Canmore, Leduc top list of Alberta's best real estate investment towns

Some savvy, smaller, multi-industry cities are crushing the notion that the entire province is facing a resource-linked downturn

By
Western Investor
April 30, 2019





canmore
Visitors enjoy a view of the Alberta Rockies from a condo in Canmore, where residential sales and prices are rising. | Meeting Places Alberta

Canmore 

Canmore, the closest mountain town to Calgary, is the only Rocky Mountain resort town where private real estate investment is welcomed and thriving. This is reflected in recent residential and commercial real estate action.

In March Canmore housing sales increased 44 per cent from a month earlier, reflecting a 4.8 per cent rise in residential sales through the first quarter of this year, to 108 units, compared to the same period in 2018. This was the first time in three years that first-quarter sales eclipsed sales in the preceding fourth quarter, noted Sotheby’s International Realty.

Prices are among the highest in Alberta, with detached houses selling this year at a median of $874,000, up $24,000 from a year earlier. Condo apartment median prices rose 6 per cent to $458,600 in the same period.

Last November, Clique Hotels and Resorts opened the new Malcolm Hotel, a four-star, 127-room property and the first luxury hotel built in the resort community in 20 years.

Leduc

Leduc’s population growth is among the highest in Alberta, posting a 23.4 per cent increase from 2011 to 2016, to 29,993 residents. 

The city’s industrial investment opportunities are best offered by the Nisku Business Park in Leduc County, employing more than 400 companies and 6,000 workers locally, in industries ranging from agriculture to forestry to fishing. 

Growth in and around Edmonton International Airport has helped provide jobs for Leduc residents, including construction of the world’s largest marijuana production facility by Aurora Cannabis. A Ford Canada 400,000-square-foot auto parts and distribution warehouse is also on the slate for this year. 

Leduc’s average list price for a single-family home is presently $362,034, compared to Edmonton metro area’s average residential price of $357,316 in March 2019. 

Lethbridge

Lethbridge is the second-biggest city in southern Alberta, behind  only Calgary.

It’s also one of the brightest places in Canada, with 320 days of sunshine a year. 

Under construction is the $360 million Cavendish Farms frozen-potato processing plant, the largest private investment in the city’s history. The plant is slated for completion this year.

Meanwhile, cannabis grower Fifty First Parallel  is building a three-phase facility capable of producing about 12,600 kilograms of marijuana by 2020, employing about 150 workers.

Most homes in 2019 sold at from $250,000 to $300,000, but six houses sold in March  for above $600,000 each, reports Re/Max Real Estate Lethbridge.

Lloydminster 

Straddling the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Heavy Oil Capital of the World is home to nearly 34,000 residents, more than a quarter of them young adults. The city’s strategic bi-provincial location draws in an estimated trade area of 130,000 to 150,000 people. Lloydminster has been named the sixth-best city in Canada to start a business.

The majority of Husky Energy’s heavy oil assets are located in the Lloydminster area, where the company holds approximately two million acres of land. Local industries include the Heavy Oil Bi-Provincial Upgrader, plus several other, smaller secondary manufacturing and distributing companies, many of which are related to the oil industry. The city is also home to several wheat, barley and canola farms and processing facilities. 

Industrial land in the city-owned Hill Industrial park is offered at around $66,000 per acre. 

The city’s residential rental vacancy decreased by 5.9 per cent from a year earlier to 11.5 per cent in 2018, and average rents increased by 1.2 per cent, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

Lloydminster’s average residential sale price is around $291,100, with building lots at $45,000.

Red Deer 

Red Deer stands at the midpoint between Alberta’s major cities, Edmonton and Calgary. As the province’s third-biggest city, the area is home to 100,418 residents as of the 2016 federal census. Red Deer could reach a population of 128,420 by the year 2020 if it's current growth rate of 2.23 per cent continues.

City of Red Deer building statistics show a 55 per cent increase in total building permit values in recent years, and construction is one of the city’s top three employment sectors. Expansions to the city’s G.H. Dawe Community Centre were approved late last year, while the city’s Queens Business Park continues to provide industrial  opportunities, with  its Phase 2 expansion, totalling 95 acres of industrial-zoned land and 4.75 acres of commercial. 

The average home price is approximately $313,000. Residential sales are expected to pick up into summer 2019, according to the Alberta Real Estate Association.  


Frank O'Brien is the editor of Western Canada's biggest commercial real estate newspaper, Western Investor, as well as a contributing editor at West Coast Condominium, real estate contributor to Business in Vancouver and a regular media commentator on real estate investment.
Tanya is Western Investor's web content and social media coordinator. She first joined the Western Investor team as a editorial assistant in 2016, after a summer spent freelancing at Glacier Media papers The Burnaby Now and New West Record. She is a graduate of Langara College's journalism program.
Copyright © Western Investor

Email to a Friend

Close
Most Popular
Get the WesternInvestor.com Newsletter