Home buyers making over Alberta Avenue
Edmonton's housing boom is transforming an area around 118th Avenue in the northeastthat has long been one of the poorer parts of the city.
Kelly Bergquist recently bought her dream home – a smaller abode on 94 Street in an area known as Alberta Avenue. Houses in the neighbourhood used to take months to sell, but now they goin days.
"It's the house, it's got so much character and it's easy access to 97 Street, easy to get on to the Yellowhead," she said. "It's so exciting."
Real estate agentTom Gariano has sold homes in the Alberta Avenue area for 30 years. He says it's one of the few areas in Edmonton where you can still buy a house for under $300,000.
"It's becoming more and more owner occupied rather than rental. People are starting to buy and fix them."
Less property crime, improved housing
With more people owning rather than renting, there have been more renovations and fewer problems for the city department that deals with dilapidated housing.
Senior safety codes officer Hal Wright says his inspectors now spend less time dealing with homes in the Alberta Avenue area.
"It does make it easier. There is less time spent per property because of the economy and the kind of people buying these properties."
Police are also reporting a decrease in property crimes in the neighbourhood this year.
Wright expects the trend to continue as house prices continue to rise in Edmonton.
The average price of a residential property jumped 49 per cent in Edmonton in 2006, with a single-family homehitting$341,933 by the end of the year.