April 2015 Alberta Economic Fundamentals

Ally

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Council allows skinny homes and garage suites across Edmonton

EDMONTON - In a late-night vote Monday, city council decided to make skinny homes and garages suites legal in the majority of neighbourhoods.

The changes were passed at a marathon public hearing.

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Calgary hotel supply growth to be best in Canada in 2015

Calgary is expected to lead the country this year in the addition of new hotel supply, according to a new report released Tuesday by Colliers International.

The 2015 Canadian Hotel Investment Report said national hotel supply is projected to increase by 1.1 per cent this year led by Calgary (4.7 per cent), “which is currently witnessing significant hotel development in the airport submarket.”

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Ally

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Airdrie real estate down but not out in the month of March

The Airdrie Real Estate market took a bit of a tumble last month after statistics released by the Calgary Real Estate Board. Only 138 MLS sales were calculated in March, but Matt Carre of RE/MAX Rocky View Real Estate says property owners have nothing to be worried about.

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Edmonton sees average home prices rise in first quarter of 2015

EDMONTON, April 15, 2015 /CNW/ - The Royal LePage House Price Survey released today showed strong year-over-year price appreciation for all housing types in Edmonton.

Detached bungalows showed the strongest gain, with the average price increasing 6.8 per cent year-over-year to $364,906. Over the same period standard two-storey homes rose 5.5 per cent to an average price of $391,378 and standard condominiums gained 3.1 per cent to $231,093.

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Ally

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Calgary real estate market slows visibly in first quarter of 2015

CALGARY, April 15, 2015 /CNW/ - The Royal LePage House Price Survey released today showed moderate year-over-year price increases in all housing types surveyed in Calgary.

After experiencing significant year-over-year price increases throughout 2014, price appreciation in Calgary's residential real estate market slowed visibly during the first quarter. The average price for detached bungalows increased 3.8 per cent to $498,400, while standard two-storey homes increased 1.7 per cent to $480,656. Standard condominiums recorded moderate growth of 2.9 per cent to $286,913.

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Ally

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Little common ground on energy patch as oil downturn continues in Western Canada

On Saturday, green groups are planning a big climate change march in Quebec City, where provincial premiers will meet early next week to talk about provincial greenhouse gas reduction plans.

We’ll see more of this leading up to the UN summit in Paris in December to achieve a global climate change plan, when ‘shame Canada’ campaigns are to be expected unless activists are satisfied progress has been made.

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Cranes crowd downtown Edmonton skyline

EDMONTON - Crane spotting is becoming a popular pastime in Edmonton — not the birds but the towering construction machines that signal a still-bustling construction sector and a transforming downtown.

Duncan Fraser started counting cranes in and around the downtown about six months ago after he noticed them popping up in increasing numbers across the city skyline.

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A defining moment for Halliburton

discussed their outlook with investors on a quarterly update conference call.

The commentary was realistic but constructive. This was the best conference call we've listened to from any company in several quarters, especially considering the deterioration in the oil service market during the quarter.

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Ally

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Renters' market appears to loom on Calgary's horizon

Eager renters looking for a space to call home may actually benefit from the oil bust, a market hiccup that according the the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Commission is bringing up the vacancy rate and morphing the local rental environment.

If trends continue, Calgary could be looking at a renters’ marketplace, escaping the landlords’ grip on space. What was a predicted 1.6 per cent vacancy rate has since been refigured by the CMHC’s Fall Survey and could be more like 2 per cent.

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Ally

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Housing markets with close ties to energy sector bearing the brunt of downturn in Alberta

Housing markets in Alberta cities more closely tied to the energy sector were hardest hit by falling oil prices and the sluggish economy during the first quarter of 2015.

Data obtained from the Canadian Real Estate Association indicate Fort McMurray and Lloydminster bore the brunt of the falling housing market in the first three months of 2015, with MLS sales down year-over-year by 48 per cent and 44 per cent respectively.

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Ally

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Housing prices holding
steady in #Calgary's surrounding area


Housing markets in communities outside Calgary are following a similar pattern to the city, with sales down sharply and prices faring better.

The Calgary Real Estate Board says first-quarter MLS sales in surrounding areas were down 23 per cent from a year ago, at 911 transactions. The average sale price dropped by 0.1 per cent to $468,377. The median price was unchanged at $400,000.

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Ally

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More remote housing markets
with close ties to energy sector bearing brunt of downturn in Alberta


Housing markets in Alberta cities more closely tied to the energy sector were hardest hit by falling oil prices and the sluggish economy during the first quarter of 2015.

Data obtained from the Canadian Real Estate Association indicate Fort McMurray and Lloydminster bore the brunt of the falling housing market in the first three months of 2015, with MLS sales down year-over-year by 48 per cent and 44 per cent respectively.

Read the full article here.
 

Ally

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City puts welcome mat out for new businesses

Airdrie is on its way up — in rankings and in investments — and it’s all thanks to the current business community for pioneering the way the city does business.

“Once word leaked out that Airdrie was a community that was incredibly welcoming, relaxing, and full of community spirit, we were suddenly on everyone’s radar as a place to do business,” says Airdrie Chamber of Commerce president Wade Cormier.

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Ally

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It's a tenant's market for office space in downtown Calgary thanks to oil drop



CALGARY - Downtown Calgary's commercial real estate market is swinging in favour of tenants as more office space gets freed up in the white-collar heart of the oilpatch.

Weak oil prices have caused companies to cut their head counts in recent months, pushing vacancy rates into the double-digits.

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Ally

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Toronto developer looks to build two-tower condo project in East Village

Toronto developer Great Gulf is hoping to make its first foray into the Calgary residential real estate market with a proposed two-tower development in East Village, just east of the federal Harry Hays building.

Christopher Wein, president of Great Gulf Residential, said the project, at 304 Macleod Trail S.E., would include 443 units in towers of 22 and 24 storeys.

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Ally

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Amid oil price fallout, EI recipients in Alberta rose 15% in February

The number of Albertans receiving unemployment benefits is spiking as the distress of depressed oil prices becomes more clear.

Statistics Canada said Thursday that Employment Insurance beneficiaries in the province jumped 15.6 per cent in February, to 36,000, the fourth consecutive monthly increase and the largest since May 2009.

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Ally

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In Edmonton, once a condo, now a rental

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.

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Ally

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Edmonton condo-dwellers welcoming roommates

There was a time when the only roommates you had were in college. It was expected the days of messy, cramped living quarters would be immediately followed by a ‘forever home’ purchased by a young couple together.

These days, roommates are a reality for some people well beyond their university days, folks often jump into the housing market with a condo, and the person you buy a place with might not be your spouse.

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Ally

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Cheap oil stirring Alberta politics as leaders debate spending

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice clashed with challengers to his party’s decades-long grip on the petro- province over how to live with less oil money when voters want more services but no tax increases.

Prentice, facing a provincial vote on May 5, is proposing higher levies to offset the collapse of revenue from Alberta’s oil sands and energy industry, while protecting corporations from paying more. The Wildrose Alliance, leading in the polls, pledges to reverse those increases, while the New Democratic Party, also ahead of Prentice’s Progressive Conservatives, would boost corporate taxes and spend more on health and schools.

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Ally

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Alberta developers and builders concerned with city charters

Calgary and Edmonton have yet to write up city charters, but already developers are concerned about how much power Alberta's two major cities will receive. A charter could result in new taxes, fees and rules for both business and individuals.

The mayors of Calgary and Edmonton have pushed for a charter in order to generate more revenue. The charters are currently being written up.

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