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Out-of-province developers driving real estate transactions in AB

It takes a special kind of nerve to venture into an area from which many others have departed. That seems to be what is happening in Calgary of late, as B.C. builders and developers are betting on a full-scale recovery in the province's largest city. As a result, numerous major real estate transactions have taken place recently, leading to a spate of new development.

A downturn in the energy market has taken its toll on the economy of Alberta, and Calgary has been hit hard. Nearly 20 percent of the office buildings in the downtown core are unoccupied, new condominium developments have dropped by 60 percent since 2015 and residential foreclosures are up by 30 percent since 2014. The drop is expected to continue until such time as the price of oil rebounds from its lowest point this decade.

A few B.C. companies are anticipating that rebound, and are jumping into the Calgary real estate market with both feet in preparation. No less than four major developers are currently working on large projects around the city, including residential, commercial and industrial properties. Remarkably, the third quarter of 2016 saw a 46 percent increase in commercial real estate sales over the same period in 2015. Total 2016 Quarter 3 sales in Calgary reached $671 million.

Of course a gamble will always carry an element of risk with it. However, all this development is good news for the economy and for those looking to rent, lease or purchase space in the city. No matter the size or nature of a deal, however, it is a good idea to review all Alberta real estate transactions with an experienced lawyer. He or she will be able to offer keen insights and provide any necessary assistance towards a safe and successful conclusion.

Source: Business in Vancouver, "B.C. speculators pour into Calgary", Frank O'Brien, Nov. 30, 2016

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