On November 30, 2012 Numbeo put out a ranking of the best cities to live in the world based on quality of life. The data to determine this comprised of:
- Cost of living and purchasing power
- Affordability of housing (apartments)
- Pollution including air, water, etc.
- Crime rates
- Health system quality
- Traffic (commute times)
Only two Canadian cities came out in the top ten, Edmonton and Calgary, both Albertan economic powerhouses. Although many scoffed those northern posts could possibly beat out obvious Canadian stars like Vancouver or Montreal there is a lot to draw young Canadians away from “beautiful” cities to ”optimistic” ones.
Optimistic cities offer their inhabitants more chances to get ahead and establish a good quality of life. Jobs, low taxes, a positive economic outlook all contribute to an optimistic city. These qualities are what investors look for in regions and right now Alberta is leading in many indicators when compared Canada’s other provinces.
You may be able to enjoy lattes at sidewalk cafes longer in other cities but you’ll be able to buy more luxury items in Alberta with higher employment rates.
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“Alberta had the highest labour force participation rate among the provinces at 74.0% in 2011, 7.4% higher than the national average. At the same time, Alberta also had the highest employment rate among the provinces, at 70.5%.” (source Alberta.ca)
Alberta’s low taxes are very attractive to the workforce. Lowest marginal income tax, low personal income tax and no sales taxes make a dollar earned in Alberta go a lot further than other Canadian provinces. This frees up more money for consumer spending if not on goods then on services or necessities like higher rents or purchasing homes.
From aerospace to life sciences, to oil and gas Alberta has a diversified economy. Currently our powerhouse is oil and gas. However, the entrepreneurial spirit that built this province is growing constantly as we understand oil isn’t forever.
Real Estate investors understand how important it is to get rent paid and have tenants that are not only long term, but also take care of your property. Tenants that have disposable income, steady jobs and opportunity to progress in their jobs are more likely to stay renters longer as they prepare to purchase a home. If you’re renting homes or selling them, Alberta’s rental real estate market and resale market are sound. It’s important to remember that no one market is static and that there will be economic ebbs and flows; real estate is cyclical and Alberta is not immune to reverberations felt around the globe or even nationally.
As young educated Canadians compare their quality of life in other cities to Alberta’s star cities they see the economic advantage of moving here. This modern day migration increases rental rates as demand increases and owners will benefit from increased cash-flow and resale values.
Other Canadian cities offer beautiful vistas and milder weather; currently Alberta offers a thriving economy and an attractive lifestyle. Whether investing or living in Alberta, you’ll find a myriad of attractive opportunities.