Scotia’s outlook for Alberta is fairly positive in their Provincial Trends report out today.
On housing, Scotia writes:
In contrast with the rest of the country — where year-over-year home sales were effectively unchanged through November — Alberta’s housing market has been robust with home sales increasing by nearly 13% over that period.
In particular, home sales are strong in Calgary — up 20% year-to-date — while sales have advanced by 5% in Edmonton. Healthy demand is supporting prices and new construction. Year-to-date, housing starts rose a sizeable 33% on a seasonally adjusted basis as of November, recovering from the steep declines of the 2008-2009 recession (chart 2).
At this juncture, the federal government’s recent tightening of mortgage and home equity financing standards appears to have had a limited impact on Alberta’s housing market. It continues to be supported by strong employment growth, significant wage gains, and ongoing resource development
Some other highlights of the report:
- Alberta will continue to be Canada’s strongest economic engine, with real GDP growth forecast to expand by 3.4% in 2012 and 2.7% in 2013.
- With its northern resource boom creating significant employment
opportunities, average weekly earnings now exceed the national average by about 20%
- In 2012 Q3, Alberta had a year-over-year population growth rate
of 2.9%, the highest in the country
- With limited capability to ship oil directly to the West Coast, a disproportionately large share — 86% as of 2011 — of Alberta’s total exports and virtually all of its oil and gas exports are directed to the United States
- At this time, the major concern for Alberta’s oil producers is the
discount at which Western Canadian Select heavy oil (WCS)
trades relative to West Texas Intermediate (WTI)
You can download the entire report here