Do not feed the fears — that was the bottom line message on Alberta’s economy, delivered by ATB economist Todd Hirsch to a gathering of residential construction executives last week.
“I think that when we’re dealing with an economy that’s moving into a rough patch, sometimes we are in danger of falling into this ‘already-living-in-a-recession mentality’ when a recession isn’t even a foregone conclusion,” said Hirsch.
Fee increases may cause sticker shock for potential Calgary homebuyers
Fee hikes in Thursday’s provincial budget will add more than $1,000 to the cost of buying an average home in Alberta at a time when real estate sales are plummeting.
And while one government minister suggested real estate associations were OK with higher fees for land title changes and mortgage documents, organizations contacted Friday said they were not asked about the increases.
Alberta's jobless rate in 2015 won't come near historic highs
Unfortunately, the slowdown in Alberta’s economy this year means the unemployment rate is set to rise. According to the Alberta Economic Outlook (Q2 2015), released yesterday by ATB Financial, the rate of joblessness in the province is expected to rise to an average of about six per cent this year, topping out at close to seven per cent by the summer. That’s far higher than last year’s average of 4.7 per cent.
But before Albertans become too gloomy, some context is necessary. Even with the expected increase, the rate of unemployment will remain well below the nasty levels seen in 1984 (above 12 per cent), 1993 (above 10 per cent) or even 2010 (above 7 per cent).
Calgary’s resale housing market took yet another dive during
The Calgary Real Estate Board recorded 1,747 MLS sales last month, a 30 per
cent decline from a year ago. Sales dropped 34 per cent in February and 39 per
cent in January.
“The first wave of panic listing increase hit the market as expected in
January and February. March numbers show a slowing of that listing increase
compared to last year,” said Don Campbell, senior analyst with the Real Estate
After weeks of declining rig count numbers, the production coming from the wells they’ve drilled is finally following suit. As Bloomberg reported, output from the lower 48 states declined by 36,000 barrels per day last week, down from 9.42 million barrels per day to 9.39 million barrels per day. And while inventories at Cushing continued to rise, up 2.63 million barrels to 58.9 million barrels, it appears that there’s finally some light at the end of the tunnel. That light isn’t just coming from a reversal in the trend line of U.S. oil production. Refineries are finally picking up a bit of the slack as well, with the long-awaited and much-discussed demand response from consumers finally kicking in. “US refiners processed 15.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in the week to March 22, a record for this time of year and nearly 450,000 bpd above last year’s previous high, government data show,” Reuters reported.
Edmonton, April 2, 2015: Despite a decline in all residential sales over those reported in March of 2014, last month saw continued growth of residential prices for the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area CMA of 3%. The average sales price of a single family home was $438,880 - up 1.5% y/y; condo was $249,841 - up 1.2% y/y; and duplex/rowhouse was $354,022 - up 6.9% y/y.
Sales are down in all categories except duplex/rowhouse which are up over 6%. Single family sales were 876 down 4.5% over last March (917 reported). 416 condos sold last month compared to 474 in March 2014. All residential sales for March were reported as 1,453, down 6.5% from 1,554 reported last year.
Housing prices up in Edmonton, stable in Calgary in March
March's resale housing numbers are out for Calgary and Edmonton and they show that the markets are slower, but prices are stable. This as the energy sector contracts, the public sector braces itself for cutbacks, and the only thing certain in Alberta is that no one is sure when oil prices are going recover.
In Calgary, activity was down by 30 per cent in March, compared to March 2014. There are nearly twice as many homes on the market as there were a year ago. The average sale price was off just two per cent to $475,000.
The Calgary Herald reported this morning the Calgary Flames have plans of a new arena project, which would not only house the Calgary Flames hockey team but include a football stadium and amateur sports fieldhouse as well.
On March 13, the CREBNow print edition reported some of the particulars that would be involved in the construction of a new arena in Calgary.
Prentice hints at using trust fund to diversify Alberta's economy
GRANDE CACHE – The Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund should play a larger role in the economic diversification of the province, Premier Jim Prentice said Wednesday.
After a speech on breaking the boom and bust cycle at the coal mine where he worked as a teen, the Progressive Conservative leader said he would like to see greater use of the $17 billion fund in diversifying the provincial economy.
Fort McMurray's oil woes trickle into airport layoffs
The airport authority, which runs the $258-million terminal that opened last year, said the union has been aware of the privatization plans for months. It said it needs to cut expenses as the crude-price collapse has crimped business, with the number of flights to the oil-sands hub dropping dramatically.
Ian Smith and Amara Yamamoto must have walked by their future home 100 times before realizing it was even an option.
Throughout its construction, the Edmonton couple assumed the Station on Whyte, a four-storey residential in their artsy Strathcona neighbourhood, was, like most new buildings in Edmonton, a condo. And they would have been right, until last fall, when GWL Realty Advisors purchased the multifamily condo from its builder and converted it to apartments just before it hit the market.