Shut Up!  & Vote

Date PublishedOctober 22, 2015
CompanyEngel & Völkers
Article AuthorJeff Tincher
Article TypeOctober 2015 Issue
CategoryArticles, Business
Tags, , ,
PULSE Interactive

Shut Up!  & Vote

No, “I told you so’s,” or, “We had no say,” comments if you don’t fulfill your civic duty on Election Day. Simple as that.

the federal electionThe Federal Election is right around the corner. Your job? Get out there and vote. No excuses. No further whining, no speculating, and no tantrums. No more pessimism for now. Just vote. But, make sure it’s an informed vote, please?

Turn off the media reports, the forecasting, and the naysaying. Look past the most obvious, can the rhetorical, and ignore the political grand-standing, the adorably kissed babies, and forced hand- shakes. Really think about the BIG picture here.

Otherwise, you might as well just shut your mouth and live with the consequences. No, “I told you so’s,” or, “We had no say,” comments if you don’t fulfill your civic duty on Election Day. Simple as that.

We’re facing another tough go here in Alberta right now. Provincially, housing stats are down. Drilling stats are down. Oil royalty reviews have now been pushed to fiscal 2017. The price of oil is still down. The Canadian dollar is down. In Calgary, commercial office vacancy rates are up, but that still means business is noticeably down. And, energy sector layoffs are still happening.

If you don’t think your vote is going to directly affect the cost of living in Alberta, the future cost of real estate, and the future economy here, think again. Like it or not, we’ve had things pretty good here over the last decade. We’ve had a more west-centric Prime Minister and political party in power. If and when this changes, even slightly, we’re going to feel it.

In real estate, the luxury, single-family, and multi-family markets are already feeling the pinch. Yes, properties are still trading at all price levels, but sales are down in some areas. Overall activity is being affected. Inventory is up in areas like Calgary and Edmonton, and many Albertans are genuinely concerned about where they are parking their money right now.

On top of that, there’s also renewed pressure lately to go carbon-neutral, the proposed oil pipelines through the U.S. and Canada continue to stall, and more oil projects (both provincially and federally) seem to be getting shelved almost daily. All of this is translating into a very noticeable shift economically, socially, politically, and financially.

As a real estate agent, I’m noticing the change in people’s spending habits and their willingness to feel comfortable moving forward on a sale. I’m noticing their frustration during the listing and selling process and their willingness to blame the price of oil, what their politicians are and are not doing, and Alberta’s overall economy as reasons for their anxiety or concern.

the federal election

It’s certainly not all doom and gloom. Everything from the economy to housing markets to drilling activity goes in cycles. This is nothing new. Certain cities, like Airdrie and Okotoks for example, continue to weather the storm, especially when it comes to sales in the $500,000 and under price point. In other areas, like Bonnyville, there’s still work to be had, activity is steady and properties are selling fairly quickly.

There are pockets of Edmonton and Calgary where the luxury market is still doing just fine, even if sales are a bit more sluggish. Investors and those with the financial means are taking the advice of their financial planners and accountants. They are considering scooping up foreclosure and tear-down properties at a discount and then renovating or renting them out to turn a future profit. But, all of this certainly isn’t commonplace right now. There are also other pockets of rural Alberta where acreages, land, and homes are sitting longer than owners want to admit. Their mettle being tested as they try to move on to better things, reduce their overall debt-load, or simply transfer locales.

These rise and fall cycles, like the one we’re in now, still feel new for some. For others, it’s a little too close for comfort or too close to home (pun intended) when we look back to the trials and tribulations of, say, 2008? Calgary continues to rebuild and climb out of jaw-dropping costs from the flood of 2013 and recent hail and snow storms. Up north, recent changes in the energy sector are redefining what it means to feel financially secure in some areas of Edmonton and past energy strongholds like Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie.

Shut-up-and-Vote-Oilfield-PULSE-october-2015It’s for these, and many other reasons, your vote will and does count. Perhaps now more than ever. Whichever party remains or takes power will be sure to focus a keen eye on what’s happening in Alberta, and they will force Albertans to make noticeable changes, for better or for worse. So, take time to make time and do a little bit of homework on just whom you want to vote for. Choose wisely, but above all else, make the conscious effort to choose. Get out there and vote. The future of this great country depends on it.

Jeff Tincher
Real Estate Advisor







Originally published in the 

October 2015 issue of Oilfield PULSE