Here is our first annual countdown of our five most-read Alberta stories in 2016.
In May, a fierce wildfire in Fort McMurray caused a citywide evacuation. Thousands of homes and buildings were destroyed, spurring an Alberta chain of Holiday Inns to offer free lodging to Fort McMurray citizens who had lost their homes.
The Edmonton Real Estate Forum in July presented an optimistic outlook on the city’s job market and the prospect of new commercial developments. The article noted Edmonton’s rising population and year-over-year job growth. It also took a look at the city’s high building permit values, elevated in part because of the construction of three new Class A office buildings.
A new mall under construction in Calgary will be the first in the province to offer retail space not by lease. Instead, New Horizon Mall will sell its 500 units to business owners who can chose to use the spaces themselves or rent them out. Readers flocked to this brief story of an atypical retail business model.
In our runner up for most-read story of 2016, the community of High River provides an idealistic template for Fort McMurray wildfire victims. In 2013, a flood devastated the southern Alberta town. Now, its real estate market has recovered to pre-flood prices and transaction volumes. High River was a town forced to adapt and evolve after a natural disaster, providing inspiration for Fort McMurrary to do the same.
The top story out of Alberta this year tackled arguably the province’s most-talked about real estate issue: soaring apartment vacancy rates. With the multi-family vacancy rate expected to reach it’s highest level in 2 years, property owners have been forced to lower rents. The article received more views than any other Alberta story posted this year, despite being published just over a month ago.