Friday, November 03, 2006

World's Best Real Estate Investment Market

Even with a 52% price increase over the last twelve month Edmonton is still number one in Canada. This is not a bubble either the economic stability of Alberta and the future of the Alberta Oil Sands proves there is still a lot of profitable investing left to do.


Ron Chalmers, The Edmonton Journal

Published:�Wednesday, October 18, 2006

EDMONTON - Edmonton may be the world's best city for real estate investment, says Vancouver analyst Don Campbell.

"Fundamentally speaking, Alberta's economy is as good as it gets," he writes in his latest issue of Top Ten Alberta Investment Towns, released Tuesday.

High energy prices, rapid population growth, low unemployment, good infrastructure and affordable housing make our province "the number one region in Canada -- if not the world -- in which to invest," he writes.

Campbell's "top ten" list actually contains 15 Alberta municipalities -- counting Sturgeon and Strathcona separately. Edmonton is number one for the fifth consecutive year.

PricewaterhouseCoopers recently credited Edmonton with "one of the most diverse economies of any city in North America," Campbell notes.

"Economic diversity provides economic stability, meaning that Edmonton is no longer prone to major upward or downward swings," he writes. "This type of stability is what long-term real estate investors are seeking."

Campbell points out that "Edmonton is strategically located between one of the world's most stable oil supplies (the oilsands) and the United States -- the world's largest energy consumer."

On his standard scorecard, Campbell gave Edmonton a perfect 13 out of 13 for factors such as rising population, jobs and incomes, economic diversity, affordable housing, political leadership, infrastructure and lifestyle.

He upgraded Grande Prairie, "a city that is poised for greatness," from eighth to second position. "Grande Prairie has become an economic power, diversifying its economy away from just forestry by becoming a major service centre for the growing oil and gas exploration industry," he writes. "Most major retailers and restaurant chains have set up shop to service this growing population."

Campbell cites Money Sense magazine as recently naming Grande Prairie the fourth-best place to live among 108 Canadian cities.

The Bank of Montreal chose it as number three for small business activity.

But Grande Prairie's tight real estate market squeezes some residents. "The city has recently entertained an idea to build 'garages' to enable residents in the cold winter months to continue living in the trailers and tents that they stayed in over the summer," Campbell reports.

Calgary placed third on his list.

"However, housing prices are becoming increasingly expensive for the investor as they search for potential cash-flow," Campbell cautions. "With the difficulty of new migrants finding a place to live in Calgary, we will see these people start to focus on other regions of the province."

Campbell is president of Real Estate Investment Network and author of Real Estate Investing in Canada, the bestselling Top Ten Investment Towns, which sells for $49.97 at (888) 824-7346.


1. Edmonton

2. Grande Prairie

3. Calgary

4a. Red Deer

4b. Sturgeon-Strathcona

5a. Lacombe

5b. Sylvan Lake

6a. Okotoks

6b. High River

7a. Devon

7b. Fort McMurray

8. St. Albert

9. Cochrane

10. Lethbridge

Source: Real Estate Investment Network


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