What lies ahead in 2021 for employment, residential real estate, and economic output? Here’s what the experts are saying – with the caveat that no one expected 2020 would bring an oil price war that hammered Alberta’s energy sector and then combined with a pandemic to cause the largest annual economic contraction in Alberta’s modern-day history.
- RBC Economics says Alberta will begin to climb out of a very deep hole in 2021 with GDP growth of 4.5% after the economy shrank 8.3% in 2020. Recovery to 2019 levels could take until 2023.
- TD Economics released a marginally more positive outlook that pegs GDP growth for 2021 at 4.8% followed by 4.1% in 2022.
- The Conference Board of Canada expects business uncertainty and limited household activity will slow the pace of recovery in the first half of 2021 but a bounce-back of 6% is on the horizon for Alberta next year.
- ATB Financial expects Alberta’s unemployment rate to hover around 11% over the next two years due to the hangover from the pandemic and suppressed oil-prices.
- TD Economics is more optimistic in forecasting the jobless rate dropping from 11.4% this year to 9.5% in 2021 and 7.5% in 2022.
- Remax expects Edmonton home prices to rise 2% in 2021 after a 1% increase over the last year. Young couples looking for a property with a yard – houses, duplexes, and townhomes – are driving the move-up market.
- Altus Group predicts Edmonton’s market will struggle in 2021 with a warning that recent sales reflect pent-up demand rather than underlying demographics. Average prices are expected to fall but the forecast does not include a target percentage. Home starts will also decline, especially in the condominium sector.
- Royal LePage expects Edmonton home prices to buck regional economic drag with aggregate home prices gaining 1.5% but lagging behind a 5.5% national gain.