When Was Calgary Identified by REIN as Top #1 Town?


Senior Forum Member
REIN Member
Well we had not just one but TWO black swan events: first the decline of oil by 75% from over $105 to under $30, and then an NDP government in May 2015. Add to that the indifference (if not couvert hostility) of the new federal Liberal government about W-Canada and you have three major themes for less than stellar growth / decline in Alberta for a few years after a 6+ year gain.

Tina Myrvang

Client Care Lead
Staff member
REIN Member
Nov 15, 2010


Inspired Forum Member
Jan 22, 2016
Correct. It was not and could not have been predicted by anyone in 2012.
What does it tell us? That RE is risky business and any 'expert' talking with too much confidence about the future,
is a case of 'respect while suspect'.
Last edited:

Matt Crowley

Senior Forum Member
Dec 14, 2013
A big part of the problem is that some economic town recommendation reports are based solely on the sum of historical secondary data. CMHC reports, news articles, and other economic articles. Quite often, these recommendations are based with almost zero primary data.

If you want to know what is happening in any real estate market you need primary data. You need some method of forecasting the future and that needs to be driven by supply and demand. Sounds like simple economics but getting actual absorption numbers is very difficult to do and takes a mountain of effort and a long term time commitment. There are organizations that produce reports like this and they cost $10,000 +. In large scale developments, say a downtown high-rise building, these reports are often funding requirements. Sophisticated developers will expect them as well.

A lot of the reports for best economic town forecasts don't consider quantitative economic pressure points. It is not practical or even useful to try to forecast every economic possibility with labour, prices, and exchange rate. However, economic models exist to measure the impact of one of these variables changing, and this is almost never discussed in these top town forecasts. One such model is the Alberta Economic Multipliers model (http://www.finance.alberta.ca/about...rs/2011/Alberta-Economic-Multipliers-2011.pdf). This model allows a forecaster to understand the impacts of various one-off changes in the economy. It shows the impact of GDP, labour, employment, and the multiplying effect of paying people money which they go spend on other goods.

Most of these reports just don't pay attention to simple quantitative pressure points needed for a healthy, growing province Example:

Growing Alberta at 2% / year requires:
Oil above $73
Prime interest rate below 3.25%
Employment in forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas above 170,ooo employed
Exchange rate at $0.85 - $0.70

In addition to Alberta requirements, Edmonton 2% growth requires:
Housing starts above 3,500 / yr
Total MLS residential sales above 18,000 / yr
Instead, you will read something like: "Alberta has long been a secure place to invest with the highest average weekly earnings in the country and the highest disposable income. Per capita they are also the highest spenders on retail providing strong ripple effects throughout the economy. Prospects for growth remain strong with forecasted healthy and increasing oil prices. Edmonton remains one of Canada's most diversified economies."
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