Five ways Calgary rules Canada:
1. According to Statistics Canada yesterday, Calgary boasted the country’s top median total family income in 2012, at $98,300, surpassing the Ottawa area, which held the 2011 crown but now stands at $94,230. Edmonton, at $96,030, also bested Canada’s capital.
3. The city’s housing market is on fire: Home prices are rising faster than any other city in the country, up 8.1 per cent in June from a year earlier, according to the latest Teranet-National Bank home price index reading. And according to the Conference Board, Calgary will see housing starts climb markedly this year to 14,437 from just more than 12,500 last year.
4. Calgary shoppers are out in force, with retail sales expected to rise 5.4 per cent this year, also according to the Conference Board.
5. Jobs, jobs, jobs. Already, Calgary’s jobless rate is just 5.4 per cent, not the lowest in the country, but close. The Conference Board, meanwhile, projects “solid employment growth” of an average 2.2 per cent a year from 2015 to 2018. And this from Douglas Porter, Bank of Montreal’s chief economist, about the province in general: “Annual employment in the province is now 3.5 per cent year over year, or miles above the 0.4-per-cent year-over-year national rate. If Alberta is stripped out of the national total, there would have been no job growth in the past year.”