Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Is all the good news already priced in?

Thanks to everyone for wonderful comments.

Despite all the oil sands work and hype, the government will be collecting fewer royalty dollars in the coming years.
So even though a worldwide peak oil in terms of production may be a bit away, Alberta has almost certainly experienced the peak in terms of royalty collections.
Here's an analysis of the same phenomenon.

"It's tempting to ask, why worry? Oilsands production is expected to last 40 to 50 years. But the oilsands will never yield the rich flow of petrodollars pumped into the treasury by conventional oil and gas.Despite the fact that production is rising dramatically, oilsands royalties will go down, from a high of $2.3 billion last year to $1.1 billion in 2009-10.Even when production triples to three million barrels a day in 2020, royalties will be stuck at $1.1 billion, the same level as 2004-05, according to one report."

So any long term investors in Edmonton and Alberta real estate should give it some thought. What will a fall in this inflow do to government spending? And this is the story at almost highest historical oil/gas prices. What will happen if the prices were to fall in half? Slowdown? Recession? Who knows.

As I've repeated on numerous times in this blog: Oil Sands is the Alberta's story for the recent runup in prices. But doesn't everyone in the world already know about Oil Sands? Haven't Edmonton and Calgary prices become the highest in Canada after Vancouver? As for quality of life and its wonderful offerings in Edmonton, even Oilers are having trouble in retaining talent in Deadmonton!
What will a little slip in oil and gas sector do to Edmonton and Calgary? Can it take Edmonton back to where it was just a few short years ago.
Even if some of the very recent predictions for lower oil prices do not become a reality, for how long will the mad rush of oil sands developments continue? And how many jobs will be left once the capital spending phase is over.

The obvious question is: Is anyone getting into real estate even thinking about some of the above things, before buying a crappy $400k home on a 40 year mortgage?
For most people, it's the same story:

Alberta=Oil or Oil Sands=Higher Oil Prices=Higher Real Estate prices=Buy Now or be priced out forever

But I guess it's a sign of our times. Most people have drunk the 'real estate always goes up' serum and fairy tails spun by its effect still appear real.
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