Calgary top-rated market for overall real estate prospects – Strong economic and employment growth forecast

For the second year in a row, Calgary is the top-rated market in Canada for overall real estate prospects, according to a survey of industry experts.

Calgary kept the top spot with the highest ratings for prospects in three categories – investment, development and homebuilding, said the Emerging Trends in Real Estate report by PwC and the Urban Land Institute.

“The Calgary economy continues to post solid gains, despite the disruption caused by summer flooding,” said the report. “The energy industry, primarily oil, remains strong and will continue to benefit from economic growth around the world.

“Locally, energy and energy service companies have dominated office demand. Economic activity is being supported by growth in both the goods and services sectors. Manufacturing and construction will lead the goods sector, and personal services and transportation and warehousing are the key drivers on the service side.”

The report is based on a survey of over 1,000 industry experts including investors, fund managers, developers, property companies, lenders, brokers, advisers and consultants.

The ratings of other Canadian cities in order following Calgary are: Edmonton, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Halifax and Montreal.

The report said economic activity in Calgary is projected to grow at a 3.3 per cent rate in 2013 and a 3.4 per cent rate in 2014. Employment growth is expected to slow but remain good through the end of this year and into 2014, growing at 2.4 per cent and 2.8 per cent, respectively.

“There is a lot to be positive about when looking at Calgary. It’s a city that is full of risk takers and entrepreneurs. We embrace change here,” said Joe Binfet, managing director/broker of Colliers International in Calgary.

“From a commercial real estate perspective, we have a highly-integrated transportation and logistics system in place, easy access to the U.S. Calgary is viewed as the western distribution centre for Canada.”

Binfet said that with more head offices here than anywhere else investors have access to a diverse and productive white collar workforce.

“Calgary appeals to employees and employers alike. We have a decent public transit system, a lower cost of living than Toronto and Vancouver, and a terrific quality of life,” said Binfet.

“Investors in Calgary commercial real estate see room for continued increased values as we have had the strongest performing urban economy over the last 10 years and the prospects for future growth are bullish.”


© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

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