The Conference Board of Canada as a whole noted in the recent edition of its cyclical Metropolitan Outlook that the Prairies should be expecting net positives when it comes to an upsurge in the economy and growth in real estate this year. The associate director of the Board’s Centre for Municipal Studies, Alan Arcand rendered that; “The worst appears to be over for Saskatoon and Regina. Both cities are benefiting from a modest firming in oil, potash, and crop prices. Winnipeg’s economy is also enjoying robust growth this year.” For this year economic increase, Saskatoon and Winnipeg are expected to face an increase by 3.6%, while Regina’s actual GDP will likely go up this year by 2.9%.
For Winnipeg; “The construction sector is receiving a lift from robust residential demand and several major ongoing non-residential projects. Meanwhile, strong output growth on the services side is being led by wholesale and retail trade and by finance, insurance, and real estate.”
The construction section is Saskatoon…” will start levelling off this year after contracting in the last two years. Despite a weak local commercial real estate market, two major office towers are planned for the city’s downtown core and residential permit values are starting to pick up. In all, construction output is set to rise by nearly 1% this year and a further 1.8% in 2018.”
While in Regina; “The CMA’s construction output is forecast to rise 0.9% in 2017, following two straight annual contractions. This year’s expansion is largely fuelled by ongoing work on a $1.9-billion bypass for the Trans-Canada Highway. On the residential side, a modest housing starts recovery is forecast this year, with housing starts reaching 1,860 units. However, the recovery will stall next year with starts forecast to fall back to about 1,760 units.”
A warning was given by Arcand saying; “economic growth is projected to moderate in all three Prairie cities in 2018, with Winnipeg expected to experience the sharpest deceleration” at 1.4%. For the upcoming year, the increase in Saskatoon will lower down by 2.0%, while Regina on the other hand will face an increase of 2.1% next year. With actual GDP forecasted to go up correspondingly by 4.6% and 3.9%, Edmonton and both Calgary will likely be the fastest growing census metropolitan areas in the whole of Canada for 2017.