Edmonton home starts to moderate

The Edmonton area’s housing market will see fewer single-family starts in the new year, but the balanced housing market of the province’s capital region will support modest price growth, says a federal agency.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. recently released its economic and housing outlook for the province, including the major centres in Alberta.

“Single detached home starts are trending upward since 2011 due to full-time employment growth and low mortgage rates,” says David Lan, a senior market analyst with CMHC.

Read more:  http://tinyurl.com/cerl838  

Residential strength indicated by permits

Building permit applications show new residential construction is strengthening, especially in the single-family home area, says Kevin Griffiths, chief building official with the City of Calgary.

“Overall, we’re seeing a strengthening of the single-family activity,” says Griffiths, discussing the October report on building permit applications in Calgary.

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Northern Alberta’s robust economy focus of talks with Harper’s cabinet ministers

If federal cabinet ministers Jason Kenney, Maxime Bernier and Ed Fast didn’t fully appreciate just how much northern Alberta’s oilsands-driven economy is contributing to Canada’s GDP, or the magnitude of the region’s pressing labour force needs, they do now.

A delegation of Edmonton business and educational leaders travelled to Ottawa last week, where they delivered that message in spades in private meetings with several senior members of the Harper government.

Read more:  http://tinyurl.com/ckmeuyq  

U.S. ambassador assures Canadian oil producers

CALGARY — The United States will continue to import Canadian crude oil even if it succeeds in winning net energy self-sufficiency as predicted, its ambassador to Canada assured a Calgary crowd on Friday.

David Jacobsen, representative of the U.S. in Canada for the past three and a half years, said he doesn’t see an end to two-way energy trade between the countries that now exceeds $100 billion per year.

Read more:  http://tinyurl.com/cttq48h  

Friday Fun: Does Edmonton have the highest quality of life in English speaking countries?

Does Edmonton have the highest quality of life in English speaking countries?

According to www.Numbeo.com    the answer is yes.

The site, which describes itself as, “The world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide, especially living conditions: cost of living, housing indicators, health care systems, traffic, crime and pollution” uses crowd-sourced information about cities around the world. When the amount of collected data is sufficient, the site runs a statistical analysis of the information to create a quality of life index.

Read more:  http://tinyurl.com/cnv5kt5  

Less obtrusive stations proposed for Edmonton’s future northwest LRT route

EDMONTON – Edmonton’s future northwest LRT route will feature smaller, less obtrusive stations than on existing lines to help them fit into surrounding neighbourhoods, a recommended concept plan shows.

The plan, being presented at public meetings next week, outlines such changes as adding kiss-and-ride stops at three stations, an access lane to the Castle Downs playground and spray park, and longer left-turn lanes at 145th Avenue and 153rd Avenue.

Read more:  http://tinyurl.com/bwved9f  

Online services helping real estate industry sales

CALGARY — A Calgary-based company has developed what it calls a one-of-a-kind online service that integrates social media with the business of real estate.

The people behind MapThatHouse.com say most real estate agents are lacking the time and knowledge to manage their social media, which has become a growing trend in selling properties to consumers.

Read more:  http://tinyurl.com/dy5p7cu

Change is Coming

Demand for apartments is set to increase dramatically by 2020; compensation in the apartment industry will continue to rise faster than the rate of inflation; hospitality companies may seek to acquire an apartment REIT or privately held multifamily company by 2020; and over 50 percent of today’s senior leadership will pass the baton by 2020.

Read more: http://tinyurl.com/brwodoq  

Feds reject proposed drilling expansion at CFB Suffield

Environmental groups are hailing a decision by the federal government to vote down a long-standing proposal to develop 1,250 new shallow gas wells in an environmentally sensitive area of Canadian Forces Base Suffield.

Cenovus Energy’s plan to expand drilling in the National Wildlife Area of the base, near the South Saskatchewan River, has been rejected, according to a statement by Environment Minister Peter Kent.

Read more:  http://tinyurl.com/aampy8h