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Gabriella Makar, B. Comm, MBA - RE/MAX Real Estate Centre
14717 40 AV, Edmonton, Alberta
P: 780-438-7000
F: 780-430-7283
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Monday, December 5, 2016 - A glimpse into youth employment trends

Statistics Canada has released a study examining how labour market indicators have evolved for Canada?s youth (aged 15 to 24) since 1976. Today?s Owl looks at these youth employment trends both nationally and from an Alberta angle. In recent years, national youth unemployment stood at levels comparable to those in the mid-1970s. The unemployment rate of youth in Canada?individuals aged 15 to 24?averaged 13.2 per cent in 2015, slightly higher than the rate of 12.4 per cent in 1976. In Alberta, ... Full Article...

posted in General at Mon, 05 Dec 2016 12:02:27 -0700



Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - Royal Bank of Canada to increase fixed mortgage rates as of Thursday

Royal Bank (TSX:RY) is hiking mortgage rates and making it more expensive for homebuyers who want to take more than 25 years to pay back their loan.The bank is raising its special offer for a five-year fixed rate mortgage to 2.94 per cent, an increase of 30 basis points.The lender is also raising its special offer for a four-year fixed rate mortgage to 2.79 per cent and three-year fixed rate mortgage to 2.69 per cent, increases of 30 and 25 basis points, respectively.The company is also ...

posted in General at Tue, 15 Nov 2016 09:23:53 -0700



Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - National sales up in October

This is how the new mortgage rules have impacted housing markets across the country.?First-time home buyers looking to get into the market before having to face tougher mortgage eligibility criteria had only two weeks to do so following the Finance Minister?s announcement of tighter mortgage regulations in early October,? said Gregory Klump, CREA?s Chief Economist. ?Early evidence suggests that the influence of tighter mortgage regulations on sales activity has been mixed.?The federal ...

posted in General at Tue, 15 Nov 2016 09:21:19 -0700



Monday, October 31, 2016 - Restaurant and bar numbers a real treat

Who loves a slice of pizza paired with their favourite glass of wine? Or an Alberta-made burger with a tasty craft beer? According to new data, many Albertans!  In August, total receipts from restaurants and bars across the province were $754 million, 1.4 per cent higher than July and two per cent greater than the 12-month average. Receipts are above where they were at this point last year, too (+0.3 per cent). So why is Alberta?s restaurant and bar sector doing well? One explanation links back ... Full Article...

posted in General at Mon, 31 Oct 2016 09:28:46 -0600



Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - Home prices stable in 2016 and 2017

For those who are concerned about the value of their house plunging in the current economic downturn, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation?s (CMHC) most recent forecast should offer some comfort. According to its forecast, homeowners in Alberta?s two largest cities face little risk of a major housing price collapse. The average MLS® selling price of an existing home in Calgary peaked in 2014 at $460,584 (this figure is based on an average of all properties, including single detached ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 24 May 2016 11:29:36 -0600



Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - Investment in Alberta set to drop for a second year

Capital spending on new construction, machinery and equipment is expected to pull back sharply in Alberta, according to the latest survey information from Statistics Canada released this morning. This comes on the heels of a similar sized reduction in 2015, which followed the record-setting year in 2014. Total industry intentions for spending on capital investment this year is forecast to be just over $66 billion. The preliminary estimate from last year was $75 billion. This equates to a ...

posted in General at Tue, 10 May 2016 09:57:45 -0600



Monday, May 2, 2016 - Alberta slips to second in restaurant spending

The economic downturn has more Albertans opting to eat meals at home rather than at restaurants and pubs. Yet even with the recent pull-back, diners in this province are still spending more than most other Canadians.Over most of the last five years, per capita spending at restaurants and bars in Alberta was by far the highest in the country. It peaked at just under $180 per person, per month, right around the middle of 2014. Not coincidently, that was when oil prices reached a peak of $US 107 ... Full Article...

posted in General at Mon, 02 May 2016 15:42:10 -0600



Thursday, April 14, 2016 - Completed but unabsorbed homes swell

New data show that the economic slowdown is weighing heavily on Alberta?s housing industry. Housing starts are down by about 56 per cent (year-over-year). Unfortunately for those that sell new homes, a large number of these are staying vacant. The number of completed but unabsorbed homes has grown significantly in both Edmonton and Calgary over the past year. Completed but unabsorbed houses are residences (single and semi-detached) that are newly built that don?t have a binding, non-conditional ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 14 Apr 2016 11:25:10 -0600



Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - Number of Canadians expecting continued rise in housing prices hits 2016 high

Canadians are looking past signs of damage from low energy prices and predicting the housing surge will continue. According to weekly polling by Nanos Research, the share of respondents expecting higher real estate prices reached the most since December 2014 last week, or 38.7 percent. That pushed the Bloomberg Nanos Consumer Confidence Index to 54.7 last week, the highest this year, from 54.5 previously. ?The main positive driver for the forward look on the economy was the view that the value ... Full Article...

posted in General at Wed, 06 Apr 2016 13:43:35 -0600



Friday, March 18, 2016 - Alberta shoppers still sitting on their wallets

Consumers in Alberta pulled back a bit more on their spending to kick off 2016, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada.In January, retail sales in Alberta fell by 0.2 per cent compared to December to $6.13 billion dollars. (The figures are adjusted for seasonality, so any regular pull-back in spending after the Christmas holiday shopping season is taken into account). That was the lowest monthly total for retail activity since August of 2013.Over the last complete twelve months, ... Full Article...

posted in General at Fri, 18 Mar 2016 09:21:19 -0600



Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - Building permits pull back to start the year

Construction activity in Alberta had already started to slow early in 2015, but new data released this morning suggest that not much of a pick-up is expected this year. According to Statistics Canada, a total of $1.1 billion in building permits were issued from Alberta municipalities in January of 2016 (adjusted for seasonality). That?s very close to the total seen in both November and December, but over the last complete 12 months, the value of permits is down eight per cent compared to the ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 08 Mar 2016 09:23:33 -0700



Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - Population Growth Still Strong

The latest population estimates from Statistics Canada show that Alberta?s two large metros grew by more than 65,000 people between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. At 2.4 per cent, Calgary and Edmonton tied for second spot on the list of fastest growing Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) in the country.Average growth across all CMAs was 1.2 per cent. Thunder Bay, Peterborough, Saguenay, Sudbury, and Saint John are the five CMAs that saw a reduction in population.The economic slump has slowed the ... Full Article...

posted in General at Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:09:06 -0700



Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - Long term unemployment not as long in Alberta

Alberta?s most recent unemployment rate of 4.7 per cent is more than two percentage points below the national rate of 6.9 per cent. Not only are there proportionately fewer people unemployed in Alberta, but those who are tend to be without work for a shorter amount of time. Last month, according to Statistics Canada, there were an estimated 18,400 Albertans who had been looking for work for 27 weeks or longer. That accounts for a little more than 15 per cent of the total number of unemployed ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 13 May 2014 10:30:39 -0600



Monday, February 24, 2014 - A true measure of consumer confidence

Over the last few years, Albertans have been expressing confidence in the economy?and their expected incomes?by opening their wallets to spend, spend, spend. But rising retail spending can also be the result of a growing population and higher prices. The question is whether Alberta?s rising retail sales are due to more shoppers or simply confident shoppers spending more. Whatever the reason, Alberta is once again the national leader.At 18.7 per cent, the increase in Alberta stands far above ... Full Article...

posted in General at Mon, 24 Feb 2014 16:34:42 -0700



Thursday, January 23, 2014 - Retail therapy alive and well in Alberta

Shoppers in Alberta rang up a record $6.26 billion in purchases last November (adjusted for seasonality)? an increase of 0.6 per cent from October?s total. Over the last twelve months, total retail sales are up 6.2 per cent from the preceding twelve-month period. According to Statistics Canada, retail sales also climbed 0.6 per cent nationally month-over-month, the fourth increase in the last five months. The consensus among economists was for an increase of only 0.2 per cent. Interestingly, ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:19:35 -0700



Friday, August 23, 2013 - Inflation slows (a bit) in Alberta

No one likes having to shell out more for their purchases. Shoppers in Alberta may have noticed some better deals in July?but barely.Prices for household goods and services in our province, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose 2.2 per cent in July over a year ago. That is down slightly from the 2.3 per cent increase posted in June, but still well above both the Canadian average and the target of the Bank of Canada.Price increases for household natural gas (+17.9 per cent) and ...

posted in General at Fri, 23 Aug 2013 11:54:59 -0600



Monday, July 15, 2013 - Itâ??s convenient, butâ?¦

With a growing population and a strong economy, Alberta is seeing some impressive retail sales in 2013. But at least one type of retail operation in our province is seeing sales on a long-term downward trend. Convenience store operators around the province rang up sales of $57.4 million in April of this year (unadjusted for seasonality). That sounds like a lot, but it?s actually down about 11.8 per cent from April of last year and down 24.3 per cent from three years ago (see graph). What?s ...

posted in General at Mon, 15 Jul 2013 14:33:37 -0600



Thursday, July 4, 2013 - Always look on the bright side of life (and the economy)

Economists always have lots to fret about. Anxiety over Europe, the slowdown in China and the printing of money in the United States can cause nasty worry lines. But in spite of it all, Alberta?s small and medium-sized companies are still the most optimistic in the country. According to a survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the index of optimism in our province held essentially unchanged at 68.6 in June. On a scale between 0 and 100, an index above 50 means owners ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 04 Jul 2013 13:45:35 -0600



Friday, June 28, 2013 - Post-flood spending is just treading water

As the waters of the Bow and Elbow rivers slowly recede, the extent of the flood damage in Alberta is gradually becoming a little clearer. Costs will certainly run into the billions of dollars, and it has already been called the second-largest natural disaster in Canada, after the 1998 ice storm. Aside from the reconstruction costs, economists are busy trying to estimate the cost of lost business activity. How will Alberta?s and Canada?s gross domestic product (GDP) suffer? It?s a tempting ...

posted in General at Fri, 28 Jun 2013 11:06:15 -0600



Thursday, June 27, 2013 - It's off to work we go

Employees in this province are known to be hard workers. Not only do Albertans participate in the labour market in greater proportions, they tend to work more hours per week than employees elsewhere. But on the measure of weekly hours of work, one other province now takes topspot. In April, the average employee in our province worked 32.5 hours per week. That includes all full-time and parttime workers and also accounts for overtime hours. That is well above the national average of 30.4 hours ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 27 Jun 2013 12:12:51 -0600



Monday, June 24, 2013 - Paycheques inch higher for construction workers

Alberta?s strong economy has created some shortages of skilled labour, and as companies scramble to hire workers, wages have been rising steadily. Unionized construction tradespeople have seen their wages rise, too?although the rate of increase may surprise you. The average hourly wage for a unionized truck driver in Alberta in May 2013 was $39.18 (averaged between workers in Calgary and Edmonton). Plumbers earned 44.10 per hour, whereas electricians did even better at $45.37 per hour. The ...

posted in General at Mon, 24 Jun 2013 18:08:40 -0600



Thursday, June 20, 2013 - More Albertans by the minute

That whooshing sound you?re hearing around the province these days may be more than the passingsummer winds. It may be the sound of cars, buses and airplanes carrying migrants to Alberta. Judging by the most recent numbers, our province continues to be a destination of choice. In the first quarter of 2013, there was an estimated 26,714 people who moved into Alberta from other provinces. At the same time, about 13,276 moved out of the province?leaving a net interprovincial gain of 13,438. That ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 20 Jun 2013 22:41:32 -0600



Thursday, June 13, 2013 - Canada's oil and gas sector on the go

So, just how busy are Canada?s energy producers? The industrial capacity utilization rate measures the amount of slack in the economy?the closer the rate is to 100 per cent, the less slack and the closer the sector is to running at full capacity. Oil and gas extraction, which is largely concentrated in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, had a capacity utilization rate of 87.4 per cent, higher than it was in the fourth quarter. In fact, utilization rates are at levels not seen in ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 13 Jun 2013 10:33:56 -0600



Monday, June 10, 2013 - Housing starts hit five-year high

While softer energy prices may be moderating overall economic growth this year, it appears that homebuilders didn?t receive the memo. Judging by the most recent statistics, its boom time in Alberta! According to the latest figures from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, builders started construction on 41,438 new homes in our province in May. That?s the highest this year and the first time since early 2008 that the figure has risen above the 40,000 mark. What?s more, the trend over the ... Full Article...

posted in General at Mon, 10 Jun 2013 15:42:52 -0600



Thursday, June 6, 2013 - Bank of Canada Governor's Speech

The new Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz delivered his speech before the House of Commons finance committee this morning.  Here are the highlights of his address: ?It is now almost six years since the start of the global financial crisis. Given the near-collapse of the global financial system and the dramatic plunge in global demand, it?s perhaps no surprise that we haven?t yet returned to normal economic conditions. ?The global economy continues to struggle. Most advanced economies are ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 06 Jun 2013 12:12:05 -0600



Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - Building permits lower in April

Economists love trying to peer into the future. Sadly most indicators are lagging indicators, describing activity in the past. One of the few good leading indicators?building permits?allows a peek into the future for at least one industry: construction.  The total value of building permits issued by Alberta municipalities tumbled in April to $1.47 billion, a drop of 12.5 per cent from March. However, the $1.68 billion reached in March was a record high, so some pull-back was ...

posted in General at Wed, 05 Jun 2013 15:20:11 -0600



Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - Alberta the place to be for wages

On a broad range of economic indicators, our province is often the statistical outlier among the provinces. New information on the size of workers? paycheques is keeping  with this trend.  In March, Alberta employees earned an average of $1,111.20 per week. Compared to a year ago, earnings in the province are higher by 4.6 per cent?far outpacing the annual increase in consumer prices of 1.0 per cent in that month. Nationally, average weekly earnings increased by 3.1 per cent year-over-year. The ... Full Article...

posted in General at Wed, 29 May 2013 11:11:43 -0600



Friday, May 24, 2013 - Low interest rates keep home affordability stable: RBC

Bank of Canada central bank likely won?t start hiking rates until mid-2014 A new analysis from the Royal Bank (TSX:RY) finds home ownership in Canada remains largely affordable, even if there are signs of mild financial stress among indebted families. The RBC says its latest affordability report shows household financial conditions relative to home ownership were relatively unchanged in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the fourth quarter of 2012. The RBC affordability measure represents ... Full Article...

posted in General at Fri, 24 May 2013 13:29:31 -0600



Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - Illinois Avenue

Alberta?s trade with the big Asian economies of China and India have attracted plenty of attention and the potential for growth to these regions is enormous. However, more than a quarter of our international exports goes to one specific region of the world?and that region is less than a quarter of the geographic size of Alberta. Illinois, the fifth largest U.S. state by population, is the destination of more than 26 per cent Alberta?sinternational exports over the last two years. That is more ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 21 May 2013 22:39:23 -0600



Friday, May 17, 2013 - Inflation still well below target

There?s plenty of troubling economic news around if you want to find it. But one thing that most consumers are not worrying about too much lately is inflation?that is, at least not in April.Last month, Canada?s overall inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell to 0.4 per cent yearover- year. That ?s down from an annual rate of 1.0 per cent in March and well below the 2.0 per cent target rate set by the Bank of Canada. The ?core? rate of inflation, which strips out eight ... Full Article...

posted in General at Fri, 17 May 2013 21:18:44 -0600



Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - Why we buy homes

Whether it?s the longer days, the warmer evenings, or the arrival of tax refunds, by far the busiest time of year for homebuyers is late spring. In a typical year, almost three times as many homes will pass hands in May and June than during the early winter. So, what are the main reasons Albertans hunt for a home? A recent survey of Alberta households conducted by ATB Financial asked respondents if they were actively in the market to purchase a home?and if so, to indicate their primary ...

posted in General at Tue, 07 May 2013 10:55:00 -0600



Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - Natural gas pricesâ??going up?

While observers of Alberta?s economy have been captivated by the widening (and now narrowing) price differential of crude oil, the price for that other hydrocarbon has been quietly staging a comeback.  Natural gas?once the primary driver of Alberta?s energy economy?had seen its price collapse a few years ago largely due to a massive increase in American supply. Between 2011 and 2012, the North American benchmark price had dropped from over $US 5.00 per mmBtu to below US 2.00/mmBtu. Alberta ...

posted in General at Wed, 10 Apr 2013 13:52:42 -0600



Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - Edmonton: Housing prices and sales up in active but balanced market

Edmonton, April 3, 2013: The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton reports that residential property prices in the Edmonton CMA were up again in March. The all-residential price (includes single family detached, condominiums, duplexes and row-houses) rose 3.5% in a month and single family detached prices were up 3.9%. Compared to March 2012, the all residential price was up 4.3% and the SFD price was up 7.0%.?The average price increases are influenced by the prices paid on particular properties as ... Full Article...

posted in General at Wed, 03 Apr 2013 20:50:15 -0600



Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - Behind the shelves

Alberta shoppers are generally familiar with the role retailers play in the economy?at the mall, for example, or in the grocery store. But long before any of the merchandise makes its way onto store shelves, the wholesaler?s role plays out behind the scenes.  In the last 12 months ending January 2013, wholesalers in Alberta sold a total of $75.6 billion in goods to retailers. It?s a bit tricky to know precisely where all of the merchandise ends up, since wholesalers in our province are often ... Full Article...

posted in General at Wed, 03 Apr 2013 20:48:20 -0600



Friday, March 8, 2013 - Low rates to continue "for a period of time..."

Eight times a year, the Bank of Canada announces any changes to its trend-setting overnight interest rate. To no one's surprise, the Bank announced on Wednesday that the rate will remain unchanged at 1.0%. But a new phrase dropped in its news release is catching some attention. Accompanying the decision on rates is a small text that explains the Bank of Canada's view of the economy and the amount of monetary stimilus currently in place. Over the past few years, the Bank has maintained an upward ... Full Article...

posted in General at Fri, 08 Mar 2013 16:38:02 -0700



Thursday, March 7, 2013 - Seeing the forest for the trees

It?s not just beef, bitumen and buildings in Alberta?the forestry sector is the lifeblood of several communities in the northern and western regions of our province. And after rumours of its death proved to be greatly exaggerated, the forestry sector in Alberta has come roaring back.  In the fourth quarter of last year, shipments of lumber, panelboard and pulp and paper in Alberta totalled some $602 million. That?s an increase of 24 per cent from the same three-month period a year earlier. It?s ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 07 Mar 2013 10:30:54 -0700



Monday, March 4, 2013 - Fries or salad with that?

Some of the most recent economic indicators are suggesting that Alberta?s economy is moderating a bit. But if that slower pace of growth is real, someone forgot to inform restaurant and bar-goers in theprovince. At the end of the year, total spending hit a record high.  In December, the value of all receipts at restaurants, bars and other eating establishments hit $667 million?an increase of 1.2 per cent over the previous month and a new record high for the province. This figure is adjusted for ... Full Article...

posted in General at Mon, 04 Mar 2013 21:18:16 -0700



Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - Edmonton's Housing Market Ready For a Push Up?!

EDMONTON - Edmonton is the second-best market in the country to invest in housing, says real estate analyst Don Campbell.?Population growth is strong, job growth is strong and things are supporting this market quite nicely, said Campbell, founding partner of the Real Estate Investment Network, a business that provides resources and information on real estate to members.?It doesn?t look like it?s going to be another ?07 where it just got into pure frenzy, but I think you?ll see late this year ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 12 Feb 2013 16:29:06 -0700



Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - Housing's delicate balance

Last Friday, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. released new data on housing construction across the country. In Alberta, the monthly number was a bit disappointing. However, a longer-term vantage point can offer a more encouraging perspective. In January, home builders started construction on 29,366 houses across all areas of Alberta (seasonally adjusted and at an annualized rate). That?s the second month in a row in which housing starts had fallen, and one of the lowest totals over the last 18 ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 12 Feb 2013 09:27:49 -0700



Monday, February 11, 2013 - Hey, kid, get a job!

It?s a catch-22 for young people: you can?t get a job without work experience, and you can?t get workexperience without a job. Unemployment rates for youth have traditionally been higher than those forolder workers, but in Alberta, at least, the situation is improving. In January, the unemployment rate for Alberta youth aged 15 to 24 was 7.8 per cent?the lowest rate for  this age group since November 2008. It also compares favourably with the national youth unemployment rate of 13.5 per cent ... Full Article...

posted in General at Mon, 11 Feb 2013 21:21:32 -0700



Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - The Rich Get Richer

Just over 16 months ago, the Occupy Wall Street movement started drawing attention to the growing gap  between America?s very rich and everyone else. The movement spread to other cities, including here in Alberta. New data released yesterday by Statistics Canada for the 2010 tax year show the income gap is far from closing. Since 1982, income distribution has become less equal.  In 2010, the median before-tax income reported by the top 1 per cent of tax filers in Alberta was $277,800. It?s one ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 29 Jan 2013 12:14:39 -0700



Thursday, January 10, 2013 - Little pink houses for you and me

Construction is one of the most important economic drivers in Alberta?s economy. Not surprisingly, a lot of attention is paid to indicators of building activity, especially around housing starts. Here, the most recent data give a bit of a mixed picture.  In December, construction got started on just under 30,000 new residential homes. That number isadjusted for seasonality and is reported at an ?annualized rate.? In other words, if the same pace ofhousing starts continued for 12 months, there ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 10 Jan 2013 21:03:15 -0700



Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - Tanking gasoline prices

For everyone who stretched credit cards over the holidays, there is some good news: not since 2009have retail gas prices been so low in Alberta. That means all families will have a little more left over at the end of the month. According to MJ Ervin & Associates, the lowest gas price in the province was in Edmonton, where a litre of regular averaged 96.4 cents in December. In Calgary the average was 98.3 cents per litre and in Red Deer,  99.9 cents per litre. At 20.8 cents since September, the ... Full Article...

posted in General at Wed, 09 Jan 2013 17:19:49 -0700



Saturday, January 5, 2013 - Job market cools its heels

Thousands of new Albertans arrive each quarter because of the hot labour situation in the province. But judging by the most recent numbers, the jobs market may be cooling just a bit.  In December, there were 6,100 fewer jobs in Alberta than there were in the previous month. That?s the first time in six months the province actually shed jobs. The unemployment rate ticked up from 4.2 per cent in November to 4.5 per cent. Alberta?s one-month drop in jobs obscures one of the most important elements ... Full Article...

posted in General at Sat, 05 Jan 2013 12:16:08 -0700



Thursday, November 22, 2012 - Flying off the shelves

After two record-setting months of shopping over the summer, you?d think Albertans would be ready to lay off the retail therapy for a bit. That didn?t happen. In fact, shoppers ramped up the spending even more. Retail sales in the province totalled just over $5.88 billion in September, up 1.6 per cent from the previous month. Over the first nine months of 2012, retail activity is 8.9 per cent higher than the same period last year. The figures presented in the chart below are adjusted for ...

posted in General at Thu, 22 Nov 2012 09:18:22 -0700



Thursday, October 25, 2012 - If you pay them, they will come

Money may not buy happiness, but plenty of Albertans are finding their earnings still purchase an awful lot! Not only do they enjoy the hottest job market in the country at the moment, they?re also paid better than anywhere else .In August, the average weekly earnings of employees in Alberta topped $1,084?far above the national average and higher by a significant margin than wages in the second-place province, Newfoundland and Labrador. Average weekly earnings nationally were $907.19. But if ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 25 Oct 2012 17:12:26 -0600



Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - New home construction picks up

Hammers were swinging and table saws whirring in Alberta last month as residential construction hit the reverse switch on its recent slowdown. Housing starts throughout the province rebounded tojust above 33,000* in September. This broke a bit of a downward trend in housing starts since reaching a peak in April of this year. Over the past two years, housing starts in the province have averaged about 29,000 per month.  The uptick in demand for new homes in Alberta comes at the same time as a bit ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 09 Oct 2012 09:40:25 -0600



Thursday, September 27, 2012 - Real estate angst? Not in Alberta

In some major Canadian markets, home sales have been in free fall, triggering anxiety that prices might soon follow. The correction is being blamed on changes to mortgage insurance (MI) rules. Although those rules apply nationally, Alberta remains in good shape. Alberta is certainly no stranger to real estate exuberance. But, in many ways, our province has managed to pull off what analysts everywhere hope for: a soft landing. Compared to other places in Canada, the run-up in prices before the ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 27 Sep 2012 21:55:57 -0600



Saturday, September 22, 2012 - Inflation RemainsTame

It used to be one of the most dreaded and hated economic indicators around. But these days, overall consumer price inflation is little more than a whimper?even if shoppers are seeing some sticker shock in the grocery stores. Yesterday, Statistics Canada reported that inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by a mere 1.0 per cent in Alberta?tied with British Columbia and New Brunswick for the lowest in the land. Nationally, consumer prices rose 1.2 per cent from August of ... Full Article...

posted in General at Sat, 22 Sep 2012 16:11:28 -0600



Monday, September 10, 2012 - Working Late

At 4.4 per cent, Alberta has the lowest unemployment rate in the country. But more than just working a lot of jobs, many Albertans work longer hours as well. In August of 2012, the average number of hours of paid overtime worked by employees was 11.7?which is the highest in the country and well above the national average of 9.0 hours of paid overtime. Employees who are paid additional wages for their overtime hours are often compensated with time-and-a-half, double, or even triple time, ...

posted in General at Mon, 10 Sep 2012 21:23:12 -0600



Friday, August 10, 2012 - New home prices continue to climb

The market for resale homes was weakening in many major Canadian cities leading up to the tightening of mortgage credit conditions by Ottawa. But when it comes to new home sales?the indicators continued to be relatively strong?a trend that continued through June.   According to Statistics Canada, the national New Home Price Index (NHPI) rose 2.3 per cent in June relative to the previous year. June?s increase was consistent with the post recession upward trend. In 2011, for instance, the average ... Full Article...

posted in General at Fri, 10 Aug 2012 14:42:35 -0600



Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - Accommodating the Alberta bound

There?s a reason why Calgary?s CTrain has been feeling more congested lately: people have been flocking to Alberta. Not since the boom years have so many people arrived in our province?and if the pace keeps up it will have important implications for the local economy. That people are coming to Alberta shouldn?t be a surprise. In fact, it?s slightly more surprising that it took until the first quarter of 2012 to see the numbers really spike. The unemployment rate is not only well below the ...

posted in General at Wed, 25 Jul 2012 21:53:46 -0600



Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - Order up! Restaurant receipts hit record high

In another sign that Alberta?s economy was heating up this past spring, the amount of money spent on meals and beverages hit a record high! In April, Albertans racked up nearly $641 million in sales at restaurants and drinking establishments. That?s an increase of 0.9 per cent over the previous month and compared to April of 2011, receipts are up a whopping 8.0 per cent. Annual price inflation at restaurants and bars in the province was only 1.4 per cent and Alberta?s population growth was 2.4 ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 03 Jul 2012 22:28:37 -0600



Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - Grilling Safety

Now that the summer season is kicking off, it's time to get back in the grilling groove. According to the National Fire Protection Association, gas and charcoal grills cause more than 8,000 house fires each year. Before firing up the grill, homeowners should consider these safety tips:? Grills should be located no closer than 10' (3m) from any structure. Never use a grill under a porch, deck, overhang, carport, or in a garage. Make sure the grill rests on a stable surface and can't be tipped ... Full Article...

posted in General at Wed, 27 Jun 2012 16:36:27 -0600



Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - Alberta family incomes

Alberta?s two largest cities have enjoyed a healthy rivalry in many ways over the years, but in at least one area? average family income?Cowtown has enjoyed a slight advantage. However, over the last decade Oiltown has been catching up. Median family income (before taxes) in Calgary was $89,490 in 2010. That is up from $60,800 ten years ago and second only behind Ottawa-Gatineau in the country among major cities. Edmonton, hot on Calgary?s heels, ranked number three in the country with median ... Full Article...

posted in General at Wed, 27 Jun 2012 09:36:04 -0600



Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - Inexpensive Ways To Reduce Your Energy Bill

? Do you need the air conditioner on all the time during the  summer months? Consider turning it way up, or completely off, at night when it's cooler outside.? Invest in a programmable thermostat. That way, you'll be able to set up a schedule that uses less heating/cooling energy while you?re out of the house.? Let the sunshine in through windows in the winter (and block the sun where possible in the summer.) "Passive heat gain" cancontribute to up to 20% of the heat in your home. Best of all, ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 26 Jun 2012 22:03:39 -0600



Thursday, June 21, 2012 - Alberta (In)Bound

Once again, Alberta is the place to be! This, based on the latest population and migration data released this morning. The province?s population as of April 2012 was 3,847,119?an increase of 2.4 per cent from a year ago and by far the fastest pace of provincial growth in Canada. The primary driver of this population growth: inter-provincial migration. In the first quarter of the year, an estimated 26,910 people moved to Alberta from other provinces. At the same time 13,514 packed up their own ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 21 Jun 2012 11:01:37 -0600



Thursday, June 21, 2012 - HARPER GOVERNMENT TAKES FURTHER ACTION TO STRENGTHEN CANADA'S HOUSING MARKET

As part of the Government?s continuous efforts to strengthen Canada?s housing finance system, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced further adjustments to the rules for government-backed insured mortgages. ?Our Government stands behind the efforts of hard-working Canadian families to save by investing in their homes and their future,? said Minister Flaherty. ?The adjustments we are making today will help them realize their goals, build on the previous measures we ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 21 Jun 2012 09:19:56 -0600



Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Housing: Investment or consumption?

While a wasteful public sector has driven Greece, and to a lesser extent Italy, to the edge of fiscal abyss - for the most part, Spain and Ireland?s problems had a different cause. The sovereign debt crisis in those two countries was mostly related to the over-investment in housing, necessitating a public intervention. It?s important to make a quick distinction, as residential investment isn?t the same as other forms of investment in the economy, such as the investment in capital goods, ...

posted in General at Wed, 06 Jun 2012 11:07:55 -0600



Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - When is the best time to sell your home?

If you've been thinking about selling your home, you might be waiting until the "market is right". After all, if the local market suddenly booms, your property will likely sell for a higher price.That may be true. However, there are other factors to consider in your decision to list. For example, will you be buying a new home as well? If so, then the higher selling price will probably be offset by the higher cost of the new property. In addition, there may be characteristics of your home that ... Full Article...

posted in General at Wed, 16 May 2012 10:48:03 -0600



Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - How to decide if you should replace your windows

One of the most prominent features of any home is the windows. When they are well maintained they have a positive impact on the impression people (such as potential buyers) will have of your property. The opposite occurs, of course, when your windows look old and worn. So does that mean you should replace your windows? That depends on a number of factors. Window replacement can be an expensive renovation. Here are a few things to consider before making your decision. ? Do your windows get frost ... Full Article...

posted in General at Wed, 16 May 2012 10:45:51 -0600



Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - Do You Know the Basics of Home Security?

Most people feel confident about the basics of home security. For example: Keep all doors locked. Have a light on in the house while away. Never hide a key outside in an obvious place, like under the mat. ? Yet, almost a million and a half properties get burglarized inNorth America each year. So how can you prevent that fromhappening to your home? Here are a few less known homesecurity basics: ? Actually, never hide a key outside. Thieves know all the hidingplaces. Instead, make sure all family ... Full Article...

posted in General at Wed, 16 May 2012 10:39:36 -0600



Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - Alberta and Saskatchewan lead Canada�s growth in 2011: StatsCan

New GDP data from Statistics Canada shows Alberta led the country in growth in 2011, followed closely by Saskatchewan. The Canadian economy as a whole expanded 2.6% in 2011, slowing somewhat after a 3.4% expansion in 2010. But in Alberta, the economy picked up speed, buoyed by high energy prices that encouraged extraction and exploration in the oil and gas patch. Alberta's economy surged 5.2% last year, after a more tepid 3.3% expansion a year earlier. Saskatchewan grew 4.8%, thanks to strong ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 01 May 2012 16:33:04 -0600



Monday, March 19, 2012 -

Alberta may top the other provinces in a lot of economic and social indicators, but in terms of enrolment in post-secondary education programs, Wild Rose Country is lagging behind most of the others. According to numbers released today by Statistics Canada, only 4.95% of Albertans were enrolled in some type of post-secondary education in 2009/2010. That compares with a national average of 5.56%. Quebec topped all other provinces with 6.15%; New Brunswick was at the bottom of rankings, with ...

posted in General at Mon, 19 Mar 2012 15:57:11 -0600



Thursday, February 23, 2012 - Earnings Outpace Inflation

Alberta continues to be the place to be for job seekers in Canada. And not only are jobs more plentiful, they pay (on average) the most and are rising more quickly than the Canadian average. In December, the average weekly earnings of employees in Alberta rose to $1.064.80?a 5.2% increase over the level a year ago. Average earnings in Canada rose by less than half that amount (+2.4%), and among the provinces, only earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador rose faster (+5.8%). Statistics Canada?s ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 23 Feb 2012 10:50:34 -0700



Friday, January 20, 2012 - 15 SECRETS OF HOME STAGING by Leah Hennen

Highlight your home's strengths, downplay its weaknesses and appeal to the greatest possible pool of prospective buyers with these home-staging tips: 1. Bye, Bye ClutterThe most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. Make a house rule that for every new item that comes in, an old one has to leave. One of the major contributors to a cluttered look is having too much furniture. When professional stagers descend on a home being prepped for market, they ... Full Article...

posted in General at Fri, 20 Jan 2012 22:53:35 -0700



Friday, January 20, 2012 - Softening housing market a positive sign, economists say

The slowdown is good because it should avoid a more severe correction By James Langton | January 16, 2012 17:10 The latest data on Canada's housing market shows that conditions are clearly softening, and that's a good thing economists say. "There are clear signs that the Canadian housing market is softening," says CIBC World Markets in a new report. It notes that while sales activity rose by 1.8% in December 2011, the number of new listed homes roses by 3%, leading to a decline in the national ... Full Article...

posted in General at Fri, 20 Jan 2012 22:07:32 -0700



Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - Albertans Driving Vehicles Sales in Canada

Car lot owners have been amongst the biggest beneficiaries of the rebounding Albertan economy. The most recent data on new vehicle sales in Alberta might show a slight monthly dip, but the trend over the past year puts sales near pre-recession levels. Statistics Canada estimated that slightly below 20,000 new vehicles (cars and light trucks) were sold in Alberta in November, a dip of 3.6% over October, but 12.9% higher than November 2010. For some perspective, when the recession hit seasonally ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 17 Jan 2012 14:10:13 -0700



Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - More Of The Same From The Bank of Canada

Consumers and businesses in Canada have benefitted greatly from very low interest rates since the economy took a tumble in late 2008. And according to the Bank of Canada?s (BoC) first rate announcement of 2012, rates are remaining near rock-bottom lows. The BoC surprised no one this morning and left the overnight interest rate unchanged at 1.0%. The overnight rate is the rate that banks in Canada lend money to each other for one day or ?overnight,? and is used to determine many consumer ...

posted in General at Tue, 17 Jan 2012 14:04:03 -0700



Friday, January 13, 2012 - Canadian mortgage rates at record low

Mortgage rates for a five-year term have dipped below 3% for the first time in Canadian history at a major bank. Bank of Montreal has lowered the rate on a five-year-fixed rate mortgage by 50 basis points to 2.99%. ?That?s the lowest anybody has ever seen from one of the major lenders ever,? said Rob McLister, editor of Canadian Mortgage Trends. He said the BMO product called the ?low rate mortgage? comes with some reduced flexibility. Instead of being able to pay 20% of the mortgage down in ... Full Article...

posted in General at Fri, 13 Jan 2012 16:37:17 -0700



Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - Western cities to top Canadian growth in 2012: report

Cities in Western Canada will lead the country in growth and prosperity over the next couple of years, according to an outlook released Wednesday by the Conference Board of Canada.Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton and Regina are at the top of the Ottawa-based economic forecaster's new metropolitan outlook.Next year, Vancouver joins the leaders and Toronto ties Regina for fifth place in the outlook. The Conference Board says western cities are benefitting from resource riches and attracting migrants, ... Full Article...

posted in General at Wed, 11 Jan 2012 17:05:41 -0700



Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - Housing Starts Go For A Strong Finish

Almost all the Alberta economic indicators were on the uptrend in 2011 with one of the few exceptions being housing starts. But while the number of homes being built remained subdued, it was at least moving in the right direction towards year end. Contractors and developers started construction on 26,300 homes in December, down slightly from 27,500 in November and 30,400 in October. While starts in December slipped from the previous two months, Q4 as a whole was by far the strongest of the year ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 10 Jan 2012 20:35:56 -0700



Friday, November 18, 2011 - Inflation Demons Rear Their Head

Inflation has been fairly benign in Alberta since the 2008 downturn;however, in October prices in this province jumped and inflation rose above the national average for the first time in two and half years. Alberta?s overall price level rose by 1.0% in October bringing the annual inflation rate to a lofty 3.4%. This is the highest inflation rate the province has experienced since August 2008 when lofty energy prices were driving inflation around the entire world. While October?s jump in prices ... Full Article...

posted in General at Fri, 18 Nov 2011 16:01:48 -0700



Friday, November 18, 2011 - Inflation Demons Rear Their Head

Inflation has been fairly benign in Alberta since the 2008 downturn;however, in October prices in this province jumped and inflation rose above the national average for the first time in two and half years. Alberta?s overall price level rose by 1.0% in October bringing the annual inflation rate to a lofty 3.4%. This is the highest inflation rate the province has experienced since August 2008 when lofty energy prices were driving inflation around the entire world. While October?s jump in prices ... Full Article...

posted in General at Fri, 18 Nov 2011 16:01:47 -0700



Thursday, November 17, 2011 - EI Beneficiaries Continue Downward Trend

Alberta?s labour market has seen dramatic improvements over the past 12 months. As a result, increasingly fewer Albertans are receiving employment insurance benefits these days. A total of 29,900 Albertans received EI benefits in September, the first time that number has dipped below the 30,000 mark since the recession. In September the number of regular beneficiaries fell by 2,370, the 12th consecutive monthly drop. Furthermore, compared to a year ago the number of beneficiaries is down ...

posted in General at Thu, 17 Nov 2011 10:38:29 -0700



Monday, November 14, 2011 - Leaving on a Jet Plane

Despite a lot of turbulence in the economy over the past three years, air traffic at Alberta?s three major airports has been remarkably calm. According to Statistics Canada data, Calgary?s International Airport saw 20,854 planes depart in September of 2011. That is very close to the three-year monthly average of 19,614. Calgary was Canada?s third-busiest airport in September, beating out Montreal?s Trudeau Airport (but trailing distantly Toronto?s Pearson Airport and the Vancouver International ... Full Article...

posted in General at Mon, 14 Nov 2011 15:39:00 -0700



Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - Calgary Real Estate Stable

Equities, commodities, and currency markets around the world are being batted around lately with much volatility. However, at least one market in our own backyard is decidedly stable. The median price of a residential property (including condos) sold in Calgary in October was $360,000, down slightly from September, and essentially unchanged (+$1,000) from October of 2010. There were 1,740 total sales, down a bit from September, and the inventory of unsold homes on the market was stable at ...

posted in General at Wed, 02 Nov 2011 11:50:31 -0600



Friday, October 28, 2011 - Alberta Housing Prices Flat

New home prices in Canada have powered past their pre-recessionpeaks thanks largely to activity in Vancouver and Toronto. In contrast, prices in Alberta are still well below their peak sitting relatively flat for the better part of two years. The result is somewhat counter-intuitive given that the Alberta economy is outperforming the Canadian average by a wide margin. The extent to which Alberta's housing sector boomed leading upto the recession helps explain why new housing prices in the ...

posted in General at Fri, 28 Oct 2011 11:16:59 -0600



Friday, October 28, 2011 - Bank of Canada Releases Monetary Policy Report

Despite all the good news emanating from Europe, The Bank of Canada splashed some cold water on market forecasters this week with a new set of much more pessimistic forecasts on the Canadian economy. The BoC now expects Canada?s economy to grow by just 2.1% thisyear and 1.9% next year, compared to their previous forecast of 2.8% and 2.6% respectively. Growth is then expected to rise in 2013 to 2.9%. Central to the BoC?s new outlook is further headwinds blowing from the global economy and in ... Full Article...

posted in General at Fri, 28 Oct 2011 11:11:41 -0600



Thursday, October 27, 2011 - Canadian dollar back above parity

The Canadian dollar again surpassed the value of its U.S. counterpart currency on Thursday morning, as a positive tone to global markets resulted some sell-off of the U.S. dollar. The loonie was as high at $1.0083 U.S., after closing at 99.52 cents U.S. on Wednesday. European leaders reached a deal to provide $1.4 trillion U.S. to bailout governments in that region swimming in debt. Stock markets around the world were surging, as were commodities such as crude oil, which was up $2.80 to $93 ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 27 Oct 2011 10:30:25 -0600



Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - Canadians Think Economy is OK

A quick scan of recent international business news headlines suggests much more worry than optimism, and that worry is reflected in a global survey of attitudes. Canadians, however, stand out with relatively upbeat attitudes. IPSOS?s ?Global Economic Pulse? is a survey of participants in 24 countries around the world, assessing the current economic situation in each country. The survey was conducted between September 9th-19th. In Canada, 66% of survey participants judged the Canadian economy to ... Full Article...

posted in General at Wed, 26 Oct 2011 12:36:35 -0600



Friday, October 7, 2011 -

Over 2011, Alberta?s job creation figures have impressed even the most optimistic observers. And according to data out this morning, the jobs picture just keeps getting better and better. Employers in this province added a further 8,600 net positions to payrolls in September, the fifth consecutive month of positive job creation. The last time Alberta saw job gains for five consecutive months was in mid-2006. The unemployment rate also declined in September to 5.4%, matching its low mark of the ... Full Article...

posted in General at Fri, 07 Oct 2011 17:23:30 -0600



Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - American Workers a Good Fit for Alberta

It might sound bizarre to talk about labour shortages given the current economic climate, but even with markets gyrating Alberta?s long-term labour supply issues have not gone away. And given the current job market in the United States, one solution to Alberta?s job shortages may lie to the south. Alberta Employment and Immigration recently identified occupations in this province which are, or are likely to be, short of workers. Used in the analysis were various indicators such as the ...

posted in General at Wed, 05 Oct 2011 09:40:00 -0600



Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - Agriculture Boosting Exports

While the rest of the Canadian economy appears to be getting hit with a drop in exports, Alberta?s international sales remain strong. And even if you peel away the hydrocarbons, exports from this province appear to be on the upswing. Exports of non-energy products from the province totaled $2.13 billion in July of this year. That is the highest sales for that month since July of 2008, just prior to the massive global recession. Over the past twelve months combined, non-energy exports were ...

posted in General at Tue, 27 Sep 2011 10:14:17 -0600



Monday, September 26, 2011 - Good News for Clothing Shopaholics (Like me)

Last week, Statistics Canada reported that Alberta?s annual inflation rate jumped to 2.9% in August. And while no one likes paying more for goods and services, thankfully prices for some retail items have been moving in the right direction for consumers. The average price of women?s clothing in Alberta has fallen 12.4% over the past twelve months, while the average price of men?s clothing has been largely unchanged (-0.2%). Over the same period, footwear prices are down 1.4% and children?s ...

posted in General at Mon, 26 Sep 2011 14:47:33 -0600



Wednesday, July 6, 2011 - Capital City Housing Activity Cools in June

Spring is almost always the busiest time of the year for real estate agents. But while the Edmonton housing market saw a large rise in activity in May, data just released by the Realtors® Association of Edmonton shows activity pulled back slightly in June. A total of 1,768 residential properties changed hands in Edmonton in June, down from 1,857 in May but up from 1,619 sales in June 2010. Meanwhile average and median prices were fairly stable with the overall median residential price at ...

posted in General at Wed, 06 Jul 2011 09:51:43 -0600



Thursday, June 30, 2011 - Canadian Headline Inflation Reaches 8 Year High

Thanks to the fact that commodity prices have cooled recently and Greece had stolen the spotlight, the market had become less concerned with inflation. But, the monthly price report released this morning may bring inflation concerns in Canada back to the forefront. Canadian headline inflation rose for the fourth consecutive month in May to 3.7%. This is the highest level for headline inflation since March 2003 and is up substantially from just a few short months ago. Interestingly, in Alberta ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 30 Jun 2011 10:39:59 -0600



Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - Alberta's Youthful Advantage

Canada?s population is slowly aging and with it there are a number of unavoidable consequences, chief amongst them being that the dependency ratio (non-working age population relative to the working age) will increase substantially. But of all the provinces, Alberta will have the best relative transition. Why is a rising dependency ratio a problem? Governments are concerned with this ratio because their two largest expenditures are consumed predominantly by the young and elderly (healthcare and ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 28 Jun 2011 11:00:46 -0600



Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - Five Easy, Inexpensive Paint Projects To Quickly Beautify Your Home

When time and money are in short supply, it?s hard to think about big remodeling projects. But with a little imagination and a small outlay for top quality 100% acrylic latex paint, you can quickly make big changes in the appearance of your home?s interior or exterior. Here are five ways to economically remodel with paint, courtesy of the experts at the Paint Quality Institute. Idea #1: Paint just an accent wall. Instead of painting an entire room, consider painting just one wall in a different ... Full Article...

posted in General at Wed, 01 Jun 2011 15:01:44 -0600



Friday, May 27, 2011 - Are Interest Rates Set to Rise?

According to the OECD?s Global Economic Outlook released this week, the Bank of Canada should begin the process of tighteningmonetary policy at its next meeting on May 31st, increasing rates by 25 basis points. This mirrors calls by the CD Howe?s non-partisan Monetary Policy Council who have also been calling on the BoC to embark further down the path of normalizing interest rates. In total, the Monetary Policy Council would like to see the key policy rate increased 125 basis points, to 2.5%, ... Full Article...

posted in General at Fri, 27 May 2011 11:52:27 -0600



Friday, May 27, 2011 - Loonie spends May on its heels

It?s a sign of the times. Who would have ever thought that when theCanadian dollar dips below $US 1.02, it would be described as ?tanking? as it was this week? But considering that the mighty loonie was soaring well beyond 5˘ above parity with the US greenback as recently as May 3rd, the Canadian dollar does actually seem a little bit feeble these days. What?s going on? And what might happen next? Currency markets are about as difficult to make any sense of as arecommodity markets. And in ...

posted in General at Fri, 27 May 2011 11:48:04 -0600



Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - Participation by Region

Albertans are known to be hard workers, and the improving economy is generally making it easier to find work. But the degree to which individuals are connected to the work world outside the home varies?not only by region of the country, but also within the province. The participation rate is one of the main economic indicators tracked by Statistics Canada in the monthly Labour Force Survey. It estimates the number of people over the age of 15 that are either working, or are looking for work. In ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 24 May 2011 16:48:34 -0600



Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - Edmonton Housing Market

As Alberta?s economy builds momentum in 2011, all eyes are on the residential real estate market. Debates rage between optimists who believe prices will continue to grow, and pessimists who fear prices are in for a downward correction. New data for Edmonton?s housing market in April tend to support the optimists. The median price of all residential properties sold through the MLS® in Edmonton was $315,000 in April, a gain of $4,000 (1.3%) over the previous month. Sales fell slightly with a ...

posted in General at Wed, 04 May 2011 15:57:51 -0600



Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - Not All Wages Rising

Average hourly earnings in Alberta continue to rise and now outpace the national average by about 10%. But hourly earnings are not rising for everyone in Alberta, and in fact, for some of the lowest-income workers, earnings are shrinking. The average hourly earnings of Albertans working in food and accommodation industries were $13.37 in March of 2010. That is the lowest of all industries in the province, where employees earned on average $25.23 per hour. Between 2006 and 2009, earnings in this ... Full Article...

posted in General at Tue, 03 May 2011 09:11:10 -0600



Friday, April 29, 2011 - Interest Rate Hike likely coming in October

  While many economists are calling for a July hike, Merrill now sees the BoC waiting until the fall, it says in a new report. BofA Merrill Lynch is pushing back its forecast for a Bank of Canada rate hike to October from May.  See more at http://ow.ly/4JRtQ 

posted in General at Fri, 29 Apr 2011 10:51:40 -0600



Saturday, April 23, 2011 - First Quarter Housing Sales on Normal Track; Prices Up

Edmonton, April 5, 2011: REALTORS® expect the local real estate market to follow a well-worn annual sales track.....See full article at http://ow.ly/4FIVX

posted in General at Sat, 23 Apr 2011 14:56:44 -0600



Thursday, March 10, 2011 - Some Good News!

The Canadian housing sector continued to show solid growth in February as housing starts moved up about 6.5% from the previous month. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts came in at 181,900 units. That?s up from 170,600 units in January. The federal agency says the rise was due primarily to increased activity in the multi-family starts in Ontario and the Prairies. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 9.4% to 161,000 ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 10 Mar 2011 09:57:32 -0700



Thursday, March 10, 2011 - Let the Hiring Begin!

Job creation in Alberta lagged behind most other provinces in the 2010 recovery period, but stronger employment growth started to pick up around the turn of the year. What are Alberta employers anticipating this spring? According to the latest survey of employers from Manpower Canada, companies in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer are expected (on balance) to add to their payrolls in the second quarter of 2011. The survey calculates the difference between the percentage of firms expecting to ...

posted in General at Thu, 10 Mar 2011 09:54:26 -0700



Thursday, March 3, 2011 - Variable Rate Loans Remain Bargain Bin Cheap

Keeping in line with the expectations of the market, Canada?s central bank left interest rates unchanged for the fourth consecutive time this morning. The Bank of Canada (BOC) left the Canadian overnight interest rate, which is the rate that banks use to lend money to each other in the overnight market, at 1.0% this morning. As a result the prime rate, which is used to set variable rate mortgages and many other consumer and business loan products, remains at 3.0%. In a press release that is ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 03 Mar 2011 13:16:17 -0700



Thursday, March 3, 2011 - Edmonton's Housing Market Slowly Unthawing

Things have been pretty slow in the capital city housing market since last spring, and although the market wasn?t a hotbed of activity in February, it did show some life. The number of homes sold in Edmonton during February was 1,044, up from very low level levels in both December (784) and January (735). Meanwhile housing prices were flat, with the overall median residential price (includes all types of homes) slipping slightly to $305,000 from $307,000 in January 2011 and exactly unchanged ... Full Article...

posted in General at Thu, 03 Mar 2011 13:08:49 -0700



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