In 2015, Alberta’s share of the Canadian industry’s GDP was 11.5%. This put it in third place behind Ontario and Quebec. By 2016, the real estate, rental and leasing sector had pushed from ninth to seventh place in terms of provincial GDP rank. And even though the Fort MacMurray wildfire had insurable losses of $3.6 billion, the finance and insurance sector rose from third to second place. The industry accounted for 4.7% of all employment in Alberta in 2016. It was expected to account for the same amount in 2017.
A bright spot in the real estate sector was the need for warehouses of all sizes. Businesses and households put off moving into larger work or living spaces, or actively looked for smaller spaces. This meant that the demand for storage, especially in mini-warehouses, increased. As e-commerce becomes more popular, more warehouses where product can be stored and sent out quickly are needed. However, this is causing less of a demand for retail space.
After the slump in home sales and prices in the middle of the decade, home sales in the first 5 months of 2017 rose 12.8% to 23,369 units from the same period in 2016. Average prices for the same period increased 2.5% to $402,557. Sales of all types of property increased in value to $2.8 billion. This 8.7% jump over the same period the previous year shows that Alberta’s real estate industry is on the right track for recovery.