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Thursday, November 1, 2012
Calgary Sales Activity Outpaces Canada
Calgary, Nov. 1, 2012 – City of Calgary sales activity marked a 23-per-cent increase over levels recorded in October 2011. The continued improvement in sales has pushed year-to-date sales activity to nearly 16-per-cent above levels recorded in 2011.
“Relative to national trends, we continue to move in the opposite direction, recording both sales and price growth,” said CREB® President Bob Jablonski. “However, despite the higher than anticipated sales growth this year our market is not overheating, simply returning to levels consistent with long term trends and prices still have not fully recovered after the last recession.”
Sales improved over 2011 levels across all housing types in the city. Single family sales growth has been the strongest, with nearly 17-per-cent more year-to-date sales this year compared to last year. Meanwhile, apartment condominium sales have been rising at a slower pace, with year-to-date sales nearly 12-per-cent higher than last year.
New listings within city limits totaled 2,312 for the month, a 9-per-cent decline over October 2011 levels. The decline in new listings relative to sales has continued to reduce total inventory levels across all sectors. However, because this is a less active period in real estate, the months of supply remains within balanced levels.
The strong demand for homes relative to the supply levels has caused some significant increases in the price of single family homes this year compared to 2011. As of October 2012, the benchmark price for a single family home was $433,300, an 8-per-cent increase over the previous year. While there has been significant recovery in Calgary home prices, typical unadjusted home prices have leveled off remaining relatively unchanged over the past 4 months, and remain below the highs recorded in 2007.
Condominium apartments recorded a benchmark price of $247,000 in October 2012, losing some ground over the previous month, but still higher than the previous year by 3 per cent. While on average condominium apartment prices have fallen more than risen since 2007, condominium prices this year have recovered to levels comparable to 2010.
After the first 10 months of the year condominium townhouse sales totaled 2,279, 16-per-cent higher than last year. The benchmark price for a townhouse in October was $279,000, a 3-per-cent improvement over October 2011.
“At the end of last year, the Calgary economy was growing and continued to post job growth,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB®’s chief economist. “However, global economic uncertainty was increasing, impacting overall consumer confidence and contributing to a significant amount of caution in the resale market.
“While many of these global economic risks remain this year, consumers’ concern regarding the impact on our economy has lessened. Calgary has continued to record relatively strong economic, employment and migration growth. This combined with improving affordability has encouraged consumers to purchasing real estate in Calgary.”
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Harper Builds Oil link with China after Obama Keystone ‘slap’
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is gaining support among Canadians for his plan to ship oilsands crude to China after President Barack Obama rejected TransCanada Corp.’s $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast according to the Financial Post
Harper will meet President Hu Jintao in China next month, when he may tout Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline that would let crude flow to Asia from Alberta’s oilsands via a Canadian port.
“The Keystone decision was a slap in the face to Canada and it’s making Canadians rethink the relationship,” said Jack Mintz, head of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. “Harper probably wants to put out a sign that we’re open for business for Asia.”
Harper is pushing energy exports to Asia to reduce the country’s reliance on the U.S. and make Canada a global energy “superpower.” Tapping markets in Asia may raise the price received by Canadian producers by $13.60 a barrel by 2030, according to a University of Calgary study. About 99 percent of Canada’s crude exports go the U.S.
“The Keystone ruling shows that we need to diversify away from the U.S. to Asia,” Richard Waugh, chief executive officer of Bank of Nova Scotia, the country’s third-biggest bank, said in an interview. “The Prime Minister appreciates that and it is no doubt a key purpose of his trip” to China.
Harper expressed his “profound disappointment” Jan. 19 after the U.S. rejected Keystone, telling Obama that Canada will “continue to work to diversify its energy exports,” according to details provided by Harper’s office.
Efforts to boost support for selling oil to China may be having an impact. Opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline has weakened in recent weeks, according to a survey by Toronto- based Forum Research.
The share of Canadians who oppose the plan has fallen to 43 percent in a poll conducted Jan. 13, down from 51 percent in a December survey. Support for the project increased to 37 percent from 35 percent. The percentage of those who say they are unsure rose to 20 percent from 15 percent. The poll of 1,211 Canadians has a margin of error of 2.8 percent.
“It looks like a group of people are giving it a second look,” Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research, said in a telephone interview, adding Harper may have “got people thinking.”
Other Canadian policy makers, including Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, have said Canada will need to increase its exports to emerging markets.
“If you look at the nature of the U.S. recovery right now, our exports are $30 billion lower than they otherwise would be,” Carney said in a Jan. 22 interview on CTV Television’s Question Period. “The Chinese market is a tremendous opportunity for Canada. We’re under-represented there relative to other countries.”
Canada’s benchmark stock index lagged behind the S&P 500 last year for the first time since 2003, as producers of raw materials and energy dropped on concern that slow global growth will limit demand for commodities and erode their prices. The industries make up about 47 percent of Canadian equities by market value, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Alberta Premier Alison Redford reacted to Obama’s announcement by saying the province will now focus on opening markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Asia is Alberta’s second- largest export market, accounting for about 10 percent of C$78 billion ($77.2 billion) in total exports in 2010.
Canada has already begun regulatory hearings on Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. CEO Pat Daniel said the U.S. rejection was “horrible for our industry and it’s a horrible precedent. It will only embolden those opposed to Gateway and other new project developments.”
Canada “can continue to be supportive as they always have” on Northern Gateway, Daniel said Jan. 19 at a conference in Whistler, British Columbia. The federal government has “done a good job calling out the issues around the regulatory process.”
Harper has said building the capacity to sell the country’s oil to Asian markets is in the national interest, and the government will aim to speed the regulatory-approval process for large energy projects. Harper has also said “foreign money” from environmental groups is being used to try to influence regulators.
“Just because certain people in the United States would like to see Canada be one giant national park for the northern half of North America, I don’t think that’s part of what our review process is all about,” Harper said in a Jan. 16 interview with CBC television.
“This contrived funding ‘debate’ is a red herring,” Merran Smith, director of Tides Canada’s Energy Initiative, said in a Jan. 10 statement. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver has cited Tides Canada as a group that’s channeling U.S. money to pipeline opponents.
Regulators have received 4,507 requests by individuals to testify at public hearings on the project that began this month. Environmental and aboriginal groups say the project will increase the risk of an oil spill off the coast of British Columbia. The regulatory panel reviewing the pipeline last month pushed back its timeline for reaching a decision to the end of 2013.
Harper’s drive to sell oil to China comes as the Asian nation steps up foreign investment. Chinese companies have purchased more oil and gas assets in Canada from 2005 to 2011 than acquirers from any other country, according to Bloomberg Government.
Two of the largest acquisitions of Canadian oil and gas companies last year were driven by Chinese companies. In October, China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., Asia’s biggest refiner also known as Sinopec, agreed to buy oil and gas producer Daylight Energy Ltd. of Calgary. In July, Cnooc Ltd., China’s largest offshore oil explorer, bought Calgary-based Opti Canada Inc. to expand its oil-sands reserves. Both deals totaled more than $2 billion each.
“China’s energy security isn’t simply about shipping oil back to China,” said Wenran Jiang, political science professor at the University of Alberta and senior fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. “There’s also trying to increase overall global supply of oil to help manage price and supply.”
The push by Harper for closer ties extends beyond the oilsands. Canada has been working on an agreement with China that would give Canadian companies greater legal protection in disputes with Chinese governments. Trade Minister Ed Fast said in October that the two sides are close to an agreement.
Harper may seek to provide assurances that additional investments will be welcome during his trip to China. In a Sept. 21 interview with Bloomberg, Harper said he welcomed investment by China as long as such acquisitions are “economic in nature and don’t have other strategic or political objectives.”
The challenge for Harper and China may be to assuage any concerns in the U.S. that Canada is getting too cozy with the Asian power. Harper acknowledges the U.S. will remain Canada’s dominant trading partner for “many years to come.”
“China doesn’t want to be perceived as being predatory and taking advantage of a weakening of the relationship between Canada and the U.S.,” the University of Alberta’s Jiang said. “That would cause alarmists in the U.S. to further perceive China as a threat.”
Read the full article here: http://natpo.st/zauz37
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Alberta To Lead Economic Growth
Saskatchewan and Alberta will have the best economic growth over the next two years of all the provinces, according to a forecast out today.
From our friends over at Canadian Real Estate Magazine:
Jacques Marcil, a senior economist with TD Economics, said the economic futures of Canadian provinces this year may largely depend on their connections to Europe and exposure to the strong possibility of a European recession.
Specifically, the report adjusts a September forecast to show slower growth this year in Ontario, Quebec and B.C., while also adjusting for faster growth in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.
“The corresponding revision to our provincial outlook was unevenly distributed among provinces, but all regions are vulnerable to the uncertainty and volatility expected over the next six months,” said Marcil. “These headwinds will likely intensify at a time when constrained public finances leave very few tools available for Canadian governments to stimulate demand, or at least restore confidence.”
Alberta is expected to see Canada’s strongest employment growth, up 1.5% this year, compared to 0.8% nationally. It was already up 3.7% in Alberta last year. While unemployment will rise from 7.4% nationally last year to 7.6% this year, Alberta will replace Saskatchewan as the province with the lowest rate, at 5%.
“Saskatchewan, which usually acts as a responsive pool of spare workers for Alberta, is failing to do so currently because its economy is performing nearly as well as Alberta’s,” said Marcil.
Overall economic growth, based on real GDP, will increase most in Alberta, up 2.6%, followed by 2.4% in Saskatchewan. Nationally, it will rise just 1.7% this year, following a 2.4% gain last year.
The real estate markets in Vancouver and Toronto, however, are expected to hinder economic growth in their respective provinces, said the report. Toronto will be especially affected by its recent growth in condo developments, said Marcil.
“In addition to the growing pipeline of supply, the knock-on effects of financial market volatility to buyer confidence will likely result in a cooling down in condominium sales in the region in 2012 and 2013,” he said.
Read More: : http://bit.ly/w8h2iX
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Alberta Housing Starts to Increase
Alberta is expected to buck the national trend for new home construction in the next two years, according to a report by TD Economics.
After seeing a forecasted 6.3 per cent annual decline in 2011 to 25,200 housing starts, the report is predicting new home construction will increase in the province by 2.5 per cent in 2012 to 25,800 units and by another 1.6 per cent in 2013 to 26,200 units.
At the national level, housing starts are expected to decline by 5.6 per cent in 2012 to 181,300 and by 5.3 per cent in 2013 to 171,700.
Tim Logel, president and partner of Cardel Lifestyles in Calgary, said there was a pent-up demand of buyers in the local market at the end of the year and more buyers are now coming forward.
A healthy economy, low interest rates, strong employment growth and increased in-migration are fundamentals pointing to an improved housing market.
Logel said Cardel had 218 building permts for condos and townhomes in 2011, up from 172 the previous year.
Multi-family permits over the past five years have reached 850 for the local builder, tops in the city.
“I’m expecting the same type of growth for our company that we had year-over-year,” noted Logel of the next couple of years in the homebuilding industry.
According to data released Tuesday by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., total housing starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area were up 0.3 per cent in 2011 to 9,292 units. That included a 20.9 per cent hike in multi-family starts of 4,208 but a drop of 12.1 per cent in the single-detached market to 5,084 units.
In the existing home sales market, the TD Economics report forecasts sales to increase by 0.5 per cent in Alberta in 2012 to 53,300 transactions and then dip by 2.7 per cent in 2013 to 51,900.
This after a 6.6 per cent hike in sales in 2011 to 53,000 transactions.
TD Economics forecasts the average existing home price to remain unchanged in Alberta in 2012 at $355,900 after increasing by 1.1 per cent in 2011 to $356,100. But the average is expected to fall by 2.5 per cent in 2013 to $347,200.
At the national level, TD Economics expects existing home sales to drop by 2.4 per cent in 2012 to 445,000 units and fall another 3.5 per cent in 2013 to 429,200. This after a 2.2 per cent increase in 2011 to 456,200 units.
Across Canada, the report said the average existing home price would fall by 1.9 per cent in 2012 to $357,100 and decline by 3.6 per cent in 2013 to $344,200. In 2011, it rose by 7.5 per cent to $364,100.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Target Building Huge Distribution at Calgary
American retail giant Target Corp. is building a huge distribution centre just outside Calgary, the Herald has learned.
Molly Snyder, Target spokesperson, confirmed the centre will be the company’s third in Canada and will be in Balzac in Rocky View County.
“The centre will be approximately 1.3 million square feet and will sit on just under 80 acres,” she said. “Target has selected sites for its distribution centres that will help to ensure that our supply chain needs are met for our Canadian stores. Target intends to open its first stores in March/early April 2013 and its distribution centres will be completed in time to support the needs of the stores.”
She said the centre will be managed entirely by an outside logistics company, Eleven Points Logistics.
“They will manage all recruitment and hiring and will communicate those needs and plans with local communities in the coming months,” added Snyder.
The centre will be located off of Range Road 291, east of Nexen’s Balzac Power Station.
Earlier this week, Target announced the location of its first 24 stores in Canada. As previously announced, Target purchased the leasehold interests of 189 sites currently operated by Zellers Inc., and plans to open 125 to 135 stores in Canada, the majority of which will open in 2013.
The first 24 stores are all in Ontario.
About $10 million to $11 million will be invested to remodel each facility to bring the full Target brand experience to Canadian communities. Each Target store in Canada will employ approximately 150 to 200 team members. Store team hiring will begin in 2012 and Target will “engage” with Zellers associates to make it easy for them to apply for jobs.
Target intends to announce additional store locations in the coming months.
Minneapolis-based Target has 1,767 stores across the United States.
Calgary Target locations will be at Chinook Centre, Forest Lawn Shopping Centre, Market Mall, the Shoppes at Shawnessy, Signal Hill Centre and Sunridge Mall.
Tom Dixon, business development manager of real estate and logistics with Calgary Economic Development, said he expects two or three more announcements this year in the distribution and logistics sector for the city’s region.
“It just really speaks to the critical mass that has already been achieved, that has been built — the synergies that are achieved and the importance of the sector to Calgary and the region,” he said.
The region’s road network, with access from highways and the ring road, is one of the primary reasons for the growth in the sector, he said.
“Each company has its own criteria and determines the kind of facility and the location that works best for them,” said Dixon. “That was the basis of the Target decision. But it’s very much part of the northeast, the airport development pattern. And it’s complemented by what’s happening in the southeast which is more rail-oriented at the CP logistics and intermodal yard.”
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Calgary Highest Parking Rates In Canada
Cowtown Parking is out of control. Looks like we are on target to eclipse New York Rates in a few years.
Calgary's parking rates put it second to only New York City as the most expensive city to leave a car in North America, according to a report released Wednesday.
Real estate firm Colliers International said the median parking rate in Calgary, headquarters for most of Canada's major energy firms, is $472.50 a month, up 4.2 per cent from the last year.
That's more than double the average of major cities in Canada of $235.76, which is up 2.6 per cent from a year ago.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Calgary Downtown Project a Go
MASSIVE Downtown project is still moving forward. Great to see our downtown will be looking even more World Class.
CALGARY — The second phase of the massive Eighth Avenue Place downtown office development is moving closer to reality.
Having weathered the project’s difficult start, its owners celebrated the official opening of Eighth Avenue Place on Monday and confirmed work on a planned second tower could begin next year.
Construction of the project’s first phase — a 1.1-million-square-foot, 49-storey office tower on 8th Avenue S.W. — began in December 2007. The next phase will add a second tower of 38 storeys and 785,000 square feet of office space to the complex, located at the former site of the Penny Lane block.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Is Calgary's Boom Back?
The Short answer is NO but economic indicators are strong, consumer confidence is soaring and all signs point to a strong Economic recovery in Alberta.
AGAIN THE TIME TO BUY REAL ESTATE IN NOW!!!
CALGARY - From BMWs to Bentleys to a good bottle of wine, Calgary consumers are opening their wallets in what's being described as more than just a recovering economy - with some even willing to say the word "boom" again.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Calgary Downtown Condo Market Surprise
A Chinese oil company has given the Calgary downtown residential condo market an unexpected boost in sales.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Calgary Unemployment Rate Drops in April
Encouraging economic indicators continue in Calgary. Do you know anyone looking for a job? It’s going to start getting very competitive with large competition for job opportunities
Another indicator suggesting a healthy Real Estate Market moving into the next 5 years.
Calgary Region Unemployment Rate Dips in April
Katrina Harland, marketing manager for the soon-to-be-opened Craft Beer Market on 10th Avenue S.W., says the restaurant and pub will hire about 100 staff.
Photographed by: Grant Black, Calgary Herald
CALGARY — Calgary’s unemployment rate dipped in April, according to Statistics Canada.
The federal agency reported Friday that the unemployment rate in the Calgary census metropolitan area dropped to 5.9 per cent during the month from 6.1 per cent in March. It was 7.6 per cent in April 2010.
Statistics Canada said employment grew in the Calgary CMA by 800 jobs from the previous month and has also increased by 16,600 jobs compared with April 2010.
In Alberta, the unemployment rate rose to 5.9 per cent from 5.7 per cent as overall employment fell by 4,200. However, on a year-over-year basis employment was up by 58,600 jobs in the province. The province’s unemployment rate in April 2010 was 7.6 per cent.
The Conference Board of Canada’s Metropolitan Outlook Spring 2011 forecast annual employment growth in the Calgary CMA of 3.0 per cent this year followed by 3.8 per cent in 2012, 2.4 per cent in 2013, 2.1 per cent in 2014 and 1.8 per cent in 2015. Meanwhile, it predicted the region’s unemployment rate to dip to 5.7 per cent in 2012, 5.3 per cent in 2013, 4.7 per cent in 2014 and 4.5 per cent in 2015.
In Alberta, the conference board forecast employment growth of 2.2 per cent this year, 3.0 per cent in 2012, 2.2 per cent in 2013, 2.1 per cent in 2014 and 1.9 per cent in 2015. It also predicted the unemployment rate in the province to fall to 5.8 per cent in 2012, 5.3 per cent in 2013, 4.8 per cent in 2014 and 4.5 per cent in 2015.
Read the Full Story: http://bit.ly/mI9kPJ
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Hottest Economies: Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon
More Great News for Calgary. We are looking at steady ecomomic growth for the next 5 years
Hottest Economies in Canada are in Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon
Calgary’s economic growth is expected to be 3.4 per cent this year, according to the Conference Board of Canada.
Photographed by: Dean Bicknell, Calgary Herald
CALGARY — Four cities in Saskatchewan and Alberta will occupy the top four spots in the economic growth leaderboard, according to the Spring 2011 edition of The Conference Board of Canada’s Metropolitan Outlook released Thursday.
“Buoyed by the resources and energy sectors, the economies of Saskatoon, Calgary, Regina and Edmonton will post noticeably stronger growth than the other cities covered in this report,” said Mario Lefebvre, Director, Centre for Municipal Studies, for the board.
The report said Saskatoon and Regina are benefiting from strong resource development in the province, while healthy population growth is bolstering the housing markets in both cities. The medium term outlook is also bright, with both economies expected to grow at an even faster pace. Saskatoon’s economy will expand by 4.1 per cent this year, and is expected to remain among the CMA growth leaders through 2013. Regina’s real gross domestic product (GDP) is slated to rise by 3.1 per cent this year.
“A promising outlook for the Alberta energy sector will be a boon for the Calgary and Edmonton economies. Calgary remains the services hub for the province’s energy sector and is forecast to post the second strongest economic growth rate (behind Saskatoon) at 3.4 per cent this year,” said the report.
It also forecast Calgary’s economic growth rate to average 4.1 per cent between 2012-2015.
The conference board said the city’s economy rebounded in 2010, with real gross domestic product growth coming in at 3.2 per cent.
“While output growth was strong in many sectors, the manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale and retail trade industries posted the most impressive gains,” said the conference board report. “In 2011, activity in the goods sector is poised to improve once more, mainly thanks to continued strength among local manufacturers.
“Meanwhile, growth in the services sector is expected to be about the same, with fairly solid consumer spending again providing a lift to total services sector output.
The conference board said energy prices, which have strengthened considerably since the end of last year, are expected to stay strong over the next few months.
“As a matter of fact, oil and gas prices are poised to remain above their historical average over the rest of the forecast horizon (2011 to 2015), further stimulating activity in the oil patch,” it said. “As a result, investment in energy-related projects is projected to remain vigorous in Alberta. The latest estimates show that about $14.2-billion worth of energy-related projects are now under way in the province. Another roughly $39.1-billion worth of new development has already been announced, while more than $49.7-billion worth of oil and gas projects has been proposed for the future. All of this bodes well for the province’s energy sector outlook over the entire forecast period.”
All this investment will be a blessing to Calgary’s economy, which remains the services hub of the province’s energy sector, added the conference board.
Although the energy sector will bolster Edmonton’s outlook, real GDP is forecast to increase by 3.1 per cent in 2011, down slightly from its 2010 pace and due to more moderate growth in the construction, manufacturing and services sectors.
The other cities considered in the study include Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa-Gatineau, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Victoria.
Full Story: http://bit.ly/jZuS7e
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Alberta Housing Market Looks Awesome
Is Calgary Real Estate headed for another BOOM? Not likely but the strong economic indicators bodes well for Real Estate. See below for the article by Mario Toneguzzi:
Employment growth to help Alberta housing demand
Sales to rise at modest level this year: Economist
Warren Jestin, senior vice-president and chief economist with Scotiabank, says housing sales in Alberta will rise at a modest level this year.
Photograph by: Stuart Gradon
CALGARY — Improving economic conditions and employment growth will lead to Alberta’s recovery in the residential real estate market, says a national economist.
Warren Jestin, senior vice-president and chief economist with Scotiabank, who was in Calgary Wednesday, said housing demand in the province is underpinned by rising employment and incomes, low borrowing costs and population inflows from other parts of the country.
“Overall, we anticipate a modest pickup in home sales this year, and relatively flat average prices,” he said. “Still, this would leave sales roughly 30 per cent below the unsustainable record levels of 2006-2007.”
He said the province will experience a gradual recovery.
“Certainly the fundamentals in terms of the demographics of the economy are very, very solid,” said Jestin. “You’re inevitably going to find that mortgage rates are going to be on the rise. Short-term interest rates are going to be going up by the fall. Longer term interest rates have already begun to go up. But at the same time the economy is near the top of performance across the country and we think it’s going to stay there in the next two to three years.”
He said market conditions are gradually shifting from favouring buyers to one of greater balance, which should support home prices going forward. High home prices, rising mortgage rates and tighter mortgage lending rules will pinch affordability, especially for first-time buyers. And he said more affordable property segments, including condominiums and lower-priced single-detached homes will likely be more active than the high-end of the market.
Ted Zaharko, broker/owner of Royal LePage Foothills in Calgary, said the long winter has held back buyers in the local market.
“What we’re seeing now is that we pretty well bottomed out. It’s taken us two years to recover from that huge spike and it’s been very gradual,” said Zaharko. “And I just see things picking up slowly over the balance of the year and we’re going to have more of a balanced market for a lot of the year.
“I think you’re going to see activity on the buyers’ side and it could move to sellers’ market somewhere in the next nine to 16 months. That’s the beginning of the next cycle. That’s healthy. We’ve been in a down cycle for some reason in Alberta for a long time.”
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Alberta Small Business Confidence Highest Since 2005
According to the National Post, Alberta is a great place in the coming years. As we all know, small business contributes to driving our economy.
We know that Calgary Real Estate will continue to benefit from this. Call us today to discuss the best strategies available for you.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Canada's factories on overdrive
From the Financial Post: More good signs for Canada.
OTTAWA — The Canadian economy has more momentum than most people and the Bank of Canada expected, analysts say, as real GDP grew 0.5% month-over-month in January, led by manufacturing.
The January data, released by Statistics Canada Thursday, matched a strong December performance and sets the economy up for first-quarter annualized growth of 4%-plus, economists say.
“The Canadian economy started the year on the hop,” said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets, adding 4.5% annualized first-quarter growth was possible so long as there are modest gains in February and March.
This report will draw more attention to the Bank of Canada, and whether it begins to shift its tone and signal possible rate hikes by mid-year. In its last forecast, it projected 2.5% first-quarter growth. The central bank issues its next rate decision April 12 and an updated economic outlook a day later.
The 0.5% advance matched market expectations, so bond yields and the Canadian dollar were little changed in Thursday trading.
The big driver in January GDP was manufacturing, which advanced 2.8%, following a 0.8% gain in December. Statistics Canada said manufacturing growth was broadly based in both durable and non-durable goods, although metal products, motor vehicles and auto parts recorded the largest increases.
The data agency noted the recovery in vehicle and auto parts production could be attributed to some temporary factors, such as plant shutdowns for retooling in November 2010 and unfavourable weather that hampered production in December.
The services sector was limited in January to a 0.3% gain, due to a slight drop, 0.1%, in retail trade. Offsetting that, however, was a robust 1.2% rise in the transportation and warehousing component.
One surprise was a 0.5% drop in mining and oil and gas, but analysts don’t expect this trend to persist.
Overall, the goods-producing sector has posted solid gains as the U.S. economy strengthens. Nevertheless, there is some caution for data in the coming months as it will take into account political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, and the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
“Signs of softness may be more visible in the second quarter as global turmoil and supply disruptions from the Japanese disaster in March impacts some sectors,” said Pascal Gauthier, senior economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank. “Nonetheless, we expect quarterly annualized growth to stay above 2.5% for the remainder of the year.”
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Canadians Maintain Confidence in Housing Market
From our friends over at househunting.ca
OTTAWA — Canadians remain confident about the housing scene despite the prospect of a slowing market, according to survey results released Wednesday.
An annual home-ownership survey from Royal Bank of Canada showed 90 per cent of Canadians are confident in the country's real estate market. Among homeowners, 85 per cent feel they are doing a good or excellent job of paying off their mortgage.
This comes shortly after the Canadian Real Estate Association forecast a 1.6 per cent decline in listed home resales this year, and a slight 1.3 per cent rise in the average price. That compares to average price gains of about seven per cent since 2000.
Almost three-quarters of respondents in the RBC poll said they are well positioned to withstand a decline in the housing market.
"Canadians believe in the long-term benefits of owning a home, including the value it can provide, both personally and as a long-term investment," said Marcia Moffat, RBC's head of home-equity financing.
Twenty-nine per cent of survey respondents said they intended to buy a home within the next two years. That was down two percentage points from the same survey a year earlier, but still the second highest level of intent since 2006.
Among those who own a home, 69 per cent said their home has risen in value over the last two years. That's up five points from responses this last year.
Asked what was their biggest concern about buying a home, 26 per cent cited rising prices and 22 per cent picked increasing mortgage rates.
The survey results were based on Internet surveys of 2,103 people conducted by Ipsos Reid between Jan. 12 and 17. The results are considered representative of the population within 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Alberta a 'job-creation machine'
Categories:Alberta Economy,Buy a House In Calgary,Calgary Economy,Calgary Market Trends,Calgary Real Estate,Unemployment
Good things ahead for Alberta - JOBS are coming back strong.
Unemployment rate hits national 2-year low of 5.7%
Alberta is back as a "job-creating machine." It was the only province to register a notable employment gain in February. Statistics Canada reported Friday that 13,700 new jobs were created in Alberta last month as the unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 per cent from 5.9 per cent in January -its lowest level since February 2009.
It was the second consecutive month that employment increased in Alberta. In January, 21,600 new jobs were created, the largest employment gain since 2006 in the province.
However, in the Calgary census metropolitan area, the unemployment rate rose to 6.3 per cent in February from 6.0 per cent in January as 4,400 new jobs were created in the month. From February 2010 to February 2011, employment in the Calgary CMA has increased by only 1,400 jobs.
Alberta's unemployment rate was second lowest in the country, tied with Saskatchewan and behind Manitoba's 5.3 per cent. A year ago, Alberta's unemployment rate was 6.8 per cent while the Calgary region's was 7.1 per cent.
Todd Hirsch, senior economist with ATB Financial in Calgary, said the Alberta numbers are encouraging with two strong months of job growth in the province. "We've recaptured about 78 per cent of the jobs that we lost during the recession," he said. "The rate of increase that we're seeing in Alberta in the last 12 months or so has outpaced Canada. It definitely indicates Alberta is back as a jobcreating machine.
"With a few more months of even reasonably strong growth, we will definitely be back to record levels of employment in the province and that's what we've been expecting to see in 2011."
Hirsch said provincially, disproportionately more jobs are going to be created in central and northern Alberta.
"That's really just the dynamics with what's going on with the energy sector. It's all about oil and oilsands these days. Southern Alberta, with the exception of some of the administrative and some of the head office jobs, we're much more exposed to natural gas and that's been lagging."
He said most of Alberta's gains in February were concentrated in the manufacturing sector (12,700), a clear sign that oil refineries, manufacturers of equipment for oilsands extraction and food processors are continuing to add more workers.
Elsbeth Mehrer, director of research, workforce and strategy at Calgary Economic Development, said the jobless rate in Calgary rose in February because the labour force number is growing. According to Statistics Canada, the labour force in the Calgary region grew by 6,200 people on a monthly basis.
"As I read that, my feeling is that people are starting to feel some renewed confidence and they're starting to come back into the job market," she said.
"As we see some hiring pick up and we see people start to recognize that there's not only some renewed vigour, but even in some industries a shortage appearing again, people are starting to put themselves back into circulation."
Nationally, employment edged up in February by 15,100, bringing total gains over the past three months to 115,000. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.8 per cent. The federal agency said that over the past 12 months, employment has risen by 1.9 per cent (321,700).
In Alberta, 68,300 jobs have been created since February 2010.
"Compared with February 2010, when Alberta was near its employment-low following the labour market downturn, employment has grown by 3.4 per cent, well above the national rate of 1.9 per cent," the federal agency said.
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
What’s Happening in Calgary...MARCH 2011
What’s Happening in Calgary...
Calgary, March 1, 2011 - For the second month in a row, single family home sales in
the city of Calgary increased over previous month figures and levels recorded in February
2010. The rise in sales continues to point to a gradual recovery in Calgary’s housing market;
according to figures released today by CREB ® (Calgary Real Estate Board).
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
TD BANK March Economic Summary
March 1, 2011
Release: BoC leaves overnight rate at 1.00% and preserves cautious tone
• As expected, the Bank of Canada (BoC) left its target for the overnight interest rate unchanged at 1.00% for a fourth consecutive meeting since September 2010.
• Today’s statement was more dovish than markets expected, but broadly in line with our views. The BoC mentions that “the global economic recovery is proceeding broadly [as expected], although risks remain elevated”. Recent geopolitical events were given a mention in their likely temporary support of higher commodity prices.
• In Canada, the BoC acknowledged that “the [recovery] is proceeding slightly faster than expected”. By the same token, despite recent strong export growth, “the export sector continues to face considerable challenges from the cumulative effects of the persistent strength in the Canadian dollar and Canada’s poor relative productivity performance”. Inflation is said to be “consistent with the Bank’s expectations” and “reflecting considerable slack in the economy”.
• The boilerplate statement that the current level of the overnight rate “leaves considerable monetary stimulus in place, consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target in an environment of significant excess supply in Canada” was maintained, as was the open-ended statement that “any further reduction in monetary policy stimulus would need to be carefully considered”.
• In light of today’s BoC statement, we still identify 19 July 2011 as the likeliest date at which it will next raise its policy rate. Those looking for a change to a more hawkish tone, particularly in the forward-looking guidance part of the statement were disappointed.
• Yesterday’s release of GDP figures to close out 2010 show the economic recovery is proceeding more rapidly than anticipated by the BoC in its January forecast. By itself, this would argue in favour of raising the overnight rate sooner (April or May) rather than July or later.
• Moreover, real (inflation-adjusted) short-term interest rates near zero remain extremely accommodative. Nominal short-term rates would need to rise to at least 2% to get within reach of a more “neutral” level, which even conservative estimates place in a 3-4% range. On the face of it, with the output gap now on track to close as early as year-end 2011, the BoC would appear to be behind the curve. However, a number of other factors suggest that, in fact, the BoC is not behind the proverbial curve.
• First and foremost, inflationary pressures are subdued. Weak stateside demand and prices, a strong Canadian dollar, an unemployment rate still well above its pre-recession level, and well anchored inflation expectations are all lending a hand in keeping core inflation grounded. Core inflation was well below the 2% target at 1.4% in January. It will likely be even weaker in February and slightly below the BoC’s forecast of 1.4% for Q1 as a whole.
• The BoC may also have low-balled potential growth, which would explain why stronger economic and job growth has not pushed inflation higher. Don’t be surprised if revisions eventually show a larger output gap in 2010-2011, back on track to close by the end of 2012, as forecast by the BoC in January.
• Some downside global economic risks may have receded from the headlines in recent months, such as those associated with European sovereign debt or U.S. housing. Yet they linger in the background and can resurface at any time. Moreover, another source of risk – this time geopolitical – has come to the fore. Political turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East has caused crude oil prices to surge. So far, this is based on fear more than actual disruptions in oil supply, and may not last unless the turmoil continues to spread. For many countries, a sustained bout of higher crude oil prices creates strong inflationary pressures. Not as much for Canada, however. The currency and terms of trade help contain this type of price pressure. Oil prices would need to head materially higher for a sustained period of time to threaten the global economic recovery. What’s more, when such oil price spikes are not driven by demand, they rarely translate into lasting price pressures because they tend to choke off growth in oil-importing nations through demand destruction.
• In the wake of today’s statement, markets will pare back bets that a rate hike is in the pipeline in April or May, thereby modestly selling off the short end of the yield curve and leading the CAD down a bit after it sat above USD 1.03 prior to the decision. All said, with the added consideration that the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to bring QE2 to term by June, a bit longer pause for the BoC until a next hike in July still appears the fairest bet.
Pascal Gauthier, Senior Economist
DISCLAIMER – This report is provided by TD Economics for customers of TD Bank Financial Group. It is for information purposes only and may not be appropriate for other purposes. The report does not provide material information about the business and affairs of TD Bank Financial Group and the members of TD Economics are not spokespersons for TD Bank Financial Group with respect to its business and affairs. The information contained in this report has been drawn from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate or complete. The report contains economic analysis and views, including about future economic and financial markets performance. These are based on certain assumptions and other factors, and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. The actual outcome may be materially different. The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its affiliates and related entities that comprise TD Bank Financial Group are not liable for any errors or omissions in the information, analysis or views contained in this report, or for any loss or damage suffered.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Calgary Market HEATING UP
Categories:Calgary Economy,Calgary Home Buying,Calgary Market Trends,Calgary Mortgages,Calgary Real Estate,Sell your Home in Calgary
Already in 15 days of Februaury, we have more MLS sales than any month dating back to May 2010.
Again THE TIME TO BUY AND SELL IS NOW: before the mortgage rules come into effect on MArch 18, 2010.
Same thing is happening across Canada.
OTTAWA — Canadian home resales rose 4.5% in January to the highest level since April 2010, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Tuesday. The gains during the month were led by Vancouver and Toronto, CREA said.
Benjamin Reitzes, an economist at BMO Capital Market, said “balance is returning to the Canadian housing market, though there remain some hot spots due to a lack of listings.” “The next couple of months may see a run-up in activity ahead of the new mortgage insurance rules that reduce the maximum amortization term by five years to 30 years,” he said in a morning note. “However, the trend will be towards a stabilizing market in 2011, as mortgage rates rise and listings increase. Home prices are expected to climb modestly from a year ago, providing a better picture of the state of the market.”
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
What’s Happening in Calgary...
Forgot to get this out last week. Market SnapShot and some information
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