July 2014 Alberta Economic Fundamentals

Ally

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East Village wasteland sees huge spike in construction





CALGARY - For years, East Village, directly east of City Hall, was an urban wasteland with grand dreams for development.





And for many years, those dreams never materialized - until now.





Under the guidance of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, East Village is now a hotbed of activity with numerous cranes signalling that this development, which will eventually house 11,000 people as well as office, retail, and civic and cultural space, is well on its way to fruition.





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Ally

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Renters in High River fall victim to landlord scam





CALGARY- A common scam that surfaces in low-vacancy markets like Calgary has made its way into a small community.





RCMP have been called in after reports someone took deposits from at least nine people wanting to rent a home in High River.





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Ally

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Alberta wages highest in Canada





CALGARY - It pays to work in Alberta.





According to Statistics Canada, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees in April were the highest in Alberta among all provinces at $1,141.70.





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Ally

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Calgary resale housing market shows no signs of slowing down





CALGARY - As Calgary`s resale housing market nears the mid-point of the year, it is showing no signs of slowing down with June sales up more than 15 per cent from a year ago.





According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, there have been 2,340 MLS transactions in the city from June 1-26, up 15.16 per cent from the same period a year ago with an average sale price of $490,368, which has increased by 6.03 per cent from a year ago.





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Ally

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Moderate growth expected for Red Deer





Economic growth in Red Deer will moderate this year and next, but still compare favourably with the performance of the country`s fastest-growing economies, says a Conference Board of Canada report.





In its Mid-Sized Cities Outlook, released on Friday, the not-for-profit research organization predicted that Red Deer`s real GDP will increase by 3.5 per cent this year and 2.5 per cent in 2015. That compares with 4.5 per cent last year and 4.4 per cent in 2012.





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Ally

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Medicine Hat economy showing steady improvement





Medicine Hat`s economy has shown steady improvement, according to a new national study, though Hatters may be wondering how those high-level numbers translate to struggles at the ground level.





According to a national analyst, one missing piece of the puzzle could be employment gains and wide spread wage increases.





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Ally

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Calgary growth strategy hurting housing affordability?





The residential construction industry was targeted by a group of politicians seeking re-election last year, in particular, some derogatory remarks and negative comments from Mayor Naheed Nenshi.





Perhaps the mayor put the industry in his sights because he couldn`t campaign for re-election based on his record.





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Ally

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Calgary population growth revs up housing demand





When it comes to provincial economies, there`s Alberta and then there is the rest, says Robert Hogue, senior economist with RBC Economics.





`Alberta`s economy is in a class by itself in Canada. It has grown by an average growth rate of 4.3% in the past four years or almost twice the national average of 2.3% during that time,` says Hogue in his June provincial outlook report.





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Ally

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Record June for Calgary resale housing market





CALGARY - Calgary`s resale housing market experienced a record month in June with the average MLS sale price reaching an all-time high and luxury home sales setting a new monthly peak.





According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, the average MLS sale price for residential properties in the city climbed to $491,928 during the month, eclipsing the previous high of $486,531 established in May.





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Ally

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Plans take off for Edmonton-Area aerotropolis





It sounds like a dance step or something straight from the pages of science fiction, but Leduc planners are hopeful an aerotropolis will help the regional economy reach new heights.





Aviation officials and representatives from the City of Leduc and Leduc County are collaborating on the project, which would see a 214-hectare parcel of land just south of Edmonton International Airport turned into a major development that would include hotels and restaurants, exhibition and conference centres, and manufacturing and distribution firms.





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Ally

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Two-tower condo development planned for Calgary downtown west end





CALGARY - Construction has begun on Avenue, a two-tower condo development, which is the first residential real estate project in Calgary`s downtown west end in several years.





Grosvenor Americas and Cressey Development Group`s newest project is moving forward following a successful pre-sales campaign for the development at 10th Street and 5th Avenue S.W.





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Ally

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Alberta international exports top $10 billion





CALGARY - Higher sales of agricultural, forestry and other non-energy products pushed the value of Alberta`s international exports to $10.52 billion in May, according to Statistics Canada.





Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial, said the slight increase over April represents one of the highest amounts in the last five years.





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Ally

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Sales of non-energy exports reach post-recession high





The value of Alberta`s international exports rose to $10.52 billion in May, thanks partly to higher sales of agricultural, forestry and other non-energy products. The slight increase over April represents one of the highest amounts in the last five years, according to Statistics Canada.






Approximately three-quarters of the province`s sales abroad are oil and natural gas, as well as refined petroleum products. The value of sales is rising due to higher prices in recent weeks. The prices of West Texas Intermediate crude and the benchmark Western Canadian Select Blend of oil are both higher compared to a year ago. Tensions in Russia and Ukraine, as well as increased instability in Iraq, have pushed global oil prices steadily higher.





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Ally

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Prince Charles residents want more garage suites, fewer duplexes





Residents in the Prince Charles in north Edmonton are hoping to have more garage and garden suites scattered around the neighbourhood.





Currently, such infill housing suites are only allowed on corner lots or directly beside parks, which some residents say has led to more duplexes in the area.





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Ally

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Lethbridge surpasses 93,000 mark





Meet some new neighbours recently?





Lethbridge has welcomed more than 2,500 newcomers over the last year, pushing the city`s population to 93,004.





That`s a jump of 2.86 per cent over the year, official census figures show ` the biggest increase since booming 2007.





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Ally

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Can Edmonton's southeast LRT breathe new life into old areas?





EDMONTON - If a bus or LRT station were to open near your home, would you shudder at the possibility of increased traffic and crime? Or would you do a quick jig to celebrate easier access to the city and higher property values?





Not so long ago, many residents of North American cities would have done the former. These days, living close to a major transit node is a selling feature for new housing projects. The official urban planning term is `transit-oriented development,` which refers to the concentration of housing, work, and social spaces within a five-minute walk of a transit station. The city`s website says such developments will promote `attractive, livable and more compact communities.`





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Ally

Research Assistant
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Cash left dangling for Edmonton basement suites while few homeowners bite offer





EDMONTON - Two years after the city tightened rules on a program that helps homeowners build and upgrade secondary suites, it appears behind pace to hand out the funding with 63 of a possible 225 grants approved.





But Daryl Kreuzer, the city`s acting director of housing, said the uptake on this part of the Cornerstones II program provides an opportunity for heavy promotion, especially if council pushes ahead with regulatory changes that will make it easier to build garage suites.





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Ally

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New reactor will boost capacity for Nova's Joffrey plant





The skyline at Nova Chemicals Corp.`s Joffre complex took on a new look Friday, as a pair of cranes hoisted a 38-metre-high reactor into place.





The approximately 280-tonne piece of equipment is at the centre of a billion-dollar expansion of Nova`s polyethylene plant. It joins two existing reactors and is expected to boost total production capacity by 40 per cent ` to approximately 2.5 billion pounds of linear low density polyethylene annually.





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Ally

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Calgary region sees huge spike in building permits





CALGARY - The Calgary region saw a whopping year-over-year hike in May in the value of building permits, according to Statistics Canada.





The federal agency reported Monday that permits reached $636 million in the Calgary census metropolitan area. That was up 37.3 per cent from a year ago and it increased by 6.1 per cent from April.





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