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Canada’s fourth most populous province stands in the west as the largest of the prairie provinces. Driven by one of the most successful regional economies on earth, the province seems poised for explosive growth, and the real estate market is well-situated to benefit from this expansion as multiple industries continue to set down roots.
Alberta’s big cities and its small towns are full of opportunities for the right real estate investor, but it’s important to understand more about the region, its characteristics and its people before diving right in. Learning a bit more about the area and what its hottest and most consistent markets have to offer should just be the start of your investing research, but it will at least give you a starting point to help inform the rest of your journey.
Alberta has one of the strongest economies of any place on earth, which is fueling its status as a desirable place to live. The province’s main source of income and economic strength has traditionally been natural resource extraction. Some of Canada’s largest deposits of oil and billions of metres of oil sands are located here, meaning that there is certainly a lot of money to be made. These industries can also provide growth in other spin-off industries, which to date have included the petrochemical industry and in the construction and maintenance of the pipeline networks that dot the landscape.
This is not to say that Alberta’s only economic assets are resource-based. Agriculture still produces a significant amount of revenue here (for example, one half of all Canadian beef is produced in this province) and beekeeping is one of the most prominent unconventional industries as well. Furthermore, millions of tourists are drawn here by the stunning beauty of the scenery and by the outdoor activity that’s possible everywhere.
While Alberta’s economy is anchored by the extraction industries, it’s diversified enough to protect itself against most downswings, resulting in one of the richest economies in the world. The province has one of the highest per-capita GDPs on the planet, which lends itself well to the prospect of a burgeoning real estate investment location.
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Anchoring the southern end of the densely populated Calgary-Edmonton Corridor, Calgary sits just 150 miles north of the border with the United States. It’s the largest city in Alberta, and its population has only surged in recent years as emigrants arrive from across Canada and the world, drawn in by its surging economy. Calgary residents are more likely to be employed in fields like health and education or business services than their fellow Albertans in other areas, so you can count on a consistent flow of high-earning professionals entering the city over the coming years as these industries continue to grow.
Additionally, Calgary boasts the second-highest concentration of headquarter offices in the entire country, behind only Toronto, so you can rest assured that companies that set up roots here are here to stay and grow. The city also boasts an appreciable amount of culture, most notably with athletics. The 1988 Winter Olympics were hosted here, and the city is mad for the NHL’s Calgary Flames hockey team. River rafters and fishermen also take advantage of the beautiful waterways that surround the entire metropolitan area, while the Alberta Ballet and dozens of annual festivals allow for other wonderful cultural experiences.
When it comes to the local real estate market, Calgary is in excellent shape, especially given the fact that we live in such uncertain times. Sales jumped in June 2020 by about 55 percent, for starters, so the market is starting to see a lot of activity even with COVID-19 still a presence. However, over that same time, prices are down from June of the previous year by about 2.8 percent. This could represent a real opportunity for real estate investors – as we said, Calgary’s economic outlook seems to be quite rosy, so lowering prices across the board could be the chance to jump on some affordable deals that can pay dividends down the road.
The capital city of Alberta is the second-largest city in the province and the fifth-largest one in Canada. Like many places in Canada, its growth was fueled by the annexation of many other surrounding communities right up through the 1980s. The city is more intertwined with the natural resources industries than its partner city Calgary, and there is a substantial amount of opportunity here as well for the discerning real estate investor.
Like its neighbour Calgary, Edmonton is well-poised for more growth and development thanks to the economy showing little to signs of slowing down. Again, Alberta’s natural resources are the primary driver here, with some estimating that Alberta’s oil resources are second only to Saudi Arabia’s. Retail is also a primary driver of the economy here, anchored by the West Edmonton Mall, which is the largest mall in North America.
The real estate market in Edmonton is humming right along as well, even in the face of the pandemic. Residential sales have taken a big jump this summer when compared to the same period in 2019, but with declines from July 2020 into August 2020. Observers are indeed encouraged by this, however, as it seems to indicate that the market is doing about as well as it can be given the current circumstances. Additionally, prices are holding strong, as prices from 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019 have trended in the upwards direction as well.
The two largest cities in Alberta represent genuine investment opportunities for the right real estate investor, but opportunities in the province are not limited only to those two places. Its status as a natural resources mecca means that there will also be extensive opportunities in areas outside of major metropolitan areas, including places like Whitecourt, Saddle Lake, Westlock, Mayerthorpe and many others. Consider properties near the oil fields for short-term rentals, too.
Nothing can replace seeing a place in person after performing extensive research, so be sure that you’re doing your own due diligence before making any real estate investment decisions.
Real Estate Professionals in Alberta
We have searched high and low for real estate investing professionals in Alberta. Below, you can find professionals we have researched and can confirm they specialize in working with Real Estate Investors.
To ensure the maximum success in real estate investing in Alberta, or any city, you should always use professionals who understand and work with investors, your income depends on it.
This list may not fully list all the professionals in the area, but the ones we have personally investigated and that we would refer our clients to.
If you’re a real estate professional and would like us to consider adding you to the list, please contact us.
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