September 2014 Alberta Economic Fundamentals

Ally

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#2
Alberta now forecasting $1.4 billion budget surplus





Alberta is forecasting a $1.4 billion surplus in a budget update released Wednesday.





The extra revenue is partly due to higher than expected royalties from oil and gas during the first quarter of the fiscal year.





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#3
Surge of new listings eases Calgary's housing market





Calgary`s tight housing inventory is starting to ease as more properties hit the market. But realtors say high prices for single-family homes continue to push more buyers into condos.





`Listings are going up so the market should be moving into more balanced conditions, and in particular we`re seeing fairly strong activity in the condo sectors versus what we`re seeing in the single family,` said Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist at the Calgary Real Estate Board.





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#4
Edmonton arena district one of North America's top developments





EDMONTON - The owner of the Edmonton Oilers says the booming, oilsands-driven economy of northern Alberta is behind the early success of the city's downtown makeover featuring a new arena for his team.





"I don't think there's a better market anywhere to do what we're doing," Katz said Thursday as he unveiled a new website on the billions of dollars on construction planned for the Alberta capital's core.





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#5
Katz unveils new details of Edmonton Arena District mega-project





EDMONTON - While Rogers Place arena has been scrutinized from the start, information about the area surrounding the new home of the Edmonton Oilers has been murky.





On Thursday, Daryl Katz, team owner and co-developer of the Edmonton Arena District (EAD) made a rare appearance before journalists to reveal new details about a $2.5-billion mega-development that will transform four million square feet (including the arena) of downtown parking lots and one-storey building sites into what he calls the largest mixed-use sports and entertainment project in Canada.





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#6
Painting a picture with numbers, the story of Alberta





We`ve heard it time and time again, Alberta is a prosperous province with a booming economy, but how do we actually stack up, numbers wise? The Alberta Office of Statistics and Information has answers.





Last year the population in our province jumped by 3.5%, which is triple the national average. More than four million people now call Alberta home. The average rent for a two bedroom apartment in the province sat at $1,190 in April of 2014, with the cheapest rent found in Medicine Hat ($739 a month), and the most expensive in Fort McMurray ($2.061). Workers earned the highest average weekly wages in the country ($1.108.01), 22% more than the national average, and the unemployment rate sat at only 4.6%, the second lowest in the country after Saskatchewan.







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Ally

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#7
Downtown Edmonton improving every year, report says





The Downtown Business Association says Edmontonians are starting to feel more optimistic about the city`s downtown.





In his report for the DBA ` titled `Realities of a Revitalized Downtown: A Look at the Negative Perceptions and Why They are Outdated` ` MBA student Luca Petryshyn looked at how Edmontonians think about the city core.





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#8
62-storey tower built in downtown Edmonton





At 62 storeys, the new Stantec Tower will be the tallest building in Edmonton and one of the tallest in western Canada.





The building, announced on Tuesday, will be home to 1,700 employees of the engineering, planning and architecture firm. Thirty-three of the floors will be for residential units.





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#9
Calgary's North-central LRT to go down Centre Street





Calgary can start calling it the Centre Street LRT, and keep dreaming of one day getting to ride it.





Taking cues from overwhelming public feedback, Calgary Transit has chosen Centre Street over Edmonton Trail for the north-central leg of the green line that will eventually extend from Panorama Hills to the southeast hospital.





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#10
Why Edmonton's growth is outpacing Calgary's





That smaller city to the north ` you know, the one with the legislature and that megamall ` is now growing at a faster clip than booming Calgary.





There are 877,926 Edmontonians, according to the city`s 2014 census released Friday. While that remains a far cry from Calgary`s nearly 1.2 million, the capital`s two-year growth rate of 7.4 per cent is greater than Stampede City`s 6.7 per cent.





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Ally

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#11
Calgary post-secondary students feeling squeeze of tight rental market





A low vacancy rate combined with a lack of progress on legalizing secondary suites is making it difficult for Calgary post-secondary students to find safe, affordable rental accommodation, say student leaders.





`Calgary is an expensive city and it`s extremely hard for young people to find affordable housing,` said Erik Queenan, president of the Students` Association of Mount Royal University.





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Ally

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#12
Condos could push Calgary housing starts to record heights





CALGARY - Stronger condo apartment starts are spurring Calgary total housing starts to a potential new record this year but some cooling is expected in 2015, says a new report by Altus Group.





The consulting firm`s housing forecast said total housing starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area are expected to reach 17,800 this year then drop to 15,900 in 2015.





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#13
Calgary luxury home sales on record pace





CALGARY - The appetite for luxury homes in Calgary continues to be very strong as another MLS sales record was established in August.





According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, there were 69 properties that sold for $1-million or more during the month, eclipsing the previous monthly high of 64 set last year.





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Ally

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#14
Calgary multi-family real estate market sales down





CALGARY - A low rental vacancy rate combined with high rents is proving to be a good environment these days in Calgary for investors in the multi-family commercial real estate market.





That buoyant environment has kept activity, in terms of sales, down compared with a year ago.





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Ally

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#15
Single-family homes for under $400,000 drying up in Calgary





Move over Toronto and Vancouver, Calgary`s condominium sector is red hot.





The oilpatch set a new record for condominium resale activity for the month of August with a 14% increase in sales from a year ago. Townhouse sales were even stronger with a 20% jump from a year ago.





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Ally

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#16
Realtors say population growth is boosting Edmonton housing prices





EDMONTON - Edmonton`s fast-growing population is forcing real estate prices up, says the Realtors Association of Edmonton.





The group released Wednesday Multiple Listing Service (MLS) figures for August. Here`s a look at the month`s housing market by the numbers.





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Ally

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#17
Airdrie rental market tight





Several local experts say residents looking to rent in the city are likely to have a tough time.





`It has been at least a year that it has been very tight on the rental market and rent has been going through the roof if you can find anything at all,` said area REALTOR Matt Carre.





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Ally

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#18
Prices of existing houses in Alberta forecast to increase faster than rest of country





CALGARY - Alberta will lead the country for the next two years with the best annual price growth in the resale housing market, said a report released Wednesday by RBC Economics.





The Canadian Housing Forecast predicted prices in the province will grow by 6.4 per cent this year to $375,500 and by 3.9 per cent in 2015 to $390,000.





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Ally

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#19
80% of space sold in 500-store mall planned near Balzac





CALGARY - The second phase of sales for retail space in the planned New Horizon Mall, in the Balzac area, will launch on September 13.





On Wednesday, real estate brokers and agents were receiving information at a northeast Calgary hotel about the sales push for the mega mall, which will house more than 500 retail stores, anchor tenants and about 25 food court vendors.





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Ally

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#20
Alberta's jobless rate jumps





Alberta`s jobless rate jumped in August as the province
appeared to suffer its biggest monthly employment purge in more than five years.







Statistics Canada said Friday that 13,400 mostly full-time positions were
lost last month, lifting the provincial unemployment rate to 4.9 per cent from
4.7 per cent in July. In Calgary, the loss of 700 positions saw the unemployment
rate rise to 5.5 per cent from 5.3 per cent a month earlier.






ATB Financial chief economist Todd Hirsch said it`s too soon to suggest
Alberta`s economy is slumping despite the steep losses of August and July, when
another 1,500 jobs disappeared.





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