Concerns about carbon tax and Alberta NDPS may be overblown
Max Fawcett, editor of Alberta Oil Magazine gives his insights on Alberta's carbon tax announcement and why concerns about Rachel Notley’s NDP government may be overblown. He also argues that Canada's “addiction” to real estate is just as dangerous as Alberta's oil dependence.
ATB Financial CEO to lead #Alberta royalty review. Business instead of rhetoric? Let's hope
Dave Mowat, the CEO and president of ATB Financial, will lead a review into how much money oil and gas companies must pay the provincial government.
As head of the long-awaited royalty review panel, Mowat will appoint members of a panel during the next few weeks, and will present a list of recommendations by the end of the year.
"As one of four-million-plus owners of Alberta's natural resources and bringing my understanding of just how important this industry is to Alberta, I want the best possible system for all of us," Mowat said during a Friday morning news conference at the legislature. “I have a strong sense of how important this is, not only for Albertans, but for our country to get it right.”
Hockey season may be over, but Rachel Notley completed a hat trick in the span of a week.
The premier named three respected individuals to serve as stewards of initiatives identified as priorities for her government.
Last Friday, former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge was tapped to advise the government on infrastructure issues. This week, University of Alberta professor Andrew Leach was appointed to lead a panel tasked with formulating a new climate change policy, and on Friday it was Dave Mowat, president and CEO of ATB Financial, who was chosen to take charge of the royalty review.
It’s too soon by far to pass a verdict on Rachel Notley’s NDP government in Alberta — they were only elected last month, after all. Still, while the government’s first legislative session was brief, it saw a lot of activity. With a federal election coming this fall — and with the federal NDP currently leading the polls — it’s worth recapping what we’ve seen from Alberta’s new government so far. Some of it is good, but there is much cause for concern.
To start on a good note, the province’s tough stand against corporate and union donations to political parties was welcome. Long overdue, the issue was the first the Notley government moved on. It was, quite literally, Bill 1. The law is not as tough as we’d like, with a significant loophole — unions may not directly donate to campaigns, but they may pay their members to work on political campaigns. But Bill 1 is still a big step toward cleaner, fairer politics; as we’ve written before, other provinces — we’re looking at you, Ontario — would be well advised to enact similar, tighter restrictions.
Oil heads for biggest weekly drop since March as rig counts rise
Oil headed for the biggest weekly decline since March as a rebound in U.S. drilling added to signs that producers will keep pumping into an oversupplied market.
Futures in New York fell for a third day, extending this week’s decline to 5.4 per cent. The number of active rigs seeking oil climbed by 12 to 640, the first gain since December, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc. Iran said it recognizes the right of United Nations monitors to seek visits to sensitive sites, as diplomats work on a nuclear agreement that could restore the OPEC member’s crude exports.
espite a decline in energy-industry fortunes, Calgary-based home builders are finding a more resilient, responsive market in Edmonton.
Morrison Homes, which has been named builder of the year a dozen times in Calgary and moved into the Edmonton market more than three years ago, says the impact of slumping oil prices is more severe in Calgary.
Pushing LRT to 120th Street key to Oliver Square redevelopment
EDMONTON - City planners are asking council to consider pushing LRT west just to 120th Street if money for the full line west isn’t available.
The new 104th Avenue corridor redevelopment plan also calls on the city to turn the avenue — a major vehicle corridor into downtown — into a narrow-lane, LRT-focused street with pedestrian priority zones. Planners are asking council to push forward with rezoning as it did for the downtown plan, a move that could encourage faster redevelopment and would ban new drive-thru’s or major surface parking lots.
EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - July 9, 2015) - Housing starts in the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 19,235 units in June compared to 19,078 in May, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)(1) of total housing starts.
"The trend in housing starts increased in June as a decline in the pace of single-detached starts was more than offset by an increase in multi-family housing starts. Although the trend moved higher on a month-to-month comparison, actual single and multi-family housing starts were both down from their June 2014 levels," said Christina Butchart, CMHC's Principal, Market Analysis for Edmonton.
CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - July 9, 2015) - Housing starts in the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 13,436 units in June compared to 11,953 in May, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)(1) of total housing starts.
"Total housing starts trended upward in June as multi-unit residential construction increased compared to last month," said Richard Cho, CMHC's Principal of Market Analysis for Calgary. "While the pace of total housing starts rose in June, this trend is not expected to persist throughout the year. Increased supply of new homes, coupled with weakened demand, will moderate new home construction," added Cho.
Rental rates on the decline for Calgary downtown office market
A report by commercial real estate firm Newmark Knight Frank Devencore, obtained by the Herald, says the best quality buildings in the downtown core have seen rents fall dramatically in an attempt to retain existing tenants and attract new ones looking to move up in class.
“The landlords are seeing a real significant lack of activity and also they’re seeing the reports of the rising vacancy. Now it looks like they’re positioning themselves for the slowdown,” said Michael Gigliuk, vice-president of the company in Calgary.
While there were fewer sales for homes of all kinds on Calgary’s resale market over the first half of 2015 compared to a year earlier, apartments for less than $400,000 were on the upswing in June.
There were 399 apartments sold on the city’s resale market last month, which is 16 per cent fewer than June 2014 when 480 units changed hands, says the Calgary Real Estate Board. Over the first five months of the year, the dip in transactions was 32 per cent with 1,383 in 2015 compared to 2,044 in 2014.
Edmonton house prices show moderate growth in second quarter
EDMONTON, July 14, 2015 /CNW/ - The Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released today showed moderate year-over-year price increases across all housing types surveyed in Edmonton.
Detached bungalows rose 4.1 per cent year-over-year to an average price of $364,942 and standard two-storey homes increased 3.3 per cent to $384,250. Standard condominiums also saw their average price appreciate, rising 4.4 per cent year-over-year to $246,812.
Alberta home building and housing markets: A true tale of two cities, 2 attitudes and 2 growth patterns
As The Owl reported last week, residential building permits in Alberta have weakened in 2015, dropping in May to one of the lowest levels in three years. A closer look at those numbers reveals some interesting trends across the regions.
Virtually all of the recent dip in residential permits can be explained by slumping activity in Calgary. In May, builders in there secured permits for a mere $167 million—well below the $300 to $400 million range that has been more typical over the last year or so. The red line in the graph below shows the six-month moving average for Calgary, and indeed the trend has been towards lower activity.
Tenants see rental costs decline in Calgary industrial real estate market
Landlords of industrial real estate in Calgary will be focused on their tenants, aggressively pursuing renewals to limit or reduce exposure to potential vacancy in their portfolio during what could be a prolonged economic downturn, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield.
Brent Johannesen, vice-president of industrial sales and leasing for Cushman & Wakefield in Calgary, said the vacancy rate in the city has increased slightly to five per cent with the completion of a significant amount of new construction in the second quarter of this year.
Sublease space in Calgary downtown office market at record level
The amount of sublease space available in the Calgary downtown office market rose significantly in the second quarter, for the third consecutive quarter, and is now at a record level, says a new report by commercial real estate firm Colliers International.
“For the first time since Q4 2009 there is more sublease space available than headlease space. Sublease availability began its rise at the end of 2014 as international energy companies began reallocating capital to other parts of the world,” said the report.