Thursday, August 23, 2007

Weekend Open Thread....

Thanks for a week of nice discussion. Some thoughts for the weekend:
  • One of the chief defining characteristic of the real estate boom of the last several years has been the claim of each bubble city that 'we are different.' The most recent city to get afflicted by this characterization is Calgary. Bob Truman even changed the title of his most recent post to reflect that his blog focuses on 'we are different-Calgary' and not Edmonton. May be Calgary is different. But most likely it isn't. Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle...all have had this categorization for a while. I did not have enough time to research on this, but can anyone find any significant intervals (at least 6 months to year long) in the last 50 years when there was a divergence in the Edmonton and Calgary prices. That is Edmonton prices going south while Calgary prices going up. Or vice versa.
  • Inventory continues to pile up in Edmonton. MLS is close to 9000 and Comfree close to 3000.
  • Both the average and median prices for SFH and Condos are falling, as per the excellent statistics compiled by Bob Truman. If the price trend for August holds, we'll go all the way back to the prices seen in early spring. Inventory is around 8300 in MLS alone, and slowly catching up to the Edmonton levels.
  • There's been a noticeable surge in rental vacancy ads in Edmonton and Calgary. The ads that I placed over 2 months ago still get responses.
  • There's a bullish group of people in pretty much every major city in Alberta that is counting on a magical turn around this fall. But they are not alone. Alberta government is reporting sharp drop in oil sands land lease sales and revenue is down by over 60%. Last year's hysteria is slowly dying down. But, hopes of September turn around are alive: "The pace of land sales could pick up in September, FirstEnergy Capital Corp. said in a report earlier this month."
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