Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Which one will fall harder- Edmonton or Calgary?

Just returned from a two day trip to Calgary. I spent quite a bit of time in the North East area and downtown. One thing was immediately obvious-there are lots of listings in Calgary as compared to a few months ago, but in terms of 'feeling the quantity of inventory', Edmonton is way ahead. The numbers roughly support that, but as you walk in downtown Edmonton, it's not uncommon to see upto 10 condos for sales in a complex. Such sights were rare in Calgary.
So may be the rush to list the market hasn't hit Calgary....yet.
I met a couple of old acquaintances who recently ventured into the field of real estate and related industries. One of these guys used to drive a truck. He has recently got his real estate license. Another gal who used to run a pizza shop got the license for becoming a mortgage broker. She reckons earnings of around $1500 per $300k loan. She has to sell just five or six a month to make decent money. Although I should not have asked her this question, but I did ask- Will the bank keep the mortgage on its own balance sheet or will that be packaged into some exotic derivative product. "What????", was her response.
When truck drivers and pizza shop owners are leaving their current vocation in pursuit of easy real estate money, can we say the end is near?
Returning to Edmonton, I couldn't help but notice how filthy this city is. Even though Calgary isn't really the greatest of cities, in comparison to Edmonton, there's a 'night and day difference.' Even after discounting the proximity to the mountains factor. The only nice area in Edmonton is the river valley. And yet, the pace of residential construction in Edmonton is breath taking and the prices so high.
Many moons later when the dust has settled, Edmonton will have fallen quite a bit more than Calgary.
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