Reports that tied Alberta’s supposedly faltering real estate market to major energy-sector layoffs in the oil-rich province have been all but disproven with the latest StatsCan data.
Statistics Canada recently found December employment in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector increased 3.1 per cent year-over-year across Canada, with overall employment in Alberta rising 3.4 per cent during the same period.
Employment concerns were the driving forces behind Alberta’s drop in consumer confidence last week, but this latest StatsCan report further supports what agents on the ground are actually seeing – a healthy market.
“The people who aren’t looking for properties now might be worried about their jobs,” George Bamber, a broker and owner in Calgary, told REP, “but there are a lot of people looking.”
Bamber said his agents are still completing sales, despite the Calgary Real Estate Board’s claims that fewer buyers are in the market.
Similarly, Ron Pollock, an agent in Edmonton, said he’s not seeing lower sales – or a reduction in oil production, for that matter.
“There are so many sectors of the Alberta economy that are doing just fine,” Pollock says. “[The drop in consumer confidence] is largely due to just the oil industry and, for the most part, it’s only to do with the new developments in the industry. Old style producers are doing just fine; they’re even drilling more wells. They’re not slowing down.”