April 2014 Alberta Economic Fundamentals

Ally

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#1
Calgary housing market prices reach all-time record high





CALGARY - A continued low inventory of listings combined with strong homebuyer demand pushed prices in Calgary`s resale housing market to all-time highs again in March.





Unofficial and preliminary data from the Calgary Real Estate Board`s website indicates MLS records, for any month, were set for average sale prices and median prices in the overall city residential market as well as in the single-family category.





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#2
Buoyant economy fuelling Calgary condo growth





CALGARY - Calgary`s buoyant economy, healthy population growth and excellent affordability will keep sales of existing condominiums rising over the next few years, says a new housing report released Wednesday.





The latest Conference Board of Canada condo report, released by Genworth Canada, said good demand will also lift condo starts in the city following a pullback in 2013 that was at least partly due to flooding in the summer.





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#3
Calgary first-time homebuyers youngest in Canada





CALGARY - The average age of first-time homebuyers in Canada is on the rise but they remain the youngest in Calgary, according to a survey released Thursday by BMO Bank of Montreal.





The report said the average age is 32 years in Calgary, 34 in Alberta and 36 in Canada, while the majority of current homeowners purchased their first home before they were 30.





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#4
Okotoks needs to increase affordable housing





Okotoks` affordable housing situation is past the critical point and the Town can`t afford to wait until after annexation to come up with a plan.





Rental vacancy rates in Okotoks have been virtually zero for more than a year, rents are rising, the Foothills Foundation`s wait list for affordable housing is growing and there`s no land available for new affordable housing projects.





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#5
Calgary real estate market surges in first quarter of 2014





CALGARY , April 8, 2014 /CNW/ - The Royal LePage House Price Survey released today showed robust year-over-year price increases in all housing types surveyed in Calgary .





The average price for a standard two storey recorded the highest price increase year-over-year, surging 7.5 per cent to $472,644 . During the same period the average price for detached bungalows increased 6.3 per cent to $480,222 and standard condominiums increased 5.3 per cent to $274,700 .





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Ally

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#6
Edmonton real estate market sees healthy first quarter





EDMONTON , April 8, 2014 /CNW/ - The Royal LePage House Price Survey released today showed strong year-over-year price increases for all housing types surveyed in Edmonton .





Standard condominiums led the market in the first quarter, posting a 6.9 per cent year-over-year increase in the average unit price to $224,250 . Standard two-storey homes jumped 5.5 per cent to $371,000 while detached bungalows increased by 5.3 per cent to $341,651 .





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Ally

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#7
Calgary housing market faced with severe shortage of listings





CALGARY - A severe shortage of listings keeps pushing Calgary house prices upwards with nothing on the horizon suggesting overall inventory levels of homes for sale in the city will be rising any time soon.





`What we`re living through is a bit of a rebirth of what happened unfortunately about seven years ago,` said Ted Zaharko, broker and owner with Royal LePage Foothills in Calgary. `I think we have a severe listings shortage in Calgary and district.





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#8
Multi-family starts balloon in Calgary area





CALGARY - An exceptionally strong month for new multi-family construction pushed overall housing starts in the Calgary region up by 87 per cent in March compared with last year.





Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported Tuesday that total starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area rose to 1,667 units during the month from 890 in March 2013.





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#9
More retailers on the way to Edmonton





EDMONTON - Edmonton continues to be a high-powered magnet for retailers, attracted to its fast-growing population and big-spending ways.





West Edmonton Mall announced Wednesday five new tenants will be opening their first Edmonton, Alberta or western Canadian location at the mall in 2014.





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#10
The Fort Mac phenomena





Unemployment and the lack of jobs were featured in the Legislature this week.





Innovation Minister Allan Roach was accused by the Opposition of being anything but innovative when it comes to job creation. Steven Myers, who is presently the Opposition leader, quoted Statistic Canada figures that show for every job opening on the Island there are 20 people looking for work.





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#11
Edmonton office towers have little large space available





New office towers coming to downtown are definitely needed, according to a new report that suggests the city has very little large space available.





The report from Avison Young says that while the city has an 8.1 per cent vacancy rate, it only has five sites in the downtown area with more than 20,000 square feet available and only two spaces with more than 100,000 square feet.





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Ally

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#12
Calgary home prices continue upward march





Calgary home prices in March were almost 10 per cent higher than a year earlier as the city continued to lead real estate sales in Canada.





The Canadian Real Estate Association said Tuesday that Calgary home prices rose 9.5 per cent last month, followed by Greater Toronto at 7.4 per cent.





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#13
Rail set to transport 500,000 bpd of Canadian oil by year-end but costs remain high





Rail could carry as much as half a million barrels of Canadian oil per day by the end of the year, amid pipeline constraints and as new dedicated rail infrastructure facilities come on line, according to investment broker Peters & Co.





About 250,000 bpd of Canadian oil, mostly light blends from Saskatchewan, are currently being shipped via rail to the United States, but trains are gaining attention from heavy oil producers in Alberta as well as Enbridge Inc. and TransCanada Corp. struggle to secure permits and gain community support for their pipeline projects.





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#14
Obama is set on slaying demon Alberta oil





The time has come to stop waiting for the Keystone XL pipeline and start brushing up on ancient Rome.





President Barack Obama as good as crucified the demonized pipeline from Alberta to Texas that would carry oil sands crude to refineries specifically designed to process it.





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#15
Fortress predicts over 14,000 home starts in Calgary in 2014





Ben Myers, senior vice-president of market research and analytics at Fortress Real Developments, is bullish on Calgary`s new homes market, predicting builders will start 14,750 new homes in the census metropolitan area (CMA) by the end of 2014.





That pales slightly from TD Economics` expectations, but is higher than the Conference Board of Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) and the City of Calgary.





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Ally

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#16
More residential units planned for Calgary's Currie Barracks development





CALGARY - The formal submission to the City of Calgary for the massive mixed-use development of Currie Barracks is almost complete and developers are holding a public open house next week to present it to the public.





The new plan by Canada Lands Company
and Embassy Bosa Inc. calls for 5,600 residential units on the site, up from 3,200 originally planned. There will eventually be 11,000 residents in the community which has increased from the 7,000 in the original plans.





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Ally

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#17
Inside the Edmonton Oiler's new arena





EDMONTON - A controversial project some Edmontonians thought would never be built is slowly taking shape on a former downtown freight yard.





Construction began in March on the new $480-million arena for the Oilers, with excavators digging hundreds of truckloads of dirt a day to carve out the structure`s foundations. When finished in 2016, the facility will be 60 per cent larger than Rexall Place, and will have room for a couple thousand more spectators, as well as more washrooms, better technology and larger, more comfortable seats.





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Ally

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#18
Robust demand for Calgary industrial real estate market





CALGARY - The Calgary industrial real estate market was very active during the first quarter of this year but despite this activity, vacancy only decreased by three basis points and now sits at 5.79 per cent, according to a report by Colliers International.





Absorption, which is the change in occupied space, was strong during the quarter at 515,536 square feet.





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Ally

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#19
Railing against trains





Well-financed environmental groups are prone to theatrics when it comes to opposing the oilsands, but ForestEthics has taken its rhetoric to new heights in calling the prospect of transporting Alberta bitumen to the British Columbia coast by rail `underhanded.`





It`s broadly understood that shipping oil by rail is less desirable than using pipelines, as accidents such as the one that took place in North Dakota on Dec. 30, and the July disaster in Lac Megantic, Que., remind us. Rail cars are a complementary method of transporting oil, however, particularly in the absence of greater pipeline capacity represented by proposals such as Enbridge`s Northern Gateway project, which would carry diluted bitumen 1,177 kilometres from Alberta to Kitimat on the B.C. coast. Kinder Morgan recently filed an application to double the capacity of its pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C.





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Ally

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#20
Office glut looms in Edmonton





Fears of an office glut are increasing in Alberta`s capital as the City of Edmonton and developers bid to build more towers in a city where much of the new space remains dark.





The current vacancy rate in downtown Edmonton is around 8%, which is considered a `healthy` market, but analysts warn that if all the Class A space being planned proceeds, landlords would soon get a sinking feeling.





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