeds before spring is in full swing.
  • Dig up perennials, including daylilies and hostas, and divide them into three-stem groupings. 
  • Flowers need room to grow, so it's important that you clear garden beds of fallen leaves, dead foliage, and unruly weeds before spring is in full swing
4.   Patios & Pathways
  • Dirty Patio Furniture: If your metal and plastic patio furniture needs a good clean, mix a generous amount of dish liquid soap with warm water in a bucket. Then spray the furniture down with a hose and wipe down with a scrub brush. 
  • Wicker and Rattan Furniture: Dip a soft cloth in mild soap and water, and wipe off the furniture surface. Remove any dirt in the grooves with a toothbrush. 
  • Get Rid of Mud and Grime: After clearing the patio, sweep any debris and hose down until clean. Create a mixture of one cup baking soda with two cups distilled white vinegar, and spread over the concrete patio with a mop. Let sit for 30 minutes, then use a nylon-bristled scrub brush to scrub clean.
Information Courtesy of goodhousekeeping.com
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Edmonton Market Report for March 2021
 
 
Residential Unit Sales and Average Prices Up for February
 
 
Total residential unit sales in the Greater Edmonton Area (GEA)* real estate market for February 2021 increased 52.1% compared to February 2020 and increased 36.8% from January 2021. The number of new residential listings is up year over year, increasing 7.6% from February 2020. New residential listings are up month over month, increasing 11.4% from January 2021. Overall inventory in the GEA fell 17.6% from February of last year and increased 7.6% from January 2021.
 
For the month of February, single-family home unit sales are up 62.2% from February 2020 and up 40.2% from January 2021 at 1033. Condo unit sales increased 19.5% from February 2020 and increased 26.7% from January 2021.
 
All residential average prices are up to $377,931, a 7.6% increase from February 2020, and up 3.8% from January 2021. Single-family homes sold for an average of $437,977, a 2.7% year-over-year increase from February 2020, and a 2.4% increase from January 2021. Condominiums sold for an average of $230,929, an 8.4% increase year-over-year, and prices are up 6.6% compared to January 2021. Duplex prices increased 6.6% from February 2020, selling at $343,028 which was a 0.4% decrease from January 2021.
“The Edmonton market in February saw a significant increase in year-over-year residential unit sales as well as month-to-month sales,” says REALTORS® Association of Edmonton Chair Tom Shearer. “There have also been more sales of single-family homes, condos and duplexes compared to February of last year as well as last month. The high level of activity we have seen in February is uncharacteristic for this time of year. We are witnessing a very strong market.”
 
Single-family homes averaged 48 days on the market, a 23-day decrease from February of last year. Condos averaged 62 days on the market, an 11-day decrease year-over-year, while duplexes averaged 48 days on market, a 32-day decrease compared to February 2020. Overall, all residential listings averaged 52 days on market, decreasing by 21 days year-over-year and decreasing by 13 days compared to the previous month.
 
 
 
 
 
Daylight Savings Reminder
 
 
Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 14, 2021, at 2:00 A.M.  
On Saturday evening, our clocks need to “spring forward” one hour.
 

What Is Daylight Saving Time?

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of moving the clocks forward one hour from Standard Time during the summer months, and changing them back again in the fall. The general idea is that this allows us all to make better use of natural daylight.
 

When Is Daylight Saving Time This Year? When Does the Time Change?

To remember which way to set their clocks, folks often use the expression, “Spring forward, fall back.” Note that these dates are for locations in the United States and Canada only; other countries may follow different dates.
 
  • Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 2:00 A.M. On Saturday night, set your clocks forward one hour (i.e., losing one hour) to “spring ahead.”
  • Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 7, 2021, at 2:00 A.M. On Saturday night, set your clocks back one hour (i.e., gaining one hour) to “fall back.”
 
 
 
 
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The Bank of Canada announced today that it is maintaining the benchmark rate, noting that our recovery is better than anticipated but that economic slack and uncertainty remain, particularly given the rise of more transmissible variants of COVID-19. The Bank has determined that the recovery continues to require extraordinary monetary policy support, and they will continue with quantitative easy until the recovery is well underway. The Bank did not comment on when they believe the economy...

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Benefits of Homeownership vs. Renting
 
The benefits of owning a home instead of renting offer buyers several tax advantages, the ability to grow equity, and of course a place to call your own. It’s also a feel-good milestone that offers a sense of pride and accomplishment. And, the current real estate and mortgage market conditions have created the perfect opportunity to transition from writing a monthly rent check to investing in your own home.
 
Check out these benefits of owning a home. See why it may be the best financial decision you can make, and learn some key tips on how you can get there affordably.
 

1. Rents continue to increase

The cost of rent has increased at a very fast rate throughout the country. This trend is only expected to continue. In fact, research shows rent in many markets has grown much faster than median incomes. The high cost of rent means that paying a monthly mortgage is often comparable to or even cheaper than renting a home.
 
 

2. Homeownership is a better long-term investment

Renting your home means paying your landlord and having nothing to show for it the next month. Home ownership is a great investment because it’s a method of forced savings. When you buy a home with a 30-year mortgage and make monthly payments, you will own a home to sell at the end. If you rent a property for 30 years, however, you won’t ever get any of your monthly rent payments back.
 
 

3. Interest rates are historically low

The argument for buying instead of renting only gets stronger with the low-interest rates that are currently available. What may seem like a slight difference in your mortgage rate can make a huge difference in your monthly payment. Interest rates are still competitively low. So, now is a great time to purchase a home and take advantage of low rates. Locking into a low 30-year mortgage rate today could save you hundreds of dollars each month for decades to come. When comparing the benefits of owning vs. renting, you will find that many of the current rental rates are higher than a mortgage payment, and you do not get the advantage of a yearly tax deduction.
 
 

4. Predictable monthly payments

Tired of your rent rising? Sick of it causing your budget to change? When owning a home, and using a fixed-rate mortgage, that can never happen. You’ll always pay the same amount each month, each year. Plus, there's no risk of a landlord trying to kick you out because he wants to sell the home.
 
 

5. Tax deductions

Being a homeowner does not have to be just a long-term aspiration. Enjoy short-term savings via annual tax write-offs and mortgage interest payment deductions, along with other deductions depending on each individual’s situation. These deductions often amount to significant savings, and they are of course not available to renters.
 
 
With all of the benefits of owning a home, you owe it to yourself to find out whether owning vs. renting is best for you. Taking the simple step of speaking to a qualified mortgage lender may be the smartest financial situation you make, as it can allow your family to make monthly home payments toward your own asset instead of increasing your landlord’s wealth.
 
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Today’s Bank of Canada rate hold announcement marks almost four straight years that the key benchmark rate has remained unchanged, since September 8, 2010. Great news if you have a variable-rate mortgage or home equity line of credit; the prime rate stays at 3%.

 

The announcement noted that “the risks to the outlook for inflation remain roughly balanced, while the risks associated with household imbalances have not diminished.” With these considerations, the Bank is maintaining its monetary policy stimulus, and remains neutral with respect to the timing and direction of the next change.

 

The next rate-setting day is October 22nd.

Copyright 2021 by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. All Rights Reserved.
Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.