(The following is based on CREB’s September 2011 Market Update, available for download at the end of this post)
With the US being the recipient of 87% of Alberta’s exports last year, much of our future hinges on whether our southern neighbor will be able to escape another recession or just how far they will be able to boost a struggling economy with the little means of stimulus left available to them.
(See related post: The US economy and the impact on Alberta)
But there’s still some good news. Full-time employment is on the rise and almost all the jobs that were lost have been regained with employment growth forecast to continue for the next several years. With the energy sector being the primary driver of our province’s economy, it’s positive that oil prices have also rebounded…although they are currently being clobbered. Unfortunately, natural gas prices plummeted a couple years back and have remained relatively flat ever since.
Low interest rates have also sustained the housing market during this economic uncertainty.
“The Canadian real estate market has nine lives,” said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC World Markets Inc. “Every time it looks like it’s going to slow down, something happens somewhere else in the world and interest rates stay low. The market could have been a lot weaker if not for such things.”
Calgary single family home sales have increased over last year’s dismal performance. While still falling below the 10-year average, it’s a welcome step in right direction. Prices seem to have eased into a more stable environment without the drastic year-over-year changes that we saw in years past.
CREB’s September market update has over 20 more informative charts & graphs for you to peruse. You can view them below: