July 2012 Alberta Economic Fundamentals

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     Articles for July 2012.
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    Calgary real estate market performs as expected

     


    Residential sales in the City of Calgary totaled 11,752 for the first half of this year, a 16-per-cent increase over the same period last year. The rise in sales has brought activity levels closer to long-term trends in the city.



    “Recent mortgage rule changes may dampen some of the gains in the resale market,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB®’s chief economist. “But this is not expected to cause a full reversal of either sales or price growth, provided the global economic situation does not significantly worsen.”



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    Small business confidence sees rebound in Alberta

    CALGARY — Alberta has re-established itself as the leader in having the most optimistic entrepreneurs in the country.


    The latest Business Barometer Index, released Wednesday by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, shows a small uptick in the confidence level among Alberta’s independent business owners in June. The index in Alberta exceeded the national average by more than 11 points, compared with a seven-point difference in May.


    The index in Alberta rose by 1.3 points to 73.3 but nationally it dropped another 2.7 points to 62.1, wiping out the gains made since last summer. Independent business owners across the west remain among the most confident in the country.



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    Albertans love to eat and drink out

    One sign of a strong economy is discretionary spending.


    And for Alberta, the amount of money spent on meals and beverages in April is a clear sign the economy is on an upswing again. You could use the word boom. It’s actually been tossed around now to describe what is happening.



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    Springbank votes in favour of development

    Rocky View County Council has voted in favour of a new community near the Springbank Airport, west of Calgary.


    The 8-1 decision in favour of the development came following a full day of discussions.


    The plan was approved back in 2008, but the recent decision means the developer can go ahead with the subdivision.



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    Calgary renters struggle to find vacancies

     

    Finding a property to rent in this city is becoming increasingly difficult as demand rises.


    That's generating stiff competition among some renters in desperate search of a home.


    “It's a bit of a lottery, there were plenty of people here,” said renter Nicolas Gonzalez.


    In fact, 101 people viewed the one bedroom beltline apartment Gonzalez had his eye on. Fifty people filled out applications and, after two interviews and a stringent screening process, Gonzalez landed the suite — a gruelling process he's never been through before.



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    Little effect on local housing market anticipated by new mortgage policies

     


    Edmonton, July 4, 2012
    : At the end of the first half of the year, housing prices in all residential categories are up from the same time last year. On average1, residential prices are 3.2% higher than June of last year. The all-residential average price was $342,014 in June while single-family detached homes sold for $393,471, up 3.7% year-over-year.


    “Our market continues to be robust and housing prices are higher than they were last year,” said REALTORS® Association of Edmonton President Doug Singleton. “We expect that, although prices will, as usual, slide gradually over the next six months, they will continue to be higher than they have been in the past two years or the five year average.”


    The median3 price for a single family detached home was up 2.0% year-over-year at $369,900 while the condo median price was up 4.6% at $230,000 as compared to last year. The average price for a condo in the Edmonton area dipped 2.5% since May to $242,720. Duplexes and rowhouses were priced on average about 7% higher than last year at $318,223.



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    Rentals hard to find in Edmonton's booming economy

     

    Edmonton's strong economy is making it harder to find rental housing because high migration numbers are driving down vacancy rates.


    "When people are moving into the city there's an immediate demand for housing ," said Christina Butchart from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.


    "Because we're seeing higher migration flows and an expanding labour market we're seeing this tightening of the rental market."


    The vacancy rate is just below 3 per cent. While the number of available vacancies has dropped since last year, it is still far cry from the one per cent rate seen during the last boom five years ago.



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  • Ally

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    Calgary and Alberta suffer job losses in June

     

    CALGARY — Both Calgary and Alberta experienced job losses in June, according to Statistics Canada.


    The federal agency reported Friday that the Calgary census metropolitan area had 1,200 fewer jobs than in May, down 3.1 per cent, but the unemployment rate fell from 4.9 per cent to 4.8 per cent in June.


    On a year-over-year basis, there were 6,100 fewer jobs in the Calgary region, down 14.0 per cent.



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    Edmonton building permit value rises 66%

    EDMONTON - The value of building permits issued in the Edmonton census metropolitan area for May soared by nearly 66 per cent, said Statistics Canada Friday.


    Construction intentions were valued at $478.6 million in May, up from $288.9 million in April.


    The value of building permits is down 16 per cent from $568.4 million a year earlier, but May 2011 was exceptionally high, said City of Edmonton senior economist Milap Petigara.



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    Edmonton adds 10,000 jobs in June

    EDMONTON - Edmonton bucked national and regional employment trends in June, adding 10,000 full-time jobs over the last month, according to data released by Statistics Canada on Friday.


    The city’s unemployment rate dropped from 4.9 per cent in May to 4.4 per cent last month.


    “The contrast between what’s going on here in Edmonton and what’s going on in the rest of the Canadian economy couldn’t be more stark,” said John Rose, the city’s chief economist. “The rest of the economy is struggling.



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  • Ally

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    Residents left homeless as arsonist torches central Edmonton apartment building


    EDMONTON - Fire officials confirmed Tuesday that arson is the cause of a blaze that broke out in a Norwood apartment suite, leaving the building’s 20 residents homeless and $150,000 in damages.



    Firefighters were called to a building on the corner of 113th Avenue and 97th Street shortly after 11 p.m. Monday and arrived to find heavy black smoke billowing from a third-floor suite on the north side of the building, fire Capt. Brian Lees said.



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    Edmonton council nixes proposal for 40th Avenue LRT station

    EDMONTON - A new station at 40th Avenue on the south LRT line would increase redevelopment and could be built without stopping the train, but it would cost up to $22 million, city councillors heard Monday.


    But despite Coun. Don Iveson’s best efforts, that price tag led councillors to nix the idea completely.


    “I’m a bit appalled that we would be looking at $22 million for something that’s only been open a couple of years,” said Coun. Jane Batty, saying she would like to see the train run to all four corners of the city first. “I just think we have other fish we should be frying for LRT lines.”



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    Canada's best city? Stephen Harper says Calgary

    In an unscripted moment of Stampede enthusiasm, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has declared Calgary “the greatest city” in Canada.


    “I think that if the [Stampede] founders could be here today and see the great city — see what has build up around this event — they would be amazed,” said Mr. Harper, who was born in Toronto, moved to Calgary in his 20s, and now resides in Ottawa.



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  • Ally

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    EIA cuts global oil demand forecast on slower economy

    WASHINGTON, July 10 — The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Tuesday cut its 2012 world oil demand growth forecast by 130,000 barrels per day to 670,000 bpd, citing expectations for slower global economic growth.


    In its monthly forecast, the agency also cut its oil demand growth estimate for 2013 by 360,000 bpd to 730,000 bpd.


    The EIA said global oil and liquids demand growth was likely to be slower than previously expected due to less optimistic forecasts for global economic growth, which were lowered by 0.1 percent in 2012 and 0.6 percent in 2013 versus a month earlier.



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