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How Will Alberta’s Economy Affect Its Real Estate Market?

In 2017, Alberta’s economy has been performing better in comparison to the nation’s other oil-producing provinces. However, this predicted modest growth will not be caused by the energy sector but rather by a combination of tourism, agriculture, and agri-food. The nation’s 150th celebrations and a weak dollar are expected to contribute to a spike in tourism. According to the Conference Board of Canada, Alberta is expected to lead the nation with a 2.8% increase in real GDP this year.

How will the real estate sector be affected?

As of 2015, the finance and real sector accounted for 14.8% of Alberta’s economy and the province entered a recession the same year. The housing market in Alberta is expected to witness very small percentage increases in the prices of condos and single family homes, and this is true for the large economies of Calgary and Edmonton as well. Alberta’s housing market is expected to stabilize as the price of oil has slowly stabilized and the province has been adding jobs this year.

First time home buyers will face difficulties

First time buyers face a near impossible situation in Toronto and Vancouver, and the situation is marginally better in Alberta. However, it is easily the hardest time to be a middle class, first time buyer in 2017 than it has been in the last 10-15 years. Mortgage rates are expected to rise this year after having been kept intentionally low since 2015. Across the country, experts predict that mortgage rates are going to be higher at the end of 2017 than they were at the start.

Home sales and prices have been on the rise

While the smaller markets in Alberts such as Grande Prairie, Lloydminster, Central Alberta, and Alberta West continue to struggle, the average price of a home in Edmonton and Calgary has been rising. This is true across all categories as improved employment prospects in these major metros is boosting buyer confidence. The presence of surplus supply has also helped in this regard as buyers have a wide variety of choices.

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