Alberta as a whole may be insulated from broader real estate concerns stemming from new mortgage rules, but as an investor you clearly want to put your money where it has the most potential for growth and best expectations for consistent income. This is increasingly emerging to be Edmonton, especially with recent news which highlighted that while the value of building permits plummeted in May, they jumped by 66% in Edmonton. However, this just scratches the surface of how Edmonton is coming in to its own as a more attractive global commercial real estate destination. In fact, chief economist of the city, John Rose, told the Edmonton Journal that “The contrast between what's going on here in Edmonton and what's going on in the rest of the Canadian economy couldn't be more stark”.
This was highlighted even further with the release of the latest round of data from Statistics Canada which showed Edmonton bucking both regional and national employment trends to add 10,000 new full time jobs in June alone. In fact, the local area employed an additional 26,000 people last month compared with the same period last year. The end result is a further dive in the local employment rate down from 4.9% in May to just 4.4% in June 2012. That's incredibly impressive, especially on a global basis. Just consider, many U.S. cities are likely still pushing a real effective unemployment rate of 20%, while even conservative official numbers in for Europe, reported by the Guardian, show that unemployment rates for younger workers in many countries have shot up since 2007, with many over 20% and some even over 50%! Of course, it is a completely different story here in Alberta where we don't just need more workers to fill our jobs, but are enjoying rising wages and disposable income levels too. In fact, Albertans, specifically those living in Edmonton, are loving the opportunity to splurge with their extra earnings at local retailers and restaurants. New numbers show an 8% year-over-year increase in restaurant spending, with Albertans spending 32% more on eating out than the national average.