An update on the energy sector and how it’s affecting Alberta’s housing market

Last week on our blog, we took a decidedly positive look at the current state of Alberta’s energy sector and its effect on the province’s housing market.  Anyone following the media’s coverage of the subject will likely agree that the majority of the reports don’t have the brightest of outlooks.  But we’re a glass-half-full kind of crew, so for our own peace of mind – and that of our current and future homeowners – we decided to explore the other side of the proverbial coin.  As it turns out, when it comes to our optimistic belief that we should continue to develop, build, and grow communities despite the challenging economic situation, we’re not alone.

In a recent video posted by Smarter Growth Initiative, the group discusses the need for continued growth to keep up with future housing demands.  Smarter Growth Initiative is a collaboration between the Urban Development Institute – Calgary and the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Calgary Region designed to keep Calgarians informed about the city’s urban planning and development.  Essentially, the video looks at the influx of residents expected in the coming decades versus housing availability and affordability.  Some of the main points are as follows:

  • By 2041, Calgary is expected to welcome approximately 600,000 new residents. Alberta as a whole is looking at a population growth of 2.2 million, with most people settling in urban centres predominately in the Calgary and Edmonton regions.
  • The planning of a new community can take upwards of 10 to 15 years.
  • Redeveloping existing areas to accommodate new residents can take even longer.
  • The status of today’s market may make it seem like we should halt investment in growth and development, especially given the current supply of active real estate listings.
  • If we turn our attention away from realizing new communities and redeveloping existing ones, we will face a serious housing shortage in the future.
  • A supply shortage means higher prices, making it impossible for many people to realize their goal of home ownership.

Basically, if we want available and affordable housing in the future, we need to plan for it now.  And that’s exactly what we intend to do.