Alberta’s economy now appears stable on the road to better economic health, and experts have pointed at the revitalized commercial property segment as a crucial component of the province’s economic recovery.
“People are a lot more positive now. We’re seeing employment numbers get better and vacancy is stabilizing. The worst is over,” Network Real Estate Intelligence president Brian Gettel told Western Investor.
“We’ve seen a lot of activity and interest in the last three months,” Barclay Street Real Estate Ltd. vice president (industrial) Casey Stuart added. “We’ve seen situations with multiple offers on properties, which are all good signs.”
Among these positive indicators are the 162 commercial real estate transactions in Calgary completed in Q4 2017, which Altus Group noted totalled $1.1 billion. This represented a 52% increase from the previous quarter.
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However, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has warned that more trying times are ahead for Alberta, as the “easy” stage of the province’s economic recovery is at an end.
“We expect key economic sectors, such as energy and capital investment, to reach a more sustainable ‘cruising speed’ after their initial post-recession blast-off in 2017,” RBC said.
“The good news is we also expect the recovery to continue to broaden across economic sectors. This means that while the headline growth number is poised to be much smaller in 2018 – our forecast is 2.3% – more Albertans should feel the improvement in the economy,” RBC predicted, but hastened to add that “It will take until 2019 for Alberta’s economy to recover fully from its severe recession in 2015 and 2016.”
RBC is expecting Alberta’s GDP growth to stand at 2% in 2019.
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