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Courtesy of RE/MAX Western Canada

Much of Western Canada continued to experience slower market activity in the first half of the year as regional economies continued to recover from the downturn in the oil sector.

The commercial real estate markets in Calgary and Edmonton continued to feel the impact of lower oil prices. In Calgary, the number of commercial properties sold during
the first two quarters of the year was down 12 per cent from the same period in 2015.  The most significant impact has been seen in office space; at the end of July 2016, the
office vacancy rate was approaching 25 per cent. 

In Edmonton, the number of commercial building and land sales was down eight per cent year-over-year while the value of those sales was down five per cent. This marks the
second consecutive year that total sales valued less than $1 billion by mid-year. Land sales declined by 40 per cent year-over-year, indicative of a slowing economy; however, the
total dollar value of building sales was up 13 per cent compared with the first half of 2015.  There continues to be demand for good quality product in the Calgary and Edmonton
markets, though a full recovery is not expected until oil prices rebound. There will likely be some good opportunities for investors coming on to the market later this year and
next year as owners start to sell off assets.